Welcome to the official blog of the 2011 Mount Paran Church of God Choir Missions Trip to Ukraine! I am Chris Young, a tenor in the choir, and I am excited to be your blogger for what promises to be a wonderful and rich time of ministry.
On May 26, fifty members of our choir, under the direction and leadership of Mark Blankenship and Rod Jeffords, will leave Atlanta, Georgia, and travel some 5,452 miles en route to Ukraine. We undertake this trip in conjunction with Hope House International. For those of you who may be linking to this blog from Mount Paran’s main site or may not know about Hope House’s good work, click here. In short, Hope House “exists so that orphans can become adopted by helping Ukrainian Christian couples with adequate housing.” We will be working in orphanages up and down the length of the country, all the while opening doors for local churches to establish relationships with their directors and thus increase the exposure that these children have to the Gospel.
Throughout the trip, we will engage with the children in a series of planned activities — music, drama, recreation, arts, and the like. We will present to them children’s Bibles and other gifts. Through the generosity of many, we will be able to distribute much needed humanitarian relief — food, medicine, first aid supplies, clothing, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and toys, things we all tend to take for granted. We will also meet with Hope House families, those blessed brothers and sisters in Christ who have adopted these precious children into their homes and are now raising them as a family unit rooted in their Christian faith.
And, of course, this is the Mount Paran CHOIR — so we will SING! Concerts are planned throughout the country and at a variety of venues. Stay tuned for a pre-departure blog post on learning to sing… in Russian. (Некоторые из нас не знают английский язык. Я не знаю, как мы изучим русский язык.)
How can you help? Simple. Pray for us. Every choir member on the trip has asked at least ten people at home to be their prayer partners, lifting us up as individuals and as a corporate body as we prepare to minister in a part of the world where, just two decades ago, spiritual freedom was virtually non-existent. But we still welcome your prayers and intercession on our behalf — and if you don’t know exactly how to pray for us on this mission, lift us up in the spirit of 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NIV): “… we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
And if you are led to do more to support the missions ministries of Mount Paran or of Hope House, simply visit their websites for more information on how to give of your time, energy, and resources.
Once we reach Odessa, our starting point, on the 27th of May, my aim is to update this blog on a daily basis — and to include funny anecdotes, poignant stories, missionary testimonies, and pictures! But internet access, in places, may be dodgy. So if you do not see an update on a particular day, do not be discouraged. 🙂 Keep checking the site before we leave, though, for more pre-trip updates.
Yours in Christ,