Last Bell in Ukraine

This is an update from Bekah Scruitsky from MSC who has gone to Ukraine to serve with Last Bell Ministry for two months:

Hi Everyone!!!

First of all I want to thank you all for your prayers! I can SO feel them. God is so good to me, and kind, He is such a kind God! I am AMAZED by what God is doing here in Zhytomr, Ukraine and in Last Bell Ministries. I feel beyond blessed to be here right now. I could not have asked God to place me among a more grace-filled, loving, Jesus centered group of people. The staff and kids are simply precious and a joy to be around. They are such a blessing to me.

The first week I was here with Glenn Grosh, Jamie Zehner and my mom Renee Scruitsky. We were able to tour around Zhytomr, Kiev (the capital of Ukraine), see the Shelter, and the Haven kids and staff, go on a boat ride with the Shelter kids, and bless the staff with an all American BBQ. All of this was so much fun to be apart of. For those of you who do not know both the Haven and the Shelter are held in a home where house parents live. There are more couples that help in the Haven and Shelter but do not live there. The Haven is for the kids that have graduated from the Orphanage the past 2 years. And the Shelter is for the kids older then that. They meet a few times each week and play games, eat, get help with homework, get advice from their parents, learn about Jesus, and hang-out with one another. The Shelter and Haven staff act like parents to these kids and love them just as much as any biological parent would love their kids.

Since they have left, Liz and I have had the girls and boys apartment (about 6 of the Shelter girls live in an apartment and about 4 of the Shelter boys live in a different apartment) over for dinner, cooked dinner for the staff, she is showing me around town and how to get places, went ice skating with all the graduate kids, and took one of the girls to Kiev for Y-Wam.

So far the highlight of my trip was when we were ice skating. I was able to watch one of the toughest girls skate hand-in-hand with her dad. She was clutching the rail most of the time until he came up and started helping her. It reminded me of a child ice skating for the first time with their dad. I didn’t see an orphan with a man that is trying to love her like Jesus. But a dad loving on his child. I am amazed by how much the staff here love their kids. They take them in and love them just like any parent would love their child.

It breaks my heart the way orphans are treated here. Once they leave the orphanage, around 15 years of age or so, many of them go on to trade school, however, they do not get to pick the trade they want to do, but get the leftover trades that no one wants. I learned that the boys were kicked out of their apartment because the owner found out they were orphans. Many of them lose their jobs when their boss finds out they are orphans. It is very hard for them to move up in the world just because they grew up in an orphanage.

This week we will be going back to Kiev to visit the young girl that is at Y-Wam, hanging out with the boy’s apartment, hanging out with the girl’s apartment, cooking dinner for the staff on Friday, and church Sunday. They are off this week from the Shelter and Haven meeting because of all the extra stuff that has been going on… but next week will be back to the normal schedule.

Emotionally, I am doing much better, now. The first week was very difficult, and at some moments I wanted to come home. But since my mom and everyone left I have been learning how to really, fully rely on Christ. And He has been giving me this unquenchable passion for His Word. Like I can’t get enough of it! I have been learning that I can be the happiest person in the world just because I am in Christ. God told me the other day that not only is He with me… but I am with Him. I am associated with Christ, and it doesn’t get better then that. Jesus is becoming so real to me, and He is becoming a personal God that is so kind, so loving, so generous, and so perfect.

Please keep praying for me. My health has been wonderful so far (Praise God), so pray that continues. Please pray that God’s love will go past any language barrier. That I will be a blessing and have His eyes to see where I am needed. That I will have the servant’s heart of a toilet cleaner. And that I will continue to fall in love with who Jesus is to me.

Sorry this is such a book… I will try to write more frequently so that they are shorter.

Thank you for praying for me!

Worshiping Him,
Bekah

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Feed My Starving Children Update

Hello!

I hope everyone who had the chance to participate in the Feed My Starving Children food packing event had fun. I did and I was blown away by those who came to help out. The age spectrum of volunteers was fantastic as there was a strong presence of senior citizens (grandma’s and grandpa’s) to little kids who had to stand on boxes to reach and accomplish their task. It was a beautiful thing to see a community together and serve. Each of you were a part of a group of volunteers that consisted of secular and religious (Jewish and Christian) groups of various backgrounds with one purpose in mind, to lessen the pain of hunger and poverty experienced all over the world. Below are some of the numbers of what was accomplished through your participation given by Jim Egbert who organized this event from Covenant Presbyterian Church. Be blessed and be amazed by what you read. Continue encouraging each other by sharing all the things the Lord is doing in you and through you.

Because of the work of many, many people we had a fantastic event!!

(At the Covenant Presbyterian site ) We packed 370,656 meals during our 11 shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This will provide 1,015 at-risk children with one meal a day for an entire year!

Our goal was 350,000 meals.

