Amazing Co-Workers + Great Students = Wonderful Trip!
On Monday, April 29, shortly after 9:30 p.m., I enjoyed another safe landing – this time at the Boise airport. That Monday was a very long day, since I woke up shortly before 2:00 a.m. (in answer to prayer) in Odessa, Ukraine, in order to be ready for my friend, Sergey Bezvershenko, to pick me up from Open Christian University at 2:30 and deliver me to the airport by 3:00 a.m. for departure to Vienna at 5:10 a.m. Since I gained eight hours that day flying west, my total time in transit by arrival time in Boise (nearly 10:00 p.m.) was about 28 hours! I arrived very tired, extremely happy to see Della and Randy waiting for me, and overjoyed with the opportunities, experiences, and results of this trip. I plan to share these with you piece by piece over the next few months, but now I hope to help you see the “Big Picture”!
The Purpose and Goal of Overseas Outreach
First, I want to share with you the concise overview of our Vision Statement by our friend, Doug Reed:
The purpose and goal of Overseas Outreach is to transform the former Soviet Union nations from atheism to a Biblical Christian worldview – in which evangelism flourishes.
To accomplish that, we will…
- cooperate with the Holy Spirit and His infallible Word:
- earnestly and persistently pray to the one true and Almighty God;
- remember and trust that with God nothing is impossible;
- partner with like-minded Christian leaders and ministries in Ukraine, Germany, and Latvia to…
- reach children, youth, and college and university students with the gospel,
- train them in Biblical Christian worldview,
- teach them to passionately and permanently love God, His Word, and His unreached children,
- and assist them in church plants, youth camps, orphan care, and other outreach endeavors.
This train is moving! Do you want to get on board?
Our two main ways to move forward with Overseas Outreach are by:
1. Creation Evangelism 2. Compassion Evangelism.
The four main ways that you can partner with us for Overseas Outreach are:
- By your earnest prayers
- By your financial support
- By recruiting others to also help us
- By sharing our prayer letters and books with others
Thank you very much!
Now a poem about the power of words by our friend (and former classmate at Boise Bible College), Ed Saunders, will provide much to mull over and meditate on:
Words can cut the heart and soul, can be as sharp as a razor blade
When carelessly passing your lips, they can destroy and tear apart
Words can be mean and terribly cruel, when sent out in a stream of hate.
Words carry a message of our true intent, when blasted out without real thought.
Words are so important that they must be guarded, so that they are used to bring joy and peace
Words will tell more about you, They bare your true image
Words can build a mountain of trust, when kept true and honestly sent
Words can raise one fallen, and help them see there’s always hope
Words can make you feel as high as a kite, and raise your spirits to the mountain’s height
Words well used can grip your soul, and help you onward go
Use your words to praise things done, to build one up and give one fun
Words can cut the heart and soul, can be as sharp as a razor blade
Next, as an example of encouraging words, I’m sharing with you what Della wrote to Inga Chystyakova for her birthday – and her reply. (By the way, Inga now has most of, Is the Bible without Any Errors?, translated into Russian. Please pray with us for completion and distribution to the glory of God and extension of His Kingdom.)
May this day be a very special one for you –
With a new awareness of God’s love for you,
With hope overflowing in your heart,
With love shining from your eyes,
With music in your soul,
And praise on your lips!
With loving thoughts, Rick & Della
“Dear Della and Rick,
I couldn’t say it better. Thank you for such a beautiful congratulation and wish! It totally resonates with my heart! I can only wish the same back to you as you prepare to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! May you find grace upon grace and joy upon joy in love, obedience and adoration of Jesus!
With grateful heart, Inga
From Our Mailbox
“Rick, for 40+ years I’ve known you as an evangelist, one who has a deep and True Heart to tell people about Jesus. Your method and purpose are not challenged. Go into all the world especially Ukraine and make disciples.
Just for your knowledge here is the job description I gave to my replacement here at CERT: It is 2 pronged –
Teach the Bible in such a way kids will fall in love with Jesus.
Live the Bible in such a way they see you have fallen in love with Jesus.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Dear Della and Rick,
We would like to share with you our joy and thankfulness to God for his unlimited love towards us and everyone. By believing in Jesus, confessing our sins and receiving baptism we received the most precious gift of all possible – eternal life. There is no death now and our earthly life is our humble pilgrimage towards eternal future. Sometimes it’s hard to believe but God gives us hope and faith to be able to walk through the distance of our lives here.
