There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

dateline: Ukraine

and here’s a little update from our friend in the Ukraine, Erika

Hello Friends & Family:

I have made it safely to the Ukraine yesterday afternoon. It was raining when I arrived and it is still overcast today, but my understanding is that it is usually very hot. The campus is small and next to a beer factory.
Soon after I arrived I saw a person from training and two other English speaking persons who were teaching the first two weeks and they would like to stay longer and seemed to really enjoy their time here. I too am looking forward to meeting my students and the other teachers who will be arriving later this weekend.

Budapest Update:

Although I did’t meet with many of my other students, the time I spent with Szilvi, Melinda, and her parents were priceless. God answered our prayers by having Szilvi asking me a LOT of questions relating to God and the bible!
As we ate dinner the other night, somehow the conversation turned to spiritual matters, and Szilvi and I ended up talking until midnight. Our conversation covered topic such as the Da Vinci Code…why the wicked prosper and the “good” suffer…when God will judge murderers… life as a single person… homosexuality…etc. It was great! She seemed to just overflow with questions, and at times I wasn’t sure she wanted an answer, but after she took a breath, she would say, “I’m very interested in your opinion” and “What does the bible say…”.

Because of their communist background Szilvi and Melinda don’t believe in God, but they have some religious behaviors…they pray and give money to saints, and read the bible from time to time. They are very blind to their own sin, and often pointed to the bad things other people do. They think they are good and see no accountability to a higher power. So, when I said, Jeus died for man’s sin, it really didn’t mean much to them.

When I lived in Hungary I had to teach world religions to Melinda’s class, so I’ve already shared the gospel with her, and I’ve had a few conversations with Szilvi about God, which she initiated. Before I left Hungary in 2003, Szilvi asked for a bible (some of you may remember that) so she and Melinda read it from time to time. It’s a NLT student bible. Well, the morning that I left Hungary (yesterday) I wrote Szilvi a note with some scriptures that connected to the topics she inquired about. I knew she would read it, but I was surprised when she read it right then and asked me to show her how to find the scriptures in the bible! So, we sat on the floor and I showed her. Her comment to me was, “…show me because I am really interested in these things.” PRIASE THE LORD!!!! Szilvi not only asks questions but she looks for answers, so once she becomes a believer she will truly be dedicated and she will know why she has chosen Christ over other religions.

My Old Church:

I was able to go to my old church Wendesday night, and what a treat it was!
I saw many old friends, American and Hungarian. That night a teen missionary group from MEXICO was visiting!!! How about that! Before the sermon, a few of the guys got up and sang in Spanish and in English, it was beautiful! It was so exciting being there. A lot of the Hungarians go on mission trips as well, and it’s just so wonderful to see and hear about their trips. An old friend at church, who is from Finland, but works with the church (which was an American church plant) had just gotten back from a trip to Russia and Turkey, so she gave me the rest of her Russian money, which was about two dollars.

What a blessing to be in Hungary those three days! I don’t know why God blessed me in that way but I’m grateful and tried to embrace every moment and opportunity.

That’s all for now! I’m late for orientation, so I have no time to check over the letter. I hope it all makes sense!



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