Russian Speaking World
When Janet and Paul joined a short-term team for an eDOT computer outreach in Kiev, Ukraine, in March 2007, they never dreamed how God would change their lives! As North Americans, they thought they were going to help people there learn about computers and about God. And they did. They also connected with Pasha who gave them his e-mail address. Since then, through emails and Skype with Pasha and his family, Janet’s and Paul’s lives and values have changed. They’ve begun evaluating their values as Pasha has shared the pain of his family’s past – but more importantly, his family’s life of authentic faith and hope.
Through trials and testings, their family stood firm under Communism – and they learned to live by faith, not by sight. Current challenges with the economy, deceit, and government inequality continue to plague the country. Yet Pasha and his family often share verses with Paul and Janet such as 2 Cor. 7:4. As Janet expressed, “Their e-mails abound with joy and a genuine concern for us. Their faith and love have changed the direction of my husband’s and my lives. What they have given us defies measurement.”
In April 2008, Janet and Paul again joined an eDOT computer team in Kiev, and Pasha and his sister, Marianna, served as translators. Their friendship deepened. Pasha’s parents invited the team into their home for borsch and torte – as well as singing and prayer. “Jesus’ love, which knows no borders, was evident,” Janet explained. “They don’t have a car, big house, job security, or most of the things we take for granted. Yet their lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving; they trust God with areas of life over which they have no control, living day by day by faith.” Today, Janet and Paul are considering how they can serve God long term in Ukraine. “We talk with Pasha or his parents every week,” Janet shared. “We believe our meeting was God-directed, and we have found kindred hearts in one another.”
Does God use us in short-term missions? Sure He does. But He also uses the people we go to serve to change us.