CCLC Missions

June Johnson, Ukraine

 

Written August 19, 2022 

                                        “Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something

                                         other than God which will make him happy.”
                                         —C.S. Lewis

 

                                        I listened with my whole body and scratched notes as he spoke.  Jenya is the first person I’ve                                                    spoken to who has served on the front in the war. About 4 years ago we met at a special needs conference. “I want to learn how to care for wounds.” About 6 months later, he attended a class I gave in central Ukraine. Since then, we have been in touch as he sent patient wound photos asking for additional consultation.  Under his hands, wounds closed remarkably fast. God was with this man.

 

I knew that from the first story he told about his trip to the conference. While riding in the train, he pulled out a wooden recorder from his backpack.  Softly playing it in the open train car, it caught the attention of everyone around him.  Eventually he was asked the question he was waiting for. “Where did you get your recorder?”

 

Jenya answered, “I found a stick in the trash.  I pulled it from the trash and began whittling and sanding it. This recorder is that stick.  That is like my own story.  God pulled me from the trash and is working on me.  He wants me to be a beautiful instrument in His hands; to share His love with others.”

 

A trained physical therapist and Christian psychologist who also has a great grasp on wound care, pre-war Jenya worked with the elderly, children and soldiers.  Since February, he has served as a medic with his battalion.  Then in mid-June, a bullet found him.  Here are snips of his story…

 

“A bullet had jammed my gun.  I was hiding in an abandoned house, and I figured I was surrounded because of how they were firing at me. To not give them the joy of killing me, I reached for my knife to slit my own throat. Once, twice, three times I reached for my knife, but it would not come.  Then I looked down to see why I could not pull out my knife.  Had I not looked down, I would not have seen the full magazine laying at my feet.  I put it in my gun and started firing back.  Like in the story of Meshack, Shadrack and Abednego, the place I was hiding in was now in flames, but I was not on fire.  As I jumped out of a window to escape, a bullet hit me in the butt.

 

Now separated from our group, I was with a fellow soldier.  We needed each other.  I was injured and he was 23 and terrified.  Which way to go?  During the night rockets were exploding. Like the stories in the Old Testament when God led Israel by a pillar of fire, the rockets lite up the sky. In this way He lite our path with their light.  We crawled and swam away from the area.  To ease our hunger, we ate tulip bulbs. Once, while I waited, he went to nearby abandoned houses and God led him to 2 sets of dry clothes and water.  Another time he came back with a bottle of Sprite! “

Eventually God led them to safety and Jenya was taken to the hospital.  Now, some 6 weeks later, his voice still cracked from the memories.  Jenya’s wound went on to heal but he still uses a cane due to the numbness and pain from the damaged sciatic nerve.

 

One small story, out of millions of stories, of suffering from the choice of another.  And, one small story, out of even more stories, of God’s prevailing hand moving in the midst of evil.

“I am with you always.” Matt 28:20. It is the ultimate game changer.

Paul Tripp

 

2 shifts -   After hearing about it from one friend, I wrote to another, “I have a lot of things in the garage, and I am ready to share it all with you.”  Last December, when I left Ukraine, all the craft supplies had arrived for the upcoming summer camps.  Now the garage just needed to be opened and the boxes pulled out, and that is what happened! My heart was thrilled that the supplies could and would be used. 

 

I was so impressed that the church I attend in Ukraine was actually planning Vacation Bible School!  Back in March, the enemy came within 10 miles of Brovary. By the grace of God, they were pushed back and out of the area and ever since Grace Church has serving.  In late March they were housing, feeding & helping to evacuate refugees.  May through July, they continued feeding and were a humanitarian aid outlet point. Now in August, they were planning a twice a week VBS that would continue for a month. 

 

At the end of August, I heard back from Tanya, “I want to thank you for the wonderful material that you allowed us to use. It helped us a lot financially. May the Lord bless you. After the VBS, we are going to organize a club for unchurch children who came to VBS. Can we continue to use this material for this and also for the Sunday School??” Of course, I said yes. 

 

And this is what is has been like!  This is one tiny example of how the church – God’s Bride – has been serving in Ukraine.  When I finish with my first shift (workday here in Germany), I start my 2nd shift by getting online to see what the church is up to.  I mean the church in the global sense of the word – God is working through His church in Ukraine, the USA and beyond. And trying to keep up, is a full-time job!

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Because you had given, the craft supplies were in place for the VBS, follow up clubs and for Sunday School this fall.  No crafts do not save a soul. But they are fun & interesting to the child and part of the whole beautiful package of VBS. Crafts go home and catch the eye of the parent who then comes with interest to see more.  God can use whatever He wants to save souls.

