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2010 - March/April PDF Print E-mail
239 Duke Road
Columbia, La. 71418
(318) 649-5452
March - April 2010

Hello to all from Ukraine! We were supposed to have arrived back in
Ukraine from America a few weeks ago, but because of slow visa returns
and then the volcano problems, we had a long delay. We left on May 1st,
and have been here for almost a week now. While in America, we had
already started to plan for camps, working through emails back and forth
to a sweet missionary friend who is now living in our home in Lugansk,
and will be working in camps with us again this summer. She started
meeting with interpreters and workers, gathering workers and practicing
with interpreters. We so appreciate God's provision in ministry in
sending Lori to help. We are thankful to Lori for her faithfulness.
Because of the excessive rise in expense due to the failing economy all
over the world, we made the decision early in the year to cancel one of
the children's camps we usually have. We will have two children's camps
and one youth camp instead.
This will be the camp schedule:
Camp One--June 13 - 26 -- Sponsor/Coordinator team is Student Life with
the help of summer camp workers
Camp Two--July 4 - 17 -- Sponsor/Coordinator is North Monroe Baptist
Church with the help of summer camp workers
Youth Camp--July 25 - 31 -- Sponsor/Coordinator -- Bro. Jay Morgan with
the help of summer workers
Anyone who is interested in coming to Ukraine to work in camps, please
contact us as soon as possible. We are so thankful that Dylan and Mary,
and even Caleb will be coming to work this year in our youth camp in
July! Dylan was a little bit nervous about the commitment it will take
for them financially, but I think they are happy with their final
decision. I think they will be blessed. If I'm not mistaken, this will be
Dylan's first mission experience outside America, and it will be the
first Friendship Ukrainian Youth camp for both Dylan and Mary. Mary has
worked in children's camp every year since 2005 with us, but was never
able to be in the youth camp at Camp Friendship. Caleb has always been a
big help with taking care of the camp water boiler. We are looking
forward to that time with them!
This year, the cost will be $155 to sponsor a child in camp. Please send
donations to Crossover Ministries at the address above. Our full capacity
for camp will be 240 kids. All gifts are tax deductible.
We are all excited that Alec will be returning to Ukraine soon to bring
his daughter back home, and possibly to work in the summer camps one last
time! I think Shane has truly missed him as a friend. They have talked on
the phone several times from America to China, and it is always so
comical to listen to them communicate...Alec in his Russian with a
Chinese accent and Shane in the language we all call "Shaneski" since
Alec pretty much taught him. They do very well getting things across with
the limited ability to speak each other's languages. It is ironic that
Shane has always wanted to go to China, and now he has the connection
through a Chinese who was imported to Ukraine, speaking Russian as the
common language that brought them together! We have really grown to love
this Chinese man, along with many others in our group!

The very first day we arrived back in Ukraine, we set to work on
communication with American teams, trying to work out all schedules and
team travel plans. We have some really good team leaders, as always, and
we appreciate the efforts they put into their ministry work! One lady
from Alabama has been such a blessing for us for several years now. Not
only does she coordinate teams through Student Life, but she also comes
with them to camps every time she can. We sure do love her, and wouldn't
know what to do without her faithfulness in serving our Lord with her
organizational skills. Her name is Mrs. Micki. She will be serving in
camp one. Another leader we grew to love from the past is Bro. David
McCormick. He has moved to another work now, and we will surely miss him
so much this year in camp. We appreciate the years of service he gave to
the camps! Their team leader this year will be Bro. Jay George from North
Monroe Baptist Church. He has been a big blessing just since the start of
preparations so far. He is quick to respond and it has been a pleasure
corresponding with him so far. We look forward to working with him in
camp this year, along with their adult team and also their youth leader,
Bro. Steve Spence. We have worked with Bro. Steve in years past, and he
is great to work alongside. He gives 100% in working with the youth and
keeping them organized and ready to go! We are looking forward to their
youth group, and especially looking forward to this year. Their pastor,
Bro. Bill Dye, from North Monroe, will be coming with his two sons for
camp this year as well! We are excited to be able to work with their
whole team! Also, for second camp, there is a group of youth from the
Church of Brook Hills in Alabama. We are excited to work with them as
well. Bro. Wes Sullivan will be their guide. I don't think I've met him
yet, but we are excited to have their youth group coming to work in camp
this summer as well. The youth camp will be taking the spot of the third
camp this year. Bro. Jay Morgan will be bringing a team of workers for
it. We have worked with some of them in the past, and they are a sweet
group of people! Bro. Jay is so much fun, along with his very sweet wife,
Mrs. Teresa! It looks like this camp will have a good group again! We
were sorry that some of them won't be able to return because of the date
change. We will miss them!
