Thursday, December 9, 2010


Dear friends and family!!
The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful fall. We battled to remember when it we had such a warm fall last. We are grateful for the warm season of fall and for the hot season of ministry. The Lord has blessed us with a very busy but exciting time. But in this update we will do something different, we will try to tell you some stories of the people we work with, so that you could rejoice with us in the work the Lord is doing in their lives.

Looking back at November

Missionary Training Program - Szymon:
We first met when he came to study at the training center. Nice young man but nothing outstanding, that all changed when we heard his testimony. He was a professional soccer player, was growing up as a defiant teenager in Christian home. Was disobedient to his parents, God and lived the life he wanted with alcohol and all sort of other things that the world has to offer. He would read his Bible only when his father would tell him to so that he would not bug him about it too much and then one day the Lord spoke to him through John 8:42-44 (42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.). That made him realize the choice he needed to make: to remain a son of Satan or to turn to the Lord for forgiveness and become a son of God.
This past year  he was seeking God’s will and it brought him to the missionary training center. From day one he has been growing in the faith and has been getting so excited about knowing God more and serving Him. It was such a blessing to see him grow and change! It is always a blessing to be around people who know their God and who want to grow in Him.
This week the Missionary training center program will be over and we will be sending the students off. We are sad to say good bye since they became like family to us, yet we are excited to see them go and see how they will continue to serve the Lord with their lives.

Looking back at November

Pridnestrovye (Orphanage):
As you know our Missionary training center graduate from last year is serving fulltime
in the country which is not recognized by the world. It has been hard but exciting to watch her
grow. She experienced a lot of trouble and opposition, she was betrayed by some of the people
she was working with etc. But by the Lord’s grace she persevered. There were times when she
was close to giving up, yet never did. She continued to trust the Lord. Just few weeks ago we
went to the orphanage and got to spend some time together. We were so encouraged by her
attitude. She said that things are tough and it seems it gets tougher and tougher but she said I
have peace and strength from the Lord to carry on. What a blessing to see a person who is in a
middle of a huge storm yet so peaceful and grateful to the Lord.
During the same trip I got an opportunity to talk to some kids. Want to mention one
girl to you. She is 13 years of age and she shared how she got to the orphanage. She said that she
was living with her mom and she had to drink water from the puddles because there was nothing
to drink and kill and eat the dog meat (not the hot dog, the street dog). The Lord has saved her
from hell of the future, since we believe she trusted the Lord for her salvation, and the hell of the
present. He brought her to a safe place where she was able to hear the Gospel. What a kind and
merciful God we serve.

Concluding thoughts

Concluding thoughts:
The list goes on…We feel blessed, privileged and honored so serve people like that.
We are grateful that the Lord blessed us through the opportunities of serving so many different
people in different settings. We are delighted to see people come to know Him and people
growing in Him. We are thankful to Him.

Current Prayer Requests - November/Dec

Please pray
For the preparations to leave for South Africa (leaving on the 10.12.2010 coming back on the
For our time in SA to be an act of obedient servanthood to Him
For the travels ahead of us with Mikael
For the process of the Church registration to be finalized
For us to continue to grow closer to the Lord as a couple.
Thank you so much for being such a part of our lives and ministries,
Arkadiy, Anneke and Mikael

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Dear family and friends!
Well, another month went by. Time flies. It has been a wonderful month of reconnecting with the old friends, learning and growing together through serving here in Odessa. But let us share with you in detail…

Looking back at October

Missionary Training Program:
We had a wonderful month at the missionary training center. Students have had classes on “how to study your Bible” and then after that they had two weeks of “Systematic Theology” and “Personal Finances”. It was a great time. I guess it is one of the greatest privileges to see them grow in the Lord, in their love and knowledge of Him. It is wonderful to see how they are being challenged by the truth of the Lord’s Word and changed through it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Last week we had a “Kairos” group come and teach on missions. Students got really excited about that and now all of them want to go to India J (considered being the country with the largest number of the un-reached people groups).

