August 9, 2013
BAPTISM IN THE GREEN CATHEDRAL
It was a perfect day when nearly 200 people gathering again in Gorenichi for an outdoor worship service. This time two of our new members received the sacrament of baptism. How happy they were! The choir and orchestra members performed pieces from Handel's Messiah, and Luba Kanuka, our alto soloist who has often come on American tours, sang "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings." After the service sandwiches, apples, and tea were served to the congregation, and they were transported by private buses back to the city.
Here are the stories from the two ladies who were baptized.
Galina Poberezhnaya, Needs sponsor
July 23, 1941
I worked all my life, and now I am a pensioner. And then I felt alone. Life made no sense. But God sent a wonderful friend into my life named Lidia, who told me that if I want to know God, and feel like I have a new family, come with her to the church.
I loved these people, the believers of St. Paul's church. They were so kind to me, and I wanted to be one of them. When I came to join the church, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. And now I will be baptized in a special worship service when all the members go to the Green Cathedral where Roger and Diane live. I give thanks to God!
I deliver weekly food packets to Dolli, a homebound widow. And the food packet I receive helps me to survive in this hard time for aged people in Ukraine. I come to Diane's Bible lesson and I find that I have so much to learn about the Bible, and it is a joy to discover all these things. I am glad to belong to the family of God.
Lidia Polozhuk, Needs Sponsor
July 10, 1939
I was sitting on the bus, feeling very sad. My son-in-law had just died and I didn't know what to do. Then a woman named Vera, a widow of Music Mission Kiev, came to me and began to talk to me. I told her about why I was sad, and I cried. She gave me such words of encouragement, and invited me to her church. That day changed my life.
I first came to Diane's Saturday Bible class, and then I came the next day to St. Paul's church. I felt so welcomed by the people, and they seemed like family to me, a poor widow.
Today I am a new person. I know Jesus as my Savior and I give all my problems to Him. I love serving Him through taking food to my homebound widow. Now I am serving the church as an usher. The more I serve, the happier I become. I joined the church and on Sunday I will be baptized in the Green Cathedral at Roger and Diane's home where the whole church will gather for worship.
I have lost many of my family members. My father died in the war. Then my mother died in my arms after she had raised me. Then my husband died, and soon afterward my son died in a car accident. So you can imagine how distraught I was when my daughter's husband died. I praise God that Vera found me that day and brought me to the church. They are now my family!
A PRIVATE STORY
We were gathered in Gorenichi for our Wednesday fellowship of widows and pensioners. One of our widows came to me, to apologize why she had never been to Gorenichi before, and why she sometimes misses my Bible study. She talked to me privately with my translator, because she didn't want anyone else to hear. I was so touched and burdened by her story, that I will share it anonymously with you. Pray for her! And she is not the only widow from our church in this type of situation.
My son was married and he lived in Belarus twenty years. As is the custom there, he began to drink and became an alcoholic. For the past three years, he lives in my apartment, and he beats me until I am so bruised, and got a hemotoma in my breast. And he is trying to get rid of me: he called a car to try lock me into a mental institution. But he failed.
I have a lock on the door of my small room to keep him out, but some times I can't leave the apartment to come to church or Bible lesson, if he is drinking, until he becomes better. I love the Bible lessons, but I am a prisoner in my own home (she tells this with tears.) Sometimes I wait in the cold winter street until he becomes better.
He doesn't want treatment. He is a legal owner of part of the apartment. He calls me vulgar names. I call the police when he begins to beat me, and they takes him away in the car for a couple hours and then bring him home. Once he beat me, and she called police, so he took the borscht with chicken that I had cooked from my widows packet, and he poured it down the toilet. He so often shouts and is aggressive to me. I wanted to get rid of his name on the document on the apartment, but the government refused and refused and refused, because he is a son, and legally has a right to be there.
I wrote a letter to say that if I die, my son has a habit to beat me, and I don't know what will happen. I pray and cry. And your Bible lessons help me to survive. I did not know how to pray, but now my heart is healing when I pray. I pray, "Dear Father, Help me. Show me the way. Tell me what to do." I have no other relatives in Kiev, only my church friends. Pray for me!
ROGER AND DIANE in the USA
Roger and Diane McMurrin will be traveling in the States from August 12- September 15, attending the semi-annual board meeting in Montreat, NC, and visiting donors. During their absence, all activities will continue under the capable leadership of our Ukrainian staff. Kim Janzen will return to Kiev for three weeks beginning September 17 and lead some bible studies as well as participate in the Helping Hands Mission trip with American visitors.