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2007 - October/November PDF Print E-mail

CROSSOVER MINISTRIES
239 Duke Road
Columbia, La. 71418
(318) 649-7720
Email: crossovermin@juno.com
October- December 2007
Crossover Ministries Associates

GREETINGS!
We greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Last
newsletter, we were worn out from camps, and feeling pretty depressed
after experiencing the down-time from all the excitement of the summer.
Now, things are becoming better, and we are beginning to see good fruits
from the work during the summer camps. Praise God for all He is doing
here in the Lugansk area. Sometimes, when we think things are coming to
an end, and we’ve done all we can do, that’s only when God is just
beginning a true work in the hearts of people. We tend to forget that
some sow, some water, but God gives all the increase!
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED & HELPED IN CAMPS!
We had two families who worked the whole summer with us--Sam and Angel,
and also Forrest, Darcy, Natasha, and Nicolas. We also had a young man,
Mike, from the church where Shane pastored for seventeen years who came
to spend the summer and work with us. We appreciate you all, along with
all the team members of all three camps.

 

First camp:
Zhennya, a young dorm parent who made a profession of faith at this camp
has been attending each week with us. Bro. Sammy Shipp and also Bro. Sam
had a big part in the stages of his new spiritual birth and first steps
with Christ. He is also regularly attending the in-depth Bible study each
week on Tuesday nights. Recently, he has had some trouble in his family.
His younger brother, who was in two of the camps, had a bad scooter wreck
after celebrations at a wedding, and came very close to his death. His
sister has also had some family problems. Because of some of these
problems, needing to work late, and some minor illness, he has had to
miss sometimes, so we ask that you pray for this young man to “press on”
in his walk, and not to be discouraged. He teaches at the Belerechinka
orphanage where we go for Bible studies each week with the children, so
we are able to keep in contact with him at least once each week, and he
also telephones often to let us know what is going on in his life. Again,
pray for Zhennya and his family.
There were many other children who made professions of faith, but most
are scattered throughout the region, and we have not been able to have
contact with each of them individually. Many are from families who won’t
allow them to attend any Bible study or church services outside their
traditional religion.

Second camp:
Bro. David, along with several others from North Monroe Baptist Church
and other places, came back to Ukraine for a week long follow-up type
time last week. In spite of the weather conditions, Shane said it was a
time of blessing, and they want to plan to do this each year. They held
Bible Studies, had church services in both the village and city, and
taught English classes.
One of the young interpreters we first met at English classes during the
time of preparation for camps began attending the church services in the
city before camps began. She made a profession of faith in Christ before
the camps, and then asked to be baptized at the second camp. She told me
one day she wanted to be baptized on her birthday, celebrating her second
birth on the same day as her physical birth. She was so excited, but her
parents did not allow it. She is continuing to attend services with the
city church fairly regularly.
A young man whose family is not of Christian religion made a profession
of faith at this camp. The North Monroe team members had a big part in
his new birth, and although he is afraid to tell his family, he is making
attempts to grow in his new faith, and keeps in contact with us from time
to time. Please pray for this young man.
These are just two of many who made professions of faith in this camp.
Many of these children are orphans where we do a continuing Bible study
each week. A group from the US, hosted by a ministry from Alabama called
Student Life/Hope for Orphans of the World, also did a week of Fall camp
with the orphans two weeks ago with Shane. Our ministry helped by
providing the interpreters, facilities, equipment, and food. Shane says
they were freezing in the cold buildings, but he was still encouraged.
This team left lifetime impressions on many tender hearts. The team
financed this camp, and brought about 24 people to work with the children
from Belerechinka and also the small orphanage in our own village. They
taught Bible studies and had worship times with the children, spent time
playing with them, and also worked on furniture, did building projects
for the orphanages, working on the projects with the children. Each week
when we go to the orphanage Bible studies, we see many of these young
faces who have expressed faith in Christ, and they will come to us with
their hugs and expressions of love.


