During one of the combined worship and prayer sessions on the YWAM campus in Kiev, the student leaders asked each of us to write out a prayer, then pray out loud. Here is a copy of my prayer:
“Lord, fill me with Your Spirit, Your peace that passes all understanding, Your joy that spills over to others because of Your majestic love and grace. Thank you so much for pulling me out of my pit and rescuing me from a life of hopeless desperation in my sin and false philosophy of evolutionism.
Lord, thank You so much for giving me Della and our family. They bring so much joy and peace to me – and Lord, please lead each one Home to You for all eternity. Thank You so much for these vibrant students, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Last Day Revisited
The “Personal Prayer” in the preceding paragraph was from my first week of teaching at YWAM base in Kiev (April 1-5). Now I’m jumping to my last full day in Ukraine for my spring trip – April 28, which was Resurrection Sunday there. Last month I told you about visiting two congregations that Sunday: Light of Evangelism Church that meets on the campus of the Open Christian University in Odessa and Love of Christ Church. At Love of Christ Church, they had a power-packed program with beautiful music (including a children’s choir), testimonies and two preachers with dynamic messages. (Sergey Bezvershenko was whispering to me what they were saying to keep me informed personally, then interpreted for me to the congregation for my part in the service.) I shared a greeting and a story. Here is the story:
Up from the Grave!
A man went directly to a bar after work and overstayed his welcome to the point where the bartender invited him to leave. When he began getting belligerent and asserting that the customer is always right and should be served, the bartender told him, “Okay, you have a choice. You can choose to leave peacefully on your own, or I can have Brutus throw you out,” as he pointed to a big muscular bouncer. The drunkard recaptured his composure and decided that it was past his time to leave. As he stepped out into the cool, fresh air and noticed that it was now totally dark outside, suddenly the thought occurred to him that he had not told his wife where he was going after work. Pondering this fact, he thought, “The bartender is already mad at me, and by now my wife probably is too! Our dinner is probably burned.” So, he decided to take a shortcut home, through the graveyard. There were no streetlights in the cemetery and there was an open grave that had been freshly dug that day. He fell into it. The sides were steep and slick (because it had rained while he was in the bar). After many unsuccessful attempts to climb out, he just slid down, exhausted, and leaned back against the end of the grave to wait for the workers to come pull him out in the morning. A short time later, another drunk came staggering through that graveyard, and fell into the other end of the grave. After he experienced several futile attempts to climb out, he heard a voice behind him say, “You might as well just give up. You’re never going to get out of here!” Suddenly he shot out of that grave like a speeding bullet!!! 😊
Those in the congregation who understand English were already smiling and laughing before Sergey finished interpreting. I told them that I cannot verify this story to be true, but we can use it like a parable and learn from it at least two powerful lessons:
- No matter how many times you have tried and failed to get out of your pit, and no matter how many times you’ve heard Satan tell you, “You might as well give up! You will never get out of this,” it’s not true! You can jump far higher than you ever imagined when the motivation is strong enough – and the Word of God says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13.
- I cannot verify the story I just told you, but what I can verify is the resurrection account of our Lord Jesus that we have been celebrating all morning. There is no better proven fact in all of history than the fact that Jesus died and rose again! “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes!”
Then three times we repeated: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”
On the third repetition all were on their feet with the triumphant shout, “He is risen indeed!” Praise to Almighty God! (Another precious memory to share with you.)
Considering Independence Day
“As Independence Day approaches this year, we have many reasons to be thankful, but there’s also cause for concern as we observe the tragedies that have happened in our country in the last few years. When we hear about school shootings, terror attacks, and bombings that take innocent lives, we may wonder where God is in all of this. Why does He allow these tragedies? Couldn’t He do something to prevent them?
The most basic answer to these questions is that we live in a fallen world. Disasters, crime, evil, violence, hatred, and death are the result of sin, which entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Everything and everyone has been affected by it, and none of us are exempt.
Yet knowing this, we may still question why God allows these tragedies to occur. If He’s good and loving, wouldn’t He protect His creation from harm? The truth is there are some things in life we will simply not be able to understand. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways’ … ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
So how are we to respond to tragedies when we don’t understand what God is doing? For believers, our first response should be to trust God (Prov. 3:5). It’s easy to trust Him when we can feel His loving hand reaching out to strengthen and guide us. But when God’s wisdom and purposes transcend our limited minds, and we aren’t capable of comprehending His ways, we must rely on what He has told us about Himself in His Word and trust Him like small children trusting their parents.
