joomla template by Joomlashack
2007 - March/April PDF Print E-mail

239 Duke Road
Columbia, La. 71418


St. Sverdlova 69, Novopavlovka
Lutugino Region, Lugansk District 92022

March - April 2007 Newsletter

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus!


       When sending packages or letters to Ukraine, please just put only our names above it --
NOT the name of any organization, as this calls for inspections on mail listed as such.

       This has been a busy year. By the grace of God, we have successfully opened our ministry organization, and are getting better organized for our purposes. It has been a challenging process, and frustrating at times with both the legal and business system here. Anton, one of the young men who interprets for us, has helped a lot with getting this done, and we surely appreciate all his efforts. We depend on him a lot for different things, and he is so responsible, but he is also going to the university. Please pray for Anton for strength to keep pressing on. He likes that motto.Our Ukraine ministry president is a young man that served with us the first year we arrived in Ukraine, and he was Shane’s camp interpreter and later our personal ministry partner. His name is Sasha Petrov. We grew to love and respect Sasha as a Christian brother in Christ, and believe he will serve well. He is planning to be married in the near future, and has a beautiful Christian fiancйe who is the daughter of a preacher. This young lady also speaks fluent English and lived in the US for about two years where she got her degree. We have only briefly met her, but from the time we spent with her, she seemed to be an extremely wise and sweet young lady. We hope and pray the best for both of them, and ask that you also pray for them.

       We have secured a documented long term agreement with the mine on use of the camp. It is about as good as a formal legal agreement as legality goes here. Honestly speaking, most ministry investments in Ukraine are at risk. We have done, and are still doing much repair to the camp. After spending more than $20,000 this year on repairs alone, more is still needed. Our thoughts are to fix the camp right and enjoy the benefits for coming years rather than to do a little here and there, and never really have all resources in full production. We have five camps scheduled for this summer, a camp for the fall, and another
       team is scheduled to stay this fall. There are other activities pending, so we are trying to make adjustments in the schedule to accommodate them.

       We have been trying to prepare our Ukrainian camp team, working with interpreters, and with ministry and physical laborers of all kind. We need to buy about 100 new beds, new appliances, and we need to build new toilets. If we could winterize some buildings, there are many activities that we could do during the winter. We have some help coming from the US, at least a few teachers/workers in all three children’s camps, a young couple, and a YWAM missionary family who have committed to spending the summer with us to help with the camps, and we are also developing a Ukrainian team. There is also one young YWAM missionary coming with the WYAM family from another city in Ukraine to help this summer. Seldom do you have opportunity to sow seed in hearts as tender as children. We pray that these children will leave these camps with sweet memories, Godly wisdom, virtue, knowledge, and a heart full of the love of God. May they know the love of God which Paul describes in Ephesians 3. We plan to run 210 children in each of the three kid’s camps.



First camp -- (Open for help! Bro. Sammy Shipp will be coming from Louisiana,
but we need other workers, and it‘s still not too late to plan!
Camp dates: June 9th - June 23rd

Second Camp -- (North Monroe Team sponsored)
Camp dates: June 30th - July 14th

Third Camp -- (Lafayette, La. Baptist Association has a few team members, but we could use more help!)
Camp dates: July 21st - August 4th

IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE TO PLAN TO COME OVER TO HELP WITH CAMPS! Email us at our address, and we’ll try to help you get started planning to come and help in the camps!

       If you’d like to sponsor a child for camp, it is $ 50 per child. Many of the children attending camps are orphans, so we’re glad to be able to give them an opportunity to do something extra. These children seldom get to do extra activities because of the low budgets the orphanages have to operate on.


We appreciate those who have already given for some of the children to attend camp!

       There will be an Eastern Ukraine follow-up youth camp after the Franklin Graham crusade in Kiev in the Fall. We will be hosting 500 youth and workers. This promises to maximize every resource we have as a camp. The ministry team will be entirely Ukrainian, as far as we know, and the kids attending will be from four states in Ukraine.

       We finally got our jeep back. It's not 100% right, but it's running. I don't think the repair to the engine will last long, but when it breaks, maybe we can fix it right. It's hard to fight the system here. Most of you know we went to court becasue of the bad engine that came in the jeep. We didn't win, and we had to pay for the repair, but we gave them something to think about. I hope they will consider before they treat someone else like that.

