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.
«- Mission to Ukraine 7/2/2007 - The Road to Mukacheve
- Forerunner Videos
-» Mission to Ukraine 7/4/2007 - Morning service
Your comments are welcome!
Download the Free Study Guide!
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
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)