This summer, despite having to cancel CMO, God opened the door for us to make two trips to the Carpathian Mountains. And during one, we had a chance to preach the Gospel!

Return to the Mountains

Kelsie Steele · August 11, 2021

“Will you come to our play on Saturday?” Nine energetic youngsters bounded between houses, inviting hardworking and weather-worn villagers to see a performance of Exodus. “Don’t forget! Saturday at 6:00!”

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Back in L’viv, Saturday arrived, drippy and overcast. Joshua packed his Bible, grabbed a coffee, and filled the yellow van with diesel in preparation for another trip to the Carpathian Mountains. Even though CMO had to be canceled the last two summers due to Covid, this year still yielded opportunities to take God’s Word to the mountains. Today would be a 3.5 hour drive to the village of Pylypets, the same place where the children blanketed the neighborhood with invitations earlier in the week.

A friend of ours, Margarita, was the mind and muscle behind this particular gathering. She organized a week-long retreat in the Carpathians for a group of L’viv children (including two of our girls). It was her idea to host the Exodus skit, lead the children in making and distributing invitations, and bring in the special guests: Joshua to preach and Oleksa (Alex) to perform special music.

6:00 came and people began to trickle in. A group of village children took seats on the front row in the simple guest house. Mastering their nerves, the young performers filed in wearing a variety of Egyptian-looking costumes. After the skit, which included a rousing rendition of Louis Armstrong’s Let My People Go (in English!), Joshua got up to preach.

Referencing Pharaoh and his hard heart, Joshua asked the people how Pharaoh would be judged when he stood before God. Would he be innocent or guilty? Using passages from Romans to Revelation, he explained that the Bible speaks of only two options — heaven or hell — and urged his listeners to stop trusting in their own works and start trusting in Christ’s work on the cross. The gospel message was short but clear. Many children were present and took copies of Good and Evil, and others were given invitations to join our correspondence Bible course.

In work for the Lord, we don’t always get to see the results of our labors. Primarily, we are sowers, spreading the seed of the Word where we have opportunity. In this small Carpathian village, the seed was sown in hearts that may never have heard before that Christ’s sacrifice is enough to reconcile them to God. Now, we wait on God to do His work and bear fruit in His time.

L’viv Family Picnic

In June, Joshua and I were invited by a local church to speak at a family picnic in the park. We presented three fast-paced mini-sessions on family relationships. A final topic had been selected as a grand finale. Standing in the grass under a tree limb, with God’s glorious creation all around, Joshua opened his Bible and gave a challenge to believe the gospel. This was a memorable opportunity to interact with both believers and unbelievers!

How You Can Pray

  • Pray for the seeds sown in Pylypets and at the L’viv Family Picnic.
  • Pray for the continued growth of Bible First Online, both in Ukraine and around the world.
  • Pray for our local Ukrainian church where we serve, Greater Grace. Pray for maturity in Christ and protection from strife.
  • Pray for our children to grow in wisdom and the knowledge of Christ.
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.
To God be the Glory

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