6500 Miles Away from Home

‘As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country’ ( Proverbs 25:25, NKJV).

Lord willing, we’ll be leaving for the Ukraine Monday afternoon around 2:00. Our trip will take us from Nashville to Atlanta to Vienna to Kiev (overnight) to Donetsk. From Donetsk, we will separate our teams, with eleven of us going to Krasnoarmeysk, and four joining five others already in Yenakiyevo.

Our young preacher in Krasnoarmeysk is Vitaly Sebeahnah, but we all call him ‘Vedo.’ He is a student at the Gorlovka School of Biblical Studies. Vedo is energetic, enthusiastic, studious, and dedicated. Vedo was brought out of the Mormon movement through a Bible study with Bob Hughey. Bob is going with us this year. I’ve known Bob for years as I used to worship at the East Chester church in Jackson while a student at Freed-Hardeman. Bob served as a deacon in that congregation.

Krasnoarrneysk is a relatively small town (about 85,000), about 62 kilometers north of the regional capital of Donetsk. The church in Donetsk is very strong. In 1994, a campaign from Harding gleaned some 1200 baptisms in this city of about 1.5 million souls.

The word Krasnoarrneysk means “Red Army” in Russian! Our initial campaign in 1994 gleaned 25 baptisms. The simultaneous campaign in Yenakiyevo gleaned 23 baptisms.

One of the unusual problems we had in Krasnoanneysk in ’94 was finding a place for baptisms. Every pool was closed due to financial problems, or breakdowns. The pond inside the town was suspicious as to its cleanliness. We finally hired buses and cabs, and baptized people in a clean lake about 10 kilometers outside the city.

This year, though, we have a portable baptistery already there (thank you)! We are taking a portable baptistery to the Yenakiyevo church, thanks to the Crieve Hall church!

One of the items both churches said they needed were communion supplies. We’re taking enough to last a year at both churches, generously supplied through the Una church in Nashville. Some humanitarian things are needed as well, and we’re taking some of this in as well.

Our routine will be a V.B.S. about 10 each morning, with a nightly lecture (we would call it a gospel meeting). Those attending that have additional questions will be asked to raise their hands. Then, our workers and their interpreters will set-up Bible studies.

Please pray for us, and thanks for all your help!