Since our last update, I have been counting the miles traveled by car and the hours traveled by plane and train. I just returned from a trip to Mykolayiv in southern Ukraine where I traveled 18 hours by train each way. I occupied my time reading and listening to a soldier tell stories from the front.
However, there are some things that should be counted and some that shouldn’t. Management and planning demands that we sometimes count people, but not for the sake of feeling complacent that the job is done.
“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? Matthew 18:12
What is often missing in our plans? Everyone else! The Great Commission is far from done, and the main counting that we should do now is counting those people groups who are yet to be reached and, on a personal level, we need to daily count the cost to reach them. Then we should reach them.
European Leaders Meeting
Our trip began and will end in Toronto, which we will cover in our next update. A high point was our Every Nation leadership conference in Berlin where leaders from East, West and Central Europe gathered to worship God, connect and encourage one another, and be equipped to better make disciples. Another area of counting that Jesus mentioned is the size of the harvest and the deficit of leaders, so our whole Europe team is focusing on raising up strong leaders especially to reach youth and students.
Przemek & Magda Sielatycki
The next stop on our trek was Kraków, Poland where we connected with Pastor Przemek to plan an extended trip this fall as well as to discuss unique evangelistic and discipleship strategies for reaching an ever-changing spiritual landscape in Europe.
While there we spent a day at nearby Auschwitz to see what the words of a madman can accomplish, and this should be put in stark contrast with what the greatest words of the Messiah can accomplish for those who believe.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24
Lviv Campus Group
In a few days I will meet with a future campus minister and will officiate the wedding of Pastor Igor’s daughter, Sophia and Oleh, in Lviv. An old friend in the Lviv church told me last week, “Mike, look at all these new young people, and they will get married and have more young people!” And that’s exactly what’s happening here as the church has focused on youth and campus the last few years. We are looking forward to helping these key leaders better reach their generation.
Then we will travel to Ternopil to be with pastor Oleg to equip some amazing leaders and preach at their two services in their new building. I’m so humbled to see the resilient faith of my Ukrainian friends as they continue to plant new churches and pursue new outreach opportunities both in Ukraine and in other places in Europe while a war and economic crisis grips their country. They offer no excuses and just keep forging ahead!
Thanks for standing with us in this important mission, and we look forward to sending you part two once we get back around the middle of July. More remains to be done than has been done. God bless,
Mike and MyraView Original Newsletter