Lance & Megan's Blog

Marriage Week

June4

Right after we returned from Turkey, we jumped into preparing for Marriage Week in Ternopil. This is a huge multi-church, city-wide event based on an international organization. Its purpose is to encourage marriages in their commitment and to value families. In a time where divorce is common, we believe it is necessary to celebrate and help families stay together.

getting it all ready

getting it all ready

English version

Example English version

To achieve this, there were different events throughout the whole week. Special speakers, movies such as Fireproof and War Room were shown in a local theater. Lance and I helped with game tables in the center where families could come and play together. There were also stations were families could get their photo taken. There was a lantern lighting ceremony near the lake.

Special speaker in the square

Special speaker in the square

The family that plays together, stays together!

The family that plays together, stays together!

For the final event we had a parade down the center of the city that ended in a park where we had a Family Festival. There were tons of free games for kids, trampolines, cotton candy, a floor ball court, face-painting, and drawing stations. Lance made a corn-hole type game while I manned the prize table. We had little tables set up with questions where couples could come and just sit and talk while they sipped on a refreshing drink. The Family Festival ended in the evening with a concert. It was a great day for families!

Start of the parade

Start of the parade

Playing games and winning prizes

Lance helping with corn-hole and me giving out the prizes.

You catch a glimpse of Lance and I at 1:20, 1:48, and at 4:28. I’m wearing a coral cardigan and Lance is wearing a hat and red plaid shirt.

posted under Lance, Megan, Ukraine, YWAM | 1 Comment »

Having family here

June2

Two years ago Megan’s sisters came to visit, that was the last time a family member came to visit but now that has changed. Meg’s parents came for a wonderful visit.

We can’t tell you how AWESOME it is to have family here with us. It is encouraging and motivating to have people here to experience and see first hand what we do. It is one thing to explain over Skype and show pictures online but to see something in person solidifies what goes on.

Visiting a castle

Visiting a castle

Picnic in the shadow of castle ruins

Picnic in the shadow of castle ruins

George and Peggy joined us for staff meeting, worship and intercession, we roped them into helping us do some cleaning too. They even taught a new game in English Club! Besides having them join us in our day to day activities, we took them around the area to see some more of Ukraine. There were a few castles to visit, ruins to see, and cities to explore. Since we have made it a point to get to know our area better, we had lots of favorite spots to show off.

At Pidkamin

At Pidkamin

Abandoned palace

Abandoned palace

One highlight was getting to celebrate Orthodox Easter here. We brought them to the sunrise service by the lake and the main church service later. We all went to a friends house for plate upon plate of food! They got to try lots of different Ukrainian dishes.

Easter service

Easter service

Reading the Easter story

Reading the Easter story at sunrise in the park

They also celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with us. What a great way to celebrate 35 years of being married! We took them to our favorite restaurant.

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Overall, we had fun just spending time together. We got to sit together on the same sofa and talk and not through the computer! Our time ended with us all going to Turkey for Joanne’s wedding. See the next post for details on our adventures in Turkey!

posted under Lance, Megan, Ukraine | 1 Comment »

Art of Hope

April29

Hope is such an important thing. It is so hard to live without hope. During times of uncertainty, war, economic struggles, many will feel that there is no hope. We have certainly seen this first hand in Ukraine. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has said something negative about Ukraine. So many want to leave, people have verbally said, “there is no hope here.”

We are saddened by the number of people that are leaving, we’ve lost friends from English club and neighbors. We are saddened by the despair that many feel.

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We are happy though to bring hope to people. We had a great opportunity to partner with a local cafe and organize an art exhibit with the theme of hope. We both worked to find artists and bring things together. We had one of our Ternopil staff members submit some photos and we had a YWAM worker from another city in Ukraine submit tattoo art as well as two other local artists.

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The final result was great, it was small but was a perfect start to a partnership and future projects with this cafe. Lance shared some thoughts on hope at the opening and a local pastor shared a song on hope.

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9 Art exhibit

Here is what Lance said:

~Hope~

To what do you wrap your arms of hope around and hold fast?  This is a crucial question in times like these.  When all around us seems to be unstable and the things that once, in our minds, were unmovable are now shakable. There is a proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” This is very true. When you look around, it is easy to feel your heart and soul grown in despair. Yet even then, Hope dies last.

Hope is a driving force that is imbedded deep in our souls. Who can forget Galadriel in this iconic scene from the books and subsequent films “Lord of the Rings”, “And you, Ring-bearer,’ she said, turning to Frodo. ‘I come to you last who are not last in my thoughts… ‘In this phial… is caught the light of Eärendil’s star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” Galadriel wasn’t just giving light, she was giving hope.

Hope reminds us that good wins over evil.  That there are things worth fighting for in this world.  It reminds us that things we do now do effect the future of our grandchildren.  That is why we must set our highest hopes on something unshakable, unchanging, and everlasting. This world will never look the same from yesterday to today. Hope in the Unchangeable is the only consistent.

So as you look at these depictions of art, we invite you to search high and low, near and far to find your hope. To find the thing that is worth hoping in, the something that in which you will be able to wrap your arms of hope and know, hope never fails.

Birthday adventures

April22

Lance asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I just told him I wanted to go on an adventure. This is just some way for us to relax and be refueled. He did manage to plan a get together for some ladies the day before my birthday but on my birthday we decided to go out and find some castles and old buildings.

Castles and old buildings we did find.

Our first stop was at a castle not too far from us but it really was not as exciting as we had hoped. It was not on a hill, there was no view and the city had grown up around it. It looked strange mixed amongst the normal sites of the city. We gave it a 2 out of 5. (We’ve started rating the castles we go to so we can remember which ones are the good ones.)IMG_1677

Our second stop was an old building that had been abandoned. As much as Lance and I tried to find out what the building used to be we could not find out much. It was obviously a palace at one point and had been used by different groups during different time periods. We could see at least three very distinct attempts at fixing things.

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This was our favorite stop, it just had such a unique style and feel to it. It had marks of beauty even though the walls were falling down. You could tell there was so much history that the building held wanting to be told but slowly being forgotten.

Our last stop was another castle that nature was also reclaiming. All that remained was a few walls and tunnels. Even though there was not much there it is still interesting to see the skill that was needed in building stone tunnels. We enjoyed our adventures out and returned home to relax with a cup of tea!

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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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