June 5, 2017
I don't really believe in coincidence. I believe in circumstance--you are led to a point in time for a purpose not randomly. God directs my steps and my path. So, here are some brief circumstances that have brought us to this Ukraine trip... The team was looking for experienced VBS leaders, specifically women and youth workers to focus on Bible study and devotions (my skill set), VBS (Becky's skill set), working with children (all of us), and sports activities (our kids).
The sports they want us to lead? Volleyball and Basketball (with maybe some baseball for fun). Not kidding. (Kaitlyn, Abby, Elise--all varsity volleyball team players who have more than 15 years of Volleyball between them and Carter Johnson who lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes basketball.) Abby, Kaitlyn, Elise and Hannah are also going to work up some cheer stuff for good measure. ;-)
They speak predominantly Russian in Ukraine. So, two years ago when Elise downloaded the "speak Russian" app on her phone and we all made fun of her relentlessly, because, why not learn Spanish, Elise? Won't that be much more useful, Elise? And when are you going to ever speak Russian, Elise? And she kept right on walking around speaking Russian to herself and identifying common household items in Russian. And now guess who knows like oh, 100+ useful phrases in Russian? That's right, Elise. Like she can order food, find the bathroom, get and give directions, say formal and casual greetings. Not kidding. (Who's the joke on now? God's funny like that.) (Oh, and side note--Elise herself can't tell you WHY two years ago she decided to learn Russian. It just "came to her" and she did it. Ahem.)
We're taking our kids who have actually led portions of VBS BY THEMSELVES, specializing in recreation and music. Becky's kids have been just as involved in leading at church VBS as mine have. It's like God put together the perfect circumstances for us to go and do this particular ministry. And none of it is coincidence.
There have been several attacks in recent months in Europe. Someone asked me yesterday if I am afraid to travel there. Not even for a second. Because I know the God of all circumstances and He holds me in His Hand. Nothing can separate me from the Love of God, and I trust that whatever happens, it happens for His glory. So, in less than 30 days I am rolling with a powerful group of Christ followers to see what happens when the path goes this way. :-)
I'm asking that you consider donating craft items left over from your church's VBS to help us put on Vacation Bible School in Ukraine. I'm asking you to sign up for the photography day June 24th to support the mission effort or consider donating directly. But most importantly, I'm asking that you pray for our group and for the entire team traveling to Ukraine. Without God moving there is no mission, so prayer is always the most important part of any work.