Hi Friends! Here is our most recent missions report loaded with pics and details. During the month of May 2017, Ivalene and I embarked on an epic worship discipleship trip teaching and doing worship ministry in Ukraine, Bulgaria, andÂ Hungary.
God is on the move!
- We saw the Lord move powerfully through answered prayer in our times of ministry throughout the entire time we were overseas.
- This trip affirmed there seems to be an on-going need need for Biblical discipleship – teaching, encouraging and Â impartation – in the areas of worship ministry. We were able to meet this need in our own unique way. People were hungry, receptive and appreciative. This was a great blessing!
- The Holy Spirit truly helped us teach and communicate effectively. We were very encouraged by the feedback from those we were serving.
- Angels were working overtime to keep us healthy and safe in travel. We faced some challenges and difficulties, but the Lord saw us through every one.
- The Lord proved himself to be very good!
It was an amazing experience! Â This was my 17th (seventeenth) consecutive year ministering in Eastern Europe, our 6th (sixth) international trip together, Ivaleneâ€™s first trip to Ukraine and the first trip to Bulgaria for both of us.
Our faith has been elevated and we are so grateful for His provision.
Here’s a brief recap of how we served.
Week 1 – Ukraine: Music in Worship Conference
The first week, Ivalene and I were part of a team of 8 seminar instructors at the “Music In Worship” conference May 4-6 in Kiev presented by Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Who we served at the Music in Worship Conference:
- Over 250 registered conference participants
- 27 different cities from all over Ukraine
- Worship leaders, pastors, musicians, singers – all volunteers
- Staff of about 40 from UETS
- 6 Plenary sessions, about 30 seminar breakout sessions over three days
“The most important idea I learned from the conference is that I’m not just a musician, I’m part of the kingdom of God, and my task is not just about music but to release the breath of God and His presence. This was a very professional teaching conference – spiritual and very powerful. Â Alexander S.
“This was like heaven.
I am pastor of Kharkiv biblical church. This conference was at a high level with high-quality speakers. The materials were fantastic. Much thanks to the organizers. I really want to bring more of the youth from our church next year.”Â -Vyacheslav K
Ivalene taught two extensive workshops on Children In Worship. My workshops included 3 Songwriting Workshops, a morning main session on Healthy Spiritual Leadership, and seminars on “How To get Your Church to Sing” and “Worship Ministry Blueprint”.
There was a huge interest in the songwriting seminars and they were all very well attended. Our class even wrote a pretty good song in Ukrainian!
Songwriting: Mindset and Fundamentals
Testimonial: Songwriting Seminars
I was happy to choose Rob Still seminar where he shared the secrets of writing songs that would touch the hearts of people. Â I have really long desired that we had quality Ukrainian songs of worship. It was very useful for me.“ Â Katya S., Kiev
Children in Worship Seminar with Ivalene Still
Children in Worship Seminar
Children in Worship Class
TESTIMONIAL: Children in Worship Seminar
” I work with children, and personally learned so much from the workshop by Ivalene Johnson Still on this subject. I’ve been doing music and have finished university. But the knowledge given here was useful for beginners and professionals. Really loved the atmosphere and impressed by the level of teachers who work here.â€Â Sonia M, Vinnytsya
Our Teaching Team
Day 2 Morning General Session Devotional “Be Still And Know”
We haven’t seen such a high level worship music conference before in Ukraine. The speakers were true professionals. We learned much we did not know in terms of leadership. although we are not new to music. We must attend next year! Â Larisa L.Â
General Session Day 2
Day 2 Seminar: “Why Your Church Does Not Sing and What To do About It“
Songwriting Class Day 2 – We Start To Write a Song
One good place to start when learning to write worship songs is with a “Scripture song”, setting Biblical text to music. The Psalms lend themselves to this task since they were all song lyrics in the first place.
We used the Ukrainian text for Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever” as a verse and Psalm 150 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” as a chorus.
Then we break down the cadence of the syllables and find the natural rhythm of the phrases in Ukrainian. From that we brainstormed (and sought inspiration from Holy Spirit!) for melody ideas. Different members of the class would sing suggestions and we would get feedback.
One of my rules for creative development is “all ideas are good ideas until proven otherwise”. This leads to a safe positive environment where ideas can be created and refined with no criticism or performance anxiety.
Eventually, we crafted the class ideas into a nice little song they thought was great in Ukrainian. That’s the most important thing, to teach, inspire and encourage folks to write freely in their own heart language.
Children in Worship Seminar – Day 2
Children in Worship – Participants
Seminar: “Worship Ministry Blueprint: A Step By Step Guide to Developing A Vibrant Worship Ministry Whether You Are Starting Out or Starting Over”
What an inspiring atmosphere at the conference! I see how the Lord is moving amongst our people. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Katya S
Songwriting Class Shares Ukrainian Song
It’s All About Relationships
Practicing Servant Leadership
They prayed for us!
At the end of the event, the atmosphere was electric. No one wanted to leave. The participants spontaneously took the microphone and expressed their appreciation for the event and all who had worked to put it on. Then they all prayed for us. It was amazing to experience.
Week 2 – Ukraine: Teach at UETS Seminary
The next week Fred and I were guest lecturers at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, teaching two to three classes daily.
Week 3 – Bulgaria: Worship Workshop Weekend
Our assignment in Bulgaria was to lead a Worship Weekend for a small network of churches and ministries in Silistra (on the Danube River border with Romania). The event was hosted by our friends from SOZO Festival 2004 Marko and Tsetsi Marchenova. We experienced Bulgarian hospitality (and great food!) first hand as we stayed at their apartment.
The workshops were held Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night, then concluded on Sunday morning. God is doing a good work there. We also made a great connection with a group of Christian medical doctors and counselors.
They were so excited and are making plans for us to return. They expect the next event will be bigger and better.
â€œMany people said that they had never been to a worship seminar in Bulgaria beforeâ€¦ or ever (heard) a preacher talk about worship at all.
People in Bulgaria are hungry to know worship. And worship leaders in Bulgaria really need some encouragement, to go deeper, and even for the congregation.
We were so excited when we heard that people [Rob &Ivalene Still] were now coming to teach on worship. It was a phenomenal time. We are so thankful and grateful.â€
It’s All About Relationships
Week 4 – Hungary: Ez Az A Nap Festival, YWAM Coffee House
Ez Az A Nap Festival
At The Concert
It’s All About Relationships
At the concert, we ran into many (many!) people we knew from our ministry over the years in Hungary.
- A real need for the discipleship training in the area of worship, music, and leadership. It was a great blessing to see the Lord use us in this capacity.
- A greater need for mentoring, coaching, and encouragement for church leaders and worship ministry volunteers. [Complicated history and on-going church relationships and leadership dynamics in post communist Europe]
- The vital importance of prayer partners. The Lord showed himself great in so many situations!
- Financial support from the West is also strategic. [i.e. Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary – scholarships funds needed].
NEXT TRIP INVITATIONS
- Israel – October 28 – November 13, 2017
- Return to Ukraine Seminary
- Gypsy Ministry (Hungarian/Ukrainian) 2018
- Bulgaria – 2018
Rob Still MinistriesÂ also donates books, instruments and other resources. If you would be interested in helping fund our missions trips, you can make a tax deductible donation here.
We serve “the least of these”. Their financial need is great and there are many difficulties for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. We raise our own support and pay our own travel and expenses. Our work â€“ and theirs – is only possible with Godâ€™s grace and your partnership. So, thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! God is changing lives for his glory through our missions projects. We can not go without the help of friends like you!
Thank you and God bless you!