First, thanks for reading and supporting our ministry here in Lviv. We could not do this ministry and the work we’ve done over the last two weeks without your support an prayers. Second, sorry about my updates being less regular than I anticipated, our schedule has been very tight time wise and rather tiring, so I haven’t had as much time to write as I’d like.
With that said, here is what has been going on since Tuesday. For most days, the work at the new student center space has been a consistent rhythm: do something that makes the room dirty (like take down bricks, a part of the ceiling, or rip up a floor), then load up the trash into bags and take them to the lift and lower them 4 stories to the trash pile. So if I don’t mention the specific work at the new space, that is what we did that day 🙂
Wednesday, we had our second Lviv game watching party, where we made Texas style food while watching a Euro game, then went down to the fan zone to watch the game taking place that night in Lviv. That day we made a good solid Texas meal: Chili (with and without beans) over rice, with a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. When we are cooking in the small kitchen of the student center, it’s a logistical nightmare, with at least two people trying to work on multiple dishes while another works in the sink preparing more dishes to use, all within a 4 sq. ft. space, creating a perfect storm of crazy busy activity. But somehow we managed and got around 30 people fed with some hearty Texas food. Over dinner we had some great conversations with students about life and future aspirations, continuing to grow our friendships with the students here. Also, we had some homeless brothers and sisters and some folks from the church, english club, and pilgrims join us as well, making this a very eclectic gathering, like a church family should be. After filling our bellies we walked down the street and gathered down at the fan zone to watch Portugal vs. Denmark. It was an early game and we had a great time enjoying the crowds while it was still light outside as the sun set on the beautiful Lviv center skyline.
Thursday, after a long day at work, we took our turn to lead Pilgrims, the weekly student worship service, like we would an Overflow service back at the Wesley. Complete with currents, and overflow groups, we led our new friends as we worshiped our God together. Erica gave a great current, sharing about her trust in God as she ventures out into the world and walks in obedience though she is not sure of exactly where she’s headed in the short term with a job. It was a great and brave story and I’m really proud of her for sharing that. We continued our worship together in song, led by David and Jeannette, sharing some songs in English and some in Ukrainian, but no matter the language, we were united in our intention to praise God. Next, Todd shared the sermon for the night. He shared his testimony of how he came to know and follow Jesus, and how God has been working in his life in the past and today, leading him out of sin and toward obedience and a path as a UMC pastor, totally sold out to follow Christ. As we broke into groups to discuss the sermon and how we were or weren’t living our lives in sacrifice to God, I knew that God wanted to use that to open up some people to follow him more and more with their lives. And while I don’t know what all went on in the conversations in the groups that night, I know it was powerful and will bear fruit in the ministry here in Lviv moving forward. Also, that night I heard from the Lord that He was really proud of our group and and how we had been waking in obedience to Him on this trip, something he continued to tell me throughout the night, more joyfully each time He repeated it. Overall, it was a great night of worship and the Lord showed us kindness and love in a great way.
That catches us up to Thursday, it is late here and I can barely type at this hour, so I’ll have to write more later. For now, it is our last night in Lviv, so please pray for safe travel tomorrow as we leave this beautiful land and our new friends for life back in the states ( I just misspelled that sentence 5 times trying to write it, I’m a bit tired). Thanks so much so your support and prayers.