April 2011

Dear Praying Friends,
     Praise the Lord for the opportunities we have here in Ukraine to preach the gospel.  As we begin our 16th year planting churches, training nationals, and serving the Lord, Judy and I are praying for even greater open doors to reach even more people for God’s glory.
Faithful Men’s Conference, March 24-26:   The guest speaker this year was Missionary Tom Lancaster (BIMI Missionary to Military in Germany).  The preaching was right on target and the fellowship was great.  Seven churches from around Ukraine were represented.

International Ladies Day - March 8th:  There were 88 ladies at the banquet.  This year’s theme was “Kindness In My Pocket”.  As usual, the auditorium and decorations were fantastic.  There was an apron making contest.  Judy and her team of workers spend months in preparation for this banquet each year.

Meet a Simferopol Baptist Church Member:
(each month you will meet a new member/s)
You have heard about Alina and her family. Let me tell you about Sasha & Irina (Alina’s uncle and aunt).  Luda (Alina’s mother) and Irina are sisters.  When Sasha and Irina heard that Alina’s family had been abandoned by their father up in Russia, they paid to have Luda and her two young children brought to Simferopol.  Sasha and Irina and their own two daughters lived in a tiny two room apartment (common bathroom was down the hall).   Now there were seven of them crowded into these two rooms -- but they were all happy and getting along together.
     While on visitation in 2004, I was able to lead Alina, her sister and Sasha’s daughter to the Lord.  Sasha and Irina were not happy.  They were skeptical of these strange Americans with their religious influence and the effect it would have on their family.  
     One Sunday, they came to church to see what we were all about.  At the invitation Irina came to Judy and asked if she could accept this Christ as her Savior.  While Judy was showing Irina from the Bible how to be  saved.  Sasha asked me if he could get saved.  We knelt at the altar.  Soon there was a joyous family reunion at the front of the church.  Since this time, both Sasha and Irina are faithful to God and to the church.  They are a blessing whenever and where-ever they can. 

SEVASTOPOL CHURCH UP-DATE:  Lighthouse Baptist Church for the deaf is doing very well.  They continue to grow.

YEVPATORIA CHURCH UP-DATE:   This new ministry just celebrated their Second Year Anniversary.  Because the building where they meet is closed for remodeling, they are currently meeting in a café.  Please pray that they will be able to move back soon.  

FURLOUGH:  We will be heading back to the states for a furlough in late June.  First, we plan to attend DBFA and then head south to visit Judy’s mom.  From there we head west.  Hope to see many of you then!

SINGLE LADIES FELLOWSHIP:  These young ladies were already meeting monthly for Bible study and prayer but now we have a fellowship at a local tea shop for just that - fellowship.  These younger and older ladies enjoyed it.

NEW CHURCH PLANT!  BIMI Missionary Tony Hess has been working with us for the past seven years.  He has now left our church and is in the process of planting a church on the north side of Simferopol -- a city of 450,000 with only one independent Baptist church here (ours).  Valentine & Nadeshda and Mesha & Vika are helping Tony in this new outreach.  Pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit as we birth this new church.

TWO YOUNG GIRLS  from Azerbaijan wandered into the church last week.  Both girls came forth at the invitation and accepted Christ as their Savior.  They were each given a Bible.  (pictured with Jolene & I)  It was also a blessing to see our girls swallow them up in love!

PRAYER REQUEST:
¨ Please pray for our son, AJ, who is on his second deployment to Iraq.  Pray for Kate and the boys as they are in Germany during this time.
¨ Please pray for Kolya.  Kolya had a kidney removed six weeks ago and is undergoing chemotherapy.  Kolya was saved two moths ago
¨ Please continue to pray for Alina.  She has been having some serious health issues lately that are causing her to trembling constantly.
¨ Pray for us as we work on setting up our furlough schedule this coming fall.

Sending Board:
BIMI
P.O. Box 9215
Chattanooga, TN 37412
http://www.bimi.org

Bob & Judy Van Sant
14 L. Shevtsovoi
Simferopol, Ukraine 95023
011-38-0652-516-569
Sending Church:
Bible Baptist Church
P.O. Box 266
Ft. Mill, SC 29716
http://www.biblebaptistonline.com