The Church in Amur
Our fourth day of clinics took us across the Dnieper river while remaining in Dnipropetrovsk, our base of operations. The church was located in a mostly residential section of town that required us to go down several worn down dirt roads. A Ukrainian dirt road compared to a dirt road in the United States is drastically different…most wouldn’t dare to take their cars down it and would instead opt for a four wheel drive truck.
The church possessed a classical church feel that we would instantly recognize including a steeple with a cross on top. IMB missionary Mike Ray told us that in Ukraine, it’s not traditional for churches to have names, but this one was known as Amur Baptist Church, named for the region where it was located.
Walking into the church through the back entrance we entered into an overflow room. Directly ahead was the main sanctuary with rows of pews, a pulpit on the stage along with musical instruments. On the second floor was an entrance to the balcony and two classrooms.
The residential neighborhood surrounding it had simple homes with vegetable gardens and fruit bearing trees taking advantage of the rich Ukrainian soil. I was told by one of our translators Nadia Morokhovetz, that the soil is such an asset to Ukraine that the Nazi’s in World War II would actually scrape it off the surface and send it back to Germany to aid in their own farming efforts. Looking from the second floor of the church you could see the soil and gardens in every backyard as far as you could see.
Our hosts for today were very excited by our presence. While preparing for our first participants you could smell fresh bread being baked. Later we learned that they had cooked us a hot lunch of borscht (a traditional Ukrainian vegetable soup), salad and buckwheat. Needless to say, no one left the table hungry.
We knew today because of the church’s location that we would see less people, and this proved to be true. If we had seen one and their life changed, it would still have been worth every moment. In total 70 people came through today, 54 to the medical clinic and 64 for glasses. Of those 70 people, 25 professed Christ as their Savior!
One of the members of the church was so excited by our presence that she asked if she could record a message of greeting. Of course we said yes and went outside and later we translated it for everyone to hear. That message is included below:
Tomorrow is our last day of medical clinics. We will be in a nearby area again. Continue to lift the medical clinic attendees up in prayer along with us as we seek to glorify God.
Pictures from today are available by clicking below: