“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the Gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:2-5
This is our twelfth day her in Ukraine and the time is passing all to quickly! Yet, even as I (Ashley Qualls) say that, I can hardly wait to come home and share with you what God is doing here. My job has been to capture the different ministries through photographs so that we can give you, the church, a clearer picture of how God is working in beautiful Ukraine.
A lot of my time has been spent photographing the team and the surrounding culture of whatever village they’re in at the moment. Time seems to pass at a different rate in the villages and the odd mixture of the old and new way of life is completely fascinating to observe. Looking at the silver hairs, lined faces, hunched backs and intense eyes of some of the older people as they hobble down the cobblestone roads is enough to bring anyone to tears, but for the reminder that we are bringing the Gospel directly to a few of them and, indirectly to them, through many of their grandchildren. How exciting to think that entire families may come to Christ through the salvation of the younger generation!
One place Vince, Vova, Alex and myself visited last week was a newly established Rehabilitation farm where men coming out of prison or drug addictions can work in a Christ focused environment. Valerri is the older gentleman who is now overseeing this project in Ukrainska. He has spent over half his life in prison and has an interesting assortment of tattoos, one to represent every trip to prison. Many of us would consider his to be a wasted life but God didn’t think so and Valleri came to know Him as savior during his time in prison. As I sat in the farmhouse, listening to Valerri read God’s word and watching the tears run down his weathered cheek, I was struck by the amazing redeeming power of our savior, Jesus Christ. He saves us, transforms us and uses us for His unending glory!
Looking forward to sharing more with each one of you! Please continue to pray that the team would be sensitive to the Spirits leading and that God would give me eyes to really see where He is working, so it can be clearly conveyed to you when we return.
Much Love In Christ,
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and has committed to us the world of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were an appeal trough us; we beg you behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21