Saturday, September 7, 2019

Busy season of Change

I have failed to post for awhile due to life happening.

The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.  Psalm 37:23 so we try to go with the flow and trust God in the midst.

Last April after much prayer we sold our home of 16 years in Mentor Ohio after only one day and had 30 days to move to a condo we purchased in Chardon Ohio which is where our Church and family are located.  We definitely were surprised at the speed of the sale and the pressure of the move, but God used it in our lives to refine us and make us hopefully more like Jesus.

So moving from this lovely home to a condo was a huge change for us all. Wayne's mom had lived with us for 16 years and was 93.  As you know Sherry's mom passed away in 2017 so we did not need as much room.  The transition for Wayne's mom was difficult but she was a trooper and made the move with us. However, she had been in bad health for about a year and her health started to deteriorate quickly and one month after her 94th birthday on June 8 she died and is now with the Lord.  We are missing her but so thankful that she knew the Lord.  

Between the move and Wayne's moms illness we were not able to minster at the BSM school in Latvia in April. 

With these two major changes it freed us up to resume our mission trips. So in July we headed to Poland to minister at a Church family camp in the mountains with our dear friends Pastor Jan and Basia Sharbek.  It was a fun and fruitful week. We not only had the joy of preaching and teaching and ministering to the 85 people who came but we got to visit with our friend Mary Jill Callery as well who is a missionary and is with Jan and Basia in their Church.  And we had the privilege of meeting and ministering along side of a brother, Paul Richards from Australia who was the other speaker for the week.  And of course none of the teaching would have been possible without the help of our excellent translator Michael Wielgus. 

Pastor Jan and Basia Sharbek

Michael Wielgus and Mary Jill Callery 
Sherry and Mary Jill Callery

Wayne and Paul Richards

Ministry time at the end of a session

Some of the group who attended the camp

We are always so thankful for the privilege God gives us to serve him this way. We don't take it lightly and could not do it without the support of our family and Church.  Speaking of Church, Chardon Christian Fellowship is the most gracious group of saints. They love us and send us off with blessings each time and pray for us each day.  We like to say when we go they go.   

When we got home  Missionary friends Roger and Robin and Josiah Harsh, from Czech Republic came to stay with us.  They are the most delightful guests and so easy to be around.  We have ministered along side of them in Prague and Pilsen Czech Republic and they also minister in Uzghorod Ukraine where we minister often.  

Wayne and I and Roger, Robin and Josiah Harsh

Roger and Robin sharing about the work they do in Prague after  dinner.

Roger also preached to our congregation on Sunday morning.  After the service Roger and Robin prayed for individuals for over an hour while the rest of the congregation waited in the fellowship hall for them to come to dinner and share about their ministry.  It was a full day but so rich.  We are always refreshed by them when we are together. 

Harsh's left and the next week we had another set of guests stay with us for a wedding. 

Robert and Diane Lawson

Robert and Diane have stayed with us 2 times now when they have come to attend family weddings. The first one was for our Granddaughter Leah and her husband Will Holbrook, who is Roberts nephew and this time it was for Wills brother Caleb.  We have enjoyed getting to know these precious people.  Fellowship in Christ is always so refreshing. 

August was busy with all the end of summer activities. Wayne has started preaching a series on the book of Acts which has been very good. You can listen by going to our sermon Audio button.  

Please continue to pray for us to be attuned to God's assignments for us.  Sherry will be speaking at a women's retreat in October and doing a workshop at the Biblical Counseling Conference in March.  We hope to go to Ukraine and Poland in March or April to minister for 2 weeks.   

Blessings to you all.. 
Much love, 
PW and Sherry

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wonderful end to a week of ministry

I am sorry I did not get these posted before now. The time was flying and every minute was filled and by the time we got done each evening we were spent and hit the bed.   It was a great week in Ukraine. We were able to reconnect with old friends, encourage some of them and enjoyed ministering on Sat and Sunday.  Pictures are below with commentary.

