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Jay and Judy Francis - January 2019

 

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Looking Back at 2018

2018 brought many milestones for me (Judy). In June, my hometown celebrated its 200th anniversary. I was glad I had the opportunity to return for the festivities and to see how much the town has changed (for the better) since I left in 1976. Needless to say, I’ve changed a lot since then, too! It was in November of 1998 (20 years ago), while Jay was working as an engineer and I was a nurse, that we followed God’s leading to pursue a second career in cross-cultural missions. We moved to Ukraine in August of 2008 (10 years ago). We celebrated 40 years of marriage in September and in October, I celebrated my 60th birthday. These milestones gave me an opportunity to reflect on the past and God’s faithfulness.

Regarding our ministry, in 2018 we continued to see our local church grow. Jay taught in Bible Colleges, we helped Cru with an English Club outreach in the spring, Judy helped with administration of our small language school, we hosted one of our church’s small groups in our home, Jay served with teammates on our “Missions Mobilization Ministry,” we helped at summer camps and hosted 2 summer interns. Most of the time we do not know how God uses these experiences in the lives of others. 

One of SEND Ukraine’s desires is to see God grow and develop Ukrainian Christians to take the Gospel to people from other cultures, either by going to other countries or to reach out to internationals living in Ukraine. This mobilization effort takes many different forms. For Jay, this includes teaching Introduction to Missions classes in various Bible Colleges and Seminaries in different locations. During the Spring of 2018 he taught this course in a city where some of our SEND teammates live. He had a normal week of teaching. There were about 10 students who listened politely as Jay taught and Pastor Oleg translated, took notes, completed their assignments and then everyone dispersed. Jay returned home to Kyiv and turned his attention to other activities. You can imagine our surprise when several months later our teammate shared how that week impacted Pastor Oleg. His church had previously shown little interest in world missions, but after translating for the Introduction to Missions class, he started making an emphasis on missions a regular part of Sunday worship. That includes praying for unreached people groups, recognizing God’s heart for the nations in his sermon texts, and planning a short-term missions trip. What blessing to hear how God uses our ministry to help others grow in discipleship!

Looking Ahead

As we look ahead to 2019, we foresee no major changes. Judy will continue helping with administration at the small SEND language school, Jay already has a few teaching requests and we will continue actively participating at Resurrection Church. In February, we will both help with a week-long Kairos course and our church will celebrate her 10th anniversary. In March and June, we will say good-by to teammates who are returning to Canada and the U.S. It seems we are always saying “good-by” or “hello” to someone! Judy is waiting to see if we will have any short-termers or interns with us this year.  Whatever opportunities the Lord brings our way we will share with you, so you’ll need to continue reading our newsletters! We are very grateful for those of you who support with finances and prayer.

Below are our current prayer and praise items.

Praise God: 
 -For His provision for Resurrection Church to send a shortterm missions team to Egypt Jan. 14-21.
 -For the good visits we had with friends and family.
 -For the opportunity to represent SEND International at the Urbana Student Missions Conference in December.
 -For Resurrection Church celebrating 10 years.

Pray about:
 -Debriefing with the short-term team from our church.
 -Guard us from injury as we walk on icy sidewalks.
 -Feb. 2 - Jay teaching at our church’s Bible School
 -Feb. 18-22 - Jay teaching Theology 1 at Korosten Bible College
 -Feb. 25-March 1 - Jay and Judy helping with a Kairos course
 -March 22-24 - International Missions Conference

Jay and Judy Francis
SEND, International - Kyiv Ukraine