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Archive 8

Monday, November 20, 2006

The National Missionary Convention in Indianapolis welcomed about 10,000 of us.  There were literally hundreds of displays, scores of workshops and people from around the world.  We connected with old friends, current partners and brand new contacts.  One of the more interesting experiences was when I picked a workshop at random and the results.  It was ministering to street kids and I was thinking it was in the U.S.  Instead Andy Baker of, "Remember the Children", shared his work with kids in Romania.  It was very similar to what we are trying to do.  Then he surprised us by introducing Gabby, a former street girl, who is now attending a Christian College here in the U.S.  We talked with Andy afterwards and hope to explore new options. 

We also, finally, met up with Project Sasha who are working with kids in Crimea and several other key contacts. Then I got the third copy of Roger Babik's new book (Master Provisions).  More on his book later.  We were also surprised by Pastor Jenya and his family from Kherson Christian Church.  Sergey Predit, our friend and the president of Tavrisky Christian Institute, was also there with Renee Flory.  Renee has become a good friend of our ministry and works in public relations with Tavrisky.  She is from the Michigan area and is currently here in the States on leave.

The weekend was very productive.  We want to express a very special thanks to Great Lakes Christian College for including us in their display area...GLCC Alumni.  Thanks guys!

Update: David says:  "Michael, Pastor Edward Mwananchi is recovering well enough to be moved from the hospital in Nairobi to the hospital in his hometown Kitale. Two of his ministry associates were killed in the incident and six men have been arrested - I still don't know the details. Kenny Rogers and I are still planning our trip over.

Hello, the message below is from the wife of the host pastor in Kenya for the mission trip Chaplain Kenny Rogers and I were planning for December. Pastor Edward and Judith have 3 children - Ruth, Ken and Allan. Please keep them in your prayers. Thanks, David

Dear Brethren,
 
Greetings in Jesus Name. Please sir, I am the wife to Rev. Edward Mwananchi the founder of Sonrise Ministry and the chairman and coordinator of pentecostal interdenominational Christian assositaions. I have a message that I request you to share with your team that we are planning to come with in a positive way and be very prayerful and full of faith. I understand that you are mature spiritually that we also request your prayers that GOD MY step in what iwant to inform you is  it was on santaday that my hasbani was going in mombasa but he was attacte with some ggers and they shoot adreve he deid ther with one of our church ministries steff  but my husbani he was  shoot to the head aND IN HES LEGES whereby now is at nairobi hospital he is not tolking from santaday up to now they need to make opprestion to his head to take out becouse they remain in his head so please ihave called urgent meeting to meet with the board of sonrise ministries whereby iwill come back to you after two days please remain prayefull  as you wait from me sir   yours sister judith mwananchi

 

May 2007

Another good trip with our team of ten.  The weather was beautiful and the kids broke our hearts.  One the last day Valara (9) whose father died last year, sat on Jane's lap sobbing.  She motioned me over and told me he had not cried at all since then.  This was a break through.  And he was saying, "I don't want Michael to leave".   I took him on my lap and cuddled him for a long while, talking to him about his father (who he said was mean to him but still missed), and how much he was loved.  We were all in tears.

The trip was filled with God moments:

  • Sitting in the tall/uncut grass with a two-year old downs syndrome girl at the orphanage.  She was having a great time as I tickled and played with her
  • Watching our team play with the others on rotted government playground equipment
  • Observing the prolific flowers across the grounds.  Shepherd's Purse mixed with Forget-Me-Nots
  • Taking diapers and juice and bananas and cookies to the orphanage
  • Distributing boxes of hats/gloves/toothbrushes/candy/toys to the Ark (all collected by ladies and donors in the Killbuck, OH area - ready for next winter)
  • Jacyna here in the U.S. sent her 8th birthday money (it helped buy a bike for the center kids)
  • West Lansing Church of Christ soccer balls in action
  • New computers for Children's Joy and Lissa Gootee
  • New t-pots, lawn mower repair, lawn mower fund, and 5 bikes for the Ark
  • Tears as we sent Sergey (our friend and interpreter) back to his family
  • And so much more...

