Pictures from our trip to America

We had about half a day in Prague before our flight to California
We’re basically pro’s at flying now, though I still can’t sleep on those seats that don’t recline more than 2 degrees!
The CGN International conference was very encouraging
I (David) got to lead worship at the morning prayer meetings a cappella while Wayne Taylor led prayer
A mall in Ukraine where our friends buy groceries was bombed… That was really hard to hear while we were at the CGN conference
Sharing with folks about our mission and ministry at the conference – I’m so proud of how articulate Katya is!
We had a great time at our friend’s church in Sacramento
Our friends from Sacramento
They organized two missions dinners for us – one with friends, and the other with the missions committee of their church
The missions committee was very welcoming and encouraging
Hanging out with Ukrainian refugees in Sacramento
Sharing at at church in Iowa
Hanging out with our friends from Iowa
Sharing at a church in Kansas
We got to go to Calvary Chapel Wichita’s baptism that Sunday – we love to see new people committing their lives to Christ!
Sharing with the youth group at CC Wichita
Hanging out with my mom and stepdad in Texas
Katya and my mom praying with the other women before service at my mom’s church
Hiking with Katya in Tennessee
Hiking with my dad (and Katya, not pictured) in Tennessee
Playing a version of “Sorry” with my dad and stepmom in Tennessee
The Ukrainian Festival in Cleveland
We briefly visited CC Cleveland and met Mike Bucher, “the fastest CC pastor in the world” (look him up on YouTube if you want to know what that means!)
We LOVED sitting under Jordan McGhaughey’s teaching in Indianapolis – he’s the new pastor at HCF, my sending church. Jordan and I went to Bible college together, and I’m very excited to see how God will continue to use him there. We love you, Jordan!
Prayer meeting at HCF
Hanging out with friends at a missions open house in Indianapolis
Hanging out with friends in Indy
Early morning in Prague on the way back

Though our trip to America was short, it was a big blessing to see so many friends and family. I know that we weren’t able to see everyone – if we didn’t see you, let’s try to hang out next time if possible!

If you would like to contact us to see if we can come to your church next time, please click here. If you would like to support what we do, please click here for more information on how.

Soviet V-E Day

Before you go to bed tonight, please say a prayer for Ukraine and Russia. Tomorrow is the Soviet V-E Day, when Putin likes to have big military parades year after year. In the past, he has used holidays to launch attacks or strikes — bombing cities on Christmas, Easter, or New Years. We are concerned that he could basically do anything tomorrow, the biggest Russian military holiday of the year. Please pray that his plans fail and that we could just have a normal May 9th, both in Ukraine and in the EU.

This whole war could stop if Putin would just stop. If the Russians put down their arms, we would have peace. If Ukrainians put down our arms, they will kill us all.

Theological Musings

Some musings about theology and working with other denominations I had at lunch today…

I used to lead children on canoeing trips down a small river in America. There were times when an island could separate two canoes, but they would still be in the same river. If the canoes are the church and the River is the Gospel, then we can have small theological islands that temporary separate us. However, we are still all believing in the same Christ, participating in the same salvation, and taking part in the same Living Water. We are still in the same river.

A problem can be when we make a big deal out of the islands, dragging our canoes onto them and getting stuck – we can even lose touch with the One True Gospel – by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (not in Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Arminius, Piper, McArthur, or whomever else).

This is one of the reasons why I’ve been so open (especially lately with Ukraine at war) to work with Pentecostals, Baptists, Charismatics, Lutherans, and others that proclaim the True Gospel. I don’t want to get stuck on, “Well, we don’t take communion like that,” or “Sorry, we don’t baptize like that,” resulting in the Gospel being LESS EFFECTIVE in this dire time. Those are islands, not the River.

The Gospel is what unifies us, pushing us along to a common destiny – with Christ in Heaven. Yes, it is important to know where you stand theologically – parts of the river may have rocks that, otherwise easily avoided by sticking to the Word as a compass, will smash a canoe and force its passengers to seek safety in another fellowship. Some of those whose churches have been smashed or sunk may choose to leave the River entirely, forsaking the Gospel. This is a tragedy that SHOULD be avoided. However, I’m responsible for my canoe – if I try too hard to dictate someone else’s course, I may miss my own rocks ahead of me.

It is also unwise to float down the river without a canoe, as is life without a church. You are MUCH more likely to get stuck on the bank, to drift into stagnant water, or to be crushed in the rapids if all you have is a life-vest. Find a strong church that is faithful to the Word as its guide and stay afloat.

Lastly, beware of other rivers that, though they claim to have the same Christ, lead not to His Havens, but to the great waterfalls of humanism, relativism, liberalism, religiosity, moralism (often connected with conservatism), or agnosticism – all of which lead to the end of those unfortunate enough to go there and fall to their deaths.

Anything y’all would add?