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The Least of These ©2003 -
A ministry targeting young people around the world, sharing the Love of God in Word and Deed.
I am so excited to bring this report to you of our November 2005 mission. During
In Sevastopol we ministered in two orphanages bringing the children laughter, friendship, and the love of Christ. While the time we spent with them was limited, the Lord's arm was not shortened as many prayed with us at the end of our time together to receive Jesus.
The children in Sevastopol have already built deep relationships with Rich, Sherrel, Vitalik, and all the team members who have ministered to them over the years at Camp Gorney. It is the time that The Least of These (TLOT) spends at Camp Gorney that makes ministry in Sevastopol possible in November and April. The kids are already very receptive because the groundwork has already been laid.
I was a team member for the summer trip to Camp Gorney and I fell in love with one little boy named Roma. My husband came on this November trip to partake in the ministry as well as meet Roma and tell him together that we want to adopt him. We did not know if the opportunity for this conversation would arise or not. But this would be the first of many miracles of our journey.
At the end of our first day at his orphanage, it worked that Martin and I along with Vitalik's help were able to have a private conversation with Roma and tell him of our plans. He was very happy to hear it and said that he believed it would happen because he had been praying to God and felt that it would. He received Jesus as his Savior at Camp Gorney during our summer outreach.
While our time with the children in Sevastopol was limited, many prayed to receive Jesus when we offered them the opportunity. They are so hungry for our love and our message every time we come.
Our longest stay in one area was in Belogorsk. We stayed in the home of Pastor Uri with his wife and two daughters. Pastor Victor is an apostle to the region whom Rich has worked with for some time. He invited TLOT to minister in the kindergartens there. When we arrived, we found out that he'd gotten permission for us to minister in seventeen of this highly Muslim population's kindergartens. We also found out that we were invited to minister in an orphanage for mentally handicapped children as well as a hospital for adults for those dying of Tuberculosis. The entire team was excited about the many doors the Lord had opened to us there.
While in Belogorsk one of our team members experienced very bad stomach pains and was considering going home early for fear she might end up in the hospital. The team prayed for her and her pain was gone that night. She said this has happened before and the pain usually debilitates her for several days and last time had landed her in the hospital. We gave God the praise and glory for that healing as the team member was able to stay and finish the mission pain free.
The first two days of our stay we ministered in eight orphanages. Usually the
program would begin with staunched-
At one of the kindergartens those first two days we were invited to stay afterward for tea where three of the staff members prayed the sinner's prayer and entered into the kingdom. In all, between Thursday and Monday, time only allowed us to minister in nine of the kindergartens.
On Monday, we were also invited to stay for tea while the principle questioned each one of us. She really wanted to know who we were and what we were about. She stated that at the school they taught fellowship and she felt it was the parent's job to teach religion. Once she opened the door to that conversation I, along with the rest of the team, watched an apostle at work.
Victor took the opportunity to minister the gospel message to her with a love and grace that could only be like the Lord's own. He told her of the importance of each one of us to minister the gospel message and not leave it up to others to do. She did not seem to like hearing the truth, but the seeds were planted and God will continue to work there through Pastor Victor.
On Saturday of our stay in Belogorsk, we began our day ministering in the market place. I personally could count four people for sure that had prayed the sinner's prayer, but I know there were more even though their lips were not moving. Some people stopped to listen as though they could not leave if they wanted to. The fields are so ripe for the harvest there.
We also visited an orphanage for mentally challenged children. It was a heart rending experience for each team member. These beautiful children were so excited that we were there. We each shook hands with nearly all 200 of the kids that were there. It was an overwhelming blessing to hear their many voices pray for salvation at the end of our program. Again, the teachers had warmed up to us because of the love of the Lord that flowed through us.
The team was also able to attend a Tatar church service that afternoon in which we heard worship in native Tatar language. After the service they joined us again for a time of street ministering. This time a lady from the street joined our group and sang with us.
Our final ministering point for that day was a hospital for Tuberculosis patients. This was a time of ministry that was nothing like anything else we'd done for the whole two weeks. We drove up in the dark to high, drab concrete walls. We entered through a narrow gate where I noticed a face mask had been discarded. Inside the concrete wall we met a high metal wall with a locked gate and a guard. It was a very ominous sight!
Once inside, we walked down a long hallway finding it difficult to breath because
of the oppressive presence that dwelt there. Every team member experienced this.
It was very warm and felt like our lungs were constricted. We entered a room to minister
to whoever chose to join us. There were quite a few men and women. I watched stone-
Before leaving the Belogorsk region we attempted to minister in one more kindergarten. We found that it was closed due to lack of attendance. So Pastor Victor asked us to go to a place he had not been before. It took us some time to find it, but the trip was well worth it. We found a house that was set on the opposite side of a stream that we had to balance our way across a foot bridge or the rocks to get to.
