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.

Looking Back at January

On the 16th of January we had a good trip to the Orphanage in Transnistriya. It is great to see how the team that we take there keeps growing in their understanding of how to serve the kids as well as loving one another and getting to know more of what team work is.
We were able to spend some time over there encouraging Marina Gaydayenko, former Missionary Training Center graduate, who is serving there now as a director of the Youth Outreach Center. We are rejoicing in the Lord for her!

Looking Back at January

English Club:
Last Saturday we had our first English Club in the room we have for our Church :). Since the Christian University is not available for us to use till the beginning of February we moved our English Club into our area. We have done some advertising in the area to get more people from our area to come. Our hope and prayer is that there will be enough interest in English in our area so that we could continue building the relationships with people in this area and sharing the Gospel with them as the Lord permits.

Current Matters January

Us 3:
The Lord has blessed us a lot and we are very grateful for every day He gives us. Mikael is a beautiful and calm baby! He grows very fast. He is wearing 9 months clothes, and he wouldn’t even fit into some of it (he is only 4 months old now).
Since Mikael arrived we realized very quickly that he demands a lot of time, which was reflected on the time that Anneke and I spend together. The Lord has been teaching us to be even more purposeful with the time we set apart for our relationship as husband and wife.

Current Prayer Requests- January

Please pray:
• For wisdom as to how to shepherd the flock of the believers here in Odessa
• For wisdom how to prepare and run the guys group.
• For more people to come for the English Club in our area
• For wisdom to care about Mikael and one another