Why We Do What We Do!
As Andrea and I travel across the U.S. visiting churches, I've been surprised at
how often we're asked, "Why do you do this?" While the answer may seem obvious to
some, to others it isn't so clear. "Don't you love this country? There is plenty
of work to do for God's kingdom in America. Millions of people here don't know
the love of Christ. Why would you choose a profession that requires you to raise
the funds for your own salary and operating expenses, pack up your family and take
them thousands of miles away from family, friends, good schools, libraries, parks,
grocery stores..."(this list could go on and on and on!)
First let me say, that we DO love America very much. We love being able to speak
to our neighbors in our native language; we love our friends and family, our home
in Lawrenceville, the beauty of the beaches, mountains and countryside, the ease
of traveling from place to place, and yes, the comfort. When we're in Ukraine, we
think often of all these things and yes, we do miss them. As great as these
things are, however, there is something better, something brighter, something that
will never fade away.
Often in scripture we see God asking, "Do you love me? Do you trust me? Do you
believe me when I tell you that following me requires sacrifice, but in return
you'll gain something infinitely more valuable that can never be taken away?
Abraham believed that when he was willing to give up his own son (Genesis
22:1-12), while the rich young ruler just couldn't let go of his wealth. (Luke
While Andrea and I do love the people of Ukraine and the work we're doing there,
it's not always fun and exciting. Sometimes the cold winters get just a little
too long, sometimes it's really frustrating trying to have a conversation in
Russian, and often we miss greatly being around our loved ones in the States. So
while we genuinely love our work, and feel honored to able to be a part of God
drawing His people unto Himself, the biggest reason we do this work is because we
believe God has called us to tell those in Ukraine about His love and we want to
honor Him with our lives. We also believe that what we may miss out on in this
life is going to be inconsequential compared to things that will come.
No, we didn't hear an audible voice calling us to Ukraine, but we believe that He
did orchestrate several events that led us to our choice. He gave us a clear
command in scripture(Matthew 28:17 Therefore go and teach all nations...), He gave
us the desire and ability to go, and a very clear need was before us. Our good
friend Dave Smith likes to say, "If you see ten men moving a log in the forest,
and you see two men moving another log the same size, who are you going to help?"
While there is plenty of work to do in the U.S., there are also many laborers. In
Ukraine, the response to the gospel is great, but there are very few people
willing to take it to them. Andrea and I have a great love for the people of
Ukraine, we speak the language, and we have the ability to take the news of a
loving Father who is offering salvation to all. The question isn't "How can you
go?", it's "How can you NOT go?!"
Even though life is frustrating at times, we must say that this work that God has
called us to is also very joyful at times. Seeing lives and communities changed
as a result of the good news of Christ is wonderfully gratifying, and hearing
praises sung to our Father by lips that had once cursed Him is a wonderful thing.
We need others too! If you're interested in knowing how you can partner with us
in our work, either by sending us or joining us, please let us know on our Partner
With Us page. We can send you information about Ukraine, as well as other
opportunities around the world.