Third camp:
There are two young ladies in particular from this camp who are now
regularly attending the city group with us, and who also volunteered
their help at the Fall camp for the orphans. Bro. Marty and his team
members were a big part of the ministry to these young ladies at the
third camp. These girls could possibly be future interpreters and church
helpers. They are very sweet kids, and we watch them as they open their
Bibles at the studies, and even take some notes as Shane teaches and
preaches. Please pray for these two girls.
There are about five others who were interpreters at the camps who are
now regularly attending the Bible studies in the city, and some are even
coming to the more advanced Bible studies with Shane on Tuesday nights.
Some of these have also expressed faith in Christ. We might possibly be
able to use one of the other local churches where we are having the
Tuesday night Bible studies for Baptism soon. We are hoping some will be
able to be baptized. Most are under eighteen, and many times, they won’t
be allowed to be baptized. Pray for all of these young people.
In each of these camps, we also had many, many Ukrainian people helping
in different jobs such as interpreter, dorm parents, sports and exercise,
leaders, guards, pool guards, library workers, toilet cleaners,
maintenance, cooks, camp cleaners, clothes washers, stage manager, stage
and sound system manager, music, children’s drama workers, helpers, and
then the bosses who also served in many aspects other than just bossing.
Ha! As you can see, there are many, many jobs to do at camp. We
appreciate you all, and pray that God blessed your life through this
great opportunity to serve these precious children that God has given us
responsibility for at these summer camps. We hope that these children saw
only the very best of each of us, and that the seeds of faith have been
planted deeply into their hearts. May God bless each and every one of you
who have served so faithfully in camps.

OUR THOUGHTS OF THE SUCCESS OF CAMP MINISTRY:
We have really been encouraged by the fruits we are beginning to see from
the ministries during the summer camps. As we look out into the faces of
the people who are faithful in the different groups, we understand that
most of them have been reached through the intense ministry times of the
camps.
Ministry here in Ukraine is usually very hard and discouraging. People
don’t just flock to Bible studies, ministries, or personal witness in
droves as in some places. We have heard that when the Berlin Wall fell,
and communist times ended here, the people did do that, and there were
filled churches with people begging to hear. One pastor and his wife were
ministering here at that time, and they remember those times when this
was happening. The pastor is a Ukrainian man who speaks fluent English.
His wife was an American missionary who came to live here during those
first years. They were here for several years, and then went to America
for five years during which time he went to an American seminary school,
and now they returned to continue the work here in Ukraine. They are now
sponsored by American churches. He also has a ministry to some of the
orphans and has two church groups he pastors. His city building is the
one we use for the Tuesday night Bible studies. We meet together
sometimes to talk, and they express how much different ministry in
Ukraine has become since they were here years ago. They too say that it
is a struggle.
We have discussed the problems of ministry in Ukraine, and believe that
the camps are one aspect of ministry where we are open and free to spend
much needed time with the generation to come, teaching and training them
one on one for fifteen intense days. Some of them attend two or three of
the camps, so these we are able to spend sometimes up to 48 days with
them, in deep discipleship time with some.
Few camps in Ukraine are given such liberty to work with the children one
on one as we are able to do here at “Camp Friendship”. Although we don’t
try to brainwash the children, we have much opportunity to present to
them the message of Christ. We are able to give each of them a Bible,
spend an hour each morning in Bible study time, and then have worship
service time and preaching about an hour each evening. After we thought
of that, we considered that if these children come to every single camp,
which many of the orphan children do, then they would have attended a
total of 42 Sunday School type classes and 42 worship and preaching
services within that time. That would almost equal to the same amount of
time an average American child from a Christian family would attend
church in the US within one year. If a child attends two camps, it would
almost equal a time of six months of normal church attendance. Many
children attend two or three of the camps each summer. We know that these
compressed days of summer camp cannot compare to a year of consistent
teaching and training, but what we do think, is that these children are
sent home with much more Bible knowledge and deeper spiritual thinking
than most living here in Ukraine. Therefore, we believe that these
children who are being affected by this witness may in turn go home and
possibly also affect the lives of those around them in their homes. If
they come back to camp each summer for much of their young lives, it
would give them the opportunity to continue in their spiritual growth
year after year. We know many of these young people like this who are now
faithful Christian young men and women who were first affected by this
Christian camp. These are steadily becoming old enough to be the leaders
of the church today. Within our own group of young leadership, we
personally have approximately six or more who were affected in their
younger lives by this camp in the past.
After considering all of these aspects, and seeing the continuing growth
of ministry use of this camp ground, we believe that it is well worth the
money and effort being put into it. God is steadily building and growing
the ministry around this little spot. All the time now, in different
places we go, we meet people whose children attended the camps, and when
we tell them we are the crazy Americans who are doing the summer camps in
Pavlovka, they always seem to have a good attitude towards us. We hope as
time goes on, this will also open more doors of witness opportunity to
these parents.
A number of invitations are given to the coal mine as part of the
maintenance-lease agreement on the camp, but we are glad to host all of
these children. Many of the invitations go to the orphans at the big
orphanage in Belerechinka. Other invitations are given out, sometimes as
rewards to the children by the schools, police, fire department, and
other organizations. We have been encouraged by the head doctor and the
welfare department in our area to continue the camps because it is much
needed for the children. These children are all attending free of charge,
and it costs a lot of money, but we figured an average amount for
year-round total upkeep and cost of the camps, and it ended up being
about $90 per child who attended camp this year. We believe this is a
small amount compared to the tremendous ministry this camp is worth here
in Ukraine. Although the facilities are old we are told the camp facility
is one of the best in the whole country. The camp is a great tool for
future ministry, and we are hoping to use it for many other things during
the off season.
After the three big camps which this ministry sponsored and financed, we
also had three other summer camps done by other ministries. One other big
youth camp was sponsored by the Franklin Graham Ministry and done through
the Baptist Union from this region of Ukraine. Another smaller camp was
sponsored and carried out by a few of the Baptist churches in our
surrounding area, and still another small private camp was sponsored and
done by a local non-denominational pastor from our area. The last camp
for the year was sponsored and carried out by the Alabama group for the
orphans, so we had a total of seven camps this year. We also have had an
American-sponsored one day medical clinic, we offered the facilities to
house some wrestling professionals, housed an American family who came to
adopt one of the orphan children, housed the team from North Monroe
Baptist Church on the campgrounds, and as I have mentioned, we now are
housing a young orphan boy who was at the between-age for the orphanage
home and a trade-type school he can attend. When a child turns age
sixteen, he/she is given an amount of money by the state, and is sent
away to make it on his/her own. Many of these kids are advanced enough
already to attend one of the type of government sponsored trade schools
where they are provided room and board, and given meals each day, but
some are not advanced enough to go yet when they reach the age of being
put out of the orphanage home. This young man is staying with us and
attending his last year of normal school in Pavlovka before he goes to
the boarding trade school. He is a good boy, but has not had much
personal teaching and love. We are trying to teach and train him with
survival skills that he can use for life. Please pray for him. His name
is Bogdon--meaning “Gift from God.”
As you can see, God is steadily building the ministry here at the camp,
not just using these grounds for three camps, but also for many other
opportunities. We hope that we will one day be able to winterize some of
the buildings so that they can be used throughout the year for different
things instead of only during the warm times.
NOW IS THE TIME TO COMMIT TO HELP WITH THE CAMPS! If you are interested
please contact us, and we will be glad to tell you how you can be a part!
Please don’t underestimate the value of a short term trip. You would be
amazed at testimonies from those who were spiritually affected by a
believer coming for only a few days to share the love of Christ. The love
and high energy a short term missionary can offer often produces a
spontaneous yet lasting effect.


