Eric and Beth Yodis, WorldVenture
Church planter training: two different groups trained for 4 and 3 days respectively. It was a time of great learning, fellowship and encouragement. Attrition rates have been higher than anticipated and we are working with the leadership to figure out the cause and how to deal with that. The church planting teams that have been following through are benefiting greatly from the strategic planning and accountability.
Worship conference: Eric led two identical workshops on Vocal Production and Leading Worship for Congregational Participation. Participants were given tools for learning to sing the way God intended (using proper vocal technique) as well as challenged to go beyond their gifting as musicians and to become like Jesus in His mission of saving the lost and building His church. Some participants from other parts of the country were also encouraged to help the church planters in their region.
The cottonwood/poplar trees which are numerous here have begun shedding their fibers from which Eric is very allergic. Please pray for relief from allergic rhinitis for the next month until the air clears.
Beth will be visiting her mother in June in Tennessee. Please pray for safety as she travels and that the time stateside would be an encouragement to both her and to her mother.
May 30 to June 2, Eric will have joined two other men to visit the church leaders in four provinces until June 3 – 7 at which point Eric splits off to go to the southern province of Odessa. There will be meetings and services in which the main purpose of our trips will be to spread and shape church planting vision and strategy. In Odessa, Eric hopes to evaluate the church planting situation, become well acquainted with key ministry leaders in order to provide direction and guidance for future church planting ministry. Please pray that God would bless these ministry trips so that we would not just be open to achieving our goals, but that we would be open to what the Holy Spirit is wanting to teach each of us during this time. Also Pray that the Holy Spirit would be leading and guiding in all our ministry relationships. Please pray for other meetings we will be having with church leaders locally.
During the week of June 19, Eric will be traveling to the Cherkassi province to work on a couple music and video projects with a leading Christian music group. In addition to the projects, Eric will be working with these young men on various aspects of their stage presentation. Please pray that our time together would be profitable and that these fine musicians would develop the skills to communicate the message with their whole being. Here is a link to the group performing the Ukrainian version of Days of Elijah.
We don’t often talk about finances, because we believe we have the best support team missionaries could ever have. Since 1994, I can think of only two churches that have left our support team. That should probably be in the Guinness book of world records. Alas, we have once again been informed by one of our churches that because of a realignment in their giving priorities, their giving will cease after August of this year. Would you please be in prayer that God would continue to supply all our needs as He sees fit. Maybe God has a church out there that wants to have a part in facilitating church planting throughout Ukraine. God is great and nothing is impossible for Him.
We continue to pray for the peace of Ukraine. It seems daily we hear of renewed shelling, civilians being killed, soldiers being killed or wounded. Recently it was reported that four Russian soldiers were killed by friendly fire by new recruits. The occupation of the Crimea and eastern Ukraine has come with much suffering. Please pray for the brave pastors who have remained in the war zone to serve the Lord in trying times.
Thank you for praying and giving, so that we can be here to help Ukraine formulate a vision and execute a strategy for a nationwide church planting movement.