Once inside we found a gentleman home with two small boys and a baby. The other children were at school. He and his wife have three of their own children and are fostering about seven more children. They were so ecstatic over our arrival. When his wife returned home she exclaimed, "Why don't you come when you can stay three days? Not just this few minutes." Their home was clean, but I couldn't help notice that she was cooking on a small rickety stove which made me wonder how she managed to cook for such a large company of people. The most prominent thing I noticed about this couple was the love and joy that filled their home. They didn't have much but they did have Jesus and a loving home. Our mission ended in Kerch where we ministered three different orphanages. We sang songs, did skits, and crafts with the children all the while building relationships. We found the orphanages in Kerch to be very open to our ministering there. We had great success in the first orphanage for the youngest children. I believe nearly all if not all of them prayed to receive Jesus by the time we left.
Other very positive news is that there is a new director for the Internot which is for the older children. Rich and Vitalik had a very positive meeting with him and feel that he is a man of integrity and ethics. They are very much looking forward to working with him in the future. We could see that the atmosphere of this Internot was so very different than it had been in years past. The entire team was given a tour and Rich stated that he saw parts of the complex he did not even know existed before and he's been going there for several years now.
We toured the craft rooms where children learn to sew and do needle point along with other things. We met the teacher and she expressed the needs that she had for supplies and TLOT was able, due to the generosity of its supporters, to supply some of those needs. This teacher also expressed that since this new director, Alexander, had come on staff that she actually looks forward to working there now.
The next place we toured was the laundry facility. I was personally physically ill after I left that building. I was sickened by what I saw. There are over four hundred children who live there and there are not adequate facilities in which to wash their clothing or bedding. The washing machines looked like something that came out of a World War II submarine. One of the machines was broken in the middle of the cylinder and just left crumpled there. The other machine had to have water heated and put in it before the cycle begins. God bless the women who work in that facility. And God bless Alexander for showing us the needs of the orphanage so that we might help.
One other thing TLOT was able to do was to purchase a radio with a CD and tape player for the school as well as many school and office supplies. The most exciting part of this is that the director came in under budget showing his ethics and integrity and giving TLOT hope for future relations with him. He truly is an answer to prayer and Rich told him so. Once again, through our times of ministry with the kids, many prayed a prayer of salvation before we left them.
My final story of testimony is from the Disky Dome, or children's house. The first two nights we lost control of the kids to a spirit of chaos. They just went wild. So we prayed against a spirit of chaos and ask the Lord to quiet their spirits so that we could minister His love to them on our last day with them.
On the final night, we ran through the entire program and played games while the children were fully engaged, but not disruptive. The hand of the Lord was truly upon them. At the end, every child entered the circle and prayed with us. Even more amazing to us was that the teachers asked for Bibles and asked Vitalik to write down what he prayed, because they wanted to pray this with the children every night when they put them to bed. Again praise God!
Overall, we were able to leave Bibles in every kindergarten we ministered in along with coloring books with a spiritual message and coloring crayons. We were able to meet some of the needs of the Internot in Kerch and pledge to do more in the future. Not only children accepted Jesus as their Savior, but adults sought us out to pray a prayer of salvation, too. People are desperate to be saved and need only that someone deliver the gospel message to them. We were able to do that on this trip, but there are so many more that need to hear.
There are needs in every place that we went. Sevastopol needs prayer that the
directors will open up more time to us to spend with the children when we go there
to minister and that
God would give TLOT favor with the directors there. We also need to pray that God soften their hearts to the gospel news, as well. We cannot meet needs if we cannot get in the doors. While the time that we spend there is effective, more is needed.
Belogorsk has many people in many villages in the region that have never heard the name Jesus. There is great need for workers to go into the harvest as well as financial needs. There are so many doors open there and the only thing holding the ministry back is lack of funding to support it. We saw first hand in Kerch what kind of financial needs there are. If the children's laundry could be done properly maybe they would smell clean for the first time in many years. They also need school supplies of all kinds. The more we can do for them the better.
Finally, we need to be able to send more Bible college students on these trips.
They are an invaluable source of ministry. They are the ones who are able to communicate
to the children through songs, skits, puppets, and one on one. Americans can go and
love on kids, but we cannot minister to them on the level that these students can.
It is a double blessing in that the students grow and mature in ministry as they
are able to apply what they have learned in school to the real world of ministry
while souls are being saved. It cost only three hundred U.S. dollars to send one
student and they are worth far more than that. Will you please HELP.
|Statement of Faith|