Welcome to our site!

We are a small congregation located in southern Ukraine. Through this site we hope to keep you posted of the happenings here in Nikopol, as well as introduce you to our congregation. This site is intended as a precursor to a more comprehensive website in the future, but until then don't be a stranger, and feel free to leave your comments!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

hot water - sort of

I installed an in-line water heater this week. unfortunately it cannot handle a large volume. Still it, should serve our needs. I put in a hookup so that we can fill our portable baptistry, although at a gallon a minute, it may take a while!

Friday, December 12, 2008

urgent prayer for Lena

Lena is a contact through Galina. She had a few studies with Stuart and Valerie, but didn't seem to progress very far. She has had numerous foot surgeries and is permanently lame. I have been informed by Galina that she has hepatitis B and C - probably contracted through unsanitary conditions at the hospital during surgery. Hep. B is not serious, but unfortunately hep C is. From what I can understand her liver has stopped functioning, which is a death sentence in Ukraine, if that information is accurate (I am not a doctor, so I don't know if it is a temporary thing while the body fights infection). I am trying to resume bible studies with Lena.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

spring cleaning?

It was sunny and about 55 degrees for our workday. We got the garage cleaned out, about half of the burnable debris is gone. We also pruned the grapevines and raked. This week we have to have a truck haul all the stuff off.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Legal snafus

There is a possibility that we are going to run into some extra expenses in the near future.  When we did the property registration we were assured that "for a small fee" we would not  have to do some of the requirements that most commercial properties are required to do.  We understood this under the context of not really being a major commercial property like a business.  Now an official has told us that the main bureau in dnepropetrovsk is going to do an audit of the local fire and water departments to make sure properties are in compliance with zoning laws.  This official has said for another "small fee" he can make all of this go away.  I am extremely uncomfortable with these "small fees".  Currently, it appears we would need to install a fire alarm system, and put in a second exit (windows don't count here).  This will run in the neighborhood of $2500 (we are currently checking with a friend on prices). There may be legal fees to do the work and work permits that have to be taken out for the work, driving up the cost.  we will keep you posted on the developments

Friday, November 21, 2008

preparing for the future

With the events that have transpired over the last few weeks, we are preparing to identify and delegate duties to people in the congregation. The urgency is doubled, as we have not only lost a great worker in Stuart Merrill, but Katie and I will be travelling to the states in late January to prepare for the birth of our third child, as well as another tour. Everyone seems willing to step up and take some responsibility. Even with the extra help, there is going to be a need for teaching help. There are several potential solutions, but the two most likely possibilities seem to be either one preacher coming to do the teaching, or coordinating a series of preachers who could each come for at least three or four weeks. One person has already tentatively volunteered for one month, if we decide to go that direction. Eugene will be prepared to handle youth group once Adrian returns to the States. Adrian is currently taking care of the Merrill's property concerns. Anyone interested can reply here, or Contact Mike Locke at milocke@paulbunyan.net

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Stuart does not have actual paralysis. although he has very limited movement in his right side he has sensory perception.  Travis reports that he is showing emotional response.  The surgeons in Dnipropetrovsk are trying to arrange a transer to Kiev. That is the news as of 4:00p.m. (9:00 EST).

I have posted a link to Travis's blog to the left.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Stuart Merrill update

I'm sorry I haven't posted on the blog until now. i have been using my facebook to give updates, but here is the information in case you aren't a facebook member (although I would suggest you subscribe - it's free and a good way to stay in touch with Christians across the country).
Stuart Merrill suffered a hemotoma yesterday approximately 1:00 pm Thursday afternoon while working on the roof at the church building. Fortunately, he must have sensed something and held on to the roof with his right arm. He suffered paralysis on the right side, which actually probably helped him stay on the roof long enough for Adrian and Zack to arrive and help get him off the roof. He had remained conscious the entire time. Services here are not adequate for surgery, so this afternoon he was transported to Dnipropetrovsk, where a neurosurgeon will operate on him shortly (if not already). Valerie reported that he was more alert this morning, and his color was better, he was also more responsive, able to move his right side a little more than yesterday. This is what I know as of 5:00 our time (10:00 EST). Kyle and Justin Merrill will be arriving in Dnipropetovsk in one hour.
Thank your for your prayers and keep them coming.
Andrew Green

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Interesting acquaintances!

We have had a few people visit this month. Nikolai (in the blue sports coat) with his wife in the corner, and a friend of his, Sasha. They actually sought us out, having gotten our address from a church of Christ they visited in Crimea. I am not sure exactly who they received the address from, but apparently someone we have met. It is possible that a preacher from Donetsk, who knows Igor fairly well. They meet with a nondescript group of 'believers'. we are going to have a discussion with them, as they are currently meeting in a home. hopefully it would be possible to bring them into the group. From what we have learned so far, they are fairly well acquainted with the church of Christ.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Anton Andreivich Tovpinets

That is the name of the new addition.  In Russian culture, the middle name is a derivative of the father's first name (whether boy or girl).  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

it's a boy!

Actually, we already new that it was a going to be a boy, but Anne had her baby early Wednesday evening.  They have not named him yet. More to come...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good news for Zhenya

It appears that Zhenya will get his disability pay at the end of next month. There were a few legalities that we were concerned about that will not seem to be a problem. as a part of his disability his medical treatment and prescriptions will also be free.

