Mission Trip Report:
Date: November 5-17, 2017
The first two weeks of November a team of three pastors, four medical personnel, one team assistant and two youth workers traveled to Ivano- Fransysk, Ukraine. Those forming the medical team were: Dr. Geoff Conner, Vidalia, GA., N.P. Shirly Mike (Sami) Oates, Vidalia, GA., and nurses: Diane Simms, Statesboro, GA., Donna Tuten, Claxton, GA. Nancy Shadburn of Claxton, GA. was a first timer with us and a great assistant in helping distribute glasses and work with the kids. Monta Rae Purser and Maria Bash, both of Barnesville worked tirelessly with the kids who came to the clinic. Monta Rae is such a gifted person to work with and teach the children lessons from scripture. Her translator this year was Maria. Maria is Ukrainian born but was adopted by the Bash family and has lived in the U.S. for the past several years.
During a seven-day period the medical team was able to give medical aid to over 1,000 patients. The clinics were sponsored by Light of Resurrection Mission in Ukraine and DMI team from the U.S. The team worked with three national doctors and an EMT who managed the pharmacy for all the team. What well organized clinics were held in the cities of Ivano Frnkivsk and Dunaevtsy. Thanks to Tanya Lishchynska for her role in helping organize the clinics and running the pharmacy for the team. Tanya is the wife of Pastor Ihor. What a wonderful man he is, and they make a great team as they serve the Lord together.
The three pastors on this team were Craig Deloach, Milledgeville, Ga., Thomas Waters, Jesup, GA., and I. We led in a seminar for pastors and church leaders who are involved in various ministries throughout Ukraine. These church leaders are so involved in ministry they become “weary” and discouraged at times. There are so many frustrations they face that most of us never even think of. Our purpose was to give some encouragement to them from scripture and our own personal experiences. God blessed each of us to speak two times and gave us the needed messages. The response to the six sessions was tremendous. God is good and gives His people what they need, when they need it.
After leaving Dunaevtsy, the pastors traveled by van with Brother Sasha back to Kiev. On the way, we visited several ministry projects DMI is supporting. We stopped at Andrey Malov’s house and had lunch with him and his wife Tanya. We discussed the outreach of LOR throughout Ukraine. There is still a great ministry going on in the occupied area of Donetsk as well as the “gray zone” on the Ukrainian side of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. These towns that border the occupied area are still under artillery attack weekly. People have fled these areas if possible but many elderly remain. Supplies are often short. All the main businesses have shut down, and, if possible, moved away. Thank the Lord for the pastors, many of them young, who are staying with their congregations and encouraging them and preaching the gospel to them. I admire them greatly.
About five miles west of Kiev we stopped to visit with pastor Maxim. This brother is such a blessing to so many people. He pastored a church in Kiev and began a ministry for alcoholics and drug addicts. He now has six rehab centers, three for men and three for women. The addicts enter the facility and for several weeks much of their time is spent in reading and studying scriptures. Max believes that the solution to their problems is to be found in the Lord. Those who finish the first few weeks may then continue and as they continue they go to church and worship with other believers. After extensive study and prayer they may choose to leave. However, Max encourages all who will to dedicate their lives to serving the Lord and becoming active in some type of ministry, either with other addicts or in a local church. There is an average of 20% of men and women who go on to become active in ministry. At this time there is a need for another church for residents to worship in. Land has been purchased, and the Lord willing, they hope to begin construction on the building next spring. Max is a firm believer and teacher of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. This is the confession the majority of sovereign grace Baptists held to in America until the mid- 1800’s. It is refreshing to see these brothers who hold to the same confession we do.
The day after returning to Kiev we met with two ladies from “Circle of Care”. This organization aids both Ukrainian nationals and foreigners to adopt Ukrainian children. This is a marvelous ministry which reaches throughout Ukraine. The adoption process is long and drawn out but thanks to these ladies the work is accomplished with some ease. DMI received an anonymous donation to aid as many families with adoptions as possible. One of the difficulties faced by many adopting families is the care after the adoption. Many times there are extra costs the first year after an adoption and families need some extra income. Through the donation received by DMI we were able to give assistance to four families who have adopted children within the past six months. What a blessing this is. When we met with the ladies they gave us reports on four families they had selected for assistance. Unknown to us before the meeting was the fact that one of the families was a pastor from the town and Church we visited in Dunaevtsy. How pleased we were to find this out. And the interesting thing is that the ladies did not know we had met this family the week before. Again, isn’t God good? It lifted us up to know that this family was going to receive aid.
After meeting with “Circle of Friends” in the morning we drove a few hours south of Kiev to the village of Vypovzky where DMI is building a house of worship for a new congregation. It was good to see the construction well underway. The building is up and the roof is on. The only thing remaining to completely dry in the building is installing doors and windows. Thanks to new contributions before leaving on our trip, we were able to give the funds to winterize the building.
We met with the pastor and deacons to discuss the progress of the building. After hearing they had run out of funds and were unable to complete the project before winter, we gave them the needed funds. Oh, what joy filled their eyes and faces to receive the aid! We drove out to the building to see the work. This will be a good house of worship, and the Lord willing, they will complete the work next summer. We will have a dedication service during our visit in November 2018. Thanks to the contributions received this year from many of you, we were able to give a total of $12,500. I asked them how much more they thought they would need and was told another $10,000. They hesitated even mentioning that to me. I do hope that we will be able to raise that amount by Spring so they can complete the work and have their place of worship. This will be the only church in this village. Those Christians living there have to travel about 15-20 miles to the nearest larger city in order to go to church. There are many unchurched people here and our prayer is that God will bring His children to this house to worship Him and fellowship with this group of believers.
Above are pictures of the church building that is currently being built in Vypovzky
This coming February DMI is hosting a pastor conference in Haiti. Pastor Enock is organizing a conference in which he figures about 50 pastors will be present from all around Haiti. Our subject for the three days of teaching will be “The Doctrines of Grace”. Some of the pastors already believe in these doctrines, but many do not. Be in prayer for us as we make plans for this meeting. Pastors Walt DeLoach, Sam Bennett, David Summerford and I will be leading the sessions. Please be in prayer for us as we prepare our messages and for those attending to have ears open to receive the messages.
The support many of you provided last year for the orphanage and school were a great blessing to the children. We still have funds for food for the children to carry us through February or March. Again God is so good and multiplies abundantly.
During the past year I have been in contact with three pastors from Philippines. They are pastors of Primitive Baptist Churches established by some of our Old Line brothers. They have a desire to be in fellowship with us. They learned of our ministry in Ukraine and Haiti through our web page and made contact with us. They have had several very interesting questions about our practices. DMI is still in the process of working out how we can best have a working fellowship and ministry with these churches. Perhaps in the future we can make a trip to visit with them and worship together. Until then we will have to settle for e-mail communication and study of the scriptures together through internet calls.
As you know, in 2015 DMI changed our name to Discipling Ministries International. Since then we have seen doors open up in new places around the world. May God use us for His glory and the building up of His Church and Kingdom around the world is our prayer.
Looking Ahead to 2018
Now, as we approach the new year we give thanks to God for His provision of every need faced by the Lord’s people in Ukraine. I stand amazed constantly at how God provides, and often, provision is made before any particular need is known. This was the case with beginning the building of the new church.
Our projects for 2018 are the following:
Your prayers and financial assistance have been greatly blessed through the years. Continue to pray for the ministry in Ukraine, and if God places it on your heart to help support any of these projects, I know you will be greatly blessed.
In the Master’s Service,
Pastor Pat McCoy