DATES FOR CHILDREN’S CAMPS NEXT YEAR WILL BE THE FOLLOWING:
Camp I: JUNE 14 - 28; Camp II: JULY 5 - 19; Camp III: JULY 26 - AUGUST
9---- we can help you coordinate your trip

GROUP UPDATES:
We were sorry to see our “church house” building be taken over and
remodeled into a mechanic shop just before the summer got started. We
moved out right after the first camp started, but the place had already
become a construction zone, and for a few weeks was getting more and more
chaotic. We were so busy during the camps, so when they were over, we did
not try immediately to find another building to meet with this group
since almost all of the people who attended faithfully were actually
serving in different ways at the summer camps with us for many Sundays of
the summer. After camps were over, many of the group were ready for
vacations, and were scattered for another couple of weeks, so we took the
time to get much needed rest. I think the depression came because of many
changes which had happened. Our sweet baby girl Mary moved back to the US
to live with her grandparents at the beginning of the summer, and when we
came back from camps, it was so lonesome without her here with us. Also,
there was a lot of change in our worker’s lives. Dima, one of our main
interpreters and also the one who helped lead at the city group, has
moved on, and chose to attend church with a group of a different worship
style. Although we knew his style was not exactly as our own, and maybe
some of his beliefs were different, we were still not expecting his
sudden departure. He is no longer interpreting for the group or for our
family, but has offered to help with other activities such as camps, when
groups visit, or for written translations. Right now, we are not sure
what his role will be with the Ukrainian ministry organization. Because
of summer camps, we have not been able to meet officially in a little
while, but we are in constant contact with all the members, and most of
them participated in the camps with us during the summer and know what
the ministry organization is sponsoring and doing. We hope to meet with
all very soon.

Lugansk City Group:
About three weeks after camps, we located a place for the city worship
group. It is very hard to find a building which is reasonably priced and
still in a good location, so we chose to rent a Chinese Restaurant which
is very near the center of the city and not a far walking distance for
most of those who attend.
The first week, we met in a small park to pray with everyone, and we were
actually pretty surprised that about twenty people showed up that first
day to pray with us. Several were workers from the camps who attend
universities in the city. We prayed, Shane gave a short devotion, and
then we decided to check on renting a school. The school location did not
work out, but circumstances are not bad at the restaurant.
The good thing about this new location is that already, it is almost too
small for our group. We have been averaging a total each Sunday of about
25 people with several first-time attendees who were workers or students
at the camps this past summer. This group has really been affected by the
camp ministry, and we are seeing the fruits. We had an early Thanksgiving
type service, invited everyone to come, and fed them some of the Chinese
food cooked by the restaurant. WOW! We had a record attendance! There was
over forty people who showed up that day, and after looking at the crowd,
we realized that most of them already attend church off and on, and some
on a regular basis. So…if everyone comes at one time, the city group has
over forty people who are not new faces to us.