We are richly blessed by knowing you and we are praying for you and want to share with you the greetings of Resurrection Sunday. Christ is risen and He is risen indeed!
Our resurrection Sunday will come in a week here in Ukraine and the theme for our service will be “THERE IS NO DEATH ANYMORE.” We are inviting all our people we were in contact with to our service.
We had short and very good time with Rick and many events and meetings with different people. We also have several visitations for people who are ill. We pray for people we were in contact with and hope the planted seeds will grow someday.
Spring finally came and we have warm weather. Trees are in bloom and it is very fresh in the morning. We are filled with hope for God’s leading as we pray for future. Your Resurrection Sunday is a big day for Ukraine, since we will have final election of our president for another 5 years. It is quite unpredictable what is going to happen and how our country will develop.
We will write more as times goes by and we will have a little bit more free time.
God bless you our dear friends,
Zhenya, Natasha Masha, Yan and Jacob” (Molodchy)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Thank you so much for your generous contribution.
Ukraine has just elected its new President: Vladimir Zelensky, a young TV comedian who challenged the current President Peter Poroshenko. Mr. Poroshenk won support of the West during Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea and was able to stop Russia’s advances further into Ukrainian territory. Mr. Zelensky is said to be pro-Russia and it is impossible to say what implications his presidency will bring to Ukraine. Please pray for Ukraine, that it will remain democratic and free from Russia’s influence regardless of what changes a new President might bring. The inauguration will happen in the end of May, so pray for peaceful transition of power and no escalation of fighting.
Another prayer request: I will be traveling to Ukraine for my annual visit May 13-23. Please pray for God’s protection, wisdom and favor as I check on all our outreaches and consider new ones. God has been growing Mulberry’s ministry in Mariupol consistently since 2015 and we have been adding new outreaches every year. I am excited to see how the Lord moves in 2019! …..
Ministry Update: Thank you so much for continued outpouring of your love towards orphaned Elona’s sons! We have received such generous donations that will provide for the boys’ future. What a blessing! Right now, Alex, Daniel and Julian are at a distant special needs orphanage, while some of the local Christians are trying to receive custody over the boys. Please pray for the favor with the authorities and that they will place these precious children in loving Christian families!
Looking forward to what God has in store for Mulberry and our partnership with YOU,
Executive Director, Mulberry International
(From Paul Sudhakar, a former student in Ukraine, who is now studying in Australia for his master’s degree in astrophysics.)
Now apologies again from my side for not getting back to you sooner. I have been battling health issues one after the other and when I was healthy, I was loaded with university works and ministry activities here. How have you been doing, Rick? I am glad to know about the prayers Della received and the renewal she felt in her spirit. How is she keeping up now? How about your own health? How’s the ministry work going?
I am hoping to return to Ukraine by the end of this year to visit Katya, Oleg and the New Hope Church. But I am not sure at this point if I will be able to go. I am trying to save up for the tickets. I hope I can haha. When is your next trip to Ukraine?
Ministry work here is going well. The harvest is plentiful. The gospel is being shared with many those who haven’t heard of Jesus before. Some of them have put their faith in the Lord and it is a joy to see them growing in their faith.
I have been noticing that the literal creation account of Genesis is under severe attack in most of the student ministries around the world. I am strongly contending for the truth and trying to educate my fellow students why old earth view is implausible, unbiblical and dangerous. Even our staff director of the student group I am serving in at the moment does not hold on to the young earth view. He is more of a “does it really matter?” sort of person. So pray that God would give me wisdom and strength to speak the truth in love. Praying for you and your family, Rick. I treasure your friendship greatly.
Paul” (Paul is also the chosen leader for the evangelical student group.)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Dear Rick and Della Deighton,
It is past time for me to express my appreciation for your informative paper, Overseas Outreach – Serving our Awesome God. Whenever it arrives in the mail I know I’m in for some fascinating reading and enlightenment. The short article on page 8 Creation Moment is a jewel! I’ve shared the message of this article with others. This article as well as others in your paper respecting evolution repeatedly remind me of the old saying, “there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” Jesus encountered this sad reality: Jn 9:40-41. What we see happening in the political arena in the United Sates is very much like what happened at the trial of Jesus. Power-hungry people are willing to twist truth and destroy others in order to be “king of the hill.” Speaking of Jesus Acts 8:33 NIV reads: “in His humiliation He was deprived of justice.” When our Lord’s enemies couldn’t prevail through logic or Scripture, they got the verdict they wanted by screaming. The next step is violence. They even twisted Scripture so as to make it agree with their wicked scheme.
I would be pleased to have a copy of your book, Is the Bible Without Errors? In every age it seems we have to have a Battle over the Bible. Soon after I became a Christian I “loaded up” on books on apologetics; read the then popular Harry Rimmer books.
We have been attending three different churches each Sunday: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. One of the morning services is invariably at Christ’s Church where our son, Tim, preaches. He brings the sermon every other Sunday; his associate, a young, black brother brings the sermon every other week. We go to Park Plaza on Sunday evening which is a “Senior Citizen’s Church,” good music and solid preaching. On Wednesday evening we go to Mount Hope, the non-instrument church where Victor and Evelyn Knowles have their membership. I taught there during January and February; “What About Baptismal Regeneration?”
God bless you brother and sister in your kingdom service.
In His Happy Service,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Thank you so much for your latest letter and the sweet notes that you wrote in it as well as the ‘money tract’ and the bookmark! Yes, you can use my letter in your next “Prayer letter.” I love that verse Romans 15 verse 13 where it’s talking about overflowing with hope from God. A few weeks ago in our ladies Bible study at church we all got to choose a rock and put something on it about the study we just had. I wrote “Christian Love
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Linda Always Hopes” Because verse 7 says, “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” It was the hope, always hope, that stood out to me that day. It always has since Jesus came into my heart. I’ve always hoped, love hopes for the best, hopes in God, hope doesn’t give up. You see if we can insert our name in those verses like in verse 7, …Linda hopes all things…, it’s about the love, about what Jesus did on the cross that makes all of these things possible for us to do through Him!!! ?
You know several years ago another Pastor told James and me that Fogle means ‘bird’ in German – that’s funny that you should mention that, that’s so cool!!! You’ll have to translate that sentence for me – I’m not sure what that says that you put in German? I did speak to my Pastor Tony and asked him to call you. I hope that you’ve heard from him by now. You’re right he is very, very, busy!!! Yes, I will be happy to add the prayer requests for the people who fight the culture war and for NWSM! I would love to see a full scale model of Noah’s Ark right here In Idaho! I didn’t realize that this Museum was here in Boise and will see if I can get our Golden Girls from our church to take a field trip there! I’m not sure which books you’re talking about, but I was reading your letter and on page 6 at the DVDs and books, God of Wonders and Ready to Give an Answer sounds good. I don’t want to overdo in having you send me all of them. I listen to a question-and-answer program on the radio between 4 and 5 p.m. On CSN Radio 89.1. I believe that’s what it’s called. Anyways, at the end of the phone calls, the Pastor always says that he gives out some DVDs and books, and I thought I heard him say those two, Ready to Give an Answer and God of Wonders!
May God’s written Word and the answers you find there turn any darkness you have into light. Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Soooooo follow the light! ?
God’s richest blessings upon you, with love Linda (Fogle)”
Consider this amazing quote from Brother Benne from India, which I heard him share at a Voice of the Martyrs rally in Nampa in March:
“Every day when I wake up, I ask God to allow me to do something that will outlast me – for eternity!”
Also at that rally I heard:
“Our God is large – and He is in charge!
“Every disappointment is an appointment with God!”
To Text or Not to Text?
(That is the Question!)
Note for those who wish to communicate with us:
We do want to hear from you – by mail, email or phone – but not by text message. We still use little flip phones that have small screens – and text messages are hard to read. I’m amazed at how skilled many of you are with typing messages on phones, but that is not a skill we possess (or intend to develop). So if you are waiting for a text message from one of us, may God grant you patience! ?
Please pray for Edward and Paul!
Edward is a second-year student and Paul a fourth-year student at Christian Open University in Odessa, and both of them were my students with my lessons on Biblical Christian worldview in the English department. Both of them are committed Christians who love our Lord Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him. Edward would love to become a pilot, especially a mission aviation pilot, and I don’t know yet what Paul plans to do after his graduation from OCU, but I hope to recruit both of them to become students at Boise Bible College, and to help Edward get a job at MAF. Chad Irwin at MAF told me that they won’t be able to pay Edward unless he can get a green card, but he could work there as a volunteer and learn much from the pilots and mechanics.
I first met Paul nearly three years ago, but I did not know his tragic background until he shared his testimony in class this time as part of my exams for my classes on Biblical Christian worldview. Paul’s dad went crazy in 2016 and tried to murder his family – then committed suicide. I did not guess that Paul had such a recent terrible experience because he has such a warm, pleasant manner, ready smile and servant spirit. Obviously, Paul has allowed trials, suffering and tragedy to draw him closer to God rather than driving him away! In the midst of the trials he chose to look up and become better, rather than to look around and become bitter.
Please pray for Edward’s and Paul’s futures.
The Last Day
First, I want to clarify that I’m not, at this time, referring to the Day of Judgment, but rather to my last day in Ukraine on this trip. The last day of my trip I worshiped with two churches in Odessa. The Light of Evangelism congregation led by Pavel Lugovoy, meets on the campus of Christian Open University and their Sunday service begins at 10:00 a.m., and Love of Christ Church, led by Alexander Boyshenko and Sergey Bezvershenko, meets at 11:00 a.m. in their own property less than two miles from the campus. Sergey had agreed to pick me up at 10:30, so I went to Light of Evangelism church for the first half hour to worship with them and enjoy their beautiful music. (I was staying in the guest room on the campus.)
About 1:30 that afternoon of April 28 (which in Ukraine was the celebration of Resurrection Sunday) Sergey brought me back to the campus – where I was invited to be the guest of the all afternoon love feast celebration of our Lord Jesus and His triumph over sin, death and hell. We enjoyed rich fellowship with lots of stories, laughter, food, and prayers. At their urging I ate shish-kabob, Russian salad, and much more until I could hold no more. They really laughed when I told them that I like Russian salad much more than Russian aggression. They heartily agreed!
About 6:00 p.m., while still seated around a long row of combined tables, they began singing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” I requested my favorite Russian language praise song. After they sang it beautifully (they sound like a professional choir) I excused myself to go up to my room to pack my suitcases and get to bed early because Sergey Bezvershenko had agreed to pick me up at 2:30 a.m. to get me to the airport by 3:00 a.m. for a 5:10 departure. However, they insisted on sharing one more song for me – and they chose “How Great thou Art” so I was able to sing along with them!
Following the song I told them, “I don’t like good-bye’s, but I do want to tell you thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and heart-stirring music.” I also mentioned that I’ve read that the shortest distance between human hearts comes either through laughter or tears, and we have had great warmth and laughter here today. Then I choked up and could barely speak as I mentioned how we had also mingled our tears with the music as we were singing of the sacrifices of Christ for our salvation. “Precious memories – how they linger, how they ever flood my soul!”
(As a side note, I also want to mention that the church planter and primary leader of this congregation, Pavel Lugovoy, told me a few days before my departure that when he was a young boy of 10 or 11 years, Sergei Golovin’s recordings played a huge role in his conversion and growing faith. Sergei’s clear teaching resolved his doubts and built his faith. I called Sergei and told him what Pavel said – and that he had a disciple in Odessa he didn’t even know about. “Thank you, brother!” was Sergei’s response.)
1. Praise God for the powerful and extensive influence of our co-workers in Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, etc. (As another side note, Natasha Reimer, Natasha Molodchy and many other effective servants of Christ graduated from Crimean American College – and are Georges Carillet’s disciples.)
2. Please pray for a safe and effective trip for Natasha Reimer, and for wonderful provision for the struggling families along the war zone of Ukraine.
3. Praise God that V. and I. K. are safe and well (and so are their family members) – even though they are now back in the war zone! V. was another presenter for the Man and the Christian Worldview. This trip I got to talk with him on the phone a couple times.
4. Please pray for Edward, Paul and the rest of my students.
5. Praise God that Ready to Give an Answer is now digitally available in Turkish for sharing with refugees coming into Odessa. Also, please pray for God to use the thousands of Russian print copies of Ready to Give an Answer, plus the digital copies to help believers become bold witnesses for Jesus and for them to reach souls for Christ.
6. Please pray for time and wisdom for Inga to finish the translation of “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” into Russian – and for it to be powerfully used of God in the Russian-speaking world.
7. Please pray for healing for Paul Sudhakar and for God to give him both wisdom and boldness to effectively share the Biblical Christian World View on his campus and around the world on the internet. (I had Sandy send him my article, “Does It Really Matter If the Days of Creation Were Literal Days or Long Ages?” and Mark Berrier’s new commentary on Genesis 1 -11.)
“Above all else, guard your heart,
For everything you do flows from it.”