Looking back at October

The Church has been good. We are going through the book of Daniel at the moment and it has been good. There are a lot of things we can learn from there, things to do and things to avoid doing. Having a missionary school going we have a privilege of many good teachers coming and so the Church benefits from them preaching there occasionally.
Last Sunday we had a meeting for those people who want to be members so people came and signed the covenant of the Church member. We happy and grateful to the Lord to see the church grow.
We have turned in the papers required for the registration of the Church and now are waiting to hear what the results are. We are grateful that the paperwork was accepted and we pray that we will be registered soon.

Looking back at October

One on one discipleship:
 The discipleship has been a delight! One of the joys of discipling younger believers is that you get challenged by their love for God, their joy of understanding something that seems so simple- it is very humbling and contagious. We grow a lot through discipling others. Discipleship is a wonderful blessing of struggling through the issues together and growing in the Lord together. 

Current Matters - October

Us 3:
Late October we took a trip to Arkadiy’s hometown in order for Mikki to get his tear duct problems sorted out. He had the incision done on the 26th of October and it seemed to go pretty well. The tear duct has been cleared and his eye looks better yet the tear keeps standing in the corner of his eye, not as bad as it used to but it is still there. The doctor said that it could be because of the muscle not working properly due to the numerous previous intrusions. So we are praying for his eye to be completely cured.

Current Prayer Requests - November

Please pray:
-For a full recovery of Mikael’s eye.
-For wisdom with time management.
-For the Church registration to be finished quickly.
-For us to continue to grow closer to the Lord as a couple.
-For the wisdom to serve to our team members and people we disciple.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Dear family and friends!
Please accept our apology for not getting this update to you earlier! We do appreciate your prayers for us during this intense time of ministry! It has been a wonderful month and we are grateful to the Lord for His faithfulness and His work in us and despite us! But please let me share in detail…

Looking back at September:

Missionary Training Program:
We are so thankful that the Lord enabled us to have the training program this year again, thank you for your prayers and your support of this program. The Lord put together a wonderful group of people to work, study and server together. They come from 3 different countries (Poland, Ukraine and Romania) and all are so different, yet united in the same purpose of bringing the Lord glory through serving Him in the way and the place of His choice. God gave me a privilege to serve these students through teaching them discipleship for a week and World Religions the following week. It has been a wonderful time of learning together from the Lord’s Word and from one another.

Looking back at September:

We had a wonderful event on the 12th of September. Two members of our young congregation publicly confirmed the decision they have made to follow Christ through baptism. The girl named Ksusha from Odessa and a brother from Nigeria, who is a student in Odessa and is a member of our Church.
Ksusha invited her mother to attend the baptism service. It was wonderful since her mother is an unbeliever! She got to hear the Gospel and Ksusha’s testimony right there. There were also a few campers who came to spend time with us but are also unbelievers. Our prayers are that they will turn to the Lord as well!

Since we have a young Church (two years to be soon), a lot of things which are happening there happen for the first time. So, last Saturday we had our first wedding! A couple from our Church Pasha and Dina got married. It was great! Pray for us as we hold them accountable as the Church to the vows they brought forth before the Lord, the Church and each other.

Looking back at September:

One on one discipleship: 
The discipleship has been going great! Each of us staff is mentoring one of the students from the missionary training center, and as I said before it is a great joy to get alongside someone who wants to serve the Lord and grow in Him, and help this person in the process of conforming more into Christ’s image! We were also able to meet with one of the couples we have been wanting to meet for a long time, we had a wonderful time together encouraging each other and trying to be a blessing for one another.

