Not including worship and Sunday School I spent 4 hours in meetings at church today, but they were all well spent I think. We had another mission training meeting, which included some interesting homework. We are supposed to listen to a type of music we don't like until our next meeting (in 3 weeks) and attend a church service of another ethnicity, either african-american, hispanic, or asian. Should be interesting. We also picked up, I think, a sixth member for our team, which I think would be great since it would balance out the gents and the ladies going. Some good prayer time as well. We are trying to get our fund raising letters w completed this week so we can start sending them out soon. As an aside, I would love to be able to talk to some of you readers about supporting me on this trip. The ministry in Ukraine seems to be amazingly effective. we keep getting reports from last year about continued bible study attendance and baptisms and church memberships based on the work of last summer's teams, not to mention church plants.
One of the things we are trying to figur out now is where we would like to spend a couple of decompression days after our work in Lviv. My friend Jamie and I would love to spend the time in Kiev, since we have friends there now, but some of the others on the team would rather head somewhere a bit further west. Perhaps Prague or Munich or Lisbon. It's possible we might split the group after our work and do both. We'll have to see.
The second meeting was with the youth parents and youth leaders, me being one of the latter. In the fall there was a meeting with the parents which I did not attend, but was from all reports a bit rocky. This meeting went very smoothly. Most of it was getting feedback from parents on what they thought their kids biggest needs were and related questions. Was all very positive and inspiring to me to see the parents really hoping fervently that God would do something in their kids lives, especially at a time when the kids don't want to listen to their parents quite so much.
Also encouraging today was seeing 30 new members added to our church, five of them by baptisms sone this morning. 25 of these were kids who finished the communicants class. I do not, by conviction, especially like the whole 2 level membership system, but it's what we have and I'm thrilled to see the kids stepping up to full church membership as it is available to them.