       Bible studies and church services continue with steady attendance. However, feuding also continues among members--“babushka fights,” I call it, mostly just saying bad things about each other. We long for the day when this yah-yah will end. Now gardening is in full swing, so our groups gathering, except in the city, are being affected. We are still averaging around twenty attending in the city and the village each Sunday.
       Alec continues doing well in his studies. He has become a tremendous help to us, and has proven his ability as a carpenter. Just a few months ago, he had never used electric tools, but now he is producing and repairing furniture for camp use. He is also a great help with the Sunday school classes, teaching the smallest age group, and he helps with the Bible studies at the orphanage each week. During Bible studies at Mala-Urivka, he always has something pretty wise to say from things he’s learned in scripture. Please pray for Alec. He needs you all to lift him and his family up daily.
       Several of our young men have gotten together, and they play pretty good for a beginning band. This has been very encouraging, and we are enjoying the music. Victalic is really shining as a musician, and is daily improving with his English skills.
       Yeagor is also playing on a bass guitar and Dima is playing the drums, along with some other musicians. This has become a good ministry for these young men. They are practicing often now, and hopefully will be ready for the camps this summer. We’d sure like for them to minister with their talents for the children.
       Annya is a young lady from the city church group that is also a true jewel. She is always ready to serve, and we appreciate the efforts she has put into the ministry work
with this group and at the camps. She is improving on her English skills every day, and
hopes to interpret soon, but she is a wonderful children’s teacher also.
       Many of you know Sveta Bondar. She has spent a while in the US in college, training to be a child counselor. She has also been the camp stage worker for a few years now, and all the kids have loved her. Sveta has been a big asset in helping us with the camp organization and getting things ready for the last few weeks, and we appreciate her work. She is now teaching English in one of the schools, but she also tutors students. She is now helping to prepare the English students for interpreting in the camps, and Shane reports that she has done a fine job. Sveta has a lot of vision and dreams, so please pray for her that God will lead her in the right direction, and that she will have the courage to follow His leadership in all that she does.
There have been many changes in the past months--changes in laws and wages, but still, opportunities are limited. We continue to pray, asking God to make us most effective. He is giving vision and hope, and I see his hand working in the lives of some that God has given us to shepherd.

       We have a survey team coming in a few days to consider the possibility of developing some type of Agriculture Ministry here. Our folks need practical teaching that can help them become self supporting in the long run. There is a tendency to become dependant here, whether it be from government or ministry helps. If this program develops, it will help us build needed relationships. Our folks are skeptical of almost everything, with good reason. They need time to consider. Pushing them to make decisions is not effective ministry, and only leads to future disappointment. Step by step they must grow in grace and knowledge. We believe that one of the people groups we could help most with agricultural ministry are the older orphans who are too old to live in the homes and have no work nor anyone to mentor them. If possible, we need a program that goes from production, to preservation, to marketing. This would help provide skills and opportunity for mentorship that is badly needed.

       Shane visited with us in the US just long enough to get his expired visa renewed again, and then he returned to Ukraine to get back to the work on preparing for camps and organizing the ministry legal issues. He is lonesome, but is staying busy and getting lots of things done. We now have a legal Ukrainian ministry, and Shane has successfully transferred our camp workers into our organization so that we can begin to pay their salaries and taxes through our ministry.

       Mary will be staying in the US while Caleb and I will return on May 21st. Although I am looking forward to going back home to be with Shane, I am so sad to be leaving our baby girl. Shane says he is already feeling lonesome for her, especially when he needs to go into her bedroom for something. We have cried, and I know we’ll continue to cry, but I just pray that God will take care of her, and lead and guide her the rest of her life. She is a good girl, and we love her very much. Although she isn’t nearly grown, I am amazed sometimes at how much wisdom she shows in everyday life situations that she has already had to face, and just pray that God will continue to bless her with His strength and wisdom. She does very well in her school work, and has a promising future ahead of her. I know God has a good plan for her life, and wants to use her talents and abilities for His glory. I just hope she will follow in His footsteps. Thank you to all who have given so much to our family, and who have been such sweet Christian witnesses to our children. I know they will always cherish the good memories with different Christian people we have encountered throughout our lives, and they will have that witness to help them in their own lives. Please pray for Mary always!