We also have a group of people who will be coming for part or most of the
summer! Several young people, including David, the young man who stayed
with us for several months of the year about a year ago. Bro. Jeff
Robinson will also be spending the summer with us, coming in May and
staying until August. He has been coming to work in Ukraine each year
since the very first year we were here. We arrived in May of 2005, and he
came in February 2006. This will the first time he will spend this long.
Bro. Jeff surrendered to mission work a few months ago, and is doing
preacher supply, mission trips, and other evangelistic work right now. We
have four young ladies staying the whole summer, including Madison, a
young lady we have grown to love. Two other young ladies will be staying
through the second camp, and Sam and Angel Mason are a young couple who
have been coming for summer camps since the second year we were in
Ukraine. They are bringing a friend, and staying for two camps, and then
Sam and his friend will travel on to another country after leaving here.
We are excited about how God has put these teams together and given a
desire in people's hearts to come all the way to Ukraine to minister to
our children here! May God truly bless and start a continuing revival in
the hearts of the little ones of this country! Thank you all for giving
to the Lord.
One of the first things Shane had to start doing is going with Vera to
visit the departments who watch over our camp! These are the fire
department and sanitation. The fire department was friendly, but told us
we had to make at least one major improvement like putting a fire alarm
in any building we choose, but not the cheaper American style would
do...only the expensive Ukrainian style with buttons and lights. We don't
always understand their demands, but we know we must sometimes work with
their laws even if others don't. The sanitation department was very
friendly, and always with a lot of "suggestions" for what would make the
camp better, but they did tell us that we must improve one dorm, and make
it in excellent condition with new linoleum, repairs, and night stands or
closets for clothing. Everything else was just common policy that needs
to be done, but is often hard, or seemingly impossible to do in our
situation. One thing they told us to do is chlorinate the water. Last
year they did not agree, but now they believe it is healthy.
We have also met with the lady we call "Big Mama" at Belerechinka
orphanage, and Max, the teacher/sports worker we hire each year. It was
good to see them all again, and to speak with Mikael, the orphanage
director. We visited the orphanage as usual on Tuesday, but the kids are
out of school on a vacation, so they were closed up inside the dorms, and
some were reluctant at first about coming outside. The weather has been
beautiful every single day since we've been home, but everyone said that
only a few days before it was still a little cold. I guess we hit our
return just right. The kids eventually came outside to play. Forrest and
Darcy had brought their crew, along with Darcy's mom and her friends who
are all here on a visit. They played frisby, hop scotch, and jump rope
with the kids while we visited for a while, and then headed to the city
for Bible Study and interpreter classes. We had a good group of
interpreters, and a good class of Bible study students. Many of our
normal interpreters attend the normal Tuesday night Bible classes each
week. I was happy to see that two of the girls who have attended the
camps came to interpreter classes hoping to become interpreters this
year. I was impressed by their skills at such a young age. We will
definitely need more interpreters than normal for second camp since about
40 Americans are supposed to be there!
On Thursday, we had a good time with the small advanced Bible study
group. Because every one of them speak English pretty well, Shane
actually taught the lesson completely in English without an interpreter.
After it was over, Yeagor pointed out that this was the very first time
he'd ever heard Shane teach without interruption before. We focused on
the verse in Micah 6:8 about walking humbly before God as you do good to
your fellow man. He also covered the verses at the end of Matthew 10
about taking up your cross and following after the Lord, and about a
person's loving the Lord more than father or mother. I think this is what
our group needs...because they are approaching the time that most of them
are either graduating from their universities or actually reaching the
places when they should be growing up in maturity and making decisions
about following Christ in their lives. Until this time, their lives have
been pretty much controlled by the circumstances of school and parents.
Now it will be time for them to step up and make their own way. We are
very anxious to see the directions that they will choose, whether to walk
with God or to return back to walk in the ways of the world. God has
raised up leaders in this group, and Shane discussed about that on
Thursday morning. He talked about how we can begin to prepare to meet in
small groups and try to reach out to all different kinds of groups
throughout the city and villages. We are praying that God will give each
of them insight as to what type of group to gather, and a place that they
will be comfortable meeting. Yeagor brought out the fact that many people
he might choose to talk with would, in reality, think he had lost his
mind if he asked them to meet with him to study the Bible. We know that
Yeagor isn't ashamed to be called a Believer, and he defended that point,
but he knows well that many people will not respond to the traditional
way of "invitation to come to my Bible study" style as many of us are
accustomed to doing in America and even in other countries around the
world. It is hard, and we have been here in Ukraine long enough to know
to have compassion on Believers who really want to reach the lost, but
just don't know quite how to "break through the ice" of the Ukrainian way
of life in order to share the gospel with them in a way that they will
respond even in the slightest degree! Please pray for Ukraine, and for
the future of the ministry here in Ukraine.
Shane recently attended a church planting meeting in America, and
although he was very encouraged by the plan itself, and wants to use this
method with our groups in Ukraine, we were also considering America as
well. We are many times so adamant in our demands to mission field
workers around the world away from American soil, but what are we
expecting from Christian laborers in America in comparison to what we
demand from others? It is probably safe to say that very few Americans
have led a Bible study or invited people into their homes and lives for
Spiritual matters before. Yes! There are many churches located all around
us everywhere, especially in the south...and radio and TV programs
galore! But...none of this personal outreach, not even a church which is
meeting just long enough to hurriedly teach a lesson, sing a few hymns,
preach a short sermon, and then run to be first for the meal at the local
restaurant and on to our homes for an afternoon nap or football game. I
know some are reaching out, but in comparison to what we demand around
the world, America is slack, and is going backwards!!! Few churches are
having high attendance, and very few have faithful believers who really
are reaching out to bring others outside the church walls to Christ.
Ukraine is a tiny nation in comparison to America. It is almost like
seeing 1/50th of the rest of our nation as a whole. It is like a large
state with many people living in it. What state could you think of in
America which has little Christian value or influence! Maybe it is time
that some of us become missionaries in our own country, and begin
reaching out in a different way than we ever have before...maybe even
picking up and moving away from our own comfort zones, and some just
needing to start inviting others into our homes for Bible studies and
prayer...not the typical church friend we normally want to invite, but
those who are around us that have not been touched by the gospel before.
We all need to pray and consider what God would have us to begin to do in
our own land as well.
Yura is still studying in Kiev at an American Bible college, and seems to
be growing in the Lord tremendously. We love that boy, and miss him being
here in Lugansk region and at the camp close with us. He will be free for
the summer, and is planning to return to Lugansk to work with Shane all
summer long, in camp and in other ministry. He shows a great desire to
walk and talk with Shane, and to work alongside him in both of them
growing together in the Lord. These young people have taught both of us
so much since we arrived a few years ago thinking we know the solution to
all of the problems of Ukraine and even of the world. Yes! We do have the
solution, but He is in Spirit and Truth, and not within the simple mind
of any human thought or pattern. He knows the hearts of all people, and
guides us into the ways we need to go. He is our God!
Shane has now decided to repaint our house. It has been known by all of
the American teams as the house with all the colors...a Ukrainian
cultural home! Shane chose the colors before we came to Ukraine. Our kids
have always called it smurf colors. Well, Shane thought we should go back
to the same colors since it's like the traditional Ukrainian colors, so
we set out to buy our paint. I had actually wanted it to be neutral
colors, but Shane disagreed, so he asked the boy who will paint it what
he thought about the neutral colors. He said the neutral colors are
depressing. haha! So...I finally gave in and told Shane it was okay to do
it the "same" as it was before. Already, in the store, I tried to tell
him that the blue color he was buying was much darker than the blue that
is there right now. He would not listen. He said the old paint had simply
faded. I disagreed, and so does anyone else who sees it. Without thinking
about what he instructed, Shane gave the dark, bright blue paint to
Victalic and told him to paint it all just the same! know what
that meant to a Ukrainian who does not understand English ideas? Yes! He
went to work painting even the natural part of the brick "just the
same"--all of it the bright, dark blue. (haha!) When Shane finally went
to look at his job, the bright paint was already about three feet across.