Current Matters - September

Us 3:

It has been a little bit difficult with Arkadiy being heavily involved at the missionary training program for three weeks straight (teaching for two weeks and translating the third week). But by the Lord’s help we were able to endure. Thank you for your prayers.
Mikki is one year old! We had a great celebration of his first birthday! He loved the fact that so many kids came and that there were so many balloons to pop! 
Mikael is doing well for the most part. His eye is still not well and the further it goes the more we are thinking about the necessity of incision in order to clear up his tear duct. At the moment he has bad germs in his eye so the incision is not an option but we are working on it and as soon as we will take care of it we will go for the incision

Current Prayer Requests - September

Please pray:
For wisdom as how to serve the students at the missionary training program.
For  wisdom with time management.
For wisdom while dealing with the officials for the Church registration
For wisdom how to continue to fulfil the Lord’s plan in the lives of those whom He has entrusted to us to nourish and to care for.
For wisdom as to how to hold Pasha and Dina accountable to the vows they gave, so that their marriage would increasingly bring honor to God.
For Mikki’s health
For us to continue to grow closer to the Lord as a couple.

Monday, September 13, 2010

30 is not the end :)

Summer is almost over and it is a good time just to look back and review what the Lord has been doing in July and August. And since I have witnessed firsthand that 30 is not the end :), I thought we would write this letter in a little bit different forms sharing with you the 30 ways the Lord has answered our prayers and your prayers for us. So, here we go…
1. Camp preparations went smoothly
2. God brought a wonderful group of campers to camp. They were opened to listen and to discuss the truth the Lord laid out in the Bible
3. God brought a wonderful team which was united in the goal of serving the Lord through fulfilling the great commission at camp. They poured their hearts into the camper’s lives. It was a joy to serve together with a team like that.
4. The Gospel was shared clearly a numerous amount of times both from the pulpit and on a personal level.
5. Some of the campers responded to the Gospel and made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus.
6. Most of the campers went home with a clear understanding of the Gospel and a choice they have to make. They also understood the consequences of those choices.
7. Close relationships were established with the campers thus we have a lot of follow up to do.
8. The Lord kept everyone safe.
9. The Lord let our team run an English day camp in the beginning of August.
10. Even though the attendance was low the unbelievers heard the Gospel and are thinking about it.

11. Brothers and sisters from Church served selflessly at the camps. It was such a joy to see!
12. Marina and Dasha (girls from our Church) got a heart to help out Marina in Pridnestrovye by making short term trips there, assisting her in the ministries where she needs help.
13. The Church sent Marina to Tumen, Russia for two month to help out the local Church there.
SMTC (Seaside Missionary Training Center)
14. The Lord provided funds for us to run the training center this year again.
15. The Lord provided wonderful students (3 from Poland, 1 from Romania, 5 from Ukraine). They want to serve the Lord and come to the training center to get more equipped. They are coming hungry. It is always a joy to teach people like that!
16. The home Churches took an active role in supporting and encouraging those students who want to come! It is rather uncommon, typically Churches don’t care.
17. The Lord provided teachers for this year!
18. The Lord provided the place and a wonderful cook for the training center. We are so grateful!
19. The Lord provided a wonderful translator to help us out at the training center part time. She loves the Lord and wants to serve Him with the gifts He has given her. We have known her since 2005 and could not ask for anyone better!
One on one discipleship
20. The Lord has been faithful in helping us to love and care for the people He has entrusted to us.
21. We were able to see growth in the lives of people we serve and we were encouraged by it.
22. The Lord taught us a lot while we were trying to serve people He has given to us.
23. The Bible studies with two of the guys as to how to love your (future) spouse are going pretty well, the guys seem to be challenged and willing to grow (so am I).
24. The Lord gives wisdom and the right words to say for Anneke’s meetings with the girls
Us 3
25. Mikael survived his first camp, and so did his parents
26. Mikael recovered from a weird sickness he had before the camp just before we had to leave for camp, this is after being sick for about 2 weeks.
27. The Lord helped us to grow in our love for Him and for one another while trying to figure out how to serve at camp with Mikael around. We are grateful for His faithfulness to us.
28. The Lord keeps growing us in the area of parenting.
29. We have celebrated our 98th dating monthaversary  in August.
30. We are very grateful for many people all over who are faithful members of our team through praying, giving and loving us. The Lord has blessed us through you in the ways that you can’t imagine.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Water games at camp:


Englsh Class:

Anneke and Mikael:

