The Big Picture

Ministry opportunities abound in this beautiful country. The first six months we lived here, we wondered if we would ever get settled enough to be of use to God. Yes, there were many different forms of serving that we found ourselves involved in—in minor ways. But the whole scheme of things was oddly out of kilter. Yet, as I look back, I can see God’s loving hand, slowing things down so that we could become acclimated to our new surroundings, comfortable in a different culture, and somewhat attuned to a population still seeking its identity during the early years of democracy and freedom.Now, Richard is extremely busy with both the YWAM dental van and the CBN clinic. The van is going out on three day mission outreaches at least two times a month. At CBN’s Emmanuel Clinic our dentists are working three days on the weeks when the van is in hiatus and one day on outreach weeks. A recent trip to the village of Ivanivka near Zhitomer proved very successful with our dentists seeing 47 patients and completing close to 100 procedures during our three days there.

Last year, Richard pulled a tooth on a man who works with the sisters at Ivanivka. This year, some more teeth were treated and extracted. The sisters told us how Anatoly had been having toothaches during the past year and treating them only with pain killers. He had told them that he was praying that the nice dentist who had seen him last year would come again because he helped him without creating pain. I am very proud of the kind-hearted man I am married to and his devotion to helping those in pain and need.

I accompanied our dentists on this outreach and wondered why I was even along since I didn’t feel really needed. But on Thursday night I received a call from American missionary friends who lived in Zhitomer. They hadn’t realized that I was there but they called to see if we needed any furniture, etc.. To make a long story short, the ministry they were in had finished and without future plans they were thinking about returning to America for good even though they had previously felt called to ministry here. God helped me encourage them and connect a few dots in the big picture. Suffice it to say, they will be returning to Ukraine after a much needed summer’s rest in America. They will be preparing for future ministry by taking Russian classes full time. And I now have a houseful of furniture to use until they are in need of it again.

Because our dentists are so busy and there is a dental facility at the CBN clinic that can be used more productively, we have been praying that God would bring another Ukrainian dentist to work with us. Again, it looks like God has supplied a wonderful man with a heart for Him. A young couple—the man a dentist and his wife a dental student—were mentioned to Richard by two different individuals in a short span of time. They visited the clinic last week. Richard came home very excited about the meeting. He told me that this young man had said that when he first heard the plans for a clinic, he felt it was totally impossible. Standing in the clinic, he was amazed at how God had done the impossible. Richard told him that he should pray and ask God to show him whether he should be involved in the ministry. And his answer was that he felt God already had. By viewing the impossible made possible, he knew where God was leading him. We are now looking for donors who will be willing to provided monthly support so that this young dentist will be able to join Dr. Inna and Dr. Richard. (As of November 28 no funds have been received but this couple is still willing to work with us if funding is obtained in the future.  Also, funds for Dr. Inna are needed.  If you know of anyone who can help, please contact us through the contact page.  Thanks so much.)

God is so very good. I keep seeing a great big dot to dot picture in my mind. It is a BIG picture and for now, I can only see just a little part of the finished image. With each new contact and day, God is allowing another dot or two to be connected. Some of the parts that are taking shape are being filled in with colors and details but there are still many, many parts that are indistinguishable. It will be in eternity that the whole picture will finally be viewed in its entirety. How fun the day will be when together with my loving, heavenly Father, I will be able to gaze with amazement at the finished piece of art.

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