Tag: English Camp

Project Odessa Life | Monthly Ministry/Prayer Update | August 2012

Did you know?

Ukraine is considered to be 79.01% Christian by Operation World.

According to Wikipedia a survey from 2006 indicates:

Eastern Orthodox – 26.8%
Catholic – 5.9%
Protestants – 0.9%
Jewish – 0.1%
other – 3.8%
no affiliation/not aware – 62.5%

The Orthodox and the Catholics do not believe the Gospel means Jesus + nothing = everything. They add components to the Gospel which do not belong or they do not teach the Gospel clearly at all.

According to the Joshua Project,

1.1% of the population is unreached
20.5% is nominally reached
78.4% is established (established means it’s at least 2% evangelical)

Over 90% of those unreached people are Muslims.

Also, from Wikipedia,

“Today the largest Protestant groups in Ukraine include Baptists (All-Ukrainian Union of the Association of Evangelical Baptists), Pentecostals (All-Ukrainian Union of Christians of the Evangelical Faith-Pentecostals) and Seventh-day Adventists (Ukrainian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists). Of note is Hillsong Church in Kiev. One of the most prominent Protestants in modern Ukraine is the practicing baptist pastor Oleksandr Turchynov, former head of the SBU, Ukraine’s successor to the KGB, and a former acting Prime Minister. Despite the rapid growth, today Protestants in Ukraine remain a small minority in a largely Orthodox Christian country.”

How is it possible that 78.4% of Ukraine is established if less than 1% is considered Protestant?

Did you know?

We need help in Ukraine.

Most missionaries quit before one year on mission?

We are not quitting.

Ministry Highlights

The months of August and September have been extremely eventful for us, so eventful in fact, I am behind on this update over a week. We’ll show you some pictures for an overview. Also you can check out some blog work if you like:

A video of me sharing about my personal prayer life and reviewing Steven Furtick’s “Faith Confessions video.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PtTEdxdIYE?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

My good friend from South Africa, Gert Plotties van Rooyen’s, response was similar to mine:

“So I watched the video and it seems that he’s trying to mix self help ideas with a deeper understanding of what God says. I don’t like the idea that he has a ritual that he believes in before he preaches in the sense that he depends on having done that for God to work. I think he says frames it in the way that he’s preparing himself for the responsibility of speaking Gods word, but it seems like in effect he will just end up trusting in his ritual.

More than that his faith statement could be helpful in so far as reminding ourselves of objective truths secured by Gods saving grace remind us not to trust in ourselves or to depend on our own ability to hold on to God but rather to trust that He is gracious and sovereign and that he will keep us. But his statements seem to be attempting to create the reality which they claim in the name it and claim it tradition of our faith being the thing with secures Gods owing us all our desires. Which is nonsense.

In general I think it is good to pray and to use Gods word even when we struggle believe the things which it says. As we spend time in his word and the Spirit makes it alive in us and grows our understanding and faith that’s awesome. But to say things to activate our faith as if it is dependent entirely on our effort seems like a dangerous idea. My heart already wants to constantly find ways to not need the grace of God but to trust in my own efforts. I need to be reminded to look away from myself and my ability activate anything and to look to Jesus Christ and depend fully on Him because of the objective truth of His death and resurrection being sufficient, and only that being sufficient for me to be welcomed by God. The less it’s about me and my activation techniques the more my life is actually transformed to trust fully in God working in and through me despite my failings and inability so that I can only ascribe the glory to Him. “

A Blog about how important it is for the evangelicals to be united on mission despite denominational differences. Friends in the Foxhole.

A blog post listing the most memorable sermons I’ve heard from the last decade. Most Memorable Messages

Family English Camp!

Please pray for Alla and her little girl. They began coming to church after camp and are hoping they will stay faithfully in fellowship with us.

This is Kristina! A great girl witha really terrific attitude. Please pray for her and her family as they made a decision to follow Christ at camp but we haven’t seen them.

Please pray for Helen and her family. Helen is a super nice lady who was in my advanced Englsih learning class. She needs Jesus!

Pray for Dima, Tolik, Alina, Gera, Elusha, and Gleb.

Family English Camp! An awesome ministry opportunity.

More pictures from camp can be seen here.

You may want to consider being involved in one of these next summer!

Follow up and meetings with new friends after camp.