Ladies Tea Time:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The summer is here and we have had some HOT days. The heat made us miss the cool spring. The beaches are full of people who came from all over to get some sea and sun experience. The schools are out and the traffic is light. A lot of people are out of the city, living at their summer homes. Obviously that has affected the attendance of some of the events we do. But let me share about what the Lord has been doing in the ministries He has entrusted to us in more detail…

Looking back at June

Guys’ Night:
On the 13th of May we had another guys’ night. A lot of people were invited but mainly the guys from our church came. It was sad that no unbelievers came. However we got some time to spend with the unbelievers at the beach. As soon as we have put up volleyball net we had a lot of people who wanted to come and play with us. It was a good experience. Also, the Lord has given us some opportunities to speak with the guys from Church about significant things and it was a good opportunity for mutual growth and edification.

Looking back at June

The doctrine studies have been going great and we are almost done with this series, not that we will ever be done with studying the doctrines, but we have done enough teaching to draw out a statement of faith and to introduce the concept of church membership. This is exciting to us.
An interesting thing happened last Sunday. We were asked by a group of Americans whether they could come and worship with us on Sunday. Obviously we were opened to that. There were 19 of them coming. About 30 minutes before the service we found out that there will be 29 of them. And when they actually showed up there were over 40 of them. So, in the room we had 71 persons, this is not counting those who were standing in the corridor because of the lack of room. It was an interesting experience.

Looking back at June

Persecution, again???

On Thursday the 17th we had another Church association meeting. It was a good time of fellowshipping with the brethren. But we got some alerting news. It looks like the country is going back to the times of persecutions. Few laws were passed out which approve some old ways of collecting information, e.g. if your neighbor doesn’t like you he can make a call to the police or KGB and told them that you are doing something strange, like sharing your faith, and then police will come and check you out. Some of the pastors from our association have already been called to KGB for interrogation. KGB gets back to the practices of sending people to Churches and then reporting back to them as to what is going on there. It feels like a cold wind from the past which brings to us bad memories. But the Lord is still in control and if it is His tool for this time to make Churches stronger, so be it. However, please pray for strength.

Looking back at June

Last week we have sent two girls from our Church to Pridnestrovye, but not to the orphanage this time. They went to help Marina, a missionary our Church sent to work there. The purpose was to do door to door evangelism, which Marina is heavily involved in, physically help the families they visited and encourage Marina.
The girls came back really excited and burdened to help out there more. We will be praying asking the Lord to show us how we as Church can be more involved into the ministry the Lord entrusted to Marina.

Looking back at June

One on one discipleship:

Discipleship has been going good. However, this month we had more challenges than usual. People are going through serious struggles and are crying out for help. It was a privilege, not always a joy, to be a part of a growth process of the brothers who struggle. It seems like the change is taking place in their lives and it IS a joy to watch them get closer to Jesus. A good thing about serving under conditions like these to the people like these is that it is a fantastic opportunity for mutual growth. We are grateful to the Lord for placing each one of those to serve to and to love.
Anneke and Dasha

Current Matters July

Us 3
Well, Mikael keeps growing. It is so interesting to observe him grow physically and in understanding of how things work. He is being very curious about everything. Obviously his curiosity keeps us on our toes, because despite his size and age he tends to be extremely fast.
In the beginning of June Mikael has had his tear ducts cleaned and it turned out to be more complicated than what the doctors expected. We are still unsure about his left eye. Not to bore you with the technicalities of the procedure I will tell you that instead of the bottom channel the top one was cleared. It might work, or it might not work, we will see. We will go to see the doctor again in the middle of July for the evaluation of how the recovery is process is going.
We also had the amazing privilege to have Arkadiy's dad and sister, Ira come to visit. Dad is back in Uzhgorod now but we were able to keep Ira here for a little longer :) Arkadiy's mom will soon be coming to visit! Yipppeeeee

