Eastern European Work

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Address

I will be blogging my upcoming trip from a new address.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Steven Baxley has recently announced that he and his family will leave East Bohemia and move back to the States this summer.

Baptism in the Czech Republic

Great news from Honza Novak today. His mother was baptized this week. This demonstrates once again the great power of the gospel and it attests the fine example and influence of Honza and others in that family.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spring Trip to Eastern Europe

I am scheduled to leave for Eastern Europe on April 28. During an almost three week period I will be working in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Budapest, and Sofia. As the departure date draws nearer, I will provide more details of the trip.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This is Serghei's most recent report from Moldova.

Greetings from the churches in Moldova!!!
Dear brothers and sisters,
With all my heart I pray God to bless you in this new 2008 year and to always keep you in His grace! May He continue to work in you both to will and to serve for His good pleasure! And may you always respond with excitement, and with fear and trembling!
Comparing to the previous time, our present schedule of regular activities has a substantial addition. Besides the usual things:
Sundays – the worship and, then, study meetings in Balti, Chisinau and Tiraspol (in Tiraspol the Christians continue to worship on their own!); Tuesdays – the study in Chisinau with Andrei, Natasha (my sister), and, less regularly, Ira, Nick, Natasha (Nick’s girlfriend) and Valik (we are still not able to move these studies to Valentina’s because of her poor health);
Wednesdays – the Bible class at the orphanage; Fridays – the second weekly class at the orphanage (by Ira), and then our study with the members in Chisinau in the evening (attended mostly by the same who come on Tuesdays).
Saturdays – the study in Tiraspol with all the members there plus with up to 8 members from Benderi;
Starting from January we have had daily evening singing and prayer meetings in Chisinau which are usually attended by Andrei, Nick, Valic, Natasha and Marchel, our “new old” visitor.
The situation in Chisinau:
These daily meetings came as a result of sincere discussions (among those who attend on Tuesdays and Fridays) about how we could better help each other to fight the sin in our life. Andrei and Valic and others were encouraged to think about their difficulties and to share what they personally would do to help a person in the same situation. This approach happened to be the most revealing, and the answer came very soon. It was Valic (he came for the first time after a many month absence) who said that in order to be stronger he needed to meet more frequently with the saints, to pray more and to sing more. He suggested meeting on every possible evening occasion so that everybody could pray for the needs of each other and of the church. Everybody agreed with that and from then on we have met daily for at least 30-40 minutes (with only single exception when there was a study with others planned). Usually, we start with singing praises to God. Then we discuss the spiritual difficulties we have and study/discuss how to fix them. Then each one is encouraged to make spiritual decisions and plans for the next day. Then we pray about that. We also pray for the needs of others and study different issues that may appear. At first these meetings were attended by Andrei, Valic, Natasha (my sister) and me. Then Andrei was able to get Marchel (his friend and neighbor who used to visit us in the past but then quit because of family problems) interested too, and now Nick is trying to attend too. I am so excited about this new activity! Praise to the Lord! These meetings are so beneficial for me personally, and I pray and hope that the others are being strengthened by them too!
Among other exciting things, the renewed efforts of the members and the visitors to spread the Gospel should be mentioned. As a result of Ira Vinocurova’s efforts in December we were able to present the evidences on God and discuss the Bible to a group of Serghei&Ira’s friends and neighbors in Cricova (Chisinau’s suburb). There were in total 5 people who attended at different times. Most if not all of them knew almost nothing about the spiritual realm. The studies were on Thursdays and were supposed to be regular. Sadly, because of family problems of one of the most active ladies, everything got suspended. I pray and hope that this suspension is temporal and the regular meetings will be resumed before too long.
Also, I was invited by one of the parents from Ira’s former children’s Bible class. We had an encouraging discussion with her (her name is Lilia) and, hopefully, will be able to continue the studies with her and her daughter in the future.
We also have a new visitor, Zoia, who started occasionally attending our meetings on Sundays and during the week. She has a strong baptist background that, no doubt, may hinder her on the way to the truth. May God help her!
Also, through Andrei’s efforts I was invited to the home of his future parents in law to teach about God. They enjoyed the lesson and the discussion, but their communistic-atheistic background made them to prefer to remain skeptical. Nevertheless, Andrei keeps working on them. He keeps working on solving his own spiritual problem (fornication) too. As I was told, he and his girlfriend have already submitted a request for official marriage and are going to become a family by February 14.