Mary and Olga are in the upper left. This is after church and Zhenya and I were helping them with some Bible questions. They are young believers, so please pray for them. In the upper middle is Kate. She gave her life to Jesus at camp and has been a faithful friend since. She came over for breakfast and we had Greek iced coffe and homemade Greek yogurt (the morning after the Greek style wedding we attended). We were going through the book of Matthew with her. Please keep her in your prayers as well. Upper right is Jullian sitting to the left. He is a very talented drawer who has had a very rough life. Please pray for his salvation! Zhenya in the middle has been meeting with me once or twice a week and we are helping to improve his English by reading theough Wayne Grudems “20 Basics Every Christian Should Know”. Lower left is Sasha. We are reading through the Gospel of John together. He is very busy with school now so pray we can make time to continue these meetings. On the lower right is Dima. We are reading through a book I have about Jewish culture and practice. He only reads the Torah so we decided this would be a good way for us to improve his English. We also love to play Chess when we meet!

Anton is a Bible College graduate who works in construction and has recently gone back to school. We have been meeting and reading a paragraph of Colossions at a time. After completing a paragraph, we examine the text together and ask 7 Questions:

What does this passage tell me about God?
What does this passage tell me about man? (or myself)
What from this passage really stands out?
What questions do I have about this passage?
What can I apply to my life from this passage?
How is this passage connected to Jesus?
How is this passage connected to the Gospel?
Afterwards, we play chess. :)

More English Clubs Of Course!

Greek Style Wedding of our friends who now live in Romania.

The wedding was ambushed by the rains gods! We were drenched and had to climb up a steep clay hill. It was a disaster! :)

Visit to Dnepropetrovsk for a Pastor’s Conference

Lera and I went to Dnepropetrovsk to a pastor’s conference we were invited to. We got to make some great new friends with Sovereign Grace guys from Dnepro and Germany, Christian book publishers Grace Publishing and In Lumine, and some really great Campus Crusaders.

The Ark (“Kovcheg”) Church released their second Sovereign Grace worship album in Russian!

At the tail end of the conference several pastors from around Ukraine sat for a few hours discussing how to advance the Gospel in Ukraine!

The trip was a tremendous blessing and we were extrememly blessed and encouraged by the people we met. Also, there were two American missionaries preaching in Russian which was a huge encouragement for me as they both learned without any formal classes.

Prayer Needs!

Please pray for the people you see in the pictures!

Please pray fopr a mighty work of God and spread of the Gospel in Odessa and Ukraine!

Ministry Projects you can pray for:

I wrote a tract about the differing theories on who Jesus is. It will be translated into Russian and published. We need a gifted illustrator for the artwork.

We are having personal meetings with heads of outreaches, organizations, and a couple politicians about the future plans for the Discipleship/Recreation Center “Opus Dei”!

Tuesday Night Bible Study! We are almost done going through the Redemption Book on Tuesday nights. We are planning lessons through this book to begin visiting different rehab centers once a week and taking through a ten week counseling program. We are still praying for funding for the translation of the book into Russian and have some possibilities pending.

Pray for our homeless friends Alla and Natasha. Lera met them yesterday while I was with the guys. It was our first contact with them since camp and they are not doing well.

Pray for my learning Russian and the next season coming after our internship. We may begin meeting next spring with a core church plant team and praying together.

Thank you so much!

Giving!

To share in the reward of this work of God with us, follow this link!

One beautiful woman!

If You Only Read One….Make It This One!

Monthly Ministry/Prayer Update

The last couple weeks at camp has been one of the most fruitful and worthwhile things I have ever been involved in! To hear more just follow the link to the NEW VIDEO UPDATE. If you only ever watched just one of my video updates, please make it THIS ONE. :)

 

Click on this sentence to read why some short term missions might be a waste of time when they are not relational.

 
To read up on our current prayer needs simply scroll to the bottom, just above the “People” pics.

 

Just Before Camp the Ladies Had a Craft Day at Our Place

 

The ladies figured the first step in sparking a Jesus Movement in Ukraine would be to turn everyone into hippies. :)

…and Mexican Food for the Guys!

 

What’s a better way to get the guys together than to invite them over for scrumptious burritos. We were happy to have a couple Muslim friends over and had a great discussion over a quote from C.S. Lewis book “Miracles” comparing men to Limpets when trying to describe God.

The Team Prepares for Camp

 

After the team from South Africa flys in, we head to the camp for some training and preparation time. We had servant leaders from many countries working together! South Africa, Ukraine, Nigeria, Conga, U.S., & Canada!

Campers Arrive

 

After the campers arrive and we help them with their bags.

English Assessment Tests

 

Very soon after the campers arrive they go through an exam for placement in their English classes. This is for a lot of us and them, our first contact with them.

Conversations Over Meal Time

 

One of the greatest things about the camp was all the one on one conversations we had. Meal time was a good time to meet new people. As all of the leadership was very intentional about talking to new people I don’t think I sat by the same group twice the entire week.

