Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Request for Prayers

It is unbelievable to think I am already finishing my freshman year in college. It seems like just yesterday that I was a freshman in High School, thinking college was a distant event in my life. God has blessed me immensely in the opportunities he has given me at Mt Hood Community College . One of the highlights was being given the opportunity to organize and serve with a team to do Katrina Relief work in New Orleans over spring break. Not a single person came back from the trip unchanged, for the better. It was an amazing experience in my life, and an excellent learning opportunity to help prepare me for what's next.

April 26th marked the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Reminiscing the explosion of Reactor 4, which was directly responsible for 56 deaths and indirectly responsible for up to 200,000 deaths, is only a reminder of the deeper problems overshadowing Ukraine. Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, it has struggled politically and economically to get traction. Economic output has dropped 40%, and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has even threatened to withdraw help. Mass labor emigration out of the Ukraine in the late 90's, with upwards of 3 million people or 16% of the total population leaving, has not helped the situation. But the Chernobyl catastrophe and the crippling state that the Soviet Union left Ukraine is only a reflection of the problems the Ukrainians face emotionally and spiritually. Legend holds that Ukraine was once the destination of the Apostle Andrew, whose arrival brought sweeping conversion to Christianity. This is unfortunately not the case today. Hampered by the division of the Catholic Church early in the first century and later by the attempts of Soviet Union to crush religion, which had no part in their idealistic dreams of communism, Christianity has struggled in a once devout region. Currently, with the ongoing assault by Islam, Ukraine largely remains a lethargic inactive Orthodox Christian country.

It is at this point that my small footnote in the book of Ukraine's history begins. I have been given the opportunity, through the organization Thoughts of Faith, to serve the Lord and the people of Ukraine. I will be helping Pastor Serhiy Romanuik at his church by teaching Vacation Bible School. I would like to request your support in this endeavor. Above all else, I would ask for you to keep me and the work being done by the Christian Church in Ukraine in your prayers. Pray that time and effort is well spent serving God, and that God will allow us to be the medium through which He works to touch the Ukrainians lives in a way that will have eternal consequences. Thank you in advance for your prayers. I look forward to sharing with you the events of this amazing opportunity.

Romans 10:14-15 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?

David Knepprath

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