We need to get into God’s Word to see what He says about Himself. And the best time to do this is before tragedy strikes so we’ll have a firm foundation to support us in times of need. Once we have a scripturally accurate view of God, we will understand how to respond and go through calamity because we’ll know the God who loves us and holds us in His sovereign hand.
Second, we should respond with courage. Terrorist attacks and mass shootings naturally cause fear. For those who don’t know Christ, this can be overwhelming, but Christians have a confidence that transcends circumstances. Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose Word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? …
Prayerfully yours, Charles F. Stanley”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A Prayer of Trust
Lord, I trust in you.
I believe in you.
I hope in you.
You are my confidence and my assurance.
I lean upon you – for you are my Rock.
I depend upon you – for you are my Provider.
I delight in you – for you are the joy of my life.
My heart rests in you.
My faith responds to you.
My soul rejoices in you.
I trust you with my life –
For the wisdom of your ways.
For the blessings of your favor.
For the sufficiency of your grace.
For the power of your Spirit.
For endurance that comes from your strength.
I trust YOU for all things.
I trust YOU with all things.
I trust YOU in all things.
I trust YOU through all things.
I trust YOU above all things…. Amen.
~ Roy Lessin
Sergei Golovin Report
“Thank you very much for your care, support and prayers! With great joy, I present to you the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics April 2019 newsletter.
The highlight of the month was the continuation of a three-month project called Christian Worldview School in partnership with the Kyiv team from Youth With A Mission. The School provides intensive training for the young missionaries from Poland, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine who are currently working in Ukraine. Every week they take another course, and they have already completed the first half of the program. This month we provided two courses there: Church Leadership and Biblical Anthropology. Both are important for understanding our mission and purpose. That is why informal fellowship is as valuable as the lectures. The project goes on. The students are persistent and press on. Please keep them in your prayers!
A great shift occurring over the recent years in Ukraine is the trend to launch more and more intensive trainings for the young national missionaries, whohead out to the neighboring countries and even to the distant ones! It was very exciting to provide the course on Cross-cultural Evangelism at the Mission School in Rudnya between the courses for the in-country missionaries. Some of them are going on a mission to Mozambique a month later. Please keep in your prayers these young workers of the Lord as well!
Actually, Cross-cultural Evangelism and Church Leadership are our most popular courses now, and this is a good shift as well. During the last few months, prior to the presidential elections in Ukraine, Bible and Civil Society was the top-requested one. People were looking for the answers to the current challenges, and it was a window of opportunity to tell more about what the Bible teaches concerning the government, society, and the role of God’s people. Now the elections are over. The outcome is pretty sobering. The overwhelming majority has voted for the ignorant, arrogant and superficial comedian without any experience, vision or program. His role was to play a person, who fulfills everyone’s wishes – to share the money of the rich with the poor, to jail everyone the people are unhappy with (without a court hearing!), to make taxes and prices low but benefits high, etc. He never speaks to his opponents or people directly. But now, even before the inauguration, his manager declared that he was not going to fulfill most of his promises since those things are beyond the President’s competency (in Ukraine the executive power belongs to the prime-minister – what a surprise!). The guy is just a simulacrum. People did not vote for him as a real person, but for the movie character he had played in a popular show. The only thing he shared occasionally about his views was his highly liberal pro-abortion, pro-drugs and prostitution legalizing ideas. Our long-suffering country needs your prayers!
On the other hand, the outcome of elections is pretty positive. Nine years ago, in a situation like this, only 5% of the voters were against going back to the Egypt of Communism. Now that number is 25% – pretty influential minority, isn’t it? The mindset of people is slowly changing. We will continue to teach the biblical principles for the society, but I am glad the focus of the church has shifted to evangelism, missions and church growth. We keep in mind where our ultimate citizenship is! Since we are enjoying this enormous religious freedom, God is using Ukraine as a hub to spread the Kingdom in the post-communist world. May the Lord help us!
Meanwhile, we continue to produce the video versions of our training courses and seminars for training and equipping the leaders in remote and restricted areas. Five more – “Introduction to Christian Apologetics,” “Biblical Strategy of Evangelism,” “Biblical Principles of Christian Leadership,” “Science and the Bible,” and “Informal Logical Errors in Apologetics and Evangelism” – are available now from our Joint School of Christian Apologetics channel: http://bit.ly/2HfMXHL. Please join our prayers so that those who need them can access to them.
