I’m delighted to say I’ll be venturingÂ on my first ever ministry project to the nation of Ukraine. I’ll fly out October 25 and fly backÂ November 4, 2016. I’m planning to be back in church at HFUMC on November 6th.
I would be most appreciative of your prayers!
I’ll be a guest lecturer at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, teaching in their Music Ministry and Theology Department. The courses I’m teachingÂ will be Essential Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship during the day and Worship Music Composition and Songwriting Workshop in the evenings. Besides teaching, I’ll be there to coach, mentor, advise and encourage students and staff.Â
I’ll be partnering with my good friend Fred Heumann (his non-profit isÂ Music Works International), a frequent instructor and conference speaker at UETS and fellow Robert E Webber Institute for Worship Studies alum.
We will lead a retreat for the staff and leaders of the school the weekend after we arrive. Then we’ll each teach about 15 differentÂ sessionsÂ to two different sections of students through out the week.
After IÂ departÂ at the end of the course, Fred will stay and lead a team from the school to a conference in England.
About Ukraine and Our Mission
The following is summary of the situation and opportunity (written by Fred, courtesy ofÂ FH website).
Walk the streets of Kiev and you will see many amazing churches with incredible artwork, iconography, and musicâ€“all creativity dedicated to the worship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In 1988, even under the then-Soviet rule, the city and nation celebrated 1000 years of Christianity.
In a free but beleaguered Ukraine today, those ancient churches have been joined by thousands of new ones across the nation, full of new, energetic Christian believers, passionate about using current music to express their hearts in the worship of God. Since independence in 1992, Ukrainian Christians have sought to bring and be the Gospel in ways relevant to current culture both in their nation and in other former Soviet republics.
Russian-backed separatists are still attacking the countryâ€™s southeast. Corruption is still being weeded out of governmental procedures and positions. Terrible economic conditions have seen purchasing power drop by two-thirds. Ukrainians are under attack as never before.
These churches need leaders who are grounded in the values and principles that undergirded theÂ ancient church and are also proficient in using the tools that will propel them into theÂ future. When it comes to worship, that means understanding howÂ the practices of the early church have much to teach us about how we approach worship today.Â It also means gaining skill in contemporary worship music and how culture, character and calling come into play.
Prayer SupportÂ Needed
I’m honored to be invited to serve these dear Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Prayer support is the most valuable asset we need right now. Pray for:
- Safe Travel
- Health and energy,
- Protection from all harm, especiallyÂ with the tense international situation
- Great clarity, wisdom and focus as weÂ prepare and adjust our lesson plans
- Anointing to teach with transformative impact and inspiration
- An impartation for those we will be serving, that they would receive the fullness of what God wants to deliver through our efforts
- NO DRAMA, especially getting home
- After returning, please pray for us for 5 to 10 days, the enemy often willÂ attack after a victory!
I’ll post updates, praise and prayer reports on this secret Facebook group. Just click to join! (How cool is that?)
Financial SupportÂ Appreciated
Rob Still Ministries will be donating books for their library, a guitar and other resources. If you would be interested in helping fund the mission (my expenses will be about $2500.00), you can make a tax deductible donation here.
Thanks and God bless you!