First Presbyterian Church packed 202,608 meals during their 7 shifts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Colorado Springs packed 573,264 meals during 4 days – enough food to feed 1,570 at-risk children one meal a day for entire year.

We have currently received $46,036 in cash & check donations. This is more than our contractual commitment of $42,500.

We filled 1,615 volunteer packing slots plus 15 volunteers for set-up and 25 volunteers during tear-down for a total of 1,655 slots filled or 3,310 volunteer hours.

Keep living out lives that are transformed by the love of God! Grace and Peace!

Jamie Zehner

Outreach and Missions Coordinator

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Blossoming Centers

Praise the Lord for the faithful perseverance of Woodmen Valley Chapel to seek out how they can be a blessing to the community of Colorado Springs and then stepping out in faith to see what God will accomplish! Click here to see what they’ve been doing.

Does anyone have thoughts of specific areas or activities in Colorado Springs that MSC can pour into which align with the giftings and passions of our body of believers?

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Live the Mission, Move the Manure

JD Ross Project for LTMW:

The week before Live the Mission Weekend we had heavy moving equipment brought in to move a more than six foot high mound of manure, and a bunch of steel poles.  It would be a back breaking chore for anyone and would take every one of us the whole day to move. On Saturday, the whole day was filled with excitement and glee. People seemed to move into projects that just naturally fit their skills. We filled the freezer with lots of delicious meals for the family so when the family is able to come home they will not have to worry about cooking for awhile. The sticks and stones and sting were picked up so the mowing and trimming could begin. Then the trees and bushes were trimmed, the grass was mowed and we filled the trucks with trash again and again as they delivered it to the dump. The flowers were planted, the garden was tilled, the windows were washed, the carpets were cleaned and the laundry was done. The barns were cleared and the tables and chairs were painted. With a final God bless you and thank you for coming we set the water timer for the grass and drove off through the triple cross gate and asked God to bless this family and bring them home soon. After such a hot wonderful day it began to rain. I could only think that God was tending to all the flowers that we had just planted.

-Rebecca Axton

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Just Living Life

This is a story from a Mountain Springs member:

I was a single mom when my husband met me.  He and I were great friends but he LOVED my daughter.  Over time our relationship grew and blossomed and we knew that we were destined to be together.

Now, after ten years in wedded bliss, we are thrilled to be living the mission together.  We have a specific heart for single moms who are overworked and tired.

God has placed a number of single women in our lives, but there is one woman with whom our relationship is making a difference.  She was married when we met — I did not know that her husband was having an affair, or that they were going through counseling.  She knew my history.  She asked a lot of questions that I didn’t realize were impacting her life.  Her husband left, moved to another state, and they were sadly divorced.  “God” is important in her life, but she hasn’t understood the relationship with God that can bring peace that passes all understanding.

As our relationship has grown through the last year she continues to seek a relationship with God, although she doesn’t yet understand this relationship.  I simply live life with her.  We watch the kids play, talk about meal issues, work, decorating, etc.  She asks a lot of questions about how to live life instead of merely existing throughout the drudgery of the day to day.  During Live the Mission Weekend, a group of 5 painted the trim of her house.  We received a letter from her this last week:

“There are no words to describe the kindness of your actions.  I appreciate your willingness to give up a Saturday to help me paint the trim of my house.  I get tears in my eyes when I look at it and am thankful for people like you in my life.  So, with all my heart — THANK YOU!  You’ll have to drive by  my house one day.  My Dad and I are almost finished with the house and it looks great!”

I am confident that He will bring her life to its fullest and I am also confident she will continue to grow in relationship and recognize a peace and a hope that passes all understanding.  I am thankful that He allows me to live life with my dear friend!

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1,000 people, 54 projects, 7,000 hours

And that was only the first weekend…

What an exciting past couple of months this has been. We have seen the Lord fill all of our hearts with His love to the point of overflowing, and bring together a band of followers of Jesus who are passionate and energetic about sharing the love of God to El Paso County. For Live the Mission Weekend around 1,000 people volunteered to participate in at least 54 projects that loved on the residents of El Paso County in a tangible way. Everyone who participated in the weekend and/or prayed us through the weekend lifted up a mighty voice in unison to declare the awesome and redeeming love of God.

Many people asked if Live the Mission Weekend June 2010 was a onetime event and many requested to keep it going. This was not a onetime event. Live the Mission Weekend was the beginning of much more, and that is exactly what has happened.

As “Live the Mission” is part of MSC’s Mission Statement, we created this blog as a way for the MSC body to share their “God Stories” as individuals go out in to the community. Please use this site to testify, inquire and encourage each other as we all experience the life transforming love of God. Keep an eye on the MSC outreach event page to view up and coming projects and outreach opportunities.

Grace and Peace,

Jamie Zehner

Outreach and Missions Coordinator

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