Monthly Ministry Update ~ October 2011

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” Pv 18:22

Last week the main teaching was on premarital counseling. Lera and I got some healthy review. It may come in handy when counseling others. Going over things like danger signs, love, expectations, finances, and communication. We were asked by our teacher Bob, “for what reasons would you be married?” These were our top 5:

1.  It is a beautiful picture of the Gospel. It is a continuing story of grace, patience, forgiveness, unconditional love, service, and sacrifice. Herein is God glorified!

2.  To love and be loved.

3.  A ministry team. Solomon in Ecclesiastes taught us that “two are better than one because they have more return for their labor.” Are you aware that for every life you touch, you play a part in every life that life touches?

4.  A friend to share your life with.

5.  To do our part in outpopulating the global Muslim population. Just kidding! I mean to say, to have a family and leave a godly legacy passed down through your children. It will take a lot more than numbers to win the Muslims! Our fight is not against flesh and blood. It will take equipping our children spiritually as much as we are possibly able.

Do you have any of the same reasons for being married or desiring marriage? Feel free to check some highlights from last month or skip to the bottom for our SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUESTS. If you have any questions feel free to write back, we would love to talk to you.



Being reminded that we don’t have a need for “wants”. We really enjoyed personal time with retired accountant and Crown Financial teacher Dave! Lera worked extra hard in creating a budget spreadsheet which keeps all areas of our budget in check. Praise God for a wife so faithful in this area! For anyone interested, Crown is an excellent God-centered, biblically saturated budgeting course.


Pastor Don from Montana was a joy to have as we dug into one of my favorite subjects, Systematic Theology. With a new interest I began exploring a view on atonement I hadn’t before. I read some work by Bruce Ware on the subject and found his polemic to seem pretty solid. I’m still waiting for responses from a few friends to see if they can find any holes in it. I haven’t heard anything yet. If you’re interested, lemme know. I have an outline by Ware I can send you.  Don gave everyone wooden dice that read “PROV 16:33” which says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”  They are to serve as reminders of God’s sovereignty.  I love them and like to roll through my hand as I read my online theological articles!  Thanks Don!


Usually we are in class every day from about 9-3. This week of STS training had us there ’til after 5 every day. We learned a lot and I don’t think we’ll forget it. Being as most of the world learns orally, telling the Bible in stories in a conversational and engaging way which encourages the audience to discover key spiritual observations on their own. I believe it will come in handy for many ministry opportunities and plan on using it when in the U.S. raising support. I believe it’s an excellent supplement to inductive study of the Bible. Let me encourage you to check out their website.



Every Monday for us is a day of rest, family, and worship. My lovely wife and I are excited about spending time in prayer together. We are currently underway memorizing the complete book of Romans together! We love it! For last weeks datenight we went to see Puss in Boots in Ukrainian. Not too much of it needed translation for me to follow. I’m thinking if I can find those giant beanstalk beans I won’t have to raise financial support anymore and I can fund teen challenges, prostitute safe homes, translation projects, and recreation centers for the Ukrainian kids! Ukraine has none of these things as far as I know.


Staying busy helping every week as a native English speaker. Two weeks ago a blog was posted on our English Club outreach ministry.









Every Friday night at our house is blessed by a group of spiritually hungry Ukrainian girls. They make lots of noise while I finish update letters in my study and recover from soar legs from friday Football.






A good part of my time lately is being spent working hard studying Eastern Orthodoxy. Some blog posts and such will be forthcoming as I regurgitate what I’m learning for everyone. As you can see here, head coverings are a must in their house. They aren’t really excited about the jeans on the ladies either.


Meeting the boys from church down at a nearby field to get mixed up with neighborhood kids and teenagers. A lot of these guys take football pretty seriously. I’m either gonna have to develop my skills to keep up or learn the skill of laughing at myself often. It’s a great way to be intentional about making contact.


~Learning and future fluency in Russian. The goal is not just communication, but eloquence.

~On Sunday I have a meeting with an Orthodox Priest to learn some things from the horses mouth instead of books alone. I want to be sure I am not writing against straw men before I begin to write.

~Discipleship: Please pray for two girls from English Club my wife has been encouraging to be in church. Please pray for their salvation. Their names are Masha and Deana. I am praying about whom to speak to about investing in with personal one on one time. You may pray for me in this. I have been going through the “Redemption” book in an early morning men’s group and their is a fellow I was told may benefit greatly from the material if I went through it with him. His name is Nick.

~Please pray for Lera’s health. Thank you.

~We have begun praying for God, in His time, to join us with a few couples who would share our vision for a church plant in Odessa.

~You can pray for me as I study, read, and pray hard for the maturation of my ministerial skills.

~Pray for Lera and I to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our LORD.

~Pray for lost souls in Odessa.

~Pray for Ukraine, that it would remain a democracy under the current pressures and would do what is necessary to sign on with the European Union. I recently blogged about this.

~Pray for our finacial supprt goals to be reached. Last month was our highest in giving so we are almost 1/5 of the way to our minimum monthly goal! It is encouraging to see it growing weekly!

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