Over the past few months, I’ve often found myself pondering that well-known phrase in Psalm 23… “…my cup runneth over.” It seems God has lately thrown open the flood gates of ministry opportunity for our family. While at times exhausting and even overwhelming, it’s a great problem to have!
One such opportunity presented itself earlier this year when a young lady named Lindsay Blessing contacted us about speaking at a parenting seminar organized by her church. Lindsay’s father Mark is a missionary here and pastor of the church. We’ve been friends with their family for many years and I’ve preached at the church several times in the past.
After praying about the invitation for a few days, we decided to accept. We’d never done an event quite like this before, and we knew it would take a lot of effort to pull it off. But we were also well aware of the potential, and as we prayed, we became increasingly convinced that this was God’s direction.
And so the preparation began. Parenting is a huge topic, and despite being given six 45-minute sessions, we found it challenging to fit in everything we wanted to say.
Kelsie and I are very blessed to have had wise parents of our own, not to mention mentors like Mike and Debi Pearl. Now, after more than ten years of practice as parents, it was exciting indeed to be able to share with others what God has taught our family.
We called our seminar “Joyful Parenting” and structured our material around five “pillars” of successful parenting. These pillars are, in our experience, the areas that have made the biggest difference both in our family and in those we have learned from over the years. If you get these right, your family – and your children in particular – have a good chance of succeeding. The pillars are 1) Strong Marriage, 2) Atmosphere of Joy, 3) Tying Strings (proactively building trust with your children), 4) The Reflection Paradigm (your children tend to be a reflection of you), and 5) Train for Adulthood.
Kelsie and I spent many hours on the couch, huddled around the laptop, typing out our notes. We chatted about our experiences, what we’d learned or read, and what we felt was most important to communicate to new parents.
Finally the day came. Speaking tag-team, in Ukrainian, for nearly seven hours turned about to be both exhausting and very rewarding. I believe God used the seminar to bless these families, and we pray that as a result, many Ukrainian children we will grow up to walk with Jesus.
Summer is approaching once again, and with it our annual project: Carpathian Mountain Outreach. This year it looks like five young men will be joining us from the States as we spread the Gospel here in western Ukraine.
As always, there is much preparation to be done. In particular, we will be printing tens of thousands of tracts. There is housing to arrange, and there are film showings to schedule. Please pray that God would open doors before us as we labor, and that as a result of our efforts, multitudes would come to repentance in Christ.
God continues to bless the impact of our Bible First course both here in Ukraine and elsewhere. Enrollment for our Ukrainian course is now over 700 students, and with CMO approaching, that number is likely to increase significantly.
In the US we are seeing growth as well. Bible First is being implemented in prison ministries, and even as I write this a large order of books has been sent to press.
Additionally, the Lord has provided some extra assistance with the Bible First web app. While there’s still much to do, the development of the software is moving forward rapidly. This software will help churches and individuals manage their own Bible First courses. Lord willing, we’ll see a limited release by year’s end.
UPDATE: Bible First is now available for purchase online from No Greater Joy Ministries. Click the link below for details.
How You Can Pray
- Pray that much fruit would come as a result of the parenting seminar. Pray that God would open doors for us to do more seminars in the future.
- Pray that God would bless CMO 2 016, and that as a result many would hear the Gospel.
- Pray for strength, wisdom, and efficiency as we write code for the Bible First web app.
- Pray for safety for the Day family as they prepare to return to Ukraine.
- Pray for strength and wisdom for Kelsie and me as we homeschool our children here in Ukraine.
- Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.