 

Because you gave, I was able to give funds to support another outreach happening in September at Grace Church.  Refugee teens - churched and unchurched – are being invited to a camp being led by the son of our former senior pastor (who died from COVID last year).  Tim has fully taken on the youth group leadership in an amazing way.

 

Because you gave, we are supporting work among refugees in central Ukraine -in the city where Europe’s largest nuclear plant is occupied by the enemy – a pastor and his family are transporting in humanitarian aid, food & medication – to orphanages for those with special needs, nursing homes and individuals.  They also visit the hospital and together we have online video consultations with ostomy patients. 

 

Because you gave, we are assisting a church in Lutsk (western Ukraine) and another still closer to the Polish border to continue their work in housing, feeding, clothing, transporting and spiritually reaching out to 100’s of refugees.

 

This link has English subtitles for the video done about the church/Christian Retreat Center that you are helping which is located 2 hours from the Polish border.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOxc-MVox2g

 

Because you gave, we are assisting an outreach in central Ukraine that for 10+ years works with orphans.  Be they street kids or those in orphanages or those with special needs in orphanages – Alpha & Omega are delivering humanitarian aid, feeding, clothing and sharing the Gospel message with those who don’t have someone to call mom or dad here on earth.

 

Because you gave, we are assisting an outreach in central Ukraine whose focus is unchurched children.  With a passion for the pre and teenage group, year-round for the past 5 years they are doing weekend and after school outreaches as well as day camps.

 

Because you gave, we are supporting a beautiful work happening in the villages in north central Ukraine. Ira wrote - My daughter is now in Popilna with my husband and the youth. They conduct camp-visits in villages in the yards of our people with disabilities, gather neighbors and the needy, conduct a program and help with food and hygiene products. Indeed, it is very important at this time to tell (and show) people with disabilities that they have not been forgotten!!!

At first, they planned to simply visit them with help and gifts. And then God gave an idea. The neighbors (the poor, those with many children, displaced people) are invited to the yard of a person with a disability - and in such a way a mini-camp is held there.

 

I answered - Thank God, they have the strength, desire and opportunity to hold small camps. It seems impossible to hold a "camp" right now.... but right now it's the most important thing.

 

Ira wrote back - I had the honor of bringing food and hygiene products across the border for this program and "called" everyone. The first thing I heard were tears: thank you for not forgetting us... and then there were many more tears as everyone called and thanked them for this joy and help in the middle of the war! Thank you for your heart and desire to give a gift!

 

Because you gave, a 5-day retreat for 63 participants in western Ukraine has been funded – all are families that have a special needs family member. The funds had just arrived by a family visiting me from Oregon.  The next day I turned and gave it to those returning to Ukraine and texted the retreat leader…

 

Galya AGAPE, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:35:08 PM]:

Dare I ask that we may hope to get this much support? 😲

 

June Johnson, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:35:52 PM]:

it already comes to you : ). it should arrive in a few days.

 

Galya AGAPE, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:41:25 PM]:

Yaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!   Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!  😃😃😃😃😃😃😃

Both Larysa and I are so grateful to you for this help!!!!!!! I am about to burst into crying!!!!!!!

What other person, church or organization should we be grateful to???????

 

June Johnson, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:44:16 PM]:

I also am very happy! Happy that you have the desire and courage to do

this now...when it is needed the most!  I am grateful to God for His

provision...in all the details.  It is the people that support my ministry that

gave these funds.

 

Galya AGAPE, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:48:37 PM]:

Praise to the LORD for the desire in their hearts to do what HE

wants to be done!!!

 

June Johnson, [Aug 13, 2022 at 7:49:04 PM]:

Amen!

 

I so so wish that I could show you how you are involved…

how you God’s Church...are a part of His work! 

Your prayers and gifts are equipping others.

Only in heaven will you fully know how God used you. 

But today, with them,

I want to say thank you for giving to the Lord!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COUN6TB3O_s

 

“Some believe it is only great power

that can hold evil in check,

but that is not what I have found.

It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk

that keep the darkness at bay.

Small acts of kindness and love.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Blessings, June

1.Jenya gives medical supplies to trusted colleagues at the local hospital 

2. Zoya with Boris (a leader with the Mennonite Church) in Central Ukraine. She has given Boris the bag of medical supplies that I sent via my humanitarian aid boxes.  Which ALL finally arrived! 

3. My very close friend and colleague Era came to help with the camps (above) and God gave us the sweet gift of being able to see each other again.

4. Sergi & Natasha Bolchuk (leaders of AGAPE in Lutsk) - along with Joni & Friends put on 3 camps this month for 3 groups of refugees in Europe.  Thank you Lord

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CMF INTERNATIONAL  is a global mission team at work in 26 countries creating dynamic, Christ-centered communities. 

