Prayer Bulletin April 2013
"Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs." Jonathan Edwards
There has been a recent blossoming in attendance at the Koinonia Sunday worship service. For several Sundays in a row we would start out the service with just a handful of people. And then as we progressed through the service soon all the seats would be full. We have 40 chairs in the hall but we were getting 50+ people. This continued for a couple of weeks, so we bought some more chairs.
I used to get easily distracted in our small room when people would come in late. But now I am rejoicing, even when they come in during the sermon. The singing is passionate. And when the word is read or preached everyone is attentive and engaged. We never start to read or preach until everyone has a Bible in their language opened to the text.
What a blessing to see God doing marvelous things in young lives.
Bible Education at Koinonia
These are some of the studies we offer at the Koinonia Church.
Pictured with Lora are two from the Church (Ghanaian and Malaysian) who are the most recent students to complete Lora's two year Chronological Study of the Entire Bible. Some of the more enthusiastic students are enrolled in two or three different studies each week.
We have weekly student-lead studies in the dorms (currently on the Epistle of James) that are well attended also.
Unfortunately our Sunday School class is sparsely attended but those that do come are faithful (we have covered the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a series on Hell, a series on Eschatology, and currently a series on Abortion).
Church Building in Kenya
We are so pleased that the Koinonia Church has a global mission mentality. Koinonia supports a small congregation in northern Kenya that is suffering strong persecution (grenade attacks and deaths). Despite their troubles they are building a small structure which Koinonia is helping to finance. These brave and bold believers in this difficult place are seeing people come to Christ.
It is a privilege to be a distant but important part of what God is doing through them. I say important not out of any pride, but that as we give and as we pray we consider it as important to Christ, for the gospel, and for the church. Participation in missions is important.
And we are happy that the brothers and sisters of Koinonia are concerned and enthusiastically give.
Team to Orphanage in India
Frank and Lora recently had an opportunity to help a small team from two of the Russian Churches in Volgograd to prepare for a two to three week ministry to help some Russian missionaries in India who run two small orphanages (32 children). The team is preparing to go in May to run a special camp for the children and staff there. Katya had suggested to them that we might be able to help them get off to a good start.
So Katya and the team came over to our flat one evening and we had a great time. It was such an encouragement to see these mature young adults stepping out in faith to serve the Lord.
We had some very serious discussion, but joy and enthusiasm rang loudly throughout the evening. We are making ourselves available to them if they wish more counsel. And the Koinonia church is ready to help as well by sending Bibles and videos.
A short time ago Frank was invited to teach at the Volgograd Bible College on the topic of worship. He taught on the first and third Saturday of the month for 7 hours each day. The class is normally only about five students.
But Pastor Vitali, who is the director, opened the course to other church leaders as well. There was a good turnout. Lots of new and young faces.
Some drove four hours for the class and two actually traveled overnight by train to attend. God blessed their dedication.
It was an encouraging time.
Volgograd Schools' English Language Competition
For the past two years Lora and Frank have been invited to a Russian/English translation competition for local Volgograd school students (ages 15-18). There were approximately 50 students and 10 teachers of English present.
While the students' papers were being evaluated Lora and Frank were given the task to speak to the students in English. This was a great opportunity to share the Lord with these bright young souls.
What we did this year was to read and comment on Luke 15:11-24 from the English Bible (ESV). We interacted with the audience in discussion about the prodigal son as we went through the scripture. Both the students and the teachers were all very attentive and engaging during the entire hour we had with them. We are very thankful for the opportunity and trust that God will have his way with the proclaiming of his word. Isaiah 55:11
So, we are excited, encouraged and looking forward to continuing to "expand the borders of the Kingdom of God". And we look forward to the next steps God has prepared for us as we journey together. Please continue with us in prayer and financial support as we all seek to exalt God through pursuing the vision he set before us.
To God be the glory!
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