The trip was a good one.  God blessed with good weather, no delays or cancellations and lots of opportunities. Invite us to show you more.

April, 2007

Ten of us are traveling to Kiev, Ukraine May 11-20.  We will be staying at "The Ark" .  This twelve acre site has eight buildings which include a school, dorms, laundry, offices, cafeteria, maintained and more to come.  It is a wooded setting with towering Pines scared from Chernobyl.  Yet this center serves as home for twenty-one children rescued from the streets of Kiev which is the capital city of Ukraine.  This city is where the "Orange Revolution" took place a couple of years ago.   Our team of 14 last May spent an afternoon in the rain downtown praying over the city.  Jane and Barb, two American ladies traveled to Kiev ten years ago to feed kids in the streets.  They ended up staying and had a vision for this center.  God opened the doors and now they are serving kids they rescued from the street life.  Their hope is to house fifty kids. Please pray for our team on this trip, that we will be a help and not a hinderance to these ladies and their staff.  Check trip details here.  

Welcome!

March, 2007


Lisa Gootee has joined Shepherd's Purse as a missionary inn Odessa, Ukraine.  We whole-heartedly welcome here into our partnership working with abandoned babies and young orphans.  Make sure you keep up on her new blog here and watch for news here on the web and in our newsletter.  Lisa has been on the field since for over one year.  David Hendrix, one of our directors, and I met Lisa in August and have been talking with her for several months about partnering with us.  Here is some background about her:

I am from a large family of eight kids. I was an EMT for almost six years and have been coming to Ukraine since '93 on short term mission trips. Now I have been living in Odessa, Ukraine since December 14th 2005. In the winter shortly before this trip my cousin had asked if I had ever considered massage therapy as a career.  When I heard her say these words it was like bells and whistles went off.  Yes, I believed that is what I was supposed to do, but I didn't really know how I could use it on the mission field.  Then I went to Odessa where God showed me that he wanted to use me to do massage on the babies and to help with their conditions. The abandoned and abused children are becoming an ever increasing burden in Ukraine (sometimes they are even called "rats").

 

Now, I am a Certified Massage Therapist and Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

My work consists mostly of ministering to abandoned babies at the hospitals and as well as older orphans. I help educate families and caretakers on how to connect and bond with their babies through Infant Massage. I visit these babies regularly, bring supplies when needed and do infant massage.

 

 

 

January 20, 2007

What a great Christmas.  All of my four children, their spouses (our sweeties) and our eight grandchildren all came home for Christmas.  We celebrated, sat on laps and ate so much good food.  Then, as the holiday was ending, we went our separate ways, they to their homes and myself and John off to Ukraine.  It was Christmas all over again. Since Ukraine celebrates it on January 7th we starte all over again.  Another celebration with our "other children" and those who are forgotten. This Christmas began with a visit to the sewers of Odessa.  It was raining all day and a group of five was hiding out in one sewer.  A group of six was in the next sewer.  We handed down buckets of macaroni and one of sauce.  They were supposed to follow protocol and scoop out some on a Styrofoam plate.  Several were so hungry they began eating ravenously out of the container itself.  They were in such a good mood. Happy to see us.  It was hard to realize this is their life.

Our week of Christmas included: an ice skating party for twenty-one kids and adults, a party and presents with the foster family, a Christmas Eve service, a Christmas Day service, visits to new property for kid ministry and dinner with staff and friends.  There were many God moments I could share.  Here is just one.   I sat in the Christmas service next to John (my son-in-law), Auntie Alla, my new friend Steve George and right next to me was a street girl named Ira.  Her clothes reeked of body odor. Her fingers were dirty, but she kept smiling and seemed curious about this big guy next to her.  I showed her pictures on my camera trying to break the ice.  Which eventually worked because she warmed right up to us.  She even allowed us to take her picture several times.  At one point I pulled out a small crucifix that I had brought from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Georgia.  Its a long story but...  Last year I had one around my neck on a chain.  I planned to give it away at just the right time.  I will say this, that at a pivotal point in my life God taught me to quiet down and hear Him again.  I was walking barefoot on woodsy paths around the monastery and eventually bought a handful of these crosses as seeds for something. 

