Foundations of Faith
She is 82 years old. She came to be baptized. Alisa had prayed to receive Christ in her church membership interview. When asked if she knew for certain she was going to Heaven, she said, "I hope so! I've tried to live a good life."
But now she knows that the only reason she can go to Heaven is that Jesus paid for her sin on the cross, and she can claim a life in Heaven with Him when she dies. In fact, she is developing that new life with Him every week. She faithfully attends worship services, comes to the Saturday Bible classes taught by Kim, and joins with 50 other widows and pensioners in the Foundations of Faith Tuesday class taught by Diane McMurrin.
Foundations of Faith is a new initiative of Music Mission Kiev for those who want to grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, to develop relationships within the church family, and to have their questions answered.
At Wes Janzen's suggestion, Diane McMurrin began this program, originally designed for new members of the church. Diane interviews each candidate with a discussion about the gospel to be sure that each new member is indeed a Christian. The membership classes (which include 20-40 people twice a year) come into the church with joy, but there had been no follow-up class to help them become grounded in their faith. Since it was not possible to rent Bieli Dome (our rented church space) during the week, Wes suggested that we find a different location that would accommodate 50-60 people.
The Central Baptist Church had the facility that we needed. Not only could we have a classroom to seat 60 people with projector and screen for video presentations, but there were also two dining rooms for a lunch, cooked and served by their church staff.
Diane gave the 30 new members first priority; then she invited ten of the church leaders; and finally, opened up the other spaces to those who seriously wanted to study more of the Bible.
In the mealtime, a church leader sits at each table with new and old members. The tables discuss: what did you learn today from the lesson, and the church leader takes notes. The class members write their questions on slips of paper which the leader collects. These questions are translated into English by Irina Loktionova and sent to Diane by email.
The questions are very interesting, some about the church. "Why do people in the West celebrate Easter on a different Sunday than people in Ukraine? What does 'Protestant' mean? Are monks in monasteries more holy than other people?" "In 1 Corinthians, it says women should cover their heads. Should we cover our heads?"
Some questions are about Scripture they have been reading: "What did Jesus mean when He said to Peter, 'Get thee behind me, Satan'? Or when He said to the people, 'If any man come after me and hates not his own father and mother...he cannot be my disciple'?" "What is the unforgivable sin?"
Other questions deal with what they see in their society. "Why is one person rich, another is poor? Does God want it this way or is it fate?" "Is cremation a sin?" "Does God want us to be afraid of Him? (Isaiah was so afraid when he saw God on the throne in the temple.)"
Answering these questions with Scripture and the help of some respected pastoral sermons is Diane's favorite part of teaching. One of her students, Tamila, came up to Diane after the Thursday prayer group meeting and said, "Thank you so much for answering my question. I feel so peaceful to fully know the answer."
This seven-week course is bringing people together, assimilating new members into the fellowship, and giving church leaders deeper relationships with everyone. It adds to the unity of the church. "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when God's children dwell in unity!" (Psalm 133:1)
Will you join us in prayer?
Pray that the members of this Foundations of Faith class continue to search the Scriptures once our series is ended, and that they grow closer to Christ each day.
- Pray for the upcoming Helping Hands trip to Ukraine that will visit our widows, as well as experience our entire ministry in action.
- Pray for Roger and Diane McMurrin to be healed from their back ailments. Diane recently injured her back at the gym and Roger is recuperating from back surgery. It is a slow recovery for both of them.
- Read about how some of the widows and pensioners we serve share their faith through Evangelism Explosion.
- Discover more about our Evangelism efforts in Ukraine.
- You can meet a widow's spiritual and physical needs through monthly sponsorship. Learn how to get started.