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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Back in The USA

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me as I returned to the states from an awesome trip to Kiev, Ukraine.

Well, after a 7 hour delay in Kiev I finally got on the flight to return to the US. I was supposed to return at 4pm eastern time, but because of nasty weather in NYC we finally touched down at about 9:30pm. From that point on everything that should've gone smoothly...didn't...I finally arrived in Poughkeepsie (where my car was located) at about 2am! I got a good several hours of sleep (thanks Bob & Dottie) and headed for Rochester. God was faithful the whole trip home as I was amazed at the snow amounts and treacherous weather I encountered on the way. I counted over 10 different tractor trailer accidents on the thruway, and kept thanking God for His protection.

All in all it was a great trip, and I was truly blessed to be a part of training Youth Pastors in Eastern Europe, but man it was good to get back home and see my family!

Thanks again to everyone who prayed and helped my family while I was away, this sure was a team effort!

Kiev Update

Sunday went well, thanks to everyone for praying for me...there were about 100 people at the church service...and I preached the 2nd sermon of the day (yes, I said second sermon...the service was about 2 and a half hours long, and I spoke for about 2 hours...just kidding)...They told me the 2nd sermon is reserved for the more prominent, educated, successful and more experienced preacher, so I thought wow this is cool, until I saw that the 1st preacher was about 16 years old and had recently become a christian, God keeps me humble...the church is 7 years old, and was started by the son of one of my former professors in college. So it was cool to catch up with him and learn about what God has been doing in the church and in his life. His wife (she translated for me) is the daughter of Gorgie Vins http://www.mbconf.ca/mbstudies/holdings/perspapers/vins_g.en.html check out the bio on him...I've grown up hearing about him and studying about him, so it was incredible to talk with his daughter and have her as my translater...it was awesome!

On saturday I visite the Lavra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pochayiv_Lavra and got a very interesting history lesson in religion in the process...I was blown away again with the difference between religion and relationship...I am so glad for relationship!

Well, I'm about to go teach my class. I have 2 more days of teaching left and have really enjoyed getting to know the students and learn about their lives and goals for youth ministry in the future. I appreciate all of your prayers. God bless.
Brent

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ukraine Trip Update

Just a quick note to let everyone know things are going well here in Kiev.I'm about to head off to teach day 5 of the YM 102 Youth Culture class. I'mgiving the students their mid-term exam tomorrow so today is mainlyfocussing on getting them ready for that. It's been an interesting bunch ofstudents as they are literally from all over the country. Some are fromwestern Ukraine which is largely considered to be more progressive (verysimilar to US and Western European thinking), and others are from EasternUkraine which is still very much locked in the old soviet way of thinking.It made our discussion of postmodernism yesterday very interesting as theWesterners totally understood it and the Easterners disn't have a clue whatwe we were talking about, as most of them live in a world that stillprocesses things through a modern context...Anyway, here's the link to theweb youth ministry web site http://www.youthministry.org.ua so you can geta little better idea what they are all about and how my ministry fits in totheir ministry. Feel free to pass this around to people so they can bepraying for me as well as the ministry here in Ukraine. After the exam on saturday (yes they have school on saturday!) I'm doingsome site seeing so I hope to get some good pictures to send later...Oh bythe way could you have people praying for me on sunday as I've been asked topreach at a local church here in Kiev...I think I'm preaching at 10am (7hours ahead of US time)...Thanks, I hope all is going well there. Godbless. Brent