By the time you read this, our team may already be on the way to the Ukraine! We are leaving on Thursday afternoon, and we should touch down in Donetsk late Friday night. We will fly out of Nashville to Memphis, where we will meet two ministers, my father and Josh Wyatt of the Rosemark Church of Christ, and we will travel there together. Dad and Josh will be teaching classes at the Ukrainian Bible Institute in Donetsk. Each morning, our team will meet for chapel at that school. As Dad and Josh begin class, the Mount Juliet team will travel to orphanages to teach Bible classes. This is an amazing opportunity, since we are allowed to teach Bible stories as facts and share the gospel with children who may never have heard it. The first week, we will be working with the orphanage in Makeevka, which is where we went last year. The second week, we will be working with an orphanage near Krasnoarmeysk. During the evenings, we will be teaching in local congregations. The first week, we will conduct a Vacation Bible School at a congregation in Proletarski. The second week, we will conduct Adult Bible Classes with the church in Krasnoarmeysk (the congregation Mount Juliet has supported for years). We will be leaving Russian Bibles and literature in all those places, so that follow-up can continue after we leave.
In addition to those efforts, our ladies will conduct ladies Bible classes with the ladies at Proletarski and Krasnoarmeysk. As in many mission fields, the majority in a Ukrainian congregation are often female, and they appreciate the chance to learn from other Christian women. Phil will also speak to the teen group at the congregation in Proletarski. Because of some connections the church has with a local university, we will probably be allowed to speak in some conversational English classes. Ben Dennis, our resident English professor, may be able to talk about why we are in the Ukraine and even share the plan of salvation in this forum.
While only 9 of us (Ben Dennis, David Fleming, Tony and Pat Huddleston, Susan McCulloch, Buddy and Sissy Pickler, Phil Waggoner, and Myself) are going, this trip involves all of us. We would not be able to go if not for the prayers and support of the entire congregation. To keep everyone informed, we have a team weblog that we will be updating regularly. The address is www.mjukraine.blogspot.com. Since we will be staying near an internet caf�, we should be able to access this site frequently during the trip. As you read the various entries, feel free to post a comment. We would love to hear from you as we work together. See you on September 17th!