Sunday, September 30, 2018

JV Ukraine Team Day

This morning the JV Ukraine team planned a Sunday service for the JV board members and team members here for this visit. Meeting together in a conference room at the hotel we're staying at, Ben welcomed us giving us a preview of what this day would hold. 

We experienced worship in both Ukrainian and English with an American and two Ukrainians leading us.

Testimonies were given by various Ukranian team members, like Olena. She came to Christ through a JV English camp, and after many years of going to camp and serving at them, she has joined the JV team in Ukraine to serve on their camps team!

Like all of us, she must raise support for this position so is in the process of that.

Truly, if God moves in your heart to support a national, think about one of these Ukrainians who are laying their lives and own plans down to serve Him. I'm so tendered by these dear ones so full of bold faith. Click HERE to see the Ukraine team, and ask the Lord if He might have you support one of the nationals!

There are not only Americans and Ukrainians serving on this team, but Czechs as well! One of them is Bara, from Prague. She is serving as an extended intern and praying about whether or not the Lord is calling her to serve full time with this team. Everyone told me how effective she is, and that they're hoping she'll stay!

During the break as I looked out the window I thought how many people there are in just this city alone, not to mention across Ukraine, who don't know the Good News of Jesus. But I'm SO thankful for this team who are working diligently to bring salt and light here!

We spent time in groups, praying for the country, the city, the ministries that are happening, and for this team of godly people who long to see revival happen here.

After lunch downtown Lviv, we were divided up into groups and sent out with two members of the Ukraine team, to visit places around the city that would give us a window into the types of ministries they're doing to reach young people.

Our first stop was School #3 (all schools are identified by numbers here).

Here the Exit Tour team shared with us about their ministry into schools, which have opened their doors wide for them to come into. They are able to go in for a full day, giving a concert by a Christian rock band, teaching prevention lectures, building relationships, playing games and most importantly, bringing the Gospel into these settings.

While they can't publicly share it on school property, they invite all students to activities after school at nearby churches where they can get to know the Exit team and church members, hear the Gospel and be given a chance to respond. There has been incredible fruit from this ministry, which we got to hear about from some students who have been impacted by it!

This is a demanding ministry that requires a lot of preparation ahead of time (training the churches, securing schools, etc), and a lot of early mornings, late nights and intense focused time with students during the week of Exit Tour. I am so proud of this team who gives their all for the sake of the bringing the Gospel to students!

Since it was such a beautiful fall day here in Lviv, we walked to most of our ministry locations throughout the day, passing beautiful sites such as this!

We arrived next at a gym where a floorball practice was going on.

Floorball is a relatively new sport in Ukraine. Something similar to hockey, you use sticks and a wiffle ball to play hockey on a gym floor.

This is the sport that the Edge Sports guys have brought here, developing teams and leagues for boys and young men to be involved in.

They practice and compete like any sports league, but always have a spiritual element at those events that is Gospel centered. They are seeing young men put their faith in Christ as a result of this ministry.

We continued our walk through Lviv, heading to yet another ministry that the team is involved in.

For our next location we headed directly into Old Town Lviv, which is quite beautiful, and culturally rich!

In an upstairs room above the cobblestone streets, we found the Fusion music ministry in motion!

They gave us a mini Fusion rehearsal, teaching us warm-ups, a song and the motions!

There are numerous Fusion choirs across Ukraine that have been planted by the team from Lviv. It's an exciting ministry, one that is drawing students who love music and the arts.

It was fun meeting Liza who asked me, "Are you Claire's mom?"! I always love it when that happens!

Liza met Claire when she was in Lviv to see the JV Kids who live there!

Our fourth stop was at a church where several members of the JV Ukraine team shared with us about the spiritual climate of the city and country.

And finally we ended at City Hall downtown Lviv to pray for a list of things that had been prepared by Juliana, another member of the team.

It was such a rich day, sharing it with these ladies, learning about all that God's doing in Lviv and across the country.

Our day ended with dinner all together at the city hall, in a lovely restaurant there.

So enjoyed our evening with Canada board chairman, Jay, and his lovely wife, Mandy.

As we walked back to our hotel, through the old city, we reflected on the day and all that God is doing here through this team. Our hearts are so encouraged by their bold faith! I pray that the fruit of these ministries will be multiplied many times this coming year as they continue to bring the Gospel to a place much in need of it.

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