Greetings from the cold city of Lviv! It’s been a little over a month since we came back to Ukraine. A lot has happened this month. We officially started ministry with the youth in the Lviv congregation. It is a lot of work as we create our own curriculum based on the needs we see in our group. And because we do not use a translator, that means a lot of extra preparation. But we are very much enjoying this ministry and every time we see the students truly interested in the things of God, that is a huge reward for all the effort.
If any of you would like to pray for the students by name, let us introduce you to them…
Yulia (16 years old)
Ira (16 years old)
Slavik (16 years old)
Pavlik (15 years old)
Dima (15 years old)
Oleh (15 years old)
Kostya (14 years old)
Katya (14 years old) – on the very right
Sofia (almost 7 years old) – in front of Miriam
Diana (8 years old) – on the left
Yulia (7 years old) – we don’t have a picture of her…
Our ministry is geared toward the 14, 15 and 16-year-olds. The three younger girls come when their siblings or relatives bring them. But so far they have not been a problem and especially Diana is very good about doing everything with the “big kids” and even brings some extra enthusiasm to the group J
Our main desire in this ministry is to help our students have a personal relationship with God and it is really on our hearts to encourage them to get to know Him through getting to know His Word.
We are memorizing Psalm 119:9-11 together as a group (it is Psalm 118 in the Ukrainian and Russian Bibles): How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not years old me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
You can join us in reciting these verses in Ukrainian at http://picasaweb.google.com/chmiels05/NovySkolniRokVeLvove#5251164806110742162 :-)
We also got each of the students their very own Bible. Now they are learning to read their Bibles at home, mark verses that speak to them, bring their Bibles to church, use them in Youth Group… It is a very foreign concept for most of them as they are used to each family having one “Family Bible” sitting on a shelf somewhere at home. Even one of the moms asked us why her sons needed their own Bibles when there was one Bible already available in the house.
Please pray that by God’s grace these students would grow in their love for God and His Word!
If you would like to see more pictures, check out our gallery at http://www.chmiels.com/gallery
Last week Tomasz also went to Odesa for a Pastor’s conference. It was good for him to meet the other pastors working with the German Lutheran church here in Ukraine and it was good for him to see how things work at the headquarters. But the problem is that Odesa is more than 12 hours away from where we live so each conference takes us away from the ministry in Lviv for at least four or five days. And that is a lot! Especially when you think that these conferences happen almost every six weeks… So we are praying for wisdom to know what to do. We really do not want to be unavailable in Lviv this often.
Two pictures from the conference…
Tomasz and Miriam
Website: http://www.chmiels.com Pictures: http://www.chmiels.com/gallery
Skype: mrtom15 (Tomasz), miriam.chmiel (Miriam)
Our worldwide phone number: +1(763)202-4130