Another good news is that Serghei Vinocurov, who is still not able to do any substantial physical work after the accident, has volunteered to make a new try to officially register our church. So far he is gathering information.
Speaking about Serghei, I want once again to thank you all for the support and prayers on his behalf. His situation still remains complicated because of the inefficiency and slowness of our bureaucracy. No one still knows when the police will issue all the necessary documents so that he could go to the insurance company (Serghei’s own estimation is that not sooner than in two weeks), and it is even harder to know when the insurance company will be made to pay and how much. Serghei already knows people who have spent months (including in courts) to claim their payments from companies like that. As a result of that, the nearest future doesn’t look too easy to him. The most saddening thing is that the driver of the BMW, who was in coma after accident, died in the hospital. He was 21 year old…
The situation in Balti
There were not too many changes, if any, in Balti. I was very encouraged when the ladies decided to help Serghei Vinocurov from their treasury. They couldn’t give much, but their effort, keeping in mind their problems, was especially precious. I think that was the first time they collectively volunteered to help someone who was not a member of their congregation. Also, on at least two occasions they “permitted” me to stay at home on Sunday mornings – they wanted both to give me a rest and, most importantly, to worship on their own for the sake of their own spiritual growths. Hopefully, with God’s help, the atmosphere in the congregation becomes better with time.
The situation in Transnistria
The church in Tiraspol continues to enjoy peace among the members and the autonomy in their worship and everyday life. They also continue in their interest in studying the Scripture and I am very happy to be of any help to them on Saturdays.
As for Benderi, the things remain complicated there and I continue trying to better understand what exactly makes them so. There still are as many as 8 members from Benderi most of whom show, as I believe, genuine interest in the Word. They regularly attend most of the lessons on Saturdays and many are happy to invite everybody to their home if there is a slightest problem with a meeting place. Most of them also understand the poor condition of their congregation and what conditions that. At the same time they still are weak and hesitant and, consequently, passive when it comes to taking the necessary radical steps to correct what they know should be corrected. Are they still not sure… or afraid of anything… or just too spiritually weak/lazy to do anything on their own? These are all my “eternal” questions I struggle with.
I finally was able to have a private conversation with Alexander, their preacher. Alex message was something like: the church was dead, Ken lost any real interest in the church, and something urgent had to be done to help the remnant. I definitely agreed with the necessity of urgent changes and immediately suggested to discuss all possible steps in the group on the nearest occasion. Alex agreed and since then… hasn’t shown up. His health continues to be very poor, but I am not as sure that is the only reason of his absence.
In the end I want to once again thank you for the interest, prayers and all the other important ways in which you so much encourage us! We are prayfully looking forward to the visit of John Gentry and the other Gentries in February, and to the coming conference in April!
My family and I are doing well. Vickie and Paul are growing like mushrooms after rain! They are such a blessing! With God’s help they were able to overcome all the health problems they had!
With love in the Lord,
As usually I will try to send ASAP a detailed report on the use of the funds to all who contributed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


These picures will hopefully give you a little better sense of what the trip was like on a day to day basis.

These are a couple of Brno street shots. The building just above is the train station.

I was glad when the cold rain turned to snow in the Czech Republic

Charlie Brackett and I conducted the "Brno Study." It was good to be with him again. The shots I'm posting were taken just before and after the study.

We traveled to Tiraspol for two studies. The above pictures were shot after one of those studies.

This is the group of ladies we studied with in Balti.

Moldova is a beautiful country. This is the highway to Balti.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Safely Home

I am thankful too posting this from Wichita Falls. The Hungarian flight crew showed up late this morning. This set off a chain reaction which resulted in me adding an extra city and 6 hours to the trip, but I am home. Thanks so much for your messages and prayers. I will post some pictures shortly.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

In Brno

I flew into Budapest yesterday evening and met with Emese. Earlier that day Serghei and I traveled back to Tiraspol to study with the group one last time. This morning I caught a train at 5:50 for Brno. I taught the morning session of the study. We had people there from three countries. It was so edifying.