We are very blessed by the partnership with Good Wharf church in Kiev, which has welcomed us as members and is facilitating many of our projects, providing prayers, venue and volunteers. Reliable Foundations Apologetics Online Club is just one of the outcomes of our partnership. Meanwhile, the church elders are planning a training retreat focusing on “The Biblical Principles of the Church Leadership”. Please keep it in your prayers as well.
Many of our workers, partners, volunteers and board members have had to leave their homes as we did since the war began. Now we travel around the country for team-building once or twice a year sharing comfort, encouragement and strategic vision, in order to maintain team spirit. Over time, it has become one of the most exciting parts of our work. Technologies like phone and Internet provide great means of communication, but nothing can replace face-to-face fellowship with prayers, laughter, mourning, meals and praises. We are so thankful to the Lord for the great family of faithful and devoted coworkers in the Lord! We are so thankful to every one of you as well – for all the care, prayers, support, comfort, wisdom and encouragement you have been faithfully sharing with us. May the Lord be praised!
Please keep praying for our ministry, for our team, for our families, for the finances, for God’s guidance and protection in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.
Yours in the love and grace of Christ Jesus, Sergei”
1. I’ve told some of you that I may plan to make another mission trip to Ukraine this fall, so now it’s time for me to let you know that I’m dropping that idea. So, I am not planning a trip to Ukraine this fall, but I certainly hope to go back next year either fall or spring. Here are my reasons:
A. At this point in time, Della’s health appears to me to be unstable. She is experiencing disconcerting fatigue and headaches, which seems to be directly related to how her body is adjusting or not adjusting to medications. This morning her blood pressure was back to normal, but the headache should not be the normal reaction to taking enough blood pressure medicine to get her blood pressure normal. Plus, the stabbing neuropathy pains in her feet sometimes let up, but often are worse than before. Next to my relationship to our Lord Jesus, Della is my most important relationship, and first responsibility. 😊
On a very positive note, she was feeling better yesterday (June 2), so after church we went to lunch together in Boise, and I took her on an extended “walk down memory lane,” with only limited actual walking. We did walk around Elm Grove Park at 24th and Irene, less than two blocks from where the old dorm was located for BBC, and where 57 years ago we shared our, “I love you,” commitments under one of those big trees before I left for Colorado after my first year at BBC, and about seven months before our, “I do,” commitment on December 14, 1962!
We also drove by the property at 19th and Lemp where we lived after we were married, then we went to see the church building at 18th and Eastman where BBC classes were held. The church building and property look much the same as they did over 50 years ago, and so does the house next door where Kenny and Martha Beckman lived for many years (also the brick house across the street from the church building where Vernon and Ellen Landreth lived after their wedding).
Then we went over to Harrison Blvd., turned north and drove to Hill Rd. and the Highlands where we had climbed the hill behind the store one evening after we had agreed that we did not intend for our relationship to get too serious – we wanted to “just be friends.” However, that evening when I wanted to kiss her, she resisted and said, “I thought we were going to just be friends!” My response: “Can’t friends kiss each other?” (By the way – we are still friends and we still kiss each other!) 😊
We also drove by the property on N. 36th where the Christian Children’s Home used to be, and where we served as temporary house parents for ten months , and by the little house on N. 38th which we bought in 1977 when we returned from Germany, and which was in the same neighborhood with Harold and Evelyn Snow and family, and Don and Kathryn Vincent and family.
We had beautiful weather, and a delicious stop at Baskin Robbins for Pralines ‘n Cream! What precious memories – how they linger! So good to spend quality time with the love of my life! In the evening, we went over to David and Sandy’s home to watch, “When Calls the Heart.” How appropriate. (Actually, I just told you more than I intended – now back to my other reasons…)
B. Matt Phipps, preacher at Valley Christian Church, had expressed an interest in going on a mission trip with me this fall, but recently told me that isn’t going to work for him.
C. Our mission finances are getting quite low and need some time to grow. It seems the needs are always more than the funds, but for that we constantly have to rely on God to supply!
D. We also have several incomplete book projects to complete and I’m well aware of the fact that books will remain and touch people’s lives long after I can no longer make mission trips, as well as long after I graduate from this life and my Father takes me Home! Here are the projects:
Fulfilling the request of the leaders of Love of Christ Church in Odessa, Ukraine, for Ready to Give an Answer to be translated and available in both Turkish and Arabic. Turkish is now available in digital form, and Saafa is capable of translating into Arabic. We are waiting to learn how much for the translation.
Inga now has most of Is the Bible without Any Errors? translated into Russian. Shall we make it available only in digital format or also in printed copies? Please pray with us for wisdom and finances.
