Ukraine Update #3

2018-05-10

Before there are successful high-profile events like Ellen described in our last update, there are lots of behind-the-scenes days like today that most people never hear about. Our launch of Revolution with more than 400 Millennials and Gen-Zers plus several dozen older church leaders was only possible because of partnerships with influential churches, key denominations, and like-minded parachurch ministries.

And partnerships don’t just happen. Every good organizational partnership can ultimately be traced back to strong personal relationships.

Today Yuri, Boris, and I made several visits to celebrate partnerships and deepen relationships. One was to Mission Eurasia (formerly Russian Ministries and originally Peter Deyneka Ministries). The other was to the Baptist Union, a denomination of over 2,500 churches here in Ukraine.

At the Baptist Union, we met with three key leaders responsible for curriculum, church planting, and next-generation leadership development. It was encouraging to hear about the impact of Walk Thru resources and training over the past 25 years. But it was even more thrilling to hear their excitement about our new focus on younger generations—especially their enthusiasm for the potential impact of Revolution across Ukraine and beyond.

It’s one thing to find common ground with shared strategies and priorities, but the real fun happens when there’s a connection at the heart level. That’s exactly what happened today.

I think pictures say it better than my words ever will. The first photo captures the required formal group shot of any such meeting. They’re really big on pomp and circumstance in this part of the world! The real story is carried by the other two pictures.

2018 05 10 image 1

The second photo shows the Baptist Union’s church planting director heading back to his offices with a stack of our resources as he said, “I love to read, and I’m so happy Walk Thru the Bible is still producing great tools in my language.”

2018 05 10 image 2

The third picture is even cooler. The seasoned leader with me wasn’t able to attend our big event. Thankfully 7 of his 11 grandchildren did and 5 of them had already called to tell him all about it. During our study of Josiah, one of them decided God wants him to be a Bible teacher and public speaker. I can’t imagine a better endorsement for our new resource. Just look at the smile on his grandpa’s face!

2018 05 10 image 3

Eventually, all this good will needs to be translated into detailed plans and hard work. But for today, God answered every prayer more thoroughly than we could have hoped. We’re not just partners with an influential denomination—we’re truly friends with its leaders!

It’s hard to believe, but the most important part of our trip is still to come. It’s time to train our Walk Thru the Bible leaders from all over Europe to take Revolution home to their countries and multiply its impact through their own network of partnerships and relationships. Stay tuned and keep praying!

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