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Mission to Ukraine 7/3/2007 - Mukacheve

We arrived at the Vodogray resort at about 7:30 am and no one at the camp was up and about yet. We had bread and sausage for breakfast with some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers – the typical Ukrainian breakfast. So in all this was about 36 hours of travel with almost no sleep. After my breakfast I was shown to my room that was shared with Sasha who is one on the Hope to People administrators. Sasha has a great heart for people and is always full of joy.

I have to also interject here that all my previous missions trips have been with charismatic churches and ministries. I don’t see any difference in one group being more “spirit-filled” than the other. Hope to People is a Reformed Baptist ministry, but after spending two weeks with these people, I see that they are no less full of the spirit than Pentecostals and Charismatics in Ukraine. The myth that there are two kinds of Christians – spirit-filled and non-spirit-filled – is nonsense both from a biblical and practical viewpoint.

I also find it strange that since I haven’t been to Ukraine since 2000, I am picking up this travel diary for the first time in the last seven years. I am looking at most of what I wrote from 1997 onward. It is nonsense. It was focused on how much money we needed to continue the mission and many ambitious plans that never came to pass. Part of the reason is that it was not focused on the Almighty God and what He can do. The lesson learned is to focus more on the “now” that God has given and this exciting adventure called the Great Commission. It isn’t dependent on our finances or plans to complete. I won’t write about how much money I will need to accomplish future plans – I am just happy to serve God with the gift and prophetic message He has given me.

The Vodogray Resort is in the Chynadyevo settlement about half an hour outside of Mukacheve. I took a hot shower for the first time in 36 hours. It felt like I was an animal transformed into a human being. I then slept from about 9 am to 2 pm – very fitfully because Sasha would walk in and out of the room humming a tune. At that point, I hadn’t met him yet, so it was odd to have a stranger in a room where I was trying to sleep. But by 2 pm, I had had enough sleep to wake up and go to lunch.

I ate with Pastor Taras Prystupa and I was really happy to have some hot soup. Taras’ son spoke some English, so we talked. We went on a bus ride to Mukacheve and I had a couple of good conversations with a principal of a Christian school in Kharkov named Sasha who is Taras’ brother-in-law. We talked about the attitude of western Ukraine and how opposed to Soviet rule and speaking Russian they were. He told me that teachers in the time of communism who refused to speak Russian were fired. On the way back, we had a conversation that started with him asking me if I was a Calvinist. That was a memorable conversation. I can still recount most of it, but I won’t do that here.

We arrived at a salt-mineral-hot-spring swimming pool in the afternoon. I later found out that there are only three such springs in the world. Two are in Russia and Ukraine. I talked to Elena from Izmail about teaching in Ukraine. I also met Alyona who works in Hope to People as an interpreter and is a member of a Messianic Fellowship. I went to the pool and swam about six laps. I met Oksanna and Olga in the pool too. They are the young women in the video reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Ukrainian.

In the evening, we had dinner and went to a meeting hall. I was able to give my testimony for about 15 minutes and taught from Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 6:47 – the “Lordship passages.” That night I went to bed at the usual time, but as a consequence of jet lag, I was “up” at 4 pm after only 5 hours of sleep.

Your comments are welcome!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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