Vasiko is our hero.  Tanya was supposed to take us to  Chop for ministry to the youth and  got tied up so her precious husband volunteered and had us laughing all the way there.  We love Vasiko. He is a man of integrity and truly loves his family.  Tanya just glows when she looks at him and their daughter Maria is a true daddy's girl.  He also writes beautiful music that touches the soul.  

The young people in Chop along with Pastor Sasha and his wife Angela.  These kids were so much fun. We spoke on  relationships and they had great questions and interaction with us.  It was an honor to be with them.

Sasha and Angela also Pastor a Church in Uzghorod. We have the privilege to minister to them each time we come.  This night they had asked us to do a seminar for those with unsaved spouses and also a teaching on how to resolve conflict. 

These ladies were laughing at something PW shared. 
The other side of the room. 

Pastor Sasha and Angela.  We have known them since they first got married.  

Pastor Alexey  praying for the service on Sunday 

Gypsy Pastor who attends Alexey's Church in the mornings and  meets with his Church at 5 in the evening. He was taking the offering and gave an excellent exhortation to give so they could bless others, not to get back for themselves.  

Our faithful translator Olya who was translating everything that was said.  She never gets to just go to  a service  and not work.  Her mind is constantly translating from her language to English or German or Hungarian. Can you imagine?  

Children being blessed before they left for Sunday School 

Pastor Alexey and Svetlana and four of their 5 Children

After service we went back to Nehemiah ministry Guest house.  Transcarpathia without Orphans is a group that Tanya works with and they try to place children in Christian Foster families while they wait for Adoption.  They have regular training for the parents so they can effectively care for these children and also have activities and events for the kids on a regular basis to encourage them all. It was a great afternoon.  Angelica and her son have a business that puts on parties for children.   Oh my goodness was it fun.  Here are just a few of the pictures.

Anglica and her girls getting ready to minister  to the children

What is a kids party with out bubbles.. Big bubbles. You should have seen the kids trying to catch them.  They were put to music which was hilarious to watch. 

One of the girls dressed up in this adorable outfit danced with the kids. 

Timothy is Angelica's son and he was doing a science demonstration with the kids.  Yes you are seeing that right, fire in the hand that does not burn.  The kids were volunteering and loved it. 

Wonderful time of fellowship afterward in the cafe. 
The rest of the group. 

Last but not least, Rudy and Demas drove us all the way to Krakow .. We spent 3 hours at the border of  Ukraine and Slovakia and then had a 4 1/2 hour drive on beautiful winding roads and through small villages and mountains. Rudy did a great job driving us safely.

As always our time went too quickly and we are saying goodbye .. It is always bittersweet.  Thank you to all of you who gave financially and those who faithfully prayed for us and those we minister to during our trip.

Much love,
PW and Sherry

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Encouragement - Friday

Today we had a lovely time of fellowship with Vasiko, Tanya and Olya and a wonderful time of study and prayer as we prepared for our ministry at the Church tonight.

We never know what kind of turn out there will be for these times of ministry but we were prepared and were pregnant with the word of God to share with the people who came.  When we arrived at the Church with Pastor Alexey Rudenko we walked into a room alive with expectancy and joy. There were several Gypsy people that joined us also along with their Pastor. The people were so ready to worship and learn. These are the best times since it pulls out of us the things that God has put on our hearts.  After an awesome time of worship led by Svyeta and her team,  we shared the teachings on the role of husband and role of wife.  As we shared the people were interacting with us with nods and smiles and amens and leaning forward. It was so easy to minister to them as a result.    After our time of teaching we spent about a half hour answering questions on marriage and family.  The questions were good and showed that they are wanting to walk with God and be examples of true Christian family.  After the question time many stayed to talk to us and ask for private counsel. All in all it was a very encouraging evening and we are so honored that the Lord opened up this door for us.

Here are some pictures of the evening. I apologize for the lack of composition in them, but I was snapping them on the fly and did not take time to frame them up.  I will do better tomorrow...promise.

The worship team is excellent and truly led us into God's presence.

This guy on the drums was so much fun to watch. He had a rhythm and danced as he played.  

Pastor Alexey

Left side of the room

Right side of the room

Wayne and Olya

Tomorrow we will be in Chop ministering to youth and then at a Church in Uzghorod that we minister at each time we come.  Please keep us in prayer as always.  

Much love, 
PW and Sherry

Friday, November 9, 2018

Special blessings - Thursday

When you are on a mission trip you never know what to expect and it is always fun to find out what the Lord has planned each day. Today was no exception.  Sometimes you carry something in your heart for years before you see the fulfillment.   Our friend Rudy and his wife Katya have a ministry to Orphans in the area. Their dream started small and has expanded to be a true God thing.  They go to 21 different orphanages in the region and take supplies and play with the children who have been placed there for various reasons. Some of them have parents who have abandoned them others the parents are drug addicts others are in jail some have no living parents or relatives some from abusive situations. These children are fragile and lonely and range in age from infant to teens, Rudy and his wife and many others in the body of Christ have a burden for them.  Many don't know how to receive love and it takes months to build trust.  But all are in need of loving homes with two parents so they can grow up and become productive members of society.  Our Friend Tanya Machabeli works with an organization called Transcarpathia without Orphans and I will post about the work they are doing tomorrow.

Coffee and treats. The presentation was lovely. 

So anyway, that brings me to our day.  We have carried a dream in our hearts for years to go to the Hospital to minister to the little ones and so today we met them for coffee and they made arrangements for us to go to the hospital to minister to two of the little ones.  The kids go to the hospital for 5 days before being placed in an orphanage so they are scared and unsure of what is happening.   Our two little ones looked like siblings and we both under 3.  The little boy took a real liking to Wayne and kept calling him daddy.  When we started to leave he sobbed and kept reaching out to him to pick him up and stay. It was heart wrenching to say the least.  Here are some pictures of these sweet little ones.

Aren't they adorable? they were well behaved and so sweet and we wanted to bring them home with us.  

When we got back to our hotel Tanya invited us to come downstairs for a little concert that was part of a seminar for those helping Abuse victims and Orphans in the city.  These musicians were amazing.  This was another unexpected blessings.

We also had the joy of having lunch with Pastor Alexey and Svetlana.  We met them 16 years ago when they first came to Uzghorod.  They are a precious couple who have stayed the course no matter how hard things have gotten or how many mistakes they have made. They went through a difficult season 4 years ago that could have destroyed them, but they hung in there and allowed God to work in their lives trusting that He had truly called them to Uzghorod.  They said that they realized that they had lost focus of the call of God to preach the gospel so people would be saved. They are now seeing people saved and their little Church is growing again as a result of their repentance and obedience. They have a feeding program to homeless and those in need several times a week and have recently seen some of them come the Lord and start attending their Church.  We will be doing a marriage seminar Friday evening at their Church and also ministering there on Sunday Morning.  They have a wide age range in their Church with most being either in their 20's or over 50.

After lunch we went to one of the Gypsy Churches and had the joy of speaking to a small group of single women who wanted to learn and grow in their faith.  We talked about God's purposes for them in relationships and how they can make an impact in the lives of those they love and the Church.  It was a sweet time as always.  There were two married women there so we kept the message focused on how women are called to make a difference.

I promise they were smiling a minute before I snapped the picture. It was cold in the building. A few minutes later some more came in to join us but we had already started to speak so did not get their pictures. 

Here is PW with Pastor Viktor. He is a godly man who loves his congregation and has seen amazing growth under his leadership.  They have also just built this gorgeous new building.  However there is no heat so they are saving to put heat in for the winter.  If you would like to help with this project let us know and we will see what we can do to get them the money. 

This is our sweet friend Angelica.  We have known her since  2001 when we made our first trip to Ukraine.  
As promised this is a picture of Valodya Sergchov and his wife Oksana.  Dear dear friends whom we always love to spend time with when in Ukraine.  We stopped in at the English School that they head up after our meeting with the Gypsy.  

We finished the day off with these yummy Polachinka.  Always a must have food  when we visit. 

Our sweet Olya, translator and friend.  It was  special ending to our day to spend time with her at dinner.

So all in all our day was good and busy with people whom God has put in our path.  Even though we did not have a huge group at the Gypsy Church we have learned not to despise the day of small beginnings.  We prayed God would bring those He wanted to come and so we rejoiced in them and thanked God for the opportunity to sow seed.   The nation will be affected by the group of women who came.

We would ask you to pray specifically for Angelica's daughter Esther. She has MS and the doctors have just found more lesions on her brain. They are wanting her to take a medicine that cost $16,000 a year which is absolutely  not an option for her.  We continue to pray for complete healing for Esther and also for courage and strength for her mom.  This is a difficult thing to face under the best of circumstances.  Angelica is a single mom with no support from her ex husband.

Thank you to all of you who are faithfully praying for us during this ministry time. We truly have had a peace each day as a result of your prayers.

Much love,
PW and Sherry

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Wonderful old friends

We love that the Lord has brought  so many wonderful friends into our lives over the years and that when we travel we get to reconnect with them. It is like no time has passed when we get together and share the wonderful things God has done in each of our lives.  Today was no exception.

We had breakfast with Tanya, then took a taxi to Uzghorod Old Town and walked around and then met our dear friends Valodya and Oksana Sergachov for lunch. We went to our favorite pizza place and sat for over 2 hours sharing our lives and enjoying our time together.  They then took us to buy batteries and distilled water and brought us back to our hotel.  We realized when we got back to the hotel that we had not taken a picture together so hopefully before the week is over we will be able to post one.

Here are some pictures of the lovely city of Uzghorod that we took before we met them.  Please click on them to enlarge so you can see the details. I apologize in advance for the format. My computer would not allow me to do them properly.  So it is a bit off center and too many spaces.  Oh is a challenge.  LOL

These three pictures are of our room at the hotel. It is like a little apartment and very comfortable. We stay in this room each time we come so it feels like home.

View from the bridge of the Jewish synagogue
View from the bridge of the city
Small stalls where locals sell their goods. 
Locks on the bridge put there by engaged couples
Walk along the river
Look at the Church in the background
Graffiti of a machine gun. Not sure what it all says but it must not be good.
Click on this one to make it bigger.  These are men laying a cobblestone road.  The finished ones are  a piece of art
Sunset view from our hotel room
We ended our day with a wonderful dinner with our dear dear  friends Vasiko and Tanya Machabeli.  They took us to a new restaurant in the city that was middle eastern, that they had been wanting to try out.   The decor was very interesting and colorful and the food was amazing.  It was so nice to share our lives with each other and hear all that the Lord is doing in each of our lives. They have served the Lord faithfully for 13 years as a married couple. Please keep them in prayer. They minister to orphans and foster families where they teach parenting classes and other things that will be helpful to them,  they also sponsor a Montessori school in their center and hold English camps all summer long for children.  Their goal is to help the poor and share the gospel with each one, so the gospel is the central thing in each of the ministries and is shared very clearly to all who come.  It is a blessing to hear the little children, many of whom come from families that do not know the Lord, praying and reciting scripture.

 This is the grill our food was cooked on and  notice the water pipes.  They do not smoke Hashish in them thankfully, but they offer scented waters for people to smoke.  Not us but there was one customer with a pipe and the fragrance was oranges.  This was a first for us.  LOL All four of us had a good laugh about it.

View of the whole restaurant. 
All in all it has been a good day.  Tomorrow we have meetings all day.   Breakfast with friends to discuss their ministry and we may get to go to the hospital to hold the babies and then we have a one o'clock meeting with a local Pastor and ministry at the Gypsy Church to share about the roles of Husband and Wife.  Much prayer will be needed for wisdom and anointing from God as we share.

Please continue to pray for PW's mom also. She is having some health related problems the past few days.  

Much love, 
PW and Sherry

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