Current Prayer Requests- July

Please Pray:
•For us to be wise and faithful in the face of possible persecution
•For our Church to take an active part in preparing for the camp outreaches this summer
•For Marina in Pridnestrovye and her ministry
•For Mikael’s health. Our hope and prayer is that another procedure for clearing a tear duct on his left won’t be needed
•For the registration of the Church (there are some details that need to fall in place)
•For wisdom for us as we try to communicate the nature of God to the Church as we teach the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith
•For wisdom and discipline to continue to devote ourselves to one another as spouses while having very busy lives.
•For the English camps- they will be starting this week!!! :) We have an English Evangelistic camp starting on the 25th to the 3rd of August and then we will be having a day camp in our neighborhood from the 7th till the 11th. Camp will look very different for us this year with Mikki :) Even packing is different... and a lot heavier :)
•For wisdom and discipline to continue to devote ourselves to one another as spouses while having very busy lives.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Dearest Friends and Family!
Well, the summer is almost here and we are grateful for a little bit more sun and good weather, even though it rained some last week, we are still enjoying the weather! Ministry is about to change - due to the season change. Summer has come, Universities are closing for summer breaks, people leave their normal locations and go to hang out at their summer home residences. Anyway, it is still to come, but first let me share about the Lord’s faithfulness this past month

Looking Back at May

Guys’ Night:
On the 15th of May we had another guys night, well it was actually a guys picnic. It was fun we had five unbelievers come and it seemed like everyone has enjoyed it. We played some baseball, American football and just chatted. It was good. One of the unbelievers who attended wants to come to the English camp and so we will see what the Lord will do there. We continue to pray.

Looking Back at May

Grandpa - God:
On the 22th of May we went to the orphanage and it was a great trip. I will share a brief story with you which shook me up. They have a new kid there, he is 3 years of age. He doesn’t speak whole lot, and when he does you would just answer with one of the 20 standard answers that he has. So, while he was working on his coloring theme project about stealing, I thought we would talk. I asked him whether he knew who God is. He confidently responded “Yes, he is like my grandpa”, so I asked him to tell me a little bit about his grandpa and this is what he said: “My grandpa beats my grandma till she bleeds”. I was shocked and I could not find the right words to tell this three year old kid with 20 standard answers to any question. I could give him a good and sophisticated answers but he would not understand. So I sat in silence and then just prayed for this kid as he kept coloring his picture.
The Lord has convicted me through this situation to be prepared to provide a “defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). The Lord showed me that despite the knowledge I have of Him I was unprepared to share about Him and His nature with a three year old child who has such a wrong view of God and who needs Him so badly. I was humbled by it and grateful that the Lord taught me this lesson. I am looking forward to going back there and spending more time with this child sharing about the Lord and His plan for his life.

Looking Back at May

We are still in the “Doctrines” series as the Church working together on formulating the Statement of Faith. We have gone through the studies of the Last Things and it has been an interesting thing for our Church people to study, we hope that it also served as an encouragement for them to go and share the Message of the Cross with those who are not ready to face the Great Judge.

Current Matters June

One more family member arrived!
After the Bible Study on the 19th of May we had one girl expressed a desire to come to Christ! It has been many months that she has been coming to the Bible Study and it was wonderful to see how the Lord kept drawing her closer to Himself and now has made her a part of his body. Praise to the Lord for that!

Looking Back at May

One on one discipleship:
Has been going good, however it becomes more and more difficult to schedule the meetings with people because they are busy with the exams at the their schools. However we are grateful for the meetings the Lord let us have this past month with the girls and the guys Anneke and I disciple.

Current Matters June

Us 3:
We are doing fine and despite all of the business we still get to spend some good time together investing into one another as a husband and wife and investing together in Mikael.
Last week and a half has been crazy because Mikael has been assigned for clearing the tear ducts procedure but in order to do that we need to turn a whole bunch of analyses in. We needed to travel into a few different locations in the city with Mikael trying to get them done. The problem is also that analyses are valid only the certain amount of days (3-7) and if it is too old you need to redo them. We need to have all of them done by Wednesday. Please pray that we would be able to accomplish everything in time. Also , Mikael has got a running nose today so please pray that he would get recover before Wednesday so that the procedure would not get postponed.

