A Good Crop

God’s Word is like a seed. If we allow it to grow it multiplies. As it is a good seed it’s harvest is also good. It multiplies through our loving actions, gracious words and active ministry. It also turns us into a stem on which many other new grains begin to grow. This is what an abundant life is all about. It is not simply the abundance of what we have, but the new good life that sprouts around us. I pray that the good seed of God’s Word will make this happen in my life.

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I suppose many of you are watching the live broadcast from the General Conference session. I am glad to see that our world-wide church is growing. It includes people from every race and every continent. It is absolutely inspiring to see how these people work and pray together in this divided and broken world. We’ll continue to pray for the mission of our church in a world where there is so much pain. Christ needs us to bring hope and healing into our local communities.

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The June 22-25 Bible Seminar is just around the corner. Have you invited anyone from your circle of friends to attend these four meetings? Flyers are available in the church lobby.

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This last week has been emotional and stressful to our family as our daughter Barby and another Light of Hope volunteer, Dana, travelled through the war-torn county of Ukraine. Here is just one of the daily reports:

Day 3 Update from Barby:

Early this afternoon we drove to Nizhin, a small town on the outskirts of Chernihiv. Our original plan was to visit an orphanage in Chernihiv itself but the city was under such heavy siege that the kids have all been evacuated to the Western part of the country and Poland. Our contact here, Ruslan was able to get in touch with and set up a meeting with a government funded orphanage for disabled children. We had a meeting with the director and she told us about their most desperate need, which currently is to purchase and install a back up generator because of the frequent power outages. When the power goes out they have no way to cook food and the machines in the wing with very sick children turn off. This is an urgent need and a fairly big project but we are certain that we will be able to raise the money needed to acquire and install the generator.

What can I say about the kids themselves…it’s hard to even type anything to adequately describe the situation. The orphanage houses 108 individuals. There is a portion of the kids who are so sick that they cannot even be helped. They have terminal illnesses and will live there until their little bodies give up. There are those who have serious developmental illnesses and cannot speak or walk. Some of the residents are older in their late teens and 20s but unable to live on their own due to intellectual disabilities. And yet, despite these very sad realities the kids we met were so full of joy. They hugged us and greeted us with smiles. They were happy to hold our hands and receive some small treats.

They make lots of crafts and even gifted us a beautiful doll that they made. One of the girls, Olya, does not have use of her arms but has learned how to sew beautiful handkerchiefs with her teeth! God has given them all their own special talents and is working in all of their lives. It was an emotional day but our hearts are so full. We have no doubts that God led us to this specific place and he has a plan for each of these sweet children.

Unfortunately, we don’t have many photos from here. I have one photo to share but I look forward to receiving updates and letting you all know how they are doing going forward.

We are on the road back to Kyiv now and tomorrow we will visit Bucha. Please, keep praying!

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I hope to see you in church this Sabbath morning.

Hugs,

pastor Peter

Adventures with God.

God’s path is never an easy one. When we follow God He teaches us to trust Him by taking us through some rough terrain of life or ministry. We look for shortcuts; God takes the long route. It is along that long path that we learn to show courage, to be obedient, to rely upon His protection, and to climb high mountains of spiritual adventures with God. “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 1:10

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It was good to see some of you at the Camp meeting this week. The rain last night started right when I was directing traffic around the main auditorium entrance. I was impressed with the number of people bravely walking through the tropical rain because they didn’t want to miss the message by pastor Richie Halversen. The meetings will continue on Friday night and all day Sabbath. Go and be blessed.

We will have both services at their regular time at our Ooltewah Adventist Church. Potluck will follow the second service.

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We are preparing for the Bible Seminar starting on June 22. Here is the flyer for the meetings:

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The Light of Hope Ministry has sent two young ladies to Ukraine to work out the logistics for bringing orphans needing urgent medical treatment to the USA and European hospitals. My daughter Barby and Dana Ursulenko are already in route to Ukraine. There are no flights to Ukraine, so they will have to make a number of stops, use trains and eventually to cross the border by car. I invite you to continue your prayers for Ukraine and for our missionaries to that war-torn country.

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Our daughter Dasha, who lives with us, came down with a severe form of COVID. I have no symptoms, but I will stay away from church for the next five days. Larry Otto will share the message tomorrow for both services.

Blessed Sabbath day to you.

Pastor Peter