Child: Luke Thomas
Child: Joel Thomas
Child: Andrew Thomas
Mission Field: Ukraine
Home Church: Faith Baptist Church
Our Missionary for 1 years
Julie and I are continuing in our 2nd semester of language study here in Spokane. I leave for Ukraine April 26th for our Spring session and graduation. After this I'll come back to the states for my middle son's graduation from PCC. Then this summer we'll be leaving for Ukraine. This trip I'm meeting with a national who helps with visas. I meet with him on Friday the 28th.
Pray as we are beginning an orphan ministry. We need the Lord's direction and wisdom. We are also praying towards where the Lord would have us to our first church plant. There is much taking place in Ukraine right now. Russian is causing issues on the eastern side of the country.
We appreciate you and the membership at Faith Baptist Church. It is a joy to partner with you for the glory of Christ in Ukraine.
Your friend and fellow servant,
Dear Praying Friends,
The gospel is understood through the prisms of language and culture. One Biblical example of this is Paul on Mars' hill. He not only speaks in the tongue of the Athenians, but also relates the gospel through their culture (Acts 17:22-31). As Julie and I settle into our second semester of language study, we are challenged with the responsibility of knowing a language so grammatically diverse from our own. At the same time it is very humbling to study the history and culture of a specific people, only to realize that even if we communicate through their tongue linguistically, can we communicate effectively to their hearts and minds culturally.
Praise the Lord that souls in Ukraine are not dependent on our finite abilities of language and understanding of culture, but ultimately upon the infinite potential of God. The gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" and our mission is "to preach the gospel" in its simplicity. We are and will continue to strive to know language and culture, while trusting that the Lord will make up for all our deficiencies. His Spirit and His Word will work through His messengers for His glory. Hallelujah!
Last month I had the joy of teaching in our Winter Session at Slavic Baptist Institute. The Lord answered your prayers as the session included nine new students, with many returning students. The classes and chapel services were blessed of the Lord. One of our new students was a pastor from the region of Lugansk, just outside of the war torn area in Southeastern Ukraine. It was good to hear of the Lord's work in his life and ministry as well as an open door presented for camp ministry there later this summer with students from SBI.
As we taste of the ministry in Ukraine through our visits there over the past two years, we are given a greater appetite for more and look forward to our move there later this summer. Our current work is preparatory for our future labor in the Ukrainian harvest. Please continue to pray for us and for a greater enabling to speak Russian including an ever growing understanding of culture that we may accurately proclaim the glorious gospel and the glories of the One of whom it proclaims.
Your friend and fellow servant,
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your prayers for our Fall Session at Slavic Baptist Institute in November. We had a good group of students and 11 first time attendees! Each session seems to pass so quickly and leaves one eager for the next one when we can come together around the Lord and His Word. Our Winter Session is approaching in January, so continue to pray for students, teachers, workers, new students and for the glory of Christ.
We appreciate your prayers concerning the new online ministry. We began recording each class and chapel service. This required much work, but we are preparing to begin offering these classes through SBI Online next year. The Lord provided all the funds for the equipment and the workers needed to maintain such a work. We look forward to seeing how the Lord will use SBI Online to train His laborers for His harvest.
Our first semester of Russian language study has come to an end. We rejoice in the opportunity to study at the Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures here in Spokane. Our understanding of both the Russian language and culture have grown during this time. Please pray as we return for our final semester and for the Lord to continue blessing our understanding and use of the Russian language. We are thankful for the Lord's provision as we have around 95% of our support. Our plans are to leave for Ukraine after the final semester of Russian next year.
Julie and I want to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas season as we celebrate the coming of our Lord and King. As we rejoice in this time of year we sing with Charles Wesley, "Hark the herald angels sing, 'Glory to the new-born king. Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!'" But at the same time we remember that there are those who cannot rejoice, because they are not reconciled to God. Most because they've never heard how. Someone has rightly stated, "Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man." Please pray with us for Christmas to be complete in many Ukrainian hearts and Slavic peoples that more may sing, "Joy to the World the Lord is come."
Your friends and fellow servants,
Derek and Julie
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your continued prayers and interest in the Lord's work in Ukraine. This summer has been a busy one. By the end of July alone the Lord will have opened doors to be in 12 churches located in eight states. We are thankful for these opportunities and for the interest shown for the ministry of SBI and souls in Ukraine. Please pray for these churches and others like them that we've visited during the last 18 months of deputation. Pray for the Lord to burden and make clear to these churches who He'd have to co-labor with us for the glory of Christ in Ukraine.
This Monday I fly to Ukraine for our summer session at Slavic Baptist Institute. Two important subjects will be taught: Apologetics and Bibliology. Please pray for our students, teachers, staff, and chapel services to be anointed of the Lord. Pray for the Lord to bless us with new students who have a heart for the Lord and sense a call to serve Him. During my time in Ukraine I'll also be speaking in a camp for singles and a church in Western Ukraine. Pray for the Lord's blessing in the ministry of His Word and for new students to be called to SBI.
While in Ukraine I'll be taking a survey trip to two prospective cities for church plants. Both of these cities are nearly 300,000 souls each. Ukraine's population is over 44 million with most attending Orthodox or Catholic churches that preach "another gospel." The majority of Ukrainians have never heard a clear gospel presentation. With so many regions and cities in great need, we seek God's direction of where to begin and ask that you'd join with us in prayer to discern the will of God.
After my return from Ukraine in August we'll continue deputation. We are sitting now at 80 percent of our support level and looking forward to a time when we can go and remain in Ukraine. My heart burns to preach His Word there and see churches established. By the Lord's grace our busy summer here is helping to move the needle towards this goal and 100 percent support. We have enjoyed the fellowship with so many wonderful churches here, but long to see that fellowship through the power of the gospel extended to new bodies of believers in Ukraine and the regions beyond.
For the glory of Christ in Ukraine,
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