The people in a small village noticed movement around one of the graves. It was a very old grave, shaped like a large mound. Together with the police, they made a wide circle around that place one night.
Slowly, they closed around the grave. They found 9 children there living inside of an old grave that opened on the backside of the mound. They were very wild and the police knew that they would not survive in a government orphanage. They would not receive what they needed, so they decided to start a Christian orphanage.
These children had been living as beggars on the street. They had come from homes where their parents were alcoholics. Many had been physically and sexually abused. Some had watched their parents die in their homes. With no one to bury them, they had laid there and decayed. Then, the children left. Somehow, surely by God’s hand, they had all come to live together in that grave.
Tonight we did a puppet show for these children. Stripped of all this world tells us is dear, they listened with their souls. We heard them praying in soft whispers and in some clear sentences. They smiled and laughed. We gave them balloons, candy, and something about Jesus to read. Desperate for love, we hugged them all so many times.
If you prayed for us, you stood there with us as they prayed, trusting Jesus as their Savior. If you gave, you made this story and all the other stories in Ukraine possible. Thank you! Praise God for the difference you made in these children’s lives. Please pray for these children to grow strong in their faith.
Sunday morning, Sam preached. Through the story of the Good Samaritan, he challenged people who say they love God, to show His love. Pastor Sasha has an amazing voice, Anna played the flute, and Hannah and Katie did a great job with the puppets. I told a Bible story and shared missionary stories. I also talked about God’s mercy and goodness to me, my family and friends, as we have walked through this year without Mike.
We all felt God’s spirit, but were shocked at how the service ended. Pastor Igor was very moved by what had been shared. He thanked us repeatedly for our good work with the children in Ukraine and around the world. Suddenly, he announced that they were going to take up an offering for us. He told the people to invest in this work so that when they received the equipment, they would have ownership.
Do you know what its like to receive a gift from people who have so little? I cannot tell you how humbled we were and how overwhelmed. I want, we all want, to have the spirit of giving that our Ukrainian brothers and sisters modeled for us this morning.
I am driving past a field of sunflowers that never ends. It covers both sides of the road as far as the eye can see. It is a beautiful site, but not near as beautiful as what we just saw God do in Central Park. A crowd of 150, including many parents, gathered to watch the puppet show. They were delighted, had no bad words for us, and accepted the literature that we offered.
One lady smiled at me through the entire program. Afterwards, I went to thank her for her kindness. She said that the program had touched her heart and accepted a New Testament. Please pray for her to read and understand God’s word.
Some believers from another church came to the park and were so thrilled that we were there. They thanked us for sharing Christ in Oogledar (it means a cold present) where they have so few believers. More, they came to the pastor and asked what they could do for us. How amazing! These people decided to take up a love offering for us. May God make me as grateful and kind as these dear people!
After we finished all of our shows, our friends showed us Donetsk! Downtown is very western. Its 1 ½ million people enjoy shopping in stores that offer very fashionable clothes.
The biggest businessman in the city is a Moslem and so opposed to the spread of the Gospel. They say that mosques are popping up in this area like mushrooms in a forest. Almost all of the people here favor a closer relationship with Russia and favor Communism, despite their love of all things western. Many do not believe God exists.
Still, none of the incredible sights we saw in the city are what we will remember. They showed us a Jewish monument where during WWII 120 Jews were buried alive by the Nazis. They said the ground moved for 3 days.
What do you say in the face of such evil? How do you stop this from ever happening again? SimplyÂ tell people about Jesus Christ. When men’s hearts are changed, they change. There is so much that we cannot do, but this we can and must do. He is the answer!
In Jesus, Linda for