May/June 2012 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family in Christ Jesus,

Greetings in Jesus’ Name! God continues to allow me to make further progress in translation. By the grace of God, the first draft of the entire book of Acts and 5 chapters of 1 Corinthians is ready. The most unique feature of Acts is that it is the only book of the Bible that contains examples of apostolic preaching. It has several sermons and speeches by the apostles Peter, Paul, James and the first martyr Stephen, plus Paul’s own summary of his evangelistic preaching (Acts 20:20-21). While the epistles give the apostles’ teaching of the Gospel, the books of Acts records what they actually said when they preached it. Depending on the audience (Jewish or gentile) and the circumstances, each of their sermons includes a combination of the following key elements:

1) there is only one Creator, God (Acts 14:15-17; 17:22-29);

2) Jesus died and was raised from the dead as a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and the apostles and others witnessed these things (Acts 2:23-39; 3:13-15, 18, 22-26; 4:10, 20; 5:30-32; 7:52; 10:39-41; 13:27-37; 17:31; 26:23);

3) Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Lord and only Savior (Acts 2:36; 4:12; 10:36; 13:23);

4) forgiveness of sins, justification and salvation is by grace and by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; 15:9, 11);

5) the Gospel has moral implications (Acts 24:24-25; 26:20);

6) one must respond to the Gospel by repenting, turning away from sin toward God, believing and calling upon the Lord (Acts 2:21, 38; 3:19, 26; 20:21; 26:18, 20);

7) there will be final judgment and those who did not respond to the Gospel will be condemned (10:42; 13:40-41; Act 17:31).

Praise God for recording the apostle’s preaching in the Bible so that we can have a clear understanding of what a presentation of the Gospel should include.

In between working on Acts and 1 Corinthians, our team has continued working on the final draft of the gospel of Luke. Speaking of our team, I would ask you to pray especially for two of my assistants. Due to some problems they experience, their involvement in translation work has been limited for some time now. Irina’s son has hemophilia and is in constant need of expensive medicine. It has become increasingly difficult for hemophiliacs here to obtain it. In order to address this issue, Irina headed up an organization of hemophiliacs’ mothers and this work takes up much of her time and energy. Please pray that hemophiliac children can continue receiving necessary care. Sasha’s work has been quite demanding for a while, leaving him very little time for translation work. Please pray that he would have more time available for this important project.  Pray also for his wife Lyuba as she has many serious health problems.

The Lord graciously blessed me with another birthday in June. We went on a picnic to the Botanical Garden in Kyiv and spent a nice day as a family. Thank you all for the cards and tokens of love. I deeply appreciate your kindness. [Since delivery service to Ukraine is better than it used to be, please feel free to send any letters directly to us on the field. This would streamline the shipping process, as well as lighten the load a bit for those who deal with our correspondence. Thank you.]

At the Botanical Garden

Matviy is finally walking, but we noticed that something is not quite right with his legs. We took him to an orthopedic specialist and the doctor said he has some form of rickets. Wendy and Matviy will need to spend a few days at their clinic for him to have a thorough examination done. They will run various tests to determine what type of rickets he has, what treatment is needed, and to check for other problems. Please pray for a correct diagnosis and effective treatment.

Mama’s Corner (by Wendy)

The older boys finished the school year well, particularly in music. At their recital, both boys received top marks and awards for high achievements during the year. Yurko surprised us all by composing a harmony part to a piece that Sashko was learning. When their teacher heard it, she decided that they would play it as a duet for the recital. She then called in the music theory teacher, who promptly offered to take Yurko as a pupil in her composition class! We rejoice in the progress they made this year and how they are already learning hymns that can be played to praise the Lord and encourage the saints.

Playing their duet

With their teacher and awards

Sashko opened a lawn-mowing business in June. In Ukraine, it is highly unusual for young people to do any work (lemonade stands, paper boys, babysitting, etc. are unheard of), so we were pleased that he received several calls and already has one steady customer for whom he has mowed twice. With his first two “pay checks”, he bought himself a weed-eater. “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” (Lamentations 3:27)

Mowing for his first client

Trying out his first weed-eater

Yurko celebrated his 8th birthday in the village of Bakymivka where he has been visiting Yura’s relatives. Along with his cousins, Yurko has been experiencing the joys of farm life: rising at daybreak to water parched crops, pulling countless weeds in the hot sun, and doing a dozen other jobs that left him eating massive quantities of food, taking naps (!), and learning the value of hard work.

Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support that help to make this ministry possible.

Your Fellow-servants for Jesus’ sake,

Yura, Wendy, Sashko, Yurko, Andriy, and Matviy Popchenko

2 thoughts on “May/June 2012 Prayer Letter

  1. I’m writing this letter to you from Horohiv,Volyn.Just spent five weeks in ministering in Ukraine. It was great to recieve your post. The Lord continue to bless your family. If your wanting to talk to me do it on Skype.

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