by Tony Huddleston
A team of nine of our members accompanied by four translators spent the first week of October in Krasnoarmeysk, Ukraine.
For those who do not know, here is a short history of our presence in Ukraine. In 1994, shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Steve Hale from the Mt. Juliet church and several others established a church in the small town of Krasnoarmeysk. The church has struggled over the years, but there are signs now of positive growth. Their minister, Sasha Rodnaev, is energetic and works very hard to build up the kingdom there. Our mission was to encourage, edify, and teach. We conducted a Bible school in the local orphanage, and also held classes for adults, teenagers, and children at the congregation.
This year we decided to introduce the Teddy Bear ministry to the congregation. We felt that this would not only be good for the children who received the bears, but also for the congregation as a way to reach out to the community. The response from the ladies of the congregation was overwhelmingly enthusiastic! There were two sessions, and the ladies finished all 196 of the bears. One of the ladies took them home and stayed up late to complete the sewing. The plan was to take them to the orphanage after we left. Thanks to Kevin and Amy Bass for printing the tags in Russian which stated: “Made with love – Krasnoarmeysk Church of Christ”.
The photo below shows the ladies displaying the completed bears. The lady on the far left is Tamara, who housed and fed the men. The lady immediately to the right of Sasha (the preacher) is Lydia, who hosted and fed the ladies. Both seemed to enjoy the services they attended as well as the Teddy Bear workshops.
The trips to the Nevoshalone orphanage were very moving. The children were very excited to see us, and they thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and crafts. The Krasnoarmeysk church is closely connected with this orphanage, and the director and staff gave us a warm welcome.
The church in Krasnoarmeysk has grown since Sasha has been there and we are prayerful God will continue to bless these people and many will be led to Christ. Please pray for the growth and edification of the family of Christians in Krasnoarmeysk, Ukraine. We are planning to give a more complete report at a later date. Team Members: Doug and Connie Allen, Buddy and Sissy Pickler, Matt Brown, Carol Keopf, Susan McCulloch, and Tony and Pat Huddleston