26 February 2003
Articles Written by Joshua and Maurie Hanauer

Maurie-Joshua and I were pleased to welcome two teenagers from Memphis, Tennessee into our home for the week of February 22nd-28th. Daniel Wade and Mitch Holt came with a Christian singing group to perform for audiences at International Christian University, the UEC and my school, Specialty English school #159. Other students accompanying the young men were Tara Turner, Becky Abell, Jenny Edwards and their teacher, Julie Moltrie. The group recorded C.D.’s and brought t-shirts to give out to those who came to their shows. Over sixty people attended the performance at the UEC. From the looks on their faces it was obvious that the Christians from both Livoberezhna and Nivki churches were blessed as they sang along with many of the songs. It was beautiful to hear people singing and humming the songs later in the week and listening to the C.D. at the UEC. Besides sharing their talents, the group also gave testimonies of why they came to Ukraine. One comment that touched my heart was Mitch’s. He explained that he wanted everyone to know that what is on MTV is not the only music that comes out of America. This really is a problem. Those people who have never been to America or had any contact with Americans before believe what the movies and MTV says about our culture. While these things do portray our culture in one sense, I do not know many people who find it acceptable to behave like the lyrics produced by Britney Spears or Eminem. Part of Mitch’s purpose in coming here was to provide an alternative that was wholesome and God-centered, and over 100 C.D.’s were distributed as a step in that direction.

Growing Leaders

Joshua-In other news, I have just started a Bible study with a group of scientists here in Kyiv. One of the preachers at our church (Sergiy Shandrenko) is a research scientist at an institute. He works with about ten colleagues who are all interested in English. One day Sergiy was telling them about Maurie and I and what we are doing here, and they asked if I would study with them each week. So, every Wednesday, Sergiy and I meet with his coworkers and study the Bible together. They have lots of questions each week and it makes for great discussion, although I struggle to come up with the answers sometimes. However, the group has met three times and it has been wonderful.

It is exciting to see members of the church talking about God to people with whom they are in contact. Maurie and I could have never met these scientists if it were not for Sergiy. The other exciting thing is that Sergiy will be able to continue the study even after Maurie and I are back in America.

Even as I write, Maurie is on her way to Russian and I am going to finish up my lesson for tonight’s School of Christian Ministry. We are discussing prayer, and Sasha Kuzmenko (a young man in our church) is helping me teach. I am and have been encouraging Sasha to begin taking a more active role in the activities of the church, especially preaching and teaching. Livoberezhna desperately needs more godly male leaders. We met last week to pray about our teaching and he told me how excited he was to be teaching on such an important topic. I am proud to be working with him and I know God will bless him in all that he has prepared to say tonight. Please take time this month to pray for Sasha and Sergiy and my interaction with them. They are both foundational members and leaders of Livoberezhna church, and they need encouragement and wisdom.

Cleaning the Bathtub

Maurie-I am sure many of you remember Lena Gaychuk, a student whom we have mentioned in previous newsletters. She helps me teach the Young People’s HOPE group, and Monica and I were studying the Bible with her last semester. She has continued to blossom in faith and developed a beautiful curiosity for the Bible. This past week she asked Joshua to baptize her! We are all rejoicing and very excited about this event. However, our bathtub is the baptistery, so I better go scrub it! Until next month!