Well, now we had a problem! We sure didn't know how to take the paint
back off the natural brick. I thought about it, and then decided the only
thing to do is paint it on the other side about the same space. Poor boy,
he didn't know what to think. He only knew that he was given bright, dark
blue paint and told to paint it all the same. What Shane actually meant
was paint everything on the walls exactly as it had been before...not all
the same, as in "all of the wall being one color." (haha!) After giving
further thought, I decided we'd just paint over the blue on the brick to
match the wall on our house with the same color brown on the office walls
beside it. We decided to finish the windows in blue, but made the
decision to paint the big gate with a dark natural green color instead of
the bright, dark blue, and all of the bottom just as it was before. We've
already had two or three comments from the villagers about our "decision"
to paint the walls the dark blue, and one lady even instructed us to
paint the walls in the neutral colors that I had at first wanted. I can
still remember the first few days we were living in the village when many
of the Ukrainians told us how ugly the colors were. Many Ukrainians are
beginning to turn to neutral colors themselves. It is always interesting
to live in this culture as we think so differently, and things just
sometimes seem to get all mixed up! We are looking forward to seeing what
the result will be, and I will post a picture on my face book as soon as
it is done.
While we were at home in March and April, Yeagor led the city group of
believers in worship. He and a former pastor of a local church in Lugansk
shared the time of teaching, along with a missionary friend and helper.
We believe that God is beginning to raise up leaders, and it is always
amazing to see who God will choose to lead. Some of those that many
believed to be far from having the ability to lead are growing and
maturing in the Lord, and they are the ones that we see God is using. We
just again are amazed at the almighty power of God as He raises up
workers for His kingdom.

Today is a special day for Ukraine as it is the celebration of the ending
of WWII. Maybe it's just been a while since I was here at this time of
year, but it seems that they are making a much bigger deal of this
holiday this year. They even had a big parade for yesterday and a
fireworks display at night. I think it is a very special day for them.
Yeagor came to spend the night with us, so we walked to the camp and then
stopped by for the ceremony for a while last night. The whole village had
been frantically working to get things all fixed up and ready for the big
party they would have last night. But...something we have learned is that
any holiday may become a time for a party, which goes along with an
excuse to drink. We just pray that some of those who have struggled with
the temptation to drink won't end up falling to that temptation.
Today was also a special day in America as well. I will say that I did
not expect to feel so blue when I woke up and thought about this day
being Mother's Day today...knowing that both my kids and mom are so far
away. Caleb wrote to me a very sweet email message, Mom returned a sweet
message from where I had wished her a happy Mother's Day already, and I
expect to be hearing from Mary soon. It ended up being a hard, but good
day. We had a good church service, a quiet house, and a nice afternoon
nap we'd been needing since the first day we arrived. It helped a lot
with the loneliness and sadness. We sure miss our family being together
as before.
We are looking forward to Bro. Stan Wyant, his two girls, a young man
from his church, and another pastor couple coming to visit this week.
They will arrive Thursday night. We are planning to do evangelistic type
ministries while they are here. His girls have been practicing on some
things they think might draw some people in the villages. One of them has
learned to do some fancy tricks with some type of baton stick. I think
our people will be blessed by their coming.
Individuals who have been helped through ministry have said "Thank you"
to our supporters--India, Philippines, Ukraine, Mexico, and the United
States. We thank you all for giving to the Lord.
We are planning to return to America at the end of August to once again
check on family matters and business. We ask that you all be in continued
prayer for us as we make future decisions concerning our ministry work.
We do not plan to leave Ukraine for good, but we do believe the future
holds different plans than before. Shane has a desire to begin checking
on some of the pastors and workers in other countries he has worked with
in the past, and is hoping to take some mission trips to these places
around the world. He also plans to accompany Alec, our Chinese friend and
ministry partner from Ukraine, to China once again. Alec will need
encouragement and help getting his feet back on the ground in China and
in ministry there. We ask that you will be praying for us as we begin the
new stages of ministry change and growth in our life.
God Bless you all!
Keep Pressing On!
Shane and Marilyn Duke
Crossover Ministries
Last Updated ( Monday, 10 May 2010 )
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