Project Odessa Life Monthly Ministry/Prayer Update May 2013

Highlights from April & May

The ladies had a sushii party. Boy was I happy!

I was blessed to join the CRU team on a hiking trip in beautiful Crimea!

Our friend Kate had a birthday party!

A ministry team from the YMCA in Tennessee came to Odessa to do a conference on their group counseling ministry called “Journey to Freedom” founded by Scott Reall. I don’t have time here to go into a full in depth review of this ministry or the accompanying book. I will say I believe they mean well, but confuse the terms “Gospel-centered” and “God-centered” (which they were calling it) with the simple fact that they do incorporate God and Jesus into the counseling, but this does not make it God centered. The idea they promote is to be healthy mind, body, and soul (to be expected from the YMCA right?) and to achieve change (“progress”) and a happy life. I think they (perhaps unintentionally) make the mistake of making change an end and God a means to that, when God should be the end Himself, resulting in change, i.e. transformation.

With a heavy heart, I cannot recommend the book except to experienced Christians and discerning readers. I have been reading it and there is some good stuff in it which has ministered to me, but I can’t say I would recommend it to anyone unless there are not any better options out there. What it boils down to is a sort of pop secular psychology/12 stepish/man-centered thing with some worldy wisdom in there mixed with some helpful Jesus and God stuff, some of it sounder then other parts and some less so. I do believe that God uses it in spite of it’s shortcomings.

There is a more Gospel centered and biblical approach to counseling in community and you can check out the Redemption book, or read about the ministry HERE.

I am also very happy to say that the Redemption book is currently being translated into Russian by In Lumine publishing. If anyone is interested in helping us get 1,500 copies of it please email me.

An English Club cafe run by my friends Abbie and Ron I was helping out with.

Carlos, my friend from Lebanon, who aspires to plant an Arabic church in Odessa (pray for that), and I, are going through Tim Keller’s book, Center Church together.

My buddy Zhenya, CRU staff, who is meeting and discussing discipleship methods with me. We may go through the book “The Master Plan of Evangelism” together as it is in Russian. Please pray for him and the other CRU leaders as they seek financial support this summer.

Arkadiy and I have been meeting for accountability and discipleship for some time now. I am thankful for his input into my life.

Artyom and I met and discussed various things including “what would make a good church in Ukraine?” The CRU team really has a great ministry in the city!

Alexey, my friend from Dnepropetrovsk, came to Odessa for a visit and we got to hang out.

A couple boxes of socks we received from Agua Viva Christian Fellowship in Medford, OR. Thank you so incredibly much! And a couple boxes of Jesus Story comic style tracts we recieved for the kids in Odessa! Thank you Reed Olson and the guys in Ukraine who helped with this! View this tract in many languages HERE.

We had 3 new additions to the family, Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Luther. Mika will be sad to see them go once they head off to their new homes.

We had help at English Club last week from Abbie from Texas and Yulya an expert translator friend.

Learning English stretches the brain.

In spring I began seeking out more financial senders to join our sending team! The cushion we had had ran out and the monthly giving coming in was generous, but not enough. Frankly, we needed to almost double it or think about other plans. Praise God, God has done a great work and the support has raised considerably since February. However, we still have a minimum need of about $500/month.

To view a complete breakdown of different options that can be accomplished through this mission with God’s money, along with some future ministry plans, CLICK HERE.

To pursue joy in God through giving, CLICK HERE.

Prayer Needs

1. Please pray for God to be glorified fiercely in our lives in Odessa and Ukraine!
2. Please pray for a powerful Gospel movement in this city!
3. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest field!

Thank you for pursuing joy in God with us, in this work, through prayer!

Have an awesome week, enjoy your summer, and enjoy God more!

Keep in touch…

Sinners hiding in Jesus,
Jacoby & Lera

P.S. Keep your eye on the mailbox. We sent out mailers for everyone.