Summer camp was awesome!
We just got back from summer camp! We held it in the Carpathian Mountains with about 20 kids and 20 leaders / staff in tents. God did some really awesome stuff, and got us out of some pretty sticky situations, too (cars breaking down, crazy weather, etc.). Each day of the six days of camp focused on a different aspect of the Gospel, so the kids heard the Gospel in many different ways. Most of them came to church with us on the Sunday afterwards! We are working on our follow-up program at youth group.
In addition to that, Katya’s mom’s recovery is coming along, David’s health is doing well, and we are going to a new church! We’ve mentioned it in the past; however, we really wanted to introduce our new church to you in more detail, so that you would feel “at home” with us here!
God’s Love Church
God’s Love is a little church on the south side of L’viv, the same city where New Horizons, our old church, is. However, this “new” church really isn’t new at all for us!
Pastor Ruslan and Family
Pastor Ruslan, his wife, Olena, and their three new foster sons
Pastor Ruslan is an old friend of ours. He actually was Katya’s group leader when she came to Jesus at summer camp when she was 16. He and his wife Olena have a huge heart for orphans and foster children. The picture above is of them with their three newest foster boys. They’ve also fostered two other boys that are no longer with them and fully adopted one more boy and girl. They are great friends – God used them to help us through some of the hardest parts of our courtship in 2012.
Olya (the pastor’s assistant / secretary)
Olya (far left), Katya (center), and pastor Ruslan at a conference
We (David and Katya) have both known Olya for a long time, even before she was working with Ruslan at God’s Love. She serves now as a volunteer staff member, and Katya was actually the one that trained her in her position (before Katya joined David at New Horizons).
The Vision of the Church
The church’s name: God’s Love. One of the things that we love about this church is the amazing atmosphere of love and affection from everyone in the church. The church is very informal and personal, allowing relationships to deepen and evolve into discipleship very easily.
The teaching in the church is very evangelism-centered. In fact, almost every project that we do is based on the idea that we want to bring in unbelievers and show them the Gospel.
A young church. More than half of the attendees are under 21, and more than two-thirds of the leadership is under 25. Most of our ministries are youth-based.
Summer camps are a key ministry. The pastor got saved in a summer camp. Katya got saved in a summer camp. We as a church see this as a huge opportunity to share the gospel with youth in a very personal way, and we’ve seen great fruit from it.
All of the kids and leaders from our last camp in the Carpathian Mountains
Our Roles in the Church
Last Sunday at God’s Love church
David is the church’s administrator. He’s working on making ministries more efficient and disciplined, which is one of the main things that is lacking in the church right now. He is also discipling the worship team and fills in for the pastor, teaching on Sundays when needed.
David preaching in Ukrainian at the summer camp during one of the night sessions
Katya is one of the servant-leaders in the church. She serves alongside the other young women here and is just loving being back involved in the ministries that brought her to the Lord!
Katya with a couple of the girls that serve in the church and camp
The Church’s Needs: Prayer Requests
Our church needs prayer. We base the prayer needs of our church on the first four chapters of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 1 is all about prayer and repentance. Please pray that the church itself would have a heart for prayer and that we would repent of those things that hinder our unity with God and one another.
In Nehemiah 2, we see that the walls are broken down, and the people there don’t know what to do about it. Please pray that we would have God’s wisdom to know how to build and that we would know how to combat and overcome the temptation that the church is facing to think “oh – things will never change for the better”.
In Nehemiah 3, the work finally begins, and in our church, the work is beginning! Please pray that the current wave of hope in the church would get stronger and stronger, and that the people would have a heart to work and complete what they have started.
Nehemiah 4 shows us that there are enemies: sin, jealousy, grudges, etc. We need to overcome all of these things as a church to show God glory and complete the wall around the city.
The Church’s Needs: Practical Needs
We need new camping equipment. As was mentioned before, summer camps are a huge part of the ministry here at God’s Love. Unfortunately, because of heavy winds and rains, we lost three 6-person tents! Ruslan, the pastor, even slept in a broken tent for a few nights!
The other tents we have also either have problems (leaks or broken zippers) or are on the edge of needing to be replaced. You can see in the picture above how, even with our “good” tents, we always have to cover them with some kind of tarp or plastic to keep the tent from leaking. We need to replace them all with good-quality tents that don’t leak!
If you have good, strong tents or other camping equipment that you do not use and would like to donate them to the church, teams can bring them over to Ukraine or it can be shipped through “Nova Poshta”, a cheap Ukrainian shipping company. Simply reply to this e-mail, and we’ll get you the information you need.
Our Personal Needs: Prayer Requests
Please keep praying for us. We need wisdom, the insight that only God can give, His courage, strength, and humility for everything that He’s calling us to in this new church. God’s already blessed this process so much, but we understand that you can never get enough of the Lord’s wisdom, especially when you’re a part of leading a church.
Our Personal Needs: Practical Needs
We still have a pretty big financial need – Katya’s mom’s next operation. Please pray for that. The cost for the last one, including follow-up checkups, etc. has come up to about $4,000, so we will need about that much again for her next operation. If you would like to contribute, you can click here to access Horizon Indy’s (our church’s) missionary giving page. The funds donated there go 100% straight into our account.
We are excited for the road ahead!
Overall, we are very excited with what God is doing around, in, and through us in our new church and across Ukraine. One last prayer request – please pray that we would stay sensitive to His calling and leading every day.
David and Katya Snead