Village Group:
The first few weeks after camp, we were really discouraged by the
attendance in the village. These people just don’t seem to see the
importance of studying and worship. I think many just come if they have
nothing else to do. One Sunday not long ago, we were encouraged with a
house full! Some who had almost stopped attending, returned that week.
But…first thing, two of the ladies went off to the side to have a
“discussion” about some problems they had with each other, and with one
of their children, and it got loud for a few minutes. Both of them
finally came on in for Bible study, but we weren’t sure if they would
continue to come to Bible study together. This is the hard thing about
ministry in the village. People know so much of one another’s business
and life that they can’t seem to get along well enough to even start
attending church together. We have now moved to the school location
again, and we’re hoping this might encourage others to come back. I think
some are too shy to come to our home for church, and some think there may
not be enough room to sit. We try to help the school with different
projects, so this is a type of rent for being able to use the building to
meet.
We still have heard nothing else from the family we were trying to
purchase the small house in the village from. Business in Ukraine is so
ridiculous, and you never know if people are being truthful. We have
given only a small amount of money, but the family had gotten into
conflict over who actually owned the house, and now it is stuck in limbo.
Pray for that to be worked out so that we can get this house and land.
Although the house is considered unlivable in its present condition, the
land is near the center of the village in a very good location, so we
possibly could do repair on the house or build something there for future
ministry use.

NEEDS:
1. We now have an opportunity to purchase a piece of land with an older
house sitting on it in a very good location in the city, the house is in
poor condition but the property is in a great location for ministry. The
price is reasonable, but we do not have the finances to purchase. This
property was once used in ministry, and was sold to the family of one of
the Christian young ladies. Although they are taking bids, they are
giving us first chance to buy, and right now, the price is approximately
$ 26,000. This place sits near the main highway in the city, and is very
close to where most of the people who attend the city group lives.
2. We need teams to commit to work and help to finance 2008 summer camps.
Last year, we had a large build-up of finances which we were able to use
for the first year of camps, but now we will need to depend on new
donations from churches, individuals, and groups. These camps are very
fruitful, and have been the most effective means we have had in the
ministry in Ukraine so far. But…they take financing and commitment from
workers! If we will continue these camps, we must have help from you!
This is a huge effort! These are not minor undertakings! We house, feed,
teach, preach to, and entertain close to 300 children for fifteen days
three times in the summer. This takes people working together, and
building teams and financing together. Remember, this is the only church
most of these children will ever be able to attend in their whole
childhood stages of life where they are most influenced by the things
around them! We believe this will be the generation which will greatly
affect Ukraine! My personal opinion is that our time to minister
aggressively here is short, I don’t think this present freedom will last
long as we know it.
If we are to carry on these camps we need your help, you are welcome as
God leads to come over and help us and we need financial assistance.
The only rent we are charged on this camp ground is upkeep and a
commitment to invite a percentage of the coal miner‘s children to attend
camps each summer, so most of your commitment goes directly to teach,
house, and feed these children for camp. This is a big camp, so it costs
to pay year-round workers to keep things taken care of. There are extra
workers during camp season, electric cost, and keeping camp maintenance
needs supplied in order to continue the camps for the children. If you
want to commit to a particular project, we can show you some needs and
you could consider a project to sponsor. We can estimate an amount it
would take to supply food for a camp, an amount it would cost to buy
sports equipment such as soccer balls, nets, table tennis sets,
basketballs, hula hoops, children’s balls, swimming floaties, softballs,
bats, and a number of other things. We could estimate an amount it would
take to supply electricity, an amount to keep the swimming pool operable,
an amount to buy Bibles for each child who needs them, an amount to pay
for crafts, or an amount to pay for interpreters or workers. Or you could
sponsor a certain number of children or just give to the general fund. By
God grace we hope to do more than necessary to maintain ministry presence
here.
Thank you for your prayers and help to us for ministry here and from
those we are connected with in other parts of the world. We continue
connections with past ministry associates trying to encourage and help in
any way we can.

God Bless you all!
Keep pressing on!
Shane, Marilyn, Mary, and Caleb Duke
Crossover Ministries Associates

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 July 2008 )
 
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