This is a story that comes from Morning Star Church in Dnepro, Ukraine. A young woman in the congregation was recently exposed to a lot of variety. She was hired recently as a translator for a foreign woman who’s been visiting a bunch of churches, under a range of denominations, in a number of places. Being exposed to so much variety has given this young woman a deeper appreciation for her own home church. She found that a large number of churches employ legalism as a way to ‘please’ God. This incorporates everything from worship styles to strict dress codes! The introduction to their counters has given her a renewed perspective on grace and freedom. And now she can hardly wait for Easter this Sunday to celebrate with her home church. (Easter comes a week later in Ukraine — here is pic from last year’s sunrise service.)

More exciting news is in store for Morning Star! They’ve bought a property, and will be working to remove the little house that’s on it, and starting a new construction project with a “big hole”. They are currently in planning stages that require input from and negotiation by the whole congregation. Please pray for unity of purpose and vision during this time, and for the provisions that they need to be made so that this important construction project will meet its goals.

Further news is available on Peter’s death. It was caused by a sudden brain condition, either an aneurysm or a stroke (apparently the Russian is difficult to translate), and there were no obvious symptoms leading up to it.

The funeral will be held in Russia, and a memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Ottawa on April 14th.

His obituary as printed in the Ottawa Citizen can be viewed here.

These days, Christians put a lot of emphasis on the benefits and blessings of salvation, and very little about what they are actually saved from. I was reminded of that by Larry, who is currently working with us in Thailand.

There is a lot of misery that has been brought to us by what he calls “Hell’s Travel Agents”. They rattle off the attractive sales pitch, and hand out the glossy brochures, but what they’re advertising — alluring as it is — is Death. Our challenge is to show that reality, and to offer the choice for Life. And Larry’s new perspective is that that truth needs to be taken specifically to those travel agents, those who are actively ensnaring others in pain and suffering (you don’t have to look too far in Thailand), and show them that there’s a another way.

This new perspective entails a special boldness. Larry is asking for prayer in this. Pray for God-given opportunities to talk to new people, for the courage to stand up as a light in the dark, and for miracles in the hardest people’s hearts.

MEMO (medical equipment modernization opportunity) was recently featured on the Thunder Bay local news. This focuses on MEMO’s DOLLS project (dolls offering lots of love). There are many opportunities for you to donate to MEMO, either money, time or as seen here, sewing ability.

See the clip here (popup window alert, and may need Internet Explorer).

As stated in the clip, MEMO is currently responsible for shipping about $20M worth of hospital supplies to countries, like Cuba, that can put them to good use. Originally started in Thunder Bay, Ontario, MEMO initiatives are starting up in BC and Alberta. Drop us a line if you want to know more about MEMO and its opportunities, and how you can get involved.

This is the second of a total of four video clips I will be posting that showcase EFCCM participation in Ukraine. This shows some of our team members there, including Al and Suzie, who are now pastoring in San Diego.

I will be compiling all of these into a DVD soon which will then be sent to all EFCC congregations.