So, last Christmas Nastya came and hugged me, sitting next to me in the Christmas service.  At one point her attention was drown to the cross and she was looking at it.  Without words I hung it around her neck and it was hers.  This Christmas I was looking at picture of a new street boy, gypsy blood, who has been adopted into the foster family.  I then noticed he was wearing Nastya's cross.  So, when I saw him at the foster family I ask to see the cross.  He laughed and said someone else had it now.  He had gotten it from Nastya.  Here he was now living in a nice home.

So, here was Ira standing next to me looking at the new cross I had l had in my hand.  She looked at it curiously and without words I gave it to her.  The next day she quietly showed me the string she found to put it around her neck.  We both smiled.  The Christmas service was beautiful.  The music brought tears to your eyes.  But most of all I thanked Jesus -- for sitting with me during the meeting.

It was a good week.  Yet, there was one major sad note. Nastya.  As you know she and three other girls were walking on a dark highway and drinking.  Three of them got into a fight and it moved into the road.  A fast moving car hit Nastya and another girl.  The other girl was killed.  Nastya's arm was fractured, her pelvis that was broken two years ago in a hit-and-run was re-broken and she had a concussion.  The doctors casted her arm but decided they needed to put pins in after her pelvis began to heal.  Sitting in a hospital room was too much for Nastya.  No glue.  No alcohol.  Too boring.  So, she escaped with two streetboys who brought her clothes. 

One week before I came she visited Auntie Alla's center but would not come in.  She was with her mother who Alla says looks bad no because of her drinking.  Mom is on the street also.  Nastya had a coat on and was holding her arm.  Some kids told Alla that Nastya had torn off the cast.  She just didn't look good.  And--for the first time she didn't come to visit me when I arrived.  I sent a note through Ira to Nastya, but she never came.  She told Ira she missed me and was sorry.  I thought sweet fifteen-year old Nastya was on the bottom.  I guess not yet.  We pray for you Nastya and so many like you.  God save your soul and your life. 

 

January 1, 2007

We had resigned ourselves to the fact that there would be no "Christmas in Kherson" this year, but something would not let go.   A few days ago, my son-in-law John Nugent (a professor of Old Testament Theology) and I decided we were going for it.  We hope to spend a few days in Odessa handing out blankets and presents to some of the hundreds of kids living on the streets ("The Way Home" estimates 3,000 kids and says as many as 40% are now infected with AIDS).  

Now...we have all the more reason to travel to Kherson.  We have known Nastya for four years.  She has lived on the streets, slept in sewers and learned how to survive-at least to a degree.  Alla is the director of the Dr. Haaz Children's center at the Kherson Christian Church. She has a very small center and has faithfully worked with an average of ten kids a day for years.  Nastya is a regular and calls Alla-Auntie Alla.  We have gotten to know Nastya through emails (through Alla) and every time we visit we spend time with her.  She has become our sweet heart...the heart of the ministry on the heart of the Father.

Two years ago she was also hit by a car and left unconscious with a broken pelvis.  God opened the doors for me to spend time with her in the hospital.  Now I pray God opens the doors from me to go over in a few weeks.  And I pray she survives this tragedy.  Please pray with us.

Bad News!!!  We just received this email from Alla who works with Nastya: 

 

Hello Michael,
Nastya is in the hospital again! She has pelvis fracture and the fracture of the right forearm. Also she has concussion of the brain. Four girls including Nastya were woking as prostitutes along the motor road. They were drunk and shove each other. Tanya and Nastya jumped on the road and got under a big truck. Tanya died but God helped Nastya again. Alla "Auntie Alla") 

Update on Nastya!  