Mom here for two weeks

Actually, my mother has already returned to the states, but our internet wasn't working for about two weeks. She really enjoyed her time here, meeting the Christians, and spending time with Adele and Benjamin. It was in the 80's when she got here at the beginning of September. The day she left it was about 45-50 and rainy. She is planning on coming again when she retires in a few years

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Debris Removal

We removed the debris from the wall, loading it into a "state-of-the-art" WWII era trailer. Several people from the neighborhood even came to help!

Monday, August 25, 2008

concert and visitors

the day before our visitors from minsk returned home, the yong people put on a concert.  We had about twenty visitors.  a band from another church's youth group also did a special number at the end.  with the departure of the Minsk Christians, we were expecting a little drop off, but we haven't really noticed that.  We are averaging between 8-12 visitors each week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New ceiling!

We finished the ceiling at 11:15 Friday night. The accoustics were noticably better Sunday morning!

Friday, July 25, 2008

As Moldova turns...

This is starting top feel like a bad soap opera (which i recognize is a redundant phrase). We were denied our opportunity to open religious visas for katie and the kids. the explanation was that there was already a valid visa in their passports, and since the valid visas were issued in the N.Y. consulate office, Moldova could not invalidate them. I did show her my passport, where she did exactly that only two months ago, but she only replied that it was a mistake that she wouldn't make again.
The result is that we will have to renew the visas once more in three months, and then we will leave for the united states sometime in late January. and try to resolve this issue there.
In other news, we have found out that katie is pregnant. The baby is due sometime in March.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Moldova and other things

Once again we have to make a trip to Moldova. Hopefully we will have nothing 'exciting' to report.
Today we had close to 30 people in church, Galina is in the hospital recovering from her surgery. We also celebrated Benjamin's 5th birthday today.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Galina needs prayer

Galina is having some medical problems.  She is going into surgery this week to fix a perforated intestine.  It's pretty serious.

Friday, July 11, 2008

tearing out the wall

Watch out below!!! The sledge hammers were wild on 4th of July Sunday.  Eugene and Andrei were especially energetic.  I mostly cleaned up and tried to evade flying bricks.

When the dust settled this is what the room looked like.

Almost ready for church. We still have quite a bit of work before it's done, but it will be fine temporarily.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Zhenya out early!

 The hospital let Zhenya out after a week and a half.  I think they realized that there's little they can do to treat him.  now he begins the long process of going on disability.  There's a horde of doctors he has to see as well as a battery of tests.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zhenya into hospital

It's nothing serious, but Zhenya, the older man I've been studying with has to go into a neurological hospital.  It's a part of the process of him being approved for disability.  it may take several months for the process to be finished, but he should only be in the hospital for 3 weeks of that process.

3rd Try!!

Everything went fine in our last trip to Moldova.  Our visas were processed within one day for no extra charge, and we found a corruption free customs point. When we started the process for local registration, we found out that everyone in the family needs the invitation and religious visa. This will not be cheap, of course, but probably in the next month and a half we will have to go.  The office in our regional capital had earlier informed us that my religious visa would cover the whole family, but that is not the case.  

Monday, May 12, 2008

2nd Try

  Today, we are going to Moldova again to try to get the religious visa.  Hopefully the invitation is done properly this time, and we are praying for a better trip across the border (not one that costs $300)!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We're In!

   After speaking with the director of the local law school, I have an invitation to speak in the university in September! I am preparing a lecture called "The existence of law requires a lawgiver"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Progress in Krivoy Rog?

   With all the activity here, we have not been able to get to Krivoy Rog.  All the Same, Lydia has been talking with her neighbors.  One of them, a lady named Lena, wants to be baptized.  We are planning to go up and do some more lessons shortly.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Neat service

While in Chisinau, Moldova, I met with a congregation there. After the main service, we did a video conference service with a church in Indiana.

Monday, April 14, 2008

more problems

As it turns out the invitation from the church was not completed. the embassy here claims that i must get an additional stamp from an office in kiev, which the office in dnepropetrovsk did not tell me. this means that i made a trip here for virtually no purpose. tonight i will take a train to kiev, and hope i have better success tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

English lessons conclude

We concluded the english sessions yesterday. The weather turned out nice for the second week and attendance picked up some. Jason Casey and I visited a school as well as spoke in one of the college classes. i have been invited back to both schools. Last evening brought back memories, as we concluded with a concert. John Van Voorhis, along with Mark McDonald, sang "Hallelujah Square" which I remember John singing many times in my youth in Massachusetts.
Today, I leave for Moldova. I have been able to locate a church there. through the internet. There are even some Christians from America visiting there right now, so it should be an exciting time. Unfortunately, my family is not traveling with me. Hopefully I will be able to update the blog from there. I should be able to upload some pictures soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

English lessons almost over!

  The weather has gotten better and we have had several more students this week than last.  Among them is my upstairs neighbor! Although we have had fewer students than in previous years, It seems that they are more open to religious discussion.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the ability of some of our younger students to understand and apply spiritual principles.  

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New brother in Christ!

   Andrei was baptized in His home at about 4:00 pm today (Apr 5th). He had even prepared a prayer in English and read it after his baptism. They were probably the deepest thoughts I have ever heard expressed from a new Christian. Praise God!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Americans arriving today

   Our American team gets to nikopol this morning. Pray for this session. They have spent a lot of money. We have several advertisements, but haven't got the same response as two years ago pray that it will do better. One newspaper want to interview us. Maybe this will give us some publicity.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finally, an invitation

   After a number of problems trying to get our invitