Today began our second day of clinics during our mission trip to Ukraine. The sun comes up earlier here then at home but in all truth, we’ve been so tired the alarm has been what has been waking us up.
Today began around 6:00 a.m. as we prepared, ate a snack breakfast and were on the road before 7:30 a.m. headed out to Dniprodzerzhynsk. Dniprodzerzhynsk is about 40 km North up the Dnieper River from our hotel in Dnepropetrovsk.
As we drove along the roads you can’t help but notice the patriotism being shown by the Ukranian people. The blue and yellow colors of their national flag are painted on all of the light poles and flags are flying from balconies in the neighborhood surrounding today’s clinic location. It was explained to me that the blue represented the sky, and the yellow wheat. Together they make green which stands for new growth and a hope of a brighter future.
The church was located in a very nice building surrounded by soviet era apartment complexes that are ten stories tall with about 25 apartments on each floor. The buildings were as far as you can see with people walking along on well worn trails throughout the complexes. The church itself is a 20 year old congregation in the middle of a building campaign started many years ago. The new building is quite large and is being built as the church can afford to build.
At the beginning of the clinics a large group of people had gathered under a tent jostling for the first position to see a doctor, get glasses and to be presented the Gospel. The clinic was to begin at 10:00 a.m. but the first people were getting their blood pressure checked by 9:30 a.m. By the end of the day at 4:00 p.m., 145 people had been fitted for glasses, 135 had visited one of our two doctors, and 35 professed faith in Jesus Christ.
Late in the afternoon, our group leader Lawrence Phipps, was told about a prayer rally taking place in downtown Dniprodzerzhynsk. We jumped at the opportunity to go and see what was happening downtown, so Lawrence, Nadia Morokhovets (our translator), and Vladislav Voznyak our representative from Campus Crusade and myself took a ride downtown.
We arrived to a rather large crowd gathered in front of one of the government buildings with a Ukranian flag being proudly waved. Prayers for Ukraine were being asked by many pastors of different faiths from the stage. Praise and worship music was led by a band and small praise team. Some of the music we even recognized as songs we have sung before, just in a different language.
We only had a short time to participate but Lawrence wanted to take a moment to thank the organizers of the event before we left. As Nadia introduced him, the man asked Lawrence, “Do you have a prayer ready?” Lawrence answered, “Always.” And with that, the next song ended and the rally leader headed to the stage and introduced Lawrence from Alabama as the next person to pray. I’ve attached the video below to show what happened from there.
Tomorrow Lawrence will be preaching at the same church we were at today as the rest of the team moves on to our third clinic. Be in prayer for him and the medical teams that God can continue to be glorified in everything we do!