June 24, 2005
Some final thoughts
The trip and ministry is now over and we are making the transition back to our daily routines. It does not come easy. Part of me is still in the Ukraine and my life won’t ever be quite the same. I continue to process the trip, the ministry, the divine appointments, and all that happened to our team. The faces of street children and orphans fill my mind and cloud my sleep. The Ukrainian language rings in my ears. The sights and sounds of another world keep haunting me. It will take more time than usual to get beyond these two weeks of mission work.
Team members drop by the office daily to hug, remember, process, and shed more tears. They, too, are readjusting and trying to bring closure. God did a mighty work in these students’ lives, taking them out of their comfort zone and forcing them to unzip their hearts and let Jesus shine. They learned things about themselves they never knew. Their relationship with Christ took on a new and deeper intimacy. I watched as they “let go” and let God work in their lives. They gave their all, and yet, they received so much more. It was a beautiful thing to behold.
It was a joy to work with Belmont Trustee and Pastor Don Dixon and his team from Highland Baptist Church in Tullahoma. The blending of two teams only enhanced the ministry and opportunities. Pastor Don has a beautiful heart and passion for sharing Christ. I watched as tears flowed while telling of his personal experiences. Someone else in the Belmont family now truly understands the impact of these Sports Evangelism Mission Trips. Thank you, Don, for initiating conversation and following God’s lead in the invitation to go to the Ukraine.
We estimate, conservatively, that over 100 people came to Christ during the week; maybe even as many as 150. There were many who prayed to receive him in groups, and others came to Him one by one. Lots of seeds were sown and we’ll never know the true impact in terms of numbers. God knows and that is all that matters.
Thank you to parents, families, friends, coaches, donors, and so many others who have shared this journey with us through the journal, your prayers, and support. Thank you, Belmont University, for allowing us to represent you as we shared Christ in the Ukraine. We have been blessed and changed. We give all praise, honor, and glory to God!
Posted by Paul Chenoweth at June 24, 2005 03:00 PM