Current Prayer Requests- June

Please pray:
o For wisdom to see the opportunities to share the Gospel with the guys from the guys’s night
o For our Church to take an active part in preparing for the camps outreaches this summer
o For Vadim, the little guy from the orphanage I talked to.
o For Mikael’s health and for the procedure to go smooth this coming week.
o For wisdom for us as we try to communicate the nature of God to the Church as we teach the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith
o For wisdom and discipline to continue to devote ourselves to one another as spouses while having very busy lives.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The spring is settling in after the long winter here and we all enjoy the warmer weather now. It has been another blessed month of serving the Lord. So, here are the details…

Looking Back at April

Association of Missionary Churches of Ukraine:
On the 16th of April I had to attend a board meeting in Kiev of the Association of Missionary Churches in Ukraine in order to be interviewed as to our Church joining this Association. I was not concerned about the fact whether or not our young Church would be accepted since two of the 7 guys with the vote are my good friends for over 8 years now. However the procedure had to be completed. I had to sit though an 8 hour long meeting and to tell you the truth it felt like 15 minutes. All that the members of the Association talked about was ministry! It was wonderful to be with people who’s hearts are on fire for God and who want to serve Him whole heartedly. And, yes, now our Church is officially a part of the Association. Now we can move further with the registration.

Looking Back at April

On the 1st of May quite a few people from our Church along with our ministry partners Zhenya and Mark left for a 4 day hike in Crimea. They got back on the 6th all excited. The unbelievers who went enjoyed the hike quite a bit and one of them has come to Church and the Bible Study after the hike. His name is Pasha and we are praying for the Lord to keep drawing him closer to Himself. Pasha is a great guy, who is on the way to hell, so would you please join us in praying for him and for our Church members to continue to be purposeful as to sharing their hearts and faith with him. We are grateful for what the Lord has done so far and are excited to see what He will do.

Looking Back at April

Guys night:
Last guys night went well. We did not have a lot of people come but we had a good time. There were 9 of us total, three are unbelievers. It was a good time of building relationships with those guys. One of them will go for a hike that our Church is organizing. We will see what the Lord will do there…

Looking Back at April

Church doctrines:
We are still in the “Doctrines” series as the Church works together on formulating the Statement of Faith. It is exciting to preach and to listen about our God, ourselves and God’s plan for us. We are enjoying this time thoroughly. We will be busy with the doctrines series till June.

Looking Back at April

On the 24th of April we went to Pridnestrovye (the country which doesn’t exist officially) to the orphanage and also to visit the Missionary Training Center graduate, Marina, who is on staff with IM now and labors there for the Lord. It has been a good trip and it is amazing how fast the kids grow and change. We are grateful that the Lord has provided us with a privilege to share the Gospel with these kids from the young age and to follow up with them as well.
Our friend and fellow servant Marina is doing well despite of numerous trials. But she is taking them as growth opportunities and though it is tough- she is eager to grow.

Orphanage Trip:

Looking Back at April

Bible Study:
Bible Study is going good. Attendance has been down though, we tribute it to the nice weather and the class schedules. We finished the series on apologetics and have started another study series on friendship. The first lesson we had went great people got a lot of things to think and pray about. We got some good reports.

Looking Back at April

One on one discipleship:
It has been going well. The meetings have not been as regular as they typically are due to the exams people are having and the extra requirements that their Universities bestows upon them. But the meetings we had have been good. We had some difficult meetings dealing with some personal issues with people we serve to but we were happy to see that people have responded well and are continuing to grow in the Lord.

Current Matters April

Us 3:
Mikael finally recovered from the cold he had. We needed to go to the doctor for that and they had his nose flushed. Needless to say Mikael was not thrilled with the procedure but he has been a good sport and has taken it a LIKE A MAN (maybe more like a little man). But he has some sort of an eye infection at the moment that we are trying to deal with and we have discovered no matter how strong we are it is quite a job to get his eyes opened for the drops :). But his smiles keep lightning up our days!

