"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.
Wednesday was devoted to a missions conference. Joshua and Nathan delivered several messages on missions, both the practical side and the spiritual perspective. We heard lessons on Proclamation vs Persuasion, the "Numerous Few" and also some strategies and frameworks for effective Christian ministry.
The next day we gathered our packs at the MC, loaded into Jessie's van, and drove to the train station. We were headed to Mount Parashka! After finding our spots in the train, we settled in for a few hours. Some of us used that time to catch up on some reading or to listen to sermons. Finally we arrived in the town of Skole and, after a quick stop at a local store, we started the climb. The first few hours were very hard. We were told "it flattens out in a little bit", but apparently Josh and I have very different definitions of flat! After about 5 hours of hard hiking we reached the summit and I have to say: the view was almost worth it… Almost. We found a good campsite a little way down the mountain and set up camp. The next morning, despite groaning joints and aching muscles we started our descent. This turned out to be much faster but almost as tiring. On reaching Skole we found the bus stop, and headed back to L'viv.
Saturday morning found us back at the Ministry Center doing group devotions and giving final reports on the books we've been reading. Then, after a quick lunch, we packed the van again and began our last day of street ministry in L'viv. Three of Josh's daughters and Bohdan, a young man from the church, joined us as we spread around L'viv and took surveys. These are designed to get people thinking about God and the Bible. When possible we offered them a free copy of the Good and Evil book which they can receive by mail. After surveys were done we set up for street preaching and chalk art one more time. This time we had four drawings and all of the CMO guys were able to preach again. Afterwards we all went to the Steeles' house for dinner and a game of Taboo.
Sunday morning the CMO guys agreed to fill in for Denise and teach Sunday school. We had a blast teaching about Gideon and helping with games and crafts for the kids. Immediately after church, we packed into the van and after a quick stop for lunch we headed back to the mountains for our last film showing. We set up and after a brief struggle with a broken power cord the showing began. There was a good crowd, but we were praying because we knew there was a soccer game scheduled right next to the building we were in. Five minutes before the game was supposed to start it began pouring down rain! We saw one boy leave the showing and then come back a little bit after, less excited about soccer and a whole lot wetter! The game kept going, but it turned out to be a blessing! More people came to the game the we could have gotten to the film, and, when the showing was over, we had a curious crowd waiting for us to give literature to! We packed up our equipment, drove back to L'viv, and arrived that evening.
And that concludes CMO 2018. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I've enjoyed getting to see God work and answer prayers whether it be sending rain or stopping it. The team really works together and you can feel a passion for the Lord when the group is together. It was hard, it was tiring, it was fun, and in the end God gets all the glory.
How you can pray
- Pray for those who heard the Gospel preached this week in L'viv and Tur'ye.
- Praise the Lord for those who are responding to our outreaches by requesting copies of Good and Evil or enrollment in Bible First!
- Pray for safety as the CMO men travel back to the US.
- Pray for the ETO staff team as we continue the ministry in Ukraine.
- Pray that God would continue to bless His Word here in Ukraine, and that the seeds we've sown this summer will bring forth a great harvest!
- Pray for wisdom and direction for the CMO men as they continue their ministries in the US and beyond.
View the full Week 4 photo album on our Facebook page!