Over the last 16 years, there has been a great effort made to blend the young people that became Christians within the older members of the only other church of Christ in the city.
This has proved to be very difficult. Over time, the young Christians have been alienated in several different ways. These young families need a Godly, Biblical church family that they can grow and develop in and become the Christ-like body that God wants them to be.
Our hope and desires are to be a healthy and supportive 2nd body of Christ to enhance the growth of the Lord’s work in the city.
I left full-time work in the mission field of Kremenchuk, Ukraine in 2008 after 6 years of working there full time. I have returned for short mission trips 6 times, the last being the summer of 2016. The last time I was there before that was 2012. A lot has changed over the last 2 years and especially the last 6 years. From the time I first started in Kremenchuk in 2002 there were 4 churches of Christ and now there is just one. This is a city of 232,000 people. The church that now remains is the one that I was a part of while working there. I worked mostly with school, university, and young adults. The makeup of the congregation was then and is now mostly retired people with a regular preacher, but no one working full time. Over the years that I have been gone, nearly all of the young people that became Christians, 52 of them, have either moved out of Kremenchuk or left because of discouragement and not feeling accepted. It will be a strong positive influence to have 2 churches of Christ in this large city working together.
The summer of 2016, I talked with every one of those that still lived in Kremenchuk that had left or were on the verge of leaving. They all said that if a new church of Christ was started they would enthusiastically support it. While there we met a young preacher, Alex Mitskutis, working with the Ukrainian Bear Valley School of Preaching. We have agreed to work together in starting this new congregation.
Emphasis during the first year
- To launch the work of the planting of this new church
- To strengthen and build up the local Christians that will be a part of this church
- To strengthen the families and reach family members not yet Christians
- To lovingly and aggressively reach out to the lost in the city
- Michael would be there to help and support our Ukrainian preacher in his new ministry and help the church to get started
- We would rent an apartment for Michael to live in when he is there and when I am too. This would also be used for a meeting place for the church.
- As we grow in number, we will need to find a place to rent for Sundays and possibly full time to meet our needs.
- We plan also to plant a new Church of Christ in the village where our Christian orphan family lives about 10 miles from Kremenchuk.
- We would continue to work with orphanages in the area to teach and assist in carrying for them
- I would return from March to November 2019 and this process of Michael there for 3 months and me there for 9 months would continue.
- We would hope to have our Ukrainian preacher working with us by June of 2019.