Hello Michael,
Nastya is consious. She feels OK. The pelvis fracture is on the same place that she had it two years ago. The doctors are going to operate her broken forearm but later when her pelvis bones grow together and when concussion of the brain is gone. 
Tanya, the girl who died, never came to our ministry and I didn't know her. 

 

The National Missionary Convention in Indianapolis welcomed about 10,000 of us.  There were literally hundreds of displays, scores of workshops and people from around the world.  We connected with old friends, current partners and brand new contacts.  One of the more interesting experiences was when I picked a workshop at random and the results.  It was ministering to street kids and I was thinking it was in the U.S.  Instead Andy Baker of, "Remember the Children", shared his work with kids in Romania.  It was very similar to what we are trying to do.  Then he surprised us by introducing Gabby, a former street girl, who is now attending a Christian College here in the U.S.  We talked with Andy afterwards and hope to explore new options. 

We also, finally, met up with Project Sasha who are working with kids in Crimea and several other key contacts. Then I got the third copy of Roger Babik's new book (Master Provisions).  More on his book later.  We were also surprised by Pastor Jenya and his family from Kherson Christian Church.  Sergey Predit, our friend and the president of Tavrisky Christian Institute, was also there with Renee Flory.  Renee has become a good friend of our ministry and works in public relations with Tavrisky.  She is from the Michigan area and is currently here in the States on leave.

Check out some pictures here.

The weekend was very productive.  We want to express a very special thanks to Great Lakes Christian College for including us in their display area...GLCC Alumni.  Thanks guys!

 

Update: David says:  "Michael, Pastor Edward Mwananchi is recovering well enough to be moved from the hospital in Nairobi to the hospital in his hometown Kitale. Two of his ministry associates were killed in the incident and six men have been arrested - I still don't know the details. Kenny Rogers and I are still planning our trip over.

Hello, the message below is from the wife of the host pastor in Kenya for the mission trip Chaplain Kenny Rogers and I were planning for December. Pastor Edward and Judith have 3 children - Ruth, Ken and Allan. Please keep them in your prayers. Thanks, David

Dear Brethren,
 
Greetings in Jesus Name. Please sir, I am the wife to Rev. Edward Mwananchi the founder of Sonrise Ministry and the chairman and coordinator of pentecostal interdenominational Christian assositaions. I have a message that I request you to share with your team that we are planning to come with in a positive way and be very prayerful and full of faith. I understand that you are mature spiritually that we also request your prayers that GOD MY step in what iwant to inform you is  it was on santaday that my hasbani was going in mombasa but he was attacte with some ggers and they shoot adreve he deid ther with one of our church ministries steff  but my husbani he was  shoot to the head aND IN HES LEGES whereby now is at nairobi hospital he is not tolking from santaday up to now they need to make opprestion to his head to take out becouse they remain in his head so please ihave called urgent meeting to meet with the board of sonrise ministries whereby iwill come back to you after two days please remain prayefull  as you wait from me sir   yours sister judith mwananchi

Monday, December 5, 2006

Our good friends Sergey Predit and Eugen Eremia spent the weekend with us on a tour to raise support for Tavriski Christian Institute in Kherson, Ukraine.   Sergey is the president of this college with about 180 students scattered from Ukraine across many Muslim countries such as Tajikastan.  Eugen is his translator, web designer and wears many hats.  They are great guys and support the work of the street kids.  It was great having them in our home again.  They met with the Meridian Christian Church people and several of our church family from West Lansing Church of Christ.  God speed guys!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

