Lance & Megan's Blog

State of the Roberts Address

January31

Family, Friends, Supporters,

This is our first state of the Roberts address together as a married couple. Obviously, there have been many changes in the last year.

Health Care
Physically
There were no major illnesses or accidents. There were only a few small head colds. Lance hopes to get new glasses in the next few weeks too.
Mentally/emotionally
This year was truly a roller coaster of emotions. The year began by us learning to work together and to communicate clearly to one another. The year ended with us learning to communicate with staff. We agreed to take up the leadership role of the base in October and this has brought many challenges with it but we are learning quickly and know that God is with us.
Spiritually
Lance and I have been reading through the Gospels together and are now into Acts. Lance is reading The Book That Made Your World, How the Bible Create the Soul of Western Civilization by Vishal Mangalwadi and has thoroughly been enjoying it. Megan just finished In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, a book on Christian leadership. We read together every night and jump between spiritual books and other classics.

Foreign Policy
Lance and I did not do too much traveling outside of Ukraine this year. We made a trip to Moldova to teach in a DTS staff training and to get our Ukrainian visas. On our way back we stopped in Romania to spend some time with DTS staff there.  We received temporary residency and no longer have to make border runs, which is a huge blessing. Lance and I have made a point to explore more of Ukraine though. We felt that it was important to know more of the country that we call home. We have explored castles and other cities. We hope to visit other major cities in our oblast (state.)

Education
The first bit of teaching that Lance and I did, was debriefing the Ternopil DTS when they returned from outreach. We spent almost a week together looking over the last six months and what God has done. In the spring, we went to Moldova to train DTS staff for their upcoming DTS. That was also about a week long. Lance shared the teaching time with friends of ours who had also come to teach. On our way back, we stopped to visit a base in Romania. We only spent one night here but enjoyed connecting with the base and the DTS staff there. Also in the spring, Megan taught a short class for preparing students to take the IELS test. She focused only on the speaking portion of the test. It was a small class but a great opportunity to be in the community. Over the summer, both of us staffed the DTS Equip school which was six weeks long. There were guests speakers who came to teach but the school staff also taught on different topics. In the fall, we finally had a chance to be taught by speakers who came to teach our staff.

Economy
Lance has set up a new budget system for us which has helped us in managing what we spend on ourselves versus what is spent on ministry. Sometimes those get a little mixed up and this has been something we are trying to just be more aware of. We started the year with a modest income but God has been faithful and each month seems to be more than we thought. We are so blessed by all who support us financially! We continue to set aside money for blessing others around us and for the church that we are a part of. We love our little apartment and have been slowly making it more our own. Our car, nicknamed “The Silver Bullet,” a Daewoo Sens, has been hanging in there. We are realizing that we will need a new car in the very near future. Currently, the car does not want to get into 1st, 2nd, or reverse. We barely made it back to Ternopil from Romania in the spring. We are setting money aside for a new car and are looking into what would be best for us, buy one here, buy one in Europe, or buy it in the States.

This year we also wanted to add something new to our address. Below we have added a chart of where all our spending has gone this past year. It is as accurate as we can make it with using multiple currencies which is nothing short of a headache. We want to be accountable and open with our finances.

Finance pie

Thank you again and again for everyone who has been a part of our lives. You have been an encouragement and support through out this past year. We couldn’t do it with out you!

Much love,

Lance & Megan Roberts

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Winter Staff Days

January23

Winter Staff Days has come and gone but we are still working through what God has shown us during our time together.

All Ternopil staff gathered for three days to pray and hear form God concerning the future of the Ternopil YWAM base. We wanted clarity in the future planning, we wanted new ideas, nations to target, and a vision for the future. Of course outside of all this, we wanted to just be together and to have fun as a family.

2 Staff days

One of the things we did was study the church in Antioch. We have had several people give a word for the Ternopil YWAM base that they should be like Antioch. Sounds cool, but what does that mean? We really did not know. What I would like to do is to share our Bible study so that you can better understand what we hope to achieve.

 

Timeline

40- Missionaries come to Antioch and preach to Gentiles (Acts 11:20)

42- Barnabas sent from Jerusalem to visit Antioch (Acts 11:22)

43- Barnabas leaves Antioch to look for Saul in Tarsus and brings Saul to teach (Acts 11:25-26) They remain in Antioch for one year.

44- Prophet Agabus visits Antioch (Acts 11:27-28), prophesied a famine in Roman empire.

44- Antioch church sends Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem with offering to help with famine (Acts 11:29-30)

45- Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch with John Mark (Acts 12:25)

46- Paul and Barnabas sent out on 1st journey (Acts 13:2-3)

47- Peter comes to Antioch (Galatians 2:11, 12)

47- Confusion comes from Judaizers (say believers must be circumcised)

48- Paul returns to Antioch (Acts 14:26-28) and opposes Peter (Galatians 2:14)

48- Jerusalem council held (Acts 15 & Galatians 2:1-10)

??- Judas & Silas go to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:22)

49- Paul teaches in Antioch (Acts 15:35)

49- Paul leaves for 2nd journey

52- Paul returns to Antioch (Acts 18:23)

53- Paul leaves for 3rd journey

270- First Bible School is founded

Main themes

#1 Learning– Acts 11:25-26, 42-43AD

~Barnabas brings Paul to Antioch to teach and they remain there teaching for one year.