       Caleb is doing well and spending lots of time with Mamaw and Papaw, and especially his little cousin Duke. He sure loves that boy, and his tender side comes out when he’s taking care of him. I believe that Caleb will be such a good daddy some day. Caleb has so many projects going in Ukraine that he has a hard time coming to the US now. He misses all his rabbits, chickens, kitties, dog, his new puppy, and all his gardening and building projects. I’ve never seen a child his age be such a workaholic before. He would work outside from sun-up to sun-down if we’d let him. Caleb is a salesman, and I believe he could survive any place he ended up being. Last summer, he helped with most of the gardening and juiced and canned lots of tomatoes, made several big jars of homemade dill pickles, made homemade kool-aid with the fruits, and froze other vegetables. With him around, we even had a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, and off and on we get fresh chicken and rabbit. He takes good care of his chickens, so we also keep stocked up with eggs. We usually even have some left which he sells at a much cheaper price than what the store charges, and people feud over who will buy them because they like the price and the way he cleans them up before he’ll sell ‘em. We’re proud of Caleb. He’s also the only one of all of us who can really speak the language well enough to carry on a normal conversation without struggling with just the everyday speech. The rest of us really struggle, although Shane is improving. Caleb tries to tell us how to speak correctly, but I suppose it’s hard to teach an older dog new tricks. Pray for Caleb, and for us as we also try to learn the Russian language.

       Mike Cockrell will be coming over to Ukraine when we return this month, and I know Caleb will really enjoy having someone who can speak English around and who can understand his culture and thinking a little bit better. We pray that Mike will have opportunities to be a good witness to all the little boys and girls, and even the adults while he is with us. He plans to try to show some good Christian films while he is there, and we hope to give him the chance to give his testimony to the kids in camp.

       We hear good things from Bro. Reuben Gilchrist, and trust that he is serving the Lord faithfully. He hopes to soon go completely full-time in the mission ministry so that he can go into Mexico for longer stays and greater opportunity. In the past, he needed to continue a school bus route in order to keep the health insurance due to family illnesses. Please pray for their family as they make this huge step of commitment.

       We continue to hear good reports from Bro. Moses Shah, and sometimes he is even sending a telegram for help to us to come over to India and serve. Our Indian brothers and sisters sometimes have a hard field, and many tough situations arise. This country is not always kind toward the Christian faith, and their people struggle to serve God without being persecuted mentally and physically each day. Moses sends many testimonies of sweet times of deliverance from God! Please pray for this country and the Christians who are serving there.

Lesson of life sentence:
       Before, I had read about the people of the Soviet Union standing in line for hours for bread. Since we have moved here, I understand better what it means to have money and to not be able to buy what you need. We were so used to going around stores in the US and finding anything. You only needed money to buy. Here, we go shopping, and even though we have money, we just hope to find what we need. I actually heard a babushka (grandmother) testifying the other night about praying that she could find the simple things she needed for home repair, and she told of how God vivaciously provided things that we had taken for granted before.


       We appreciate all the prayers, financial support, and gifts you’ve given through Crossover Ministries. It is because of you that we are able to remain on the field here in Ukraine. When we first came, our thoughts were on staying possibly three years and then rethinking our vision and asking God to direct our steps from there. Now, we are committed to stay as long as God leads, and realize that we may be in Ukraine longer than just three years. Many have asked this question, and we ask that you pray for us to just be willing to follow as God leads, and not to have selfish hearts as we make decisions in where we choose to serve God. The fields in Lugansk, Ukraine are so dry and barren, and the people are in such great need for someone to stay and encourage them. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine, and we love the people we are working around and with. We ask that you continue to always lift them up to the Lord! They need you! We need you! Please keep us in your prayers!

We love you all!
God Bless!
Keep Pressing ON!
Shane, Marilyn, Mary, and Caleb Duke
Crossover Ministries and associates

Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 July 2008 )
< Prev   Next >
joomla template by Joomlashack
joomla template by Joomlashack
Joomla Template by Joomlashack
free joomla templates joomla tutorials joomla themes