AfricanSMILE Fundraiser

 

Since 2004, AfricanSMILE has blessed the people of Nkungi Village in Tanzania with volunteers

and over $1 million dollars invested to build hospital facilities, support primary and secondary

education, give housing and dignity to the local Leper population and to provide adequate

access to clean water.

In 2022 the needs couldn’t be more critical:

Recent droughts and persistent poverty have created the need to buy corn to address immediate hunger.

Lack of access to basic eye care causes long term effects for children and adults alike.

Iambi Nursing School has one of the finest teachers in the country, but lacks funding to pay educators.

AfricanSMILE is continuing to address these needs with an aim towards sustainable solutions,

such as buying seed corn for planting to increase future village harvests; providing eyedrops

for infants to prevent childhood blindness as well as cataract surgery for adults to improve

quality of life for young and old; and funding teachers at Iambi Nursing School to train nurses

who will provide much needed medical care for the region. AfricanSMILE’s goal of raising $20,000 will help address these critical needs.

CAN YOU HELP?

Mail a check. Make your gift payable to Community of Hope and include AfricanSMILE in the memo line.

Mail checks to:

Community of Hope

27817 SW Stafford Road

Wilsonville, OR 97070

Your donation is tax deductible.

Hand in Hand Farm

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                                      Hand In Hand Farm has been partnering with Christ Community for almost ten years now.  

                                      We appreciate the mission support, but the greater blessing has been that of having a safe church                                        to bring vulnerable families to so that they can experience the love and support of a church family                                          while they learn about God and Jesus. Christ Community has been that church family. 

                                      When you look out over the sanctuary during the service, one sees a lot of grey hair.  The uninformed would think that this is a church on the way out, elders without another generation to succeed them.   What they don’t see are all of the grandparents here, ready to nurture the future generations that are brought through these doors. 

Most of you have heard about Hand In Hand Farm through our presentations.  If you want to find out more about what we do, it’s easy to Google us and find our website and Facebook page.  However, it’s more important to us that you know about YOUR role in what comes AFTER Hand In Hand Farm, the church family that’s needed to provide support for families for the rest of their lives. 

Athena    

                             Hand In Hand Farm     35105 Ede Road, Lebanon, OR 97355   541-451-1243                                                                           Visit our website:  www.handinhandfarm.org                                                                                                                                Share and like our page on Facebook!:  www.facebook.com/handinhandfarm/                                                                           Sign up for our email mailing list! 

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Lutheran World Relief

 Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Fill Up The Tub!

It’s time again to fill up our tub with items for the Personal Care Kits,  Baby Kits and School Kits for Lutheran World Relief.

You can help just by picking up a few extra items when you are out shopping.                     

Every extra bar of soap, box of crayons or pair of baby socks contributes to our efforts.

Place your donated items in the galvanized tub located in The Gathering Place (Fellowship area).

Our next shipment is in May. Thank you for your ongoing help with this Mission project!

All items listed are the only items LWR will accept in their  kits. We appreciate your donations of these specific items.

Personal Care Kit

  •  Adult size toothbrushes in original packaging

  • Sturdy combs

  • Metal nail clippers

  • Bath-size towels and hand towels in dark colors

Baby Care Kit

  •  Light weight cotton T-shirts            (no onesies)

  • Long or short sleeved gowns or sleepers (without feet). Sizes up to 18 months

  • Jackets, sweaters or sweatshirts with hood or include baby cap

  • Pairs of socks

  • Hand towels (dark colors)

School Kit

  •  70-sheet notebooks wide or college rule

  • Rulers (30 centimeters on one side)

  • Pencil sharpeners

  • Blunt scissors

  • #2 pencils with erasers

  • Black or blue pens (no gel ink)

  • 2.5 inch erasers 

  • Box of 16 or 24 crayons

Affirming God’s love for all people, we work with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice and human suffering.

Collecting School Supplies right now! 

Operation Christmas Child

The Amazing Journey of a Shoebox Gift Begins with You and Results in Evangelism, Discipleship, and Multiplication.

Operation Christmas Child  “Shoeboxes”

A reminder —  we have a collection box in the church’s Gathering Place for any items donated for our fall packing party. The shoeboxes are now available for you to pick up and fill.  Suggested items for each age level are listed.                                                        

Our Christmas Child Shoebox collection day is Sunday, November 14th .

Shoebox Fundraiser a Success!

Thank you, everyone who participated and donated to our dessert auction for Operation Christmas Child Sunday, September 19th. Looking at a potential goal of 75 shoeboxes we would have needed $675 for shipping. The dessert auction took in a bit more than $1,500!                                                                       So, thanks again to our auctioneer Bruce Grohn, all of you wonderful bakers, and especially all of you who donated to this worthy cause. May Christ’s gospel go forth in the world, and to God be the Glory!