Scripture says "Shepherds know the condition of your flock". It is with this in mind I write to give you a report on the spiritual and physical condition of the team as well as some personal thoughts.
Spiritual- The team is very strong and unified. The study of the book of James is transforming lives! God's word and James specifically is overflowing from the hearts. I see it in their teaching, sharing testimonies, conversation and prayer. The Ukrainian team members are studying James with us. We must not let our guard down, "to be forewarned is to forearmed". Keep praying!
Physical- There is an interesting dynamic going on- the guys are sick, but not tired. The girls are tired, but not sick.
The guys- Although still suffering from Allergies and head colds we seems to be improving. Here are my thoughts on each.
Chance had a pinched nerve in his left shoulder/arm before he came to Ukraine. His arm is feeling much better. We put his arm in a sling for the first few days so he could not use it. Chance can do more with one arm than most can do with two. His sevanthood-leadership is quite apparent.
Stephen- Doing very well, allergies has subsided and is managing his diet and blood sugar. We communicate often about this. He has totally captivated the children in camp. Always pointing people to Christ.
Michael- Allergies and head cold is improving. Doing an outstanding job leading and is being very sensitive to the other team members. Knows the Ukrainian people and their worldview. I can call on him to do anything!
Ryan- He told me last night that he is feeling much better. Ryan Butler is a graduate student at Moody and doing his internship at CBC. Has a love for God's word and sharing his faith. Clearly an asset to the team!
The girls- As I said earlier, they are tired. Though it seems to be a good kind of tired. A "tired" that is full of joy from fulfilling your ministry. Their rooming together has been a great blessing. Incredible time together in prayer and fellowship. I have scheduled time of rest for them, but don't think they have always taken advantage of it. In an effort to stay balanced and rested, they have a «lights out, no talking" rule. LOL In addition, the full team has the afternoon and evening off today. On Sunday, the team will attend church and then have the afternoon and evening off. Time to rest is planned and I will make sure it happens! Other thoughts about the girls...
Lindsay- Loves Ukraine and the people. Has a heart for teenage girls and is making the most of every opportunity. Encourages other in the Lord! A very discerning young lady
Katherine- She is doing great. No problems with food or adjusting to a new culture. A true defender of the faith. I have called on her twice on the spot and she responded without hesitation and with boldness and clarity. Katia is being used in this land.
Stephanie- Employing her gift of administration for God's glory! She is very experienced in Ukraine and has been Chance's right hand (or left arm). Steph truly cares for the team and children.
Taci- Called Nastia here in Ukraine- Taci is such a joy to be around, her gentle and quiet spirit is evident and it has a calming, stabilizing effect on the team and the children in camp. The children in the village love her! Taci's first name, Anastasia means resurrection- How cool is that? That is why we have come to Ukraine. To be ambassadors. To share the greatest news ever! The death, burial and resurrection of our Lord!
Jasmyn- Jas is such a blessing. Always smiling and encouraging. She has depended on the Lord while sharing her faith in Christ. God has demonstrated in Jas that His grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in weakness. God has given her a unique platform in Ukraine and it is exciting to see God working in and through her.
Heather- A gifted servant. Always working behind the scenes. Heazer (as she is called in Ukraine) is very proactive, does things without being asked. Truly a blessing and asset to the team. Her love and care for her brother Chance speaks volumes for her character and family.
Ashley- Her role on the team is different. She is here to capture everything we do on film. Ashley is photo journaling the people and the country of Ukraine. In addition, she is collecting information about all the ministries we partner with and will help organize this material for use in presentations, print and websites. Ashley planned and prepared our appreciation dinner last night at the orphanage. She did a wonderful job! The orphanage staff and children were so thankful.
We are thankful for your prayers and encouragement in the Lord.
P.S. Gail Burris is here doing women’s ministry and visiting nursing homes. She will blog tomorrow about her experiences