Sunday, March 16, 2008

Conferences in the Villages


Last weekend we had 2 marriage conferences in the villages of Vinytsia and Zhitomar, both went really well, the room was packed and the people were extremely attentive. The Ukraine conference has 4 sessions: Message 1 - Five Threats to Oneness, Message 2 - Resolving Conflict in Marriage, Message 3 - The Gospel Presentation, Message 4 - Romance in Marriage.

During the conference the couples also do various projects together including writing a love letter to one another. This is powerful in Ukraine because it is a culture in which emotion is seldom shown, particularly by men. In both cities the men seemed uncomfortable at the beginning but as time went by seemed more softened towards their wives, the wives were beaming by the end of the conference. We noticed that many of the older men were especially appreciative by the end of the conference toward the speakers saying how important this message was to Ukraine right now. We were also very encouraged by the number of young newly married couples who seemed so excited. It is very exciting seeing how open these people are to the message of the Gospel and to God's plan for the family. In a country with a divorce rate of almost 70% that is only 2% evangelical christian, we are seeing alot of fruit in just 6 months.




Probably the biggest joy was working with the volunteer team in each city. These couples did alot of work to get the conference to their cities and even provided music, food and fireworks!
It was cool (classnee in russian!) to see how different the conferences were because of the different personalities of the volunteers. They really owned the ministry and felt that it was their people they were bringing the gospel and Biblical principles for marriage. This is what we love to see because these are the people who invite the conference attendees into their homes and churches after the conference and disciple them when we are gone back to Kiev. The conference gives them about 300 contacts, pastors here are thrilled to get these contacts and are very supportive of the conference so far. We are praying that those who responded to the gospel would grow in faith and that those who were equipped would disciple others, specifically we would like you to pray that many of these conference attendees would respond when we contact them in the future to take part in home Bible studies and help plan for the conference to come back to their area next year. Glory to God, great things He has done and may the name of Jesus Christ be worshipped all over these villages!

Also be praying for the youth of Ukraine as Josh
McDowell ministry will be here in May, pray for a great attendance and for many teenagers to respond to the Gospel. Mark is helping to set that up along with youth pastors all over Ukraine.
We miss home so much, but time is passing quickly as we stay so busy in ministry! We will be visiting in August so we are excited to see you all!

Dasvadoneeya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 comments:

R. D. Bailey said...

Praise the Lord! You guys look great. We pray for you and think of you often.(we miss you too)

boo4baby said...

Jill, it is great to hear about the work over there. We are thinking of you all and praying for your family each day. Can't wait to see you! Is Carra home for spring break?!

The Claxton Family said...

Carra is actually coming to Ukraine this summer and will be helping teaching English (her major at Moody) at some camps here a little bit but mostly we will be running around together all over downtown Kiev! I can't wait!

The Claxton Family said...

But for Spring Break she went to California to be with one of my best friends family and to Alabama to be with her awesome roommates family. She is having a blast! She is such a blessed girl with living in Chicago and being a world traveler and all!

Critters3+ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Critters3+ said...

It's great to read all about your time in Ukraine and all the blessings you are seeing though God's work. We love you guys!! We have a new baby, Christian, 5 months old, and doing well. Please pray for him and his family. Thanks for all you are doing!! Love, Steve, Jeanne and Sarah

Alli said...

We miss you guys so much, but glad to hear of the work you are doing in the Ukraine. We continue to pray for your family.

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DonZ said...

Mark,

I'm loving the goatee. You're starting to look like a real European!

James1twelvesoldier said...

Mark and Jill, it is so good to hear how God is working in your ministry. Thanks for the update. The pictures of you guys are great. We got some snow in March. I put a picture of it on my blog. Take care and look forward to hearing more from you.