Articles written by: Joshua and Maurie Hanauer
Joshua: Well, we have been living in Kyiv for three months now. The time has flown by and we are getting more and more comfortable here. Maurie and I both want to thank all of you for the way you are supporting us. We receive e-mails from the States each week and we are really encouraged by that. Our weather is getting colder as the days go by. Today it is Ė10 degrees Celsius and they are saying we should be getting snow soon. We have just finished a busy weekend of teaching and preaching and spending time with the church. All is well here on the other side of the world.
Joshua: We have been looking over our past newsletters and we realized we havenít talked about what we think is the most important thing we do here in Kyiv. So, we thought we would spend some time talking about our Home groups.
Each week our church meets together on Sunday for a time of worship, teaching and encouragement. In some ways this time looks just like churches in the States. Maurie: However, in the middle of the week, our Home groups meet. Home groups are not H.O.P.E. groups. They are small, intimate groups of Christians who are committed to meeting together weekly and praying, sharing with, and ministering to one another. It is important that you understand that most of the ministry we do in the church takes place at Home groups. The Livoberezhna church has three Home groups that meet weekly. Joshua and I are going to tell you specifically about our group, because each group is a little different.
Our Home group meets each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. We have a meal together before we begin, which members of the group help to prepare. After eating we have a time of praise and worship. Joshua: This time usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. After we are done singing, we have a time of discussion. This time centers on the Bible, but quickly moves into peopleís lives. The idea is to get people talking about how the Word of God affects us today. Soon we are sharing with each other, praying for and encouraging one another. This is probably the most important time in the meeting. When that time concludes we pray some more over specific things going on in the lives of those present. We talk about the people with whom are we sharing our faith, and then we conclude. I think I can speak for Maurie and I both when I say it is our favorite part of the week.
Maurie: Recently we have become aware of the need for purposeful leadership training in the groups. We are trying to prepare the church for the time when they are independent from American missionaries and churches. In order to do this we feel that the leaders should be equipped with skills and knowledge that they can pass on to others. We plan on covering major theological topics, and also the Home group model, and we are collecting materials from both Monica Moreland and Chris Lovingood. This training begins January of 2003. Please be praying specifically for this. Thatís all for this month!