It is Monday night and I have spent the evening with six others apostles. We met in downtown Kiev and found ourselves a quiet corner in a coffee shop (like Second Cup in Canada) and talked for several hours over bowls of ice cream and hot teas and coffees. The discussion was powerful – topics ranging all over the map but always involving Jesus, the Bible and theology. We were quite excitable and, at times, fairly loud as we discussed current trends in the Church, the true gospel of Jesus Christ, heresies, pet doctrines, the needs of the Church and the role of apostles in the world in which we now discover ourselves – church world and world world.
Then after a few hours we felt we needed to leave or buy another round and so we left and walked out into the cool night air. Two of the young men who live in Kiev (3 did and 4 don’t) ran ahead and found a grocery store and using some money I supplied bought some treats and some Diet Coke and met us at one of the other men’s apartment. Here we spent the next few hours eating, fellowshipping, and continuing our discussion, answering questions and dealing with major concerns about things like biblical understanding of certain passages, deliverance, and other truly great questions that young people have about ministry and the Church. We tried to end at 9:30p but ran a few minutes over.
Then a one-on-one conversation with one of the men (getting married in two weeks who came for 17 hours on a train to write an exam and visit with us)… a few questions about walking in an intimate relationship with the Lord. Then the others left and we settled in for a short night – it is 10:10p and we need to get up at 2:00a.
A long, hot shower – hot water that did not run out (a joy) as we have been showering with limited hot water for several weeks because of the size of water heaters in many apartments in Ukraine. No problem like that here. Then an opportunity to talk with my team members who traveled in by bus with me this morning from Kirovograd, and now one is sleeping and the other showering and I am writing. Then they will sleep and I am going to read my Bible and enjoy my first serious time with the Lord of any length in the past two weeks. Ministry trips are like that – they take a real toll on your private and personal time with the Lord that you are use to having at home when things are flowing in a regular format.
One – there is little private time or personal (private) space to have time with the Lord. Two – because of the pace of ministry and the demands of ministry (some unscheduled and unplanned) you don’t get to have much personal time. So, all-in-all ministry can be dangerous to your spiritual health. Therefore, when an opportunity grants itself – others are sleeping and I am not tired (yet) – I take advantage of the opportunity and catch up a bit.
2:00a and we head to the airport and begin the rest of the journey home having already done 5 hours by bus to get this far.
An update on Iliya if you have been praying (just came in 30 minutes ago) – due to the medical reports not being ready the court hearing was postponed until the end of May. Continue to pray, please. Thanks!