Lighthouse Baptist Church Anniversary and More

Sunday began with a trip to the church to load up everything we would need to hold services in the park…evidently, it takes pretty much everything in the church…lol. We had to load it up, transport it, then it was all carried into the park from a neighboring street…it was quite the undertaking. Mark and I went to one of the local markets to pick up the “fruit cakes” with chocolate on top, then headed back to the park.

After some singing, specials, and poems, I preached the first service. There were people that walked up and joined us, and many curious onlookers that observed from afar. After the preaching, we enjoyed some lunch and fellowship, took some group pictures by the fountain, and then gathered again for some more preaching. For the afternoon service, we had some more singing and specials, with nine preachers who preached 10 minute messages. I sat with people who were taking turns interpreting for me. It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was such a blessing. We carried “everything”…hehe…back out to the street, loaded up, and hauled it back to the church. It was a long, hot, but very rewarding day. I will remember it always.

After we finished up, I had the opportunity to take all of the missionaries and another couple (Vova and Nadia) to a authentic Ukrainian restaurant downtown. It was a “fancy pants” place that none of them had been to that featured traditional foods, waitresses in traditional costumes, etc. I can’t really tell you all of the things I ate…because this blog entry would be entirely too long…but it was way too much. It was a very enjoyable time of fellowship, and a much deserved treat for our friends after a long, hard day.

As I write this, it is Monday morning in Odessa, and we are preparing for a day of activities. I think we are going to the catacombs, taking a boat tour on the Black Sea, going to some local markets, souvenir shopping, then meeting the rest of the missionaries and others for a “shashlik” barbecue in a park overlooking the sea. Should be fun…

I am looking forward to teaching in the Institute tomorrow…and I will also be playing the guitar and singing for them (yikes)…I have decided that not only do the people here talk funny…they “hear” funny too. Did one song at the park yesterday…it has been a while since I played, so it will be interesting…grateful for the opportunity. Talk again soon…