CMO 2018 began on July 12 and ended August 6. We had a great summer and witnessed many blessings as the Lord opened doors for the advancement of His Gospel. In this post, I'd like to provide a brief recap of what was accomplished during the project.
Finally came the text message from Sasha that I'd been waiting for: the truck had left Kyiv and was headed in our direction. The trip took most of the day to complete, and after several delays, it finally arrived around 9:30 in the evening. When it did, our crew of six men and two ladies were waiting.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1)
Well the last week of CMO is here! We started out with a day off to rest and prepare for the week ahead. We began to fill our packs for the hike and shopped for any food we would need. A heavy storm came in and we were very glad we weren't out trying to do street ministry.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)
After returning from last week's village, we prepared for the following week on Tuesday and enjoyed a day off. Some of us spent the morning talking at a coffee shop in downtown L'viv while others had lunch with the Day family. After finishing laundry and drying out our camp gear, we younger guys had dinner together at one of the apartments. Andrew Howard and William were nice enough to make myself (Elliot) and Andrew Joyner pasta for dinner. After finishing we headed back to the Ministry Center and got some sleep.
"I will go anywhere, provided it be forward." — David Livingstone
Tuesday which is our weekly day off, was not just an average day off. Josh and Nathan planned a little bit of a tour around the city for us. We hiked up the lookout over the city to enjoy a stunning sight before heading back down for lunch. Later we toured the clock tower where we bumped into some guys from CMO 2016. After catching up with them we headed to a museum called the Arsenal to view old-time weaponry. After that was dinner with the guys and off to finish laundry and prepare for the week ahead.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." — Joshua 1:9
CMO 2018 has officially started, and it looks to be a good summer of service for the Lord! As we started our ministry this week, we've had the opportunity to settle ourselves in and accommodate to the city, to meet one another and fellowship, and most importantly, do the work that God has given us this year.
It's late Friday evening, and we've just returned to L'viv after a full day of ministry in the Carpathians. We have two film showings scheduled for this Sunday, July 15th. Today we visited both of those villages — Opaka and Zalokots — and distributed fliers inviting people to attend the showings. God blessed and everything went smoothly. We're excited to see what He is going to do on Sunday!
In late 2016 and early 2017, we found ourselves facing a marked increase in demand for copies of Good and Evil in Ukrainian. At one point we were mailing out as many as 50 books per month to individual Ukrainians who were requesting them via our web site. At this rate, it wasn't long before our supplies were depleted and we were forced to disable the request form on our site.
Meet Anatoli and Anastasia! Or, as we've known them for many years, Tolik and Nastia. I was first introduced to Tolik and Nastia back in 2001 before they were married. They were teenagers then, both actively involved in their local Greater Grace church here in L'viv — the same church we attend today. Over the years I've watched them grow and mature in Christ, marry and start a family, and remain active in ministry.
Carpathian Mountain Outreach 2018 will be our eleventh project — a few weeks of intense evangelism and hands-on missions training. To date, more than 40 men have trekked with our team through the mountains of western Ukraine, bringing the Gospel to multitudes. Listen to what they've been saying…