Current Prayer Requests- April

Please pray
•For wisdom to see the opportunities to share the Gospel with the guys from the guys’s night
•For our church to be about fulfilling Great Commission while hiking.
•For Marina in Pridnestrovye as she is trying to establish a youth ministry in the nearby village.
•For wisdom as to how to take care for Mikael.
•For wisdom for us as we try to communicate the nature of God to the Church
•For wisdom and discipline to continue to devote ourselves to one another as spouses while having very busy lives.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


It has been indeed a very busy but a wonderful month! We are grateful while looking back at what the Lord has done and are very eager to share with you…

Looking Back at March

Serving together with the team from Iowa:
We had a team from Iowa serve with us from the 12th till the 21st of March. What a wonderful time it was! The Lord put together a great team. As a team we served together at the Christian University and at the local school in our neighborhood. It was a wonderful time of serving.
On Thursday a part of the team which was at school got kicked out. The principle of the school knew that we were sharing the Gospel during the basketball program however she chose to close her eyes to that fact since no one complained. But on Wednesday a grandfather of one of the kids called a local TV station to come and cover a story as to how the kids are being “brainwashed” by “westerners”. The school did not let the TV guys in but they “evacuated” us through the back door and told us not to come back to do the program again. The teachers apologized profusely for what had happened but could do nothing to stop the principle from making this decision. Up to that point we had already shared the Gospel with 200-300 kids and were very grateful to the Lord for letting us have that privilege.
Altogether we had a wonderful time of serving together as the “Living Hope” Church from Odessa (church we are busy planting) and the Church from Clear Lake, Iowa. What a joy to see Churches come together and working alongside for the sake of the Gospel.

Looking Back at March

Guys group

On the 7th of March we had another guys’ night and it seemed to go really well. We had the highest attendance this last time. We had a few computers running some games, a board game and Wii tournaments. It was a lot of fun and good relationship builders. It also exposed the areas where we still have to work on. We need to encourage and be a model to the guys-believers from our Church to reach out to the unbelievers who come to the “Guys’ night”. We have invited those who came to participate in the events that we had to offer along with the team from Iowa during the upcoming week. A lot of them came…

Looking Back at March

English Club... in our area

The English Club keeps growing in size and in a sense becomes more of a family. People at the club meet one another and become good friends. It is great to see. Some of the English Club attendees have joined us during the week of the ministry we had with the team from Iowa. It was great! We are working on deepening our relationships and praying for wisdom to use the opportunities the Lord presents to share Christ with them.

Current Matters March

Us 3

Mikael continues to be a great joy to his mom and dad. We are so grateful to the Lord for him. It has been a month of discoveries for him. Amongst many other things he has discovered that if he hits the water while he bathes it will splash and if he hits it harder it will splash even more. While he was testing this principle his mom got really wet :). If you would like to see more photos of Mikael you can go to of us got sick with the cold this past week. I got sick first, then Anneke and now Mikael started showing signs of sickness as well.

Both Anneke and I are still growing in the realization of our roles as parents and still need a lot of wisdom in that.

Current Prayer Requests- March

Please pray
• For Vadim, a friend from the English Club- that he would come to know the Lord as his personal Lord and Savior
• For the situation with the school in our neighborhood and the wisdom as to what to do next
• For the follow up with the students who have heard the Gospel throughout the time the Iowa team was here
• For wisdom to care for Mikael.
• For wisdom and discipline to continue to devote ourselves to one another as spouses while having very busy lives.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Thank you so much for praying for us this past month. The Lord gave us a wonderful month of serving Him in many ways. It is a joy for us to share how He blessed us to serve Him in the…

Looking Back at February

Guys group:
We had another meeting with the guys. There were 8 of us total. We went bowling together and then after the game we went to our ministry partner’s apartment to have some tea and cookies together. It was a good time and no one really wanted to leave. We continue to build the relationships with those guys and pray that when the Gospel will be presented they would respond.

