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A ministry targeting young people around the world, sharing the Love of God in Word and Deed.

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Fall 2003

A message from the President

   November proved to be an exciting trip. The Sunday before we left our Pastor, Charles Adams of Toledo Foursquare Church, prayed for Sherrel and I during the morning service. As he was praying he was lead to pray that doors would be knocked down not just opened. That God would move in ways beyond our dreams – AND HE DID!

   The leadership meeting with Vitaly and Marina, Kim and Angelo was extremely productive. There was a common thread of unity which knitted us together more than ever before. We were able to catch the vision God laid out before us and we worked together to implement that vision. One of the words that kept coming to mind was that The Least of These is a ministry to help ENABLE God’s people in Ukraine.

   We were also blessed by Oksana’s ministry in Sevastopol. She brought 15 kids of Orphanage House #2 to church on Sunday. After church we took them out for pizza. We had a great time. Oksana also invited all of us to her wedding in April to Pasha. Pasha is a graduate of the Ukrainian Theological Evangelical Seminary and is on staff of the church in Sevastopol. I am looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for this sold out couple for God!

Another high-light of the trip was building our relationship with Susanne. Her story below illustrates her love and commitment to the Lord. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.

Rich  











From the heart of Susanne

   What does it mean to go on a mission trip? What is the true work of a missionary? These are the questions that ran through my mind as I began praying about a mission trip. I didn’t know where to go or what to do, I just knew that God was preparing me to go! After one year of prayer, God answered. Ukraine. After 10 minutes on the TLOT website, I knew this is where God was sending me. My heart was filled with His compassion for the Children of Ukraine. I had to go and it had to be soon. My heart was torn in two…half here and half there in Ukraine waiting for me. I couldn’t wait to get there!

  I had no idea what to expect. This was my first mission trip of any kind. I started to dream of what God would do for the children. Of all the miracles that He could perform and of the great needs that could be met. And at the same time, I was nervous about so many things. That I didn’t know enough Russian, that the conditions might be more than I could bare, that the weather would be too cold or that I might get sick. I thought about all of the things that could go wrong in traveling to another part of the world.

   By the time I got there, I was too excited to be nervous. I couldn’t wait to see what God would do first. But as my time passed, there weren’t any big revelations or miraculous healings that were visible to the eye. There were no revival services or even skits or songs. There was just time with the kids in a small cold room. Filled with lots of ping-pong, chess, laughter and hugs. But somehow I wasn’t disappointed, it was still more than enough.

  Even though I didn’t speak much Russian and the kids didn’t speak English, we had the most beautiful few weeks together. You don’t need fancy speech to share a hug, a laugh or a smile. It is more than enough to hear the stampede down the stairwell with 20 children running and throwing themselves at you in mass bear hug hysteria! What a blessing to see the sheer joy on their faces just because you came to see them that day. Not because of what you bring them, what you say or even what you do, but simply because you are there. If only we could all experience such joy!

  These are children that the world has forgotten. They don’t get visitors, birthday cards or Christmas presents. All they have in this world is each other. And when you enter into their lives, it means so much more than you can imagine. It is God’s love in the most pure form… The love of a child. Hugs speak more loudly than the most eloquent sermon ever could. It reaches past the boundaries of language, age and culture. It reaches from God’s heart straight into theirs.

   To see through God’s eyes for even just a moment changes everything. No matter how much I do, the normal Christian life is no longer enough. I want to do more. I need to do more. All I could think about was getting back over there to be with these kids. They need someone in their lives that will love them as Christ loves us all. And I know that as long as I am able, I want to be one of those people!

God has built a firm foundation upon which He is building His work in Ukraine. I saw with my own eyes what God is preparing in the hearts of His people. He is knitting together a powerfully anointed team that is dedicating all they have to see His Will be done in Ukraine. By His sovereign Grace alone, God opened doors to minister to the largest orphanage in all of Crimea. 420 children will hear the Gospel this spring and summer because of the obedience of God’s people. Praise the Lord!

I left home hoping to see things changed in Ukraine. But when I returned home, I realized that I was the one that had been changed. Changed forever because of my time with these children and with my teammates. God’s hand was upon every moment of this trip. From the moment my visa application was mailed off, to the moment I stepped off of the plane back home, God was in control. He proved Himself as Almighty God, Blessed Redeemer, Healer and Friend. Even healing a team member of a painful cyst that had plagued her for years.

And this is just the beginning. This is what God did in just one orphanage! There is still such a great need for the children in the orphanages all over Ukraine. God is not done! The Summer 2004 Outreaches will be yet another opportunity to reach even more children. I am counting the minutes until I am able to go back. And again I start to dream… What will God do? Hundreds, even thousands could be saved, healed and set free! Is God preparing your heart for these children? Ask and see where He will send you. “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!”

2003 Missions