Abe and Diane Bible have lived in the Ukraine for a long time and serve there with Ministry Developers Network. Diane, who grew up in Ohio, wrote the following story for our encouragement. When you finish the last paragraph please take a moment to pray for Abe, Diane, and the ministry God has given them. Thank you.
All of us are always looking for what God is doing, aren’t we? But sometimes we can see it better in retrospect than when you are in the process. COVID is impacting the world, this broken world. But we are victors in Jesus!
As I was thinking over the past few months and all the restrictions on travel and meetings I began to look for what God was doing in places that we had been struggling with. One of them is that Abe was asked to mentor Roman, the man who has been appointed to head up evangelism and church planting all across Ukraine. Roman was put in that position already last summer but Abe had been frustrated and unable to connect with him and see him develop a plan and a vision. Well, with the coronavirus, and the new tool (to us) of ZOOM, Abe decided to walk through the “Experiencing God” course by Blackaby. So they met several times a week for a couple months and Abe was able to develop a real rapport with him. He still felt that it was hard for Roman to apply the principles to his ministry.
Another month lapsed and Abe felt like their earlier conversations about what was needed in present day Ukraine for reaching the lost and planting churches had not really penetrated.—and then, suddenly it seemed to kick in! Roman made a 4-hour trip to us to spend a couple hours talking about ministry and Abe could see a few things beginning to percolate. And then he volunteered to come again a couple weeks later—and he was excited and just soaking up all the things that Abe had talked about.
Now he is ready to make plans and beginning to develop a vision. He attended the September workshop on evangelism that Abe had for 85 men (praise God there were few restrictions at THAT time!). He already knows this material but it was a refresher. Now Abe and he have a plan to take that training to some of the provinces (as well as the monthly meeting Abe holds in Kyiv) to get men evangelizing so that next spring , if God blesses, there will be fruit and the beginnings of new churches in several areas. This will take some convincing of provincial superintendents and finding men who are passionate about Jesus and committed. But what Abe was longing for a year ago is coming together.
And without COVID they never would have connected long distance so frequently and built the needed relationship so that they could begin to work closely together. We’ve been here 30 years. Abe knows Ukraine and these people and he’s a man of extraordinary vision. But that vision needs to be passed on to others in order to see it happen! COVID notwithstanding, or maybe because of COVID, it is happening!
Nothing stops our mighty God! The men Abe has been working with the past several years have also continued to lead people to the Lord over the summer because they are doing one on one evangelism and that doesn’t have to stop!
And a final COVID influenced item for me, Diane, on a personal level. I developed issues with one eye and the ophthalmologist (a week ago from this writing) said it was a detached retina and arranged surgery for me in Kyiv—a week later–today. Nothing earlier possible because of the backlog and restrictions from COVID. And if I come out of this surgery today with reduced vision it will most likely be because of the wait—because of COVID. And where is Jesus in these situations? Right here with me. His presence continues unfailingly. He knew far ahead about COVID, about my eye, about the limitations where we live. And so, we rest in His omnipotence regardless of the physical outcome, knowing that we are in His care. Having total trust in Him and the outcome of this and the future. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I do not want for anything.”
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