Odessa is a beautiful city, but with much oppression, open shameless prostitution, and a missing older generation, among many other struggles. As we walked the city, Cameron noted that there weren't many younger kids, (abortion is common practice) and most of the people 40 - 60 are either dead or in prison. We haven't checked the statistics, but as you look out on the general population what you see is youth. In spite of this total flop of our generation, there is a remnant of young adults that the Spirit is calling out to, to rise up and reclaim their country. On Tuesday night as we were praying with two young women, Anya and Yulia, about their ministry and their hearts for Odessa, I heard the Lord speak to my heart, As the advertisements on the internet speak of the women of Odessa as the most beautiful and desirable (for all the wrong reasons)...the Lord says that the women of Odessa are beautiful and desirable (for all the right reasons)....They are His precious jewels...He desires their relationships, their lives, their hearts. He desires intimacy with them. Please pray for Anya and Yulia as they minister to the brokenhearted.
During our time in Odessa we went to visit orphans, we reached out to the street kids, and Bibles and Christian literature were purchased and passed out at the Internot #4, on the streets and to the local church.
We met and prayed with a young missionary couple (Adrian and Elizabeth) that has an outreach to street kids. They took us to see an old school building they are praying about obtaining. It is in bad repair, a shell only, but full of recent liquor bottles and used syringes. It is a building still in use by some. They shared how out of the group of homeless children they work with that 3 have died just recently. They want a place where they can house people in need. Not just the children, but homeless mothers and children. We prayed for them, their ministry and this property.
AND OTHERS IN NEED. IT IS AN OLD SCHOOL WITH MUCH POTENTIAL.
We prayed with 4 other missionaries living and working in Odessa. The oppression is so wearing. That is the word I heard repeated many times over. They are tired and in need of encouragement.
Another couple, Alyona and Slavik, have a ministry to orphans.
They go into different orphanages each month to be a constant presence in the lives of these children. They work primarily in 4 different orphanages each month. One a week. They are seeking churches, groups or individuals that will partner with them each month to support one of these orphanages. Once a year they will do a large scale project at each location and the other 11 months they will be there to love on the children and provide some of their basic needs. They have a short video titled It's Not My Fault. If you're interested in viewing it let us know.
It was such a joy to go back to local church we had attended 2 years ago. We were blessed with an opportunity to encourage some of these believers; especially the women, who are passionate to pursue the Spirit and reach out to their nation. Please pray for this body of believers. Especially the pastor, Sasha and his wife Lena. Their 2nd baby is due in the next few weeks and they shared their concern for the health and safety of this child as they refused to pay an expected "fee" at the clinic. Sometimes things "happen" to a baby. We are trusting with them for their child's protection.
Our hearts are so full that at times it is difficult to share... the needs are so great...but we have Someone who is greater than all these needs! More tomorrow.
Carol and Steve