Podil UBF (Ukraine)
God has scattered our family from our home church of Chicago UBF Center to Kyiv UBF Center and now we are on our own in downtown Kyiv, Podil. We were at first lonely starting with only 5 members. But we remembered God in our loneliness and God has blessed us with members who have been growing as good coworkers with us. God has given us a Christian community based on the love of our Lord Jesus Christ in the heart of Kyiv downtown. First of all our children has been key and main coworkers with us. Sarah took a gap year to help us start our church plant in Podil. Johnny helped us in every way he could. Then later Maria Joy and Christy joined us giving up a high paying job in Istanbul and Christy taking a gap year from her studies. Sergiy, a 20-year old student, who is in one of the top Universities in Kyiv, grew up as an orphan and lived in the orphanage until he was five-years old. After that he was raised by his grandmother. In the university he was brought to Bible study by his girlfriend Tina. Tina is now studying for her Ph.D. degree in Switzerland. Sergiy is a genius in chemistry and even had a paper published at the age of 19. He came in second place at an international chemistry contest. He lives with us at our home. He is one of three Ukrainian translators for our Sunday messages. Our English messages are translated into Ukrainian by Alyona who is currently living in Miami, Florida. The other two Sunday message translators are Lena and Natasha. Both are recent graduates and are working they are in their early twenties and are faithful coworkers. Natasha faithfully invites her friends to church events and worship service. She brought her young sister, Ulia, to Bible study. Ulia is our first Kyiv Mohyla Academy (KMA) student, which is the campus we are praying for. They both live in the sister’s common life along with Maria Joy. Ulia has brought her classmates to our church events bringing four to our English Club picnic.
Mark came to Kyiv from Odessa UBF, located south of Ukraine. He is currently having difficulty with his marriage at Washington UBF and is at the process of an annulment. Mark was devastated by this event and returned to Ukraine with a broken spirit. When he first came to us he confessed that he was a sinner and in need of God’s mercy. But since coming to Bible study and worship service God has been restoring him and he looks like a new man. Actually, he travels two hours every Sunday to come to worship service because he lives in another city. He also visits Odessa UBF from time to time. Recently his father died of a sudden heart attack. But despite of all that has happened to him he has no bitterness toward God or men.
Sveta is currently living with us because of irreconcilable differences with her husband. She studies the Bible and attends our early morning daily bread at our home. She has learned to appreciate early morning prayer and Bible reading. We pray that she may meet her true husband Jesus. Julia a master student in Law studied English and the Bible with Christy Peace before Christy came to Chicago. Though she lives in another city for the summer she comes to Kyiv to have Bible study. During the school year David was a faithful Bible student and attendee of our English Club. Though he lives in another city this summer he comes to Bible study and worship service whenever he returns to Kyiv. Now he is praying to do a master’s study in Germany.
The Korean Ambassador’s family includes Joseph, Josephine, Grace, Joy and Little Joseph. Recently, M. Joseph’s son, Andrew, visited Kyiv for 2 months after his army service in Korea. Before this he studied in Loyola University and attended Chicago UBF. But for some reason he stopped going. However, during his stay in Kyiv UBF his spiritual desire was restored and he made a new decision to come back to Chicago UBF and attend North Park UBF in the fall. The Kim family has been good coworkers with us and a source of blessing. Even though Joseph and Josephine are ambassadors they serve our members by cooking barbeque at our picnics and buying ice cream on very hot days after worship service. Grace and Joy are music servants. Even though Little Joseph is only 10-years old he reads the English passage for our worship service out loud. Most of all, they faithfully pray for our coworkers and family.
Currently, we are praying to buy a Bible house in Podil to use for our English Club, Bible studies and worship service. Before coming to Chicago, Maria and I saw five possible apartments and the last one we saw has the most possibility. By God’s grace we pray to receive a loan from Chicago UBF to purchase this real state and be able to pay back this loan in ten years.
ONE WORD: We remember God who has brought us to Podil
By Maria Peace