Morning Meetings

 

Every morning was kicked off with some silly song that got our blood flowing. Then we’d have announcements and a trivia game where throughout the day the campers would have to approach the leaders to find out if they matched the trivia question. This gave us more opportunities for intersting conversations.

Bible Reading and Discussion Time

 

To start off the day we’d have a group come together for a time of Bible reading and discussion. For many, this became their favorite part of camp!

The same group would meet in the afternoon for another discussion time about other topics where we focused on getting to know people and helping people practice their English.

English Class

 

Gert & I were the teachers for the Advanced English Class, so we had the translators as well. The trick was finding words they didn’t know but would be useful for them. We had a great time and I was very impressed by their learning abilities! Poor Sergey, he was the only guy in the class.

Evening Meetings

 

In the evenings we met for some worship in song and a teaching from the Word. Each night focused on a different attribute of God. We spoke about God as creator, God as perfect, God as a just judge which was the night I spoke, God is love, God is Father, and finally a Gospel call night.

Bible Teaching

 

It was a great opportunity to show the youth that the cross is the best display of where God’s justice and love meet!

Conversations

 

All the different conversations we had with the campers was what it was all about. We were very relationship focused and is my favorite thing about these camps! From the first day to the last we worked hard to connect with those God opened up. Many were open and we were surprised at their openess. They saw our sincerity and let us know how much we were appreciated!

Optional Discussion Times

 

The afternoons were open for free time but many of the campers joined us for an optional discussion time. I did a knot tying lesson one day and on another did an intro to the Bible talk. We also talked about God and suffering, had a first aid class, and a premarital talk all of which went very well.

Crafts & Tea Time

 

Various crafts and tea time were prepared for the ladies in the afternoons as well. We are not sure how some ladies actually made it through the door undetected.

Activities

 

The evenings were always filled with a different fun, competitive, and challenging activity where we had to work hard to work as a team to win.

Many of the campers also stayed up late playing all kinds of different games.

Skit Night

 

Our discusiion groups each had to plan and perform a skit together on skit night. You’d be surprised at how creative some of these guys and girls are!

Gospel Night ~ Decisions

 

On the final evening Arkadiy gave an invitaion for those who wanted to repent or had questions regarding it. I was very happy about the way we went about it, not using emotionalism or some kind of spontaneous decision tactic to get people to say a prayer.

I believe for the first time I saw a sound model for how to do an “altar call”.

Translators!

 

Of course none of this could have been done without the help of the translators! Thank you thank you thank you translators!

Banquet & Certificates

 

Back in the City

 

After camp, we are not done yet! We spend more time with the campers at church, the catacombs on a guided tour, seeing the city center where Daria and myself guided a tour for the group, some time at the beach, walking through 411 WWII park and ice cream at the church where the campers say their goodbyes to the team heading home.

 

After Camp

 

After camp is over it doesn’t mean our work is over. The people at our church are very intentional about relationships and discipleship and go the extra mile to stay in touch with as many as we possibly can. New friendships have been forged and a large handful made decisions to turn over their lives to Jesus!

We’re already planning another mexican food and movie night after we finish the second camp.

 

Prayer Requests

 

Please pray for the second camp, the family camp which begins this weekend.
Please pray for those who made a decision and for those whioch are seriously thinking about spiritual things.
Please pray against legalism and empty traditions and for clarity of the Gospel both at these camps and in Ukriane as a whole!
Please pray for the team as we need an extra measure of strength to get through these camps.
Please pray about whether or not God would have you or your church to be involved somehow!
Please pray for Odessa!
Please pray for Ukraine!

Missions exist because worship doesn’t!

THANK YOU!

 

Get Involved

 

Some ways you can be involved:

Prayerfully. If you would like us to send you a prayer card to remind you to pray for us we would be happy to! Just let us know.
Last month a few individuals were extraordinarily generous and we are unspeakably grateful! We are still in need of month to month supporters! Please pray about being involved as a sender of meaningful missions. To give, CLICK HERE!
Let us know if you would like to come in the future on a construction crew, to help with one of these awesome English Camps, or to give away your life so that God would be worshiped by more Ukrainians! Pray about full time missions in Ukraine! It’s worth it!
To send us some socks and underwear (or clothes) for the homeless, CLICK HERE!

 

For More Info on the Camp, watch this video:

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nydAyemH0Is?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

Click on this sentence to read why some short term missions might be a waste of time when they are not relational.

 

People

Camp Pics

 

Many more great pics from camp can be viewed HERE.

