We give thanks for our ministry partners who: provide leadership, share the Holy Gospel, and help others through serving basic needs. M2M (Ministry to Ministries) is blessed to share a prayer newsletter from, MEDIAlliance International, who reaches far beyond the borders of the United States. President, Ron Harris, shares a vital update.
The invitation received…the agenda set…months in advance. The flights arranged, and preparation begins. Whenever I head off to locations around the world, I usually think I know why I am going. Many times…actually, most times…God has something else in the plans. And while we try to faithfully prepare and attend to the agenda that is set, it is often those surprises from God that lodge in my heart.
Such was the case in Kyiv, Ukraine just a few days ago. The main agenda was to attend the NovoMedia Forum 2014 put on by my friend Ruslan Kukharchuk. Ruslan began NovoMedia ten years ago, at the ripe old age of 21.
NovoMedia is an association of Christian media journalists in Ukraine. Their fall meeting is open to all journalists, and seems to attract as many non-Christians as followers of Christ, due to a line up of top national broadcasters, journalists, and some international guests.
I met Ruslan 6 or 7 years ago at the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters. We have also connected a couple of times in Russia when I have addressed Christian broadcasters there. Ruslan has asked me several times to speak at the NovoMedia Forum, but my schedule always had conflicts…until this year.
Even with the perilous situation in Ukraine…or maybe because of it…I felt the need to be there and to try to encourage these journalists. I also wanted to represent Christ to the non-believers attending. It was an honor to speak two different days, praying for God to do through me what I could only pray about.
I met many great people while in Kyiv (We know it as Kiev…I’ve adopted their spelling of the city). Yuliya translated for me on Friday.
And Elena was my Ukranian voice on Saturday. Ruslan was married just a month ago.
His lovely new wife, Ann, has a beautiful smile that grew even brighter as she watched Ruslan lead the Forum.
On Friday, some of the Forum staff asked if they could interview me on video, and so we went to a special set where I met Jenya. She conducted the interview, and did a very professional job. She seemed to beam with joy in her role. On Saturday night I joined another American as Jenyawas interviewing him. Again, she did a very professional job with the interview.
As we all piled onto the elevator, Jenya, through our translator Elena, asked a rather ordinary question. “Would it be better for me to be a journalist in Christian media, or be a Christian journalist in the secular media?”
We weighed the pros and cons of that on the elevator, and stepped into the lobby still discussing it. For some reason (God’s prompting?) I told Jenya, “What you really need to do is whatever the Lord is telling you to do. It doesn’t matter if anyone else agrees or understands, you do what His Spirit is leading you to do and that will be best for you.” And I added, “God may want you to be the very person in secular media that speaks for Him.”
I didn’t immediately grasp what was happening. Jenya put both hands to her face. I thought she might be a bit embarrassed. Then I saw her shoulder begin to shake, and tears began to flow down her cheeks. As she stood there crying, the other three of us surrounded Jenya and embraced her with the love of Jesus. She wiped her eyes, and with a big smile, Jenya gave thanks for a word of encouragement and direction for her heart and life. God had directed questions, responses, and His word to her heart. What a moment!
Help us lift up our ministry friends at MEDIAlliance in prayer as they continue to reach souls with the Gospel across the globe and provide leadership.