Looking Back at February

We were supposed to go to the orphanage on the 27th of February. But the orphanage canceled the trip the day before we were going to go. Their driver, who was going to pick us up at the border and to the orphanage, had severe back problems, so now we are looking at going there in April.

Looking Back at February

English Club, in our area:
The English club in our area has been growing and we were able to see more and more people come. We have people of mixed abilities and ages. All of them are there to learn or/and practice their English. It has been an answer to many prayers because for a few years already we were looking at having an ongoing ministry which would involve primarily people from our neighborhood. We are hoping and praying that those who come to the English Club will not merely be able to learn English but will also come to the knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Things to Come:

Things to come:
The month of March holds a lot for us. From the 11th till the 21st we have a team from Iowa coming to do a basketball/English Club Camp with us. We are excited about that opportunity to spread God’s Word and His Gospel to the community by means of serving them through teaching the basic basketball and English skills.
On the 27th of March our Church will be hosting a conference on Marriage. We have speakers come from the IM Canada (who will also be teaching at the IM’s annual conference) to run the conference.

Current Matters February

Us 3:
Mikael has continued to grow fast. During the last visit to the doctor the doctor refused to pick him up because he is too heavy for her. He is changing so much so fast. When we think that we have figured out his pattern/schedule, Mikael proves us wrong by changing it. He is such a wonderful teacher of flexibility!
The Lord has been faithful in giving us strength and energy t to look after Mikael and to keep investing into our marriage by purposefully setting apart a time when we talk, listen, discuss and learn together.

Current Prayer Requests- February

Please pray
* For the upcoming trip to the orphanage and the time with Marina
• For wisdom how to prepare and run the guys group.
• For more people to come to the English Club in our area
• For the basketball/English camp, that people would come to know Him
• For the marriage conference, that the couples who will be attending may be encouraged in their walk with God and in their lives together.
• For wisdom to care for Mikael and for one another

Monday, February 1, 2010


It has been a long and eventful month. The Lord has blessed us greatly and challenged us a lot! It was a good time of growth in learning to trust Him and rely upon Him more.

Looking Back at January

Parent's visit and Trip to Azerbaijan:
Anneke’s parents came to visit us on the 5th of December. It was wonderful to have them here and to hear from them their thoughts concerning Ukraine and how things have changed since they were last here. They served in Ukraine as missionaries from 2001 till 2004 (this is how I met Anneke). They were obviously happy to see Mikael and to spend time with him. Anneke’s mom stayed for a month and Anneke’s dad stayed for three weeks since he was taking a trip to Azerbaijan (a country on the Caspian sea, which borders with Iran on the south) to explore ministry opportunities. His heart is with the Jewish people and the area he was planning on exploring was the Northern Part of the country which has around 30 000 of so called mountain Jews, who started moving there about 2500 years ago. Anneke’s dad asked me to join him on this trip and help out there. So I did. However, the trip did not work out the way we were hoping it would. As we arrived to Azerbaijan on the 26th of December, Anneke’s dad was deported. Few months before we came the regulations for South Africans entering Azerbaijan have changed, which we were unaware off. Not only was he refused to enter the country, but his passport was taken away and he was treated as a criminal. My father in law asked me to stay and go through with the trip. His former ministry colleague from the times of service in Ukraine joined me the day after we arrived. So, those turn out to be busy days of exploring ministry opportunities, building bridges with people and learning how to trust God more. It was a very draining trip and I got back exhausted.

Looking Back at January

Guys group:
It has been our desire for a long time to start something for guys to be able to get together, something like a guys group. Primarily, it is for those guys who are interested in having a relationship with us but not yet interested in Church or studying English. We have quite a number of those guys who came to the Basketball tournaments, English camps and other outreaches. They know that we are Christians but they are not interested in coming to the Bible Study or to Church. We want to use this group to deepen relationships with them within the group and continue to share the Gospel and our lives with them in a non-threatening environment. We had our first meeting on the 10th of January and it seems that all who came enjoyed it. We played a lot of games together, had many group and individual conversations. We are planning to have the next meeting on the 7th of February.