THE RIGHTEOUS WILL LIVE BY FAITH
(Ukraine Mission Report)
Shepherdess Anastasiya Gernets (Kiev UBF)
"Do you not say, Tour months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (Jn 4:35;)
Zdrasvuytye! Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, after Russia, with a population of 50 million. Her nickname is "the Breadbasket of Europe." There is the beautiful Dnieper River and the magnificent Carpathian Mountains. It's like a picture postcard. But, in 1986 there was an explosion of a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station in northern Ukraine. The radioactive dust contaminated the soil for miles around. Foreigners were afraid to visit the Ukraine even as tourists.
But in September of 1991, Dr. Peter Kim and his family decided to go to the capital city of Kiev as missionaries. They found a bleak spiritual situation where sheep wandered without shepherds in a wilderness of despair. But they prayed to help sheep overcome their deep darkness and have the spirit of a soldier of Christ. For example, if a brother or sister always looked gloomy and didn't smile, Dr. Peter would let that person practice smiling for three minutes. Let's try it.
I was born in 1978 in the city of Rovno. During childhood I received a lot of love from my parents and my family seemed to be a small paradise. I was an obedient and good child. In school, I was always the number one student and received all A's in every subject. But suddenly, our mama fell ill with bronchial asthma and for a long time was in the hospital. Our papa tried with all his strength to take her place: he washed our clothes, prepared dinner, and comforted us as best he could. I really loved him and considered him my very best friend. I graduated high school as the valedictorian, and then entered the Physics department of Kiev University, becoming number one in my group. One day, while at the university, I found out that my dad was seeing another woman. This hurt me deeply. I thought my father was the one who could love me purely and truly, but now I felt that there is no true love in this world. My inner world was filled with sadness and meaninglessness. I would study during the day, but at night, sitting in my dormitory room all by myself, I turned on sorrowful music and cried bitterly.
But, loving God saw my tears and in 1996, invited me to study the Bible. When my shepherd, Shep.herdess Maria and her husband Vlad, came to visit me in my room on dark, winter evenings and Missionaries Peter and Sarah Kim served me with much love, I wondered, "Where does such a pure love come from?" Then, through John 4:26, Jesus spoke to my heart, "I who speak to you am he." I finally found the one who could love me purely and truly. He is Jesus. Jesus' word shone light into my darkened heart and I became full of joy. I wanted to share God's light and love to everyone and God opened my eyes to see that there are many souls in the Ukraine that are ripe for harvest. God has given me many beautiful sheep like Marina, Svetlana, and Paulina, and I pray to be a mother of prayer in the Ukraine.
Dr. Peter Kim and his wife, Sarah, have been in Kiev for over ten years! How could they remain in the place where foreigners refuse even to visit because of fear of radioactive contamination? It's only by the grace of God. They tried to have a second child for six years, but Missionary Sarah miscarried three times and was continually sick, going in and out of the hospital. They could have been scared. But they did not doubt God's love or their calling and mission for the Ukraine. Several missionaries had also come to Kiev at the beginning of the ministry. But they left one by one. So, Dr. Peter Kirn's family has no other missionary coworkers. Rather than complain, they thanked God for their life of mission and trusted God through every adversity. Then, God blessed them with a miracle, two more healthy children and now they have three healthy children. Not only that, God blessed them to have many spiritual children, such as myself. God truly gave a spiritual harvest in the land of adversity. With only one missionary family in Kiev, God has established 20 shepherds and shepherdesses, three house churches and 45 Sunday Worship Service attendants. We pray that God may hear our prayer to raise Ukraine as a city on a hill and the Zion of God's word, as a shepherd nation, and as a missionary sending nation for the world.
One Word: A spiritual harvest in the land of adversity.