giving thanks

27 09 2009

Its nearly 2:00 AM Monday in Kiev, Ukraine right now.  No wonder I feel a bit tired, jet-lagged here in northwest Georgia just outside Chattanooga.  Yesterday (Saturday) morning I got up at 3:30am for my flight home from Kiev, and I was home by 10:30pm.  This morning I woke early, alert and excited to gather with other believers to worship the Lord together.

Thank you for your prayers.  My trip was worthwhile, and I got a good sense of what the Presbyterian missionaries are doing to equip and encourage the Ukrainian church in Kiev and Odessa.  There are a number of ways I could serve in Kiev after learning Russian, including music ministry and mentoring, evangelistic outreach, discipleship, and possibly theological education in the future.  The team there looks like a good fit for me, and I got the sense they may think I’d work well as part of their team.

Please continue praying for me as I pursue where and how the King is calling me to serve in the coming years, and as I serve where he has placed me right now.  Tomorrow morning I’m returning to my full time civil engineering work, helping to push back the brokenness and play my part in seeing God’s common grace blessings extended through better, safer, and more efficient transportation systems.  I remain your debtor–thanks again for your prayers.

Last Sunday I was excited to worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ in Kiev, where I found myself longing to know Russian and thankful for Hebrew words like “hallelujah” that call everyone everywhere to praise Jahweh.  Today I was thankful to be able to worship in English.  Isn’t it exciting that God’s steadfast love, which narrowed through Abraham, Israel, Judah, and David until it focused on Jesus, burst out to all the peoples, languages, and nations of the world when Jesus rose from the dead?  As Psalm 57:9 says, “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.”

Here are three pictures:

I’m at the Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate) in Kiev, built by Yaroslav the Wise in 1037, destroyed when the Mongol’s sacked Kiev in 1240, and rebuilt in 1982.

The Kiev skyline at nightfall, from the front balcony where I stayed the first half of my trip.

Maydan Nezalezhnosti is the “Independence Mall” in the center of downtown Kiev.