Monthly Ministry Update ~August 2011

Well it’s 1:30 AM and I’ve been working since 8 this morning. This will be my only chance to get off the monthly ministry update as we will be heading off towards Dutch Harbor tomorrow. We left today because we had 1,200 lbs of halibut quota still in the water in this area by Adak, AK. We took a couple guys from the city sport fishing while our gear soaked, trying out a new spot, and wound up with only a couple hundred pounds. So, it was kind of a bust, and off we go tomorrow. We have a remaining 25-30,000 lbs of quota to catch over by Dutch Harbor which I’m hoping we can do in 2-3 weeks. I must be out by Sept 5th to go to Oregon and take care of a few things before I jet out of the country, missionary visa in hand. Please pray we are able to catch all remaining quota, and in time. So far fishing has been pretty good and the price for halibut right now is excellent, probably due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

As soon as I arrive I will be one week late for the 3 months at the missionary training center my beautiful wife Lera and I will be attending together. It will be great! These 3 months will be set aside for Lera and I to grow in the Lord and grow together in the Lord. We’re really looking forward to it being as we were only together for 6 weeks after our wedding.

This month Lera served at an English camp outreach with the church leadership and members from our church in Odessa. There was a team there from Africa and the States as well. She told me that 75% of the people who went were unbelievers. The first couple days everybody was a little weirded out and wanted to leave. By the end of the week however, nobody wanted to leave and loved it so much they were thinking “is there life after camp?” Many people were really touched there, still attending the church now and are in major decision mode. Please pray for them. Often this happens after camp but by the fall many have dipped out by the wayside. Pray for discipleship efforts and true conversions. Lera said for her this was the best camp they have had yet!

My lovely wife and girls from church.

I mentioned in my last update that I was waiting for the right time to share with my coworkers. Well, the conversation eventually came up (as it usually does), and I believe the Lord gave me words. In short, my skipper was saying he believed wholeheartedly in the Trinity when I asked him if Jesus was God. But, he also believed people of any religion can get to God if they are “good” people. He went on to say that we can’t believe the entire Bible because it was written by man. The essence of my response was that if you cant believe all the Bible you can’t believe any of it. How do you pick and choose. When the conversation went into how could we know which “truth” was the truth I said,”so you are telling me that God exists and he is all powerful and full of love, right? Well, why would this loving magnificent being choose not to communicate a clear message to us if he is all powerful?” I also said because men are fallible does not mean they are fallible all the time. Do people ever bowl a perfect 300 score? Yes, they do. When the Apostles wrote the Bible they bowled a perfect score! Their sails were guided by the wind of the Holy Spirit. We talked about many other things but lastly, after explaining the depth of all men’s depravity, I said, looking at the awesome mountain peaks jutting out of the water all around us, “God created all of this you see! He has made his existence obvious, and through this He has spoken to us all. I am only telling you what you know in your heart is true. The question is whether or not you will soften your heart and receive it or not.” Everyone remained quiet and we left it at that.

In reflecting on the conversation I was inspired to create a video message speaking to all my unsaved friends which will be created soon at a later date. I also had the opportunity to share my testimony with someone I was working with for just a few days. He asked me, almost half mockingly how I got saved. After telling him the story, the gist of which explaining that it brought meaning into my life and that I was sorry I had sinned against God, he seemed to have no more mocking words. Only a respectful silence. I do not know all the thoughts people entertained during these talks or after, but please pray for their souls.

I was blessed to be able to visit the small church here in Adak of 5-7 people. My skipper and I went twice to attend the small community of believers. It is a simple but heartfelt study headed up by two girls. They mentioned they were looking for a pastor. One older man named Mo, nominated myself for the job, but I had to respectfully decline. If anyone knows someone who would be willing to give themselves to a mission field at an old abandoned Naval base on the Aleutian Islands to minister to a small town of people in the middle of nowhere, this may be the job for you! I say this half jokingly, but there is a need and perhaps you may know someone.

We’ve been working so much I fell behind on my reading schedule but I did complete two and a half of the three books I had on my list. Soon I will begin Calvin’s Institutes, which I’m really looking forward to and I need to read a couple missionary bios before beginning at the training center. My next blog will be “10 Books Every Christian Should Read”.

Financial support raising has gone well relatively speaking, but it is a lot of work! Often people make promises to participate and forget. But I guess it goes with the territory. Hopefully, by God’s grace we will have the support we need for full time mission work by this time next year as we continue to pray and work hard at it.

My wife and I are tentatively hoping to come to the U.S. together in March and April for a west coast tour/honeymoon, to have a wedding celebration for our American friends and family, and to do a lot of support raising. This will be a big step of faith. Please pray we are able to get a Visa for Lera to visit the States with me.

Thank you for your time, your interest, your prayers, participation, and brotherly love!

‘Til next month,
Jacoby