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Summer 2006 Belogorsk

GODS FAVOR AND FAITHFULNESS

It has been a powerful 2 weeks. We have ministered in 8 kindergartens, 9 outside street ministries, 9 inside Kid’s Crusades, 1 mental Internot for children, 1 all boys Internot for problem boys, and an incredible baptismal service and, one of our favorites, a place we call the Foster Home. We were holding 3-4 programs each day. Each one was special and very rewarding. Everywhere we went the children were excited to see us. We literally ministered to hundreds of children. Adults also were blessed. Many of them came up to us to thank us for telling the village children about Jesus. One lady cried during an entire program.

Ministering in the Kindergartens

After supper one evening we gathered as a team and sang songs as we walked along on the main walkway in the town of Belogorsk. At times we could see people quicken their step so that they would pass by quickly, but others stopped as we passed by and smiled as if giving their approval. Some even nodded their heads and placed their hand over their hearts showing that they were in full agreement with us. As I looked up at the many floors of the apartment buildings I could see people opening their windows to see “who was singing”. Only the Lord knows their hearts. I wondered if they knew they were basking in the praises of Jesus. On a couple of occasions we had time to go to the main market area and sing songs of praise before we left for our outreaches for the day. Again many just passed by while others smiled and gave their approval. Each time Pastor Yuri would give a salvation message.


All the programs were special and very rewarding but I would like to highlight just a few.


Programs and street ministry

One kindergarten, which we had visited before on a previous trip, was very memorable. As the program progressed I looked at the doorway and there must have been at least 15 adults and older children standing watching the program. They did not leave until the program was over. How many seeds were planted that day, I do not know but God knows. We were about to leave, when the head teacher insisted that we stay and have tea with them. Since we had all missed lunch it was a welcomed blessing. We could only stay a short time because we had one more very important outreach to do. The tea was delicious along with wonderful cookies and very, very fresh honey on bread. It was just what the Lord ordered. Soon we were on our way to a favorite place to minister. We were headed for the children’s mental hospital. These children are wonderful. They were so happy to see us. What a great time of ministry. When we left they want to shake our hands and bid us farewell until the next time. We will look forward to seeing them again in November.

At the mental Internot for Children

The Foster Home. This home is incredible. Victor and Natasha have grown children of their own, but these past few years God has brought more children into their care. The stories are incredible. They now have 13 foster children who call them mama and papa. The Sunshine Center in Kiev gave us two large plastic bags full of clothing and 1 banana box full of shoes for the Foster Home. What a blessing to help provide for the needs of this family. We brought watermelon and honeydew melon with us to share. What a great time of fun and fellowship as we ate melon, cookies and ice cream. Then we had a program for the kids. It was hard to say goodbye, but we know that we will be back in November. Maybe in November I will sit down with Natasha and record the stories about the 13 little miracles the Lord has blessed them with.

Praying with kindergarten staff.

From top left: team and foster family; praying for Victor and Natasha; puppet friends; Sherrel and kids playing

One day we ministered at a kindergarten, then spent time walking up and down the main street singing songs of praise in the village. While we were stopped at the end of the street an elderly gentleman came up and wanted to bless us with money. We returned his money back into his pocket and then Pastor Yuri prayed with him. He then accepted Jesus and prayed the sinner’s prayer. Just that simple. After that he stayed with us enjoying the time of worship until we again loaded up the van and headed to another village.

We ministered in an Internot where boys are sent from other Internots for discipline. There were several boys from the Kerch Internot. When the program first started many just simply sat there not joining in the songs. But as the team continued to minister through skits and puppets you could just see hearts softening. Many started clapping, singing and smiling. They all joined in repeating the sinner’s prayer. When we said goodbye no one got up from their seat. They didn’t want us to leave. So we sang one last song. When we were outside and rounding the corner of the building the boys were all lined up and in unison said “Spaceeba” (Thank you in Russian). We in turn said “Pazhalosta” (You are welcome in Russian). They then surrounded us. We exchanged names, played the thumb game and just talked. When we were driving away in the van, as many heads that could fit in the gate to look out were there waving and smiling bidding us goodbye. It was a wonderful day and very satisfying. PTL!

Kids’ Crusades

Boys Internot

On Saturday we were invited to attend a baptism at a lake. There were 5 women and 4 men. One man was 83 years old. We were told this was the first baptism ever from this village. Hallelujah!!! PTL! We then went to the home of one of the women and had a delightful afternoon tea. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We ate, prayed, and sang songs. Rich shared an inspiring word from the Lord for those who had just been baptized. We learned that this church was a result of the tent meetings we held in this village this past April. It is gratifying and humbling to realize that at that moment in April we were in God’s perfect will. When we thought we should be ministering in a kindergarten or orphanage instead of helping put up a tent, God had a better plan and wanted to plant a church in this village. It is obvious now to see that the hearts of these 9 people were ready for harvest and God used us to accomplish his will. WOW!!


On the middle Sunday we had a GREAT day at the beach. The team from Camp Gorney and our team, along with several guest, met in Balaclava and traveled by boat to a beautiful beach. There were 31 adults and several children. We swam, ate and then swam some more. We inhaled 4 watermelons along with bread, cheese, meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, cookies and bananas. MMMmmmmm good!! Everyone had a wonderful time.

As I reflect in my mind about these past 2 weeks the Lord continues to remind me that we have been sent here to SEW Psalms 126:5-6. Many, many children and adults have prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked for forgiveness. What a miracle!! The parable about the seeds comes to mind. Of course, we would love for all seeds to fall on fertile soil and that is our prayer. And some seeds take longer to germinate than others. Our hope and prayer is that their eyes will see, their ears will hear and their hearts will be open to the voice of God. We estimate the team was able to minister to over 1500 children and adults.

What a faithful God we serve!!!!!,

Sherrel Richmond

Baptisms

2006 Missions