During 2004, we prayed to serve the 1:1 and discipleship ministry for Ukraine campuses and world mission based on Isaiah 2:3. God blessed our prayer. God enlarged our vision toward Muslim countries. We visited Istanbul and sent out missionaries.
1. Ukraine United Spring Conference
The Ukraine United Spring Conference was held at Odessa and was based on Mark 1:15. Through this conference we learned that believers must pursue the kingdom of God. Man repents and believes the good news only when he believes the kingdom of God and when he knows that the kingdom of God is near. Proximity of the kingdom of God leads us to the urgency of mission. Odessa UBF prepared the wonderful conference atmosphere. The conference site was near the seashore. Seagulls were flying around, and we felt as if we were like disciples in the Sea of Galilee listening to Jesus' teaching. We focused on new sheep and prepared the messages to be simple and humorous.
Most people wrote testimonies and shared. About 170 people attended and 100 sheep from Kiev took the night train to the conference place. Shp. Vladimir Jacob attended with his sheep from Kharkov. His message was powerful just like a pioneering shepherd.
2. United Autumn Conference
Our United Autumn Conference was held at Kiev and was based on Matthew 6:10, "Your will be done." Mother Barry and many other servants of God attended to support the conference. Mother Barry gave us a lecture based on the Lord's Prayer. We were greatly comforted by her. Shps. Priscilla delivered a message Good Samaritan from Luke. Her message was exceptionally good since Jesus' mercy was well expressed. She focused on the man who was mugged by robbers and portrayed modern day people excellently. On the second day, we prayed for Muslim countries. There was a presentation on Muslim countries. In that presentation, "Muslim people are not terrorists but also human beings," made us think differently toward them. After the conference, we took the prayer journey team to Turkey and prayed there. It was during the Ramadan period, and we could see Muslim traditions. We visited the Muslim conservative Istanbul University and the liberal Bos-phorus University. I stayed in Istanbul and met with missionaries from other organizations and learned about present situations and mission strategies. I repented of my laziness. I had pride as a UBF missionary, thinking that I suffered much. But there are many other self-supporting missionaries from other organizations. One missionary got his PhD from Istanbul University and produced many research papers. And he raised many disciples and established a church in Istanbul. I visited his big company of which he is the president.
He studied continually and published many books about the Bible and about mission. He made me ashamed of myself.
3. Kharkov Pioneering
Shp. Vladimir Jacob's family was sent to the second biggest city, Kharkov, as a pioneering family. He used to be very proud. He was smart and hardworking. People called him a genius. He graduated as a top student in physics from Kiev University. Though he was an honor student, he suffered from competition and physical desire. He met Jesus through John 1:4 when he was a freshman. However, his human faithfulness and willpower hindered his spiritual growth. During a soccer game, he used to fight due to his competitive mind. He despised other brothers who did not raise disciples. I helped him to memorize Romans so he could open his spiritual eyes to God's love and grace. He accepted Romans 6:11 and was changed. He became an excellent Bible teacher and raised many disciples. He and his co-worker, Shps. Joan of Arc went to Kharkov as a lay missionary family. May God pioneer 12 chapters in Ukraine by 2007.
4. Istanbul pioneering
We saw God's vision toward Turkey since two years ago when Turkey tried to join the EU. We sensed that God wants to open Muslim countries through Turkey. In August, Msn. Vladimir Point and Alexander Noah visited Istanbul. Msn. Vladimir Point delivered a message on the resurrection of Jesus at the MSU conference. With resurrection faith, he went to Turkey. He used to be a Gerasene demoniac, but he was completely changed into a sacrificial servants of Christ. Though he is a key member of Kiev UBF, I wanted him to be a lay missionary for his spiritual growth. I gave him a direction to go to Slovakia at first. He immediately obeyed, quit his job, and tried to find a way to go to Slovakia. But he couldn't go. God opened the door to Turkey instead. He has a two-year old daughter, Lyd-ia, and two-month old daughter, Vera. He just completed building a two flat house for his family and his sheep. Yet, he gave up a comfortable life and obeyed God's word from Acts 16:9, "Come and help us," and John 16:14 "Do you love me? Feed my lambs." May God bless the pioneering work in Turkey and make Turkey to be a missionary-sending nation. Please pray for Shp. Alexander Noah and Shps. Anna's family to go to Turkey also.
5. The Orange Revolution
The year 2004 was historical for Ukraine politics. During the presidential election, the political conflict became apparent. The situation nearly developed into civil war. The whole world paid close attention to our nation. This conflict ended up by electing a president who is favorable to westerners. The so-called "orange revolution" was the fruit of a peaceful civilian demonstration. Through this, our nation could find her direction rooted on democracy.
6. What I learned
We often faced our own limitation for discipleship ministry. Most of us are self-supporting lay missionaries and disciple-makers. We carry two or three crosses. Due to hardships, our zeal for discipleship ministry can grow cold. At this time, it is important to teach the value of serving life. Furthermore, it is critical to plant world mission vision so that they can pray for other nations. Young men lose interest when there is no vision and when the meeting is self-centered. I learned that we must be mission-centered and visionary. During 2004, I learned that a disciple-maker must be a man of vision.
1. Live according to our 2005 key verses, Acts 16:9 and Acts 19:9
2. Love God, love God's word and pray
3. Focus on raising disciples; 170 1:1's and 120 SWS attendants
4. Support world mission, especially Muslim countries
5. Support missionaries: Msn. Vladimir Point and Rebecca (Istanbul, Turkey), Msn. Anastasiya Perry (Princeton, NJ), Shp. Jacob Vladimir and Joan of Arc (Kharkov), Shp. Abraham and Sarah from Odessa UBF (Dnepropetrovsk)
6. Send three missionaries and pioneer KPI University, Lvov.
7. New center building
8. Dr. Peter Kim's message