I stepped into a bookshop in L’viv to purchase a city map during my second visit to Ukraine, in 2008. I also learned that the Ukrainian word for book is “книга”. A year later I found myself ducking into another bookshop, this time in downtown Kiev, to buy a map of Kiev showing all the bus, trolleybus, tram, marshrukas (minibuses), and Metro lines. And I learned that book is also “книга” in Russian. Later that week, I used my limited handful of Russian phrases in another bookshop, to confirm with the shopkeeper that he didn’t have any Russian Bible’s for sale; so I bought a Russian-English dictionary instead.
Ukraine has a strong literary tradition, and many Ukrainians are quite literate. The western Ukrainian city L’viv boasted one of Europe’s earliest moveable type printing presses. Following the suggestion of one of the Ukrainian pastors I met in Kiev in 2009, one of my ministry goals in Kiev will be to learn Russian well enough to start a classic literature book club during my time in Kiev. I co-founded and have been facilitating a monthly classic literature book club here in Chattanooga since 2008 (see today’s newspaper article about our group). I desire is to serve and love people in Kiev by working to help create a commons around reading and discussing great literature, as I’ve done in Chattanooga. The relationships that have formed around our common love of reading and discussing great literature have naturally given me opportunities to bear witness to Christ with non-Christians, who I count among my friends.
Please pray for me as I seek my monthly support, 80% by April 15th, full support by the end of June. I’m eager to use the gifts God’s given me to bear witness to Christ in Kiev, equipping believers and telling non-Christians about God’s steadfast love in Christ.