The Discipleship Difference...


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DM2 in Ukraine

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldavia. About the size of Texas, Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe with a population of around 50 million. For the past two centuries or more, Ukraine has been dominated by Russia. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine gained independence in 1991, but is now facing severe pressure from Russia again. In spite of its poverty under a post-Soviet racketeering mafia controlled economy, Ukraine is perhaps the most Christian country of all of Europe. Ukraine is highly represented by Russian Orthodoxy, two separate Ukrainian Orthodox churches, Catholicism in the west, and many Protestant evangelical churches throughout the country. Ukraine is virtually a bilingual country. The Russian language predominates in the east and in the capital city of Kiev, and Ukrainian is largely spoken in the west. Most Ukrainians speak both languages, but all the signs, official documents, and schools are in Ukrainian. Because of this, it has been a bit difficult to get DM2 set up in Ukraine as we must minister in two different languages and come up with two different sets of workbooks for the workshops. The first DM2 workshop was held in the capital city of Kiev in September of 2013. While many of those who attended were from Word of God Bible College in Kiev, we also had a number of Christian leaders from all over Ukraine, all the way from Kharkov on the eastern Russian border to Lviv on the Polish border in the west. In the future, we are trusting that someone in Kiev can pick up the discipleship banner there and move forward. However, at this time, the DM2 ministry seems to be settling into two cities in particular, Baryshivka which lies about an hour east of Kiev and Lviv in the west. We have been able to lay a foundation of both Romans 1-8 and Romans 9-16 in both cities. Zhenya is the pastor of the Living Water Bible Baptist Church in Baryshivka and Vasya Munko is the pastor of Lviv Bible Church. In both churches, there are able men who have been more and more involved in teaching as we train them in the curriculum. It has been a real blessing to watch these men grow into their disciple making roles, and we pray for further progress as we have plans to dig down deeper in these cities with more DM2 workshops. Please pray for these two pastors in particular, that they will be able to champion the grace discipleship principles that they have become so fond of in that part of the world. Pray for these men to find more opportunities to share the glories of God’s grace in other churches and places throughout Ukraine. Pray for others to pick up and continue the disciple making banner. And please pray for the very tense virtual war situation in Ukraine that threatens the country’s very survival.

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