-Spent time teaching and studying God’s Word

#2 Concern for others– Acts 11:29-30, 44AD

~A famine is prophesied and the Antioch church takes an offering to send to the church in Jerusalem

-They were not inwardly focused

-They did something for people outside of their bounds

#3 Discipleship– Acts 12:25 & 15:22, 45 & 48 AD

~Paul & Barnabas return from giving the Antioch gift in Jerusalem and bring John Mark with them. Later brought Judas and Silas with them.

-Bring people into what you are doing

-Recruit, train, mentor

#4a Send– Acts 13:1-4, 46AD

~Antioch church commissions Paul & Barnabas on their first missionary journey.

-They sent some of their best teachers

-They didn’t worry about what would happen without their best teachers.

4b Diversity

-The body of believers varied in nationality, economy and religious background

Barnabas- from Cyprus

Niger- from Africa

Lucius- from Africa

Mamaen- Roman nobleman

Saul- Pharisee

4c Time for Holy Spirit

-Believers were praying and fasting together

-They heard the Spirit speak and they obeyed

#5 Accountability– Acts 14:26-28 & 15:35, 48 & 52 AD

~Returning from their missionary journey to the place that they were sent from

-Shared a report after their journey

-Spent time with the church after their return

#6 Interdependence– Acts 11:22, 29, 15:30

-Churches worked together

-Shared resources and helped each other

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Holiday in Krakow

January21

Every year, we give vacation to all our staff for about 10 days during the holidays. Most staff are away visiting family while just want time to rest. Lance and I decided to rest some at home but to also get away and explore a new place. Lance and I have discovered that exploring energizes us and refreshes us. For our new adventure, we decided to explore Krakow, Poland.

Us in Krakow

Krakow is not far from Ternopil, it took us about 7 hours to drive there, that is including the time at the border. Krakow is a city rich in history and legends. It is the site of Schindler’s Factory and it’s not far from Auschwitz. There is also lots of history dating further back than WWII of course and to learn about it Lance and I went on a walking tour. Two free walking tours to be exact. Volunteer tour guides took people around the city and give a history lesson on the various sights.

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The dragon of Krakow, it really does breath fire!

The dragon of Krakow, it really does breath fire!

Not only did we learn about the city but Lance and I took time to go to Ikea (we don’t have Ikea in Ukraine,) we saw the Hobbit in English (we can’t see movies in the theater in English in Ukraine,) found an English used book store, and ate some food not found in Ukraine (Indian and Thai!) We spent our evenings reading together and resting.

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Lance and I were in Krakow during the festival of the three kings which is all about Epiphany. I was so confused when someone told me that it was Epiphany since we knew Epiphany to be a different date and for a different reason. In the Orthodox church it is to celebrate when Christ was baptized. I forgot that Poland is very Catholic and that Epiphany was an important holiday in the Catholic church. It was fun hearing the churches ring bells and to see people hurrying to church. I love that Epiphany is all about the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. What an important thing to recognize and celebrate.

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Working for the east

January4

Our base has joined forces with the other YWAM bases in Ukraine to help relief efforts in the east. Our base has been at the forefront of the work by hosting families from the east as well as sending supplies and people to help and encourage those there.

Art therapy

Art therapy

We have hosted a number of families to come for a respite at our base. These families are not looking for a new home in the west, but are wanting to remain in the east to help others left behind with out any way to leave. They continue to help others, encourage people, and give aid where aid is needed. We felt it was important to be able to give them a break and fill them up as they have been pouring out to others.

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Most recently, we prepared 100 gift bags to give to soldiers. We wanted to send some Christmas cheer to those away from families and loved ones. Each bag was filled with chocolates, candy, a flashlight, a pair of socks, a card, razors, gum, and coffee. Some of our staff went to the east to deliver the gifts and to also give extra warm clothes, Bibles, books, sausages, nuts, oranges and homemade goods. They also brought a coffee maker and plan on making fresh coffee for the men.

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The relief work that we have been organizing and participating in was featured on the main YWAM website, you can read about the last trip HERE. If you would like to help financially with the work, you can click HERE and choose Ukraine relief from the drop down menu.

A Christmas Tea

January4

2014 marks the first year that we had a women’s Christmas Tea. One of our staff members used to live in Crimea and has hosted teas before so she was able to lead the way in hosting the first in Ternopil. It was a miracle that it all came together and a miracle that we had room for everyone. We originally planned for 30 ladies, but we had space for 48. Guess how many ladies showed up? Yep, 48 exactly!

All the the ladies on staff, cooked a whole bunch of yummy goodies, I can testify that the ladies on staff know how to bake yummy goodies. There is no doubt about that! We had two tables full of delicious and delectable treats and one table full of tea and hot chocolate.

Yummy food!

Yummy food!

We had door prizes galore and many people were surprised at the generosity displayed. I led a time of doing a craft together. Everyone got an orange, some cloves and a ribbon. It was easy for people to push the cloves into the orange to create design of some sort. It was a simple air freshener for the home.

We also had several games that involved people getting up and getting to know other ladies. I led a game where two teams had to race to unwrap a gift while wearing over-sized gloves.

Sharing a message of hope.

Sharing a message of hope.

Two of our staff members spoke during the evening. Both ladies were able to share of God’s love and forgiveness to a crowd of women whom many had not heard of what God has done for them. It was the perfect way to share the Gospel during this season. There was also some live music to entertain the ladies and the evening ended with a Christmas ornament exchange where everyone got to go home with a new ornament for their tree.

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Everyone enjoyed the evening, everyone went home with a fun goody bag and a message of hope for the holidays.

 

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