We are checking, praying and evaluating about having More than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes republished with a different title and cover, and using a pen name rather than my own name before it goes out to a multitude of more outlets. Why? To try to protect my family from the wrath and retaliation of the intolerant tolerant troop. Please pray with us.
By the way, we are now getting very low on the printed copies of More than Conquerors….
E. Our home congregation, Eagle Christian Church, is launching a new church plant (new campus) closer to our Nampa home on September 15, and we are asking God, “Lord, what would You have us do?” Three or four years ago, when ECC launched a new campus on the east side of Boise, we went there to help it get started and I taught a series of classes. Please pray with us for God’s leading about this West Valley campus outreach. I realize that I cannot help there and make a mission trip to Ukraine too. Perhaps His mission plans for me this fall may be much closer to home! Please pray!
F. Our Northwest Science Museum is poised for making a move and expansion for greater influence and I want to be here to help.
2. Eddie is a new graduate from BBC, who has studied to become a Christian counselor because of his own tragic loss of a baby boy in an accident and his own survival of a devastating accident. (Because of Eddie’s grandfather, I’ve had opportunity to help mentor him. Al Cinnamon has also helped to mentor him.) Here are two recent messages from Eddie Davis:
I should note that we are currently experiencing some challenges with our youngest daughter, CC. The poor girl is just 16 months old. She has a number of health challenges, but she has an issue with her left hip which will dominate much of our summer this year. It is looking like she will need a complete hip reconstruction surgery. She will then remain in a body-cast from the waist down for about two months. We are going to Salt Lake City to see another expert for a second opinion, though, just to be certain before we put her through all of that pain and suffering. There is a chance that her surgery and recovery may present a schedule conflict with this event, but I will stay in touch with you and alert you if it does. Thank you kindly for the invite, Rick. I would very much enjoy visiting with you. I am experiencing some extremely stressful issues with my family in Portland. – Eddie”
“Hi, Rick. Yes, of course you are welcome to quote or paraphrase anything you like. I genuinely appreciate all the prayer we can get. I am a pretty tough guy in general but when it comes to my children experiencing pain and suffering, I feel so helpless and small. There is nothing I can do to ease their misery and this hurts me deeply. You know how it is. But having lost our youngest boy in that accident, it just makes these new medical issues that much harder to bear, emotionally. It is a serious load. If all goes well, then this will be a permanent fix. She will not remember the pain, and her hip should be good as new. If we do nothing, then she will likely never be able to walk. So, it is a hard choice, but it is an obvious choice.
Love you, brother. Thank you for your prayers.”
Now here are some updates:
1.The group of creation scientist evangelists from Ukraine have postponed until August because they don’t yet have their visas. Please pray!
2. “Tabitha is 7 months old and full of spunk! She ditched the NG feeding tube and demands to nurse constantly (like a newborn). After a slight dip in weight, due to the sudden decrease in caloric intake, she has been maintaining for the past 2 weeks. Her immediate therapy goal is to strengthen muscles for independent sitting, so she can start consuming extra calories from solid foods. Then, we can put off surgery to place G-tube directly into her stomach for feeding.Please pray for a successful and informative hearing test this Wednesday.
In Christ, Sandi (Enzminger)”
3. “Thank you very much for your help and empathy. The lawsuit is dragging on and on. The judicial sittings are being constantly put off due to the absences of my attorney, which happened at least twice. That is hard to understand because my opponent’s lawyer is always present. My opponent doesn’t pay his attorney’s services. I have paid a lot of money for my lawyer but it doesn’t help the situation. The jury intend to call the witnesses but no one has appeared yet.
My first appearance as a defendant is planned for July the 3rd.
We are having an examination period at my university at the moment, that keeps me quite busy.
Thank you again for your prayer support. It is obvious for me that the situation won’t change without God’s divine interference.
Yours in Christ, Sergey” (Nikonorov)
4. “Dear Brother Rick,
Can you please send me a digital copy of the book because I don’t think my son got it. The estimate amount of money for the translation is $1000. The time frame will be about six months.
Hope this will give you the needed information for translating the book. (“Ready To Give an Answer” into Arabic.)
Looking forward for our co-operation in this project.
A Father’s Day Tribute: “I Wish You Enough”
(Original story by Bob Perks, in Chicken Soup For the Grieving Soul)
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. The departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, “I love you, and I wish you enough.” The daughter replied, “Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.” They kissed and the daughter left. The father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?”
“I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said. “When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means? He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone…” He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.” Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
He then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
To all our readers, supporters, prayer partners, friends and loved ones, “WE WISH YOU ENOUGH!” Rick & Della