We have a new display after three years.  We are getting closer to producing a promo-video (this is difficult since we are not trained to do this and are trying to master an acceptable version).  Lissa in Odessa has just contacted us with sheet sizes for a children's hospital that also deals with abandoned babies.  Lissa is the daughter of an American pastor and she teaches infant massage to local workers there.   We have been making new friends in Odessa where the street kid and orphanage problem is massive.  AIDS is epidemic there.  Since we fly in and out of there a lot the idea of working there also seems to make sense right now.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Nasha just emailed and said that Nastya had come in the other day and had slept in some bushes that night. Natasha also said funds are not coming in for the new rooms at the center.  We were hoping that Nastya and fourteen other kids would have a place to sleep this winter - other than the rat infested sewers.  It is getting more difficult for me to reconcile thousands of these kids preparing for another winter in the streets.  Lord, please send money for the renovations soon...before winter hits.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We traveled to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and met some new friends and renewed some old friendships.  They have a heart for missions and were very open to the kid's story.  At one point I was talking with someone and noticed a common occurrence.  A young girl was carefully studying the pictures and materials on our display, more so than most adults.  You could see her concern for her fellows across the globe.  Maybe the next generation will take up their cause more dramatically.  We did have a great meeting though.  Some gave so generously it amazed me.  They are even considering monthly support.  We need that right now

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

 

Last night, Dave Carlson, myself and my wife, traveled to Charlotte, Michigan for an area-wide men's fellowship.  It was family night so we had about 75 in the audience.  It was a great fellowship with ham, baked potatoes and wonderful pie.  I presented the the plight of the street kids with our powpoint and video clips.  Once again, I find it so frustrating to share just a few stories of these kids.  The problem is huge. And it is always so difficult to portray the feelings of being right there with the kids.  I always tell people we think we will be Jesus to the kids. However, the reality is, they are Jesus to us.   This is the most fulfilling feeling for the Kingdom I have ever experienced.  It is difficult to describe it.  We do have some opportunities coming up at Monroe Christian this weekend, Sault Ste. Marie in October, Dora, Indiana for a concert in November and the National Missionary convention in November.  We would love to come and share this story with your group.  Contact Dave Carlson, our Presentations Promoter for times and dates.

Thursday, September 5, 2006

Where will you sleep this winter?  Dr. Haaz Foundation in Kherson has an old building they want to turn into a new center for kids 14-16 years old.  They could live there, receive training for jobs, and get into a loving environment.  Nastya says she already has a corner picked out.  However this project is a great expense.  To convert the entire building is would cost an estimated $300,000.  We have no idea where or if this money will come from. 

In the meantime, Alla and her staff hope to fix up just two rooms of the center before this winter hits.  They figure for just under $10,000 they can winterize a small portion of the building, get beds and supplies, and actually provide a place for up to fifteen kids and a staff person to at least spend the night.  Again, we have no idea where this money is coming from...but...we hope and pray these kids do not have to spend another winter in the sewers.  Nastya has done this for ten winters...when is enough...enough?   Pray with us.  Help in this cause if you can. 

Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

We have returned from Ukraine again.  Our trip was productive and without incident overall, despite lost luggage for four days.  Our book research was very successful.  Taped interviews, a couple thousand pictures and lots of time with the kids will tell the story.  We not only spent time with the kids but made new contacts in Odessa.   Heinrick is a young pastor planting a new Vineyard church.  He is from Sweden and had been working in India -- until he got Malaria.   We also met several of Heinrick"s team members.  Lisa is a massage therapist from the U.S. who works with abandoned babies and orphans.  We had a great discussion on the need for healing touch in the lives of these abandoned kids.  This has been a major problem among the kids.  Once they are in the overburdened system there is very little human contant.  May close down or never open up emotionally.  Lisa has a tremendous ministry.  

Our time in the Ukraine was very productive.  We interviewed street kids and foster children.  At one point I asked a boy if kids were afraid of the rats in the sewers. He smiled and said no.  "We all know each other, " was his comment on this horror.   A staff worker confirmed that many orphans and street kids actually like the rats. 

We visited a holding jail for street kids, took street kids on an all day picknic at a beach and many other activites. More details coming in a day or so. 

 

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