And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b
These were some of the final words of Jesus just before he left his disciples to ascend into heaven. He told us to be a witness for Christ where we are in our local town, in our nation, and to take it to everyone around the world. That could not have been seen more clearly than in our last trip to the nation of Ukraine. I was blessed to be able to lead five people on a trip to Ukraine to do a construction project at TheUkrainianBaptist Theological Seminary in L’viv, Ukraine. What a tremendous blessing that was to us. The work was hard and sometimes daunting. But I want you to know that the men and women of your Fee Fee family prove true to the words of Christ. Their very act of construction was a visible sign of the love of Christ in their lives and the love that they have for the people in Ukraine. The importance of our trip was shown so clearly when we attended services on January 18. I was honored to preach in a church that was built around 1590. As I stood and gave a greeting from our church here in the United States, telling them that brothers and sisters in Christ were praying for them, I saw many smiles break out across the congregation. After the service a lady came to our group and thanked us over and over again for coming to Ukraine. She said, almost in tears, you will never know how encouraging it is that you have come and that you have let us know that there are others praying for us.
The people in Ukraine have a very dedicated faith. I believe that it is because of two main reasons: they have so few possessions to cling to, and they know that there is an eminent threat from Russia to invade them and take away their freedom to worship. These are people who have had their freedom taken from them before and they look to God to help them in this time of need. Please keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers every day. When God is all you have, that is when you find out that God is all you need. We were so blessed to go and do that work. Thank you, Fee Fee family, for making this possible by your generous gifts. Planning is already underway for the 18 people that we will take back in July to do a children's camp in the summer. Please pray for those folks now.
I want to take time to thank the church staff for the great job they did while I was away in Ukraine. It is so comforting to know that while I am gone, we have a very capable church staff that loves the church family and rises to any occasion.
A special thanks to Dr. Alan Rungefor leading us in a Mid-Winter Bible Study. He did an excellent job of leading us into the book of Ecclesiastes and helping us to understand that life is not meaningless but that we find our purpose and meaning in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you so much to the Socials Committee, the kitchen crew, and to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.
I will be starting a new sermon series this Sunday called “God Wants You to Grow”. Accepting Jesus Christ into our heart is the beginning of our journey with Him and He wants us to grow all the way, up to the very end. I will be challenging you over the next several weeks to look at ways in your life to grow in Christ. I hope you take me up on that challenge.
I have never been more proud to be your pastor. Your giving, serving, and loving always amazes me. Thank you so much, Fee Fee family, for being willing to take the gospel not only to your Jerusalem, but also to Samaria and around the world. Thank you for the love that you show every single day. Come be a part of the fun of telling others about Jesus.
See you in church,