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Archive for July, 2008

This morning, when I was doing my morning readings, part of the chapter in the Bible I was reading just reminded me once again what love is: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

It speaks about what love is, and what it is not. I just want to share the verses that spoke into my heart while I was reading this chapter, otherwise known as the “love chapter.”

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstances.

There are three things that will endure – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.

In chapter 12, Paul gave evidence of the Corinthians’ lack of love in the utilization of spiritual gifts. Chapter 13 defines real love, and chapter 14 shows how love works.

Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church body. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice, and miracle-working power have little effect without love. Love makes our actions and gifts useful. Although people have different gifts, love is available to everyone.

Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps us set aside our own natural desires so that we can love and not expect anything in return. Thus, the more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to others.

In morally corrupt Corinth, love had become a mixed-up term with little meaning. Today people are still confused about love. Love is the greatest of all human qualities, and it is an attribute of God himself. Love involves unselfish service to others, to show it gives evidence that you care.

Faith is the foundation and content of God’s message; love is the action. When faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves.

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I was accepted to take the Community Development Course at SIFAT in Alabama, USA. This course will start on Sept. 1, but all the applicants/students are required to be in the US on the last week of August at the latest for orientation purposes.

I’m getting busier and busier as the weeks pass by, planning and attending to the details of our church’s Summer Kids Camp together with the core group, among other things.

In this regard, I need your prayer support as I raise some funds to cover the airfare and part of the tuition fee that I need to pay to SIFAT. I need to raise approximately $1,500 ($1,000 for SIFAT and $500 for airfare). I’m hoping and praying that I will be able to get a cheaper ticket to the US if and when I get to book it earlier.

Another good news is that a Ukrainian couple, who are both core leaders at the Boshii Dar Church in Donetsk, was also accepted to take the course. I had asked SIFAT if it was possible to send an application for the scholarship of the couple and I had been told to send their application and wait for confirmation. When I was away during my birthday break, I received an email from SIFAT saying that the Ukrainian couple got accepted. Praise God for that!

If our plans don’t miscarry, I’ll be translating the lectures, from English to Russian, for the Ukrainian couple since their English is a bit limited.

Please pray with and for me/us as we prepare for this community development course that would equip us with all the skills and knowledge we need to be more effective in ministering and reaching out the Ukrainian community in Mine 12/18 and in other parts of Ukraine.

Thank you.

JULY 10 UPDATE: I thank God for His favor during the interview at the US Embassy. The interview went well and we got our US visas! 🙂 Our passports were delivered yesterday with the visas. Thank you so much to all of you who were praying for and with me/us on this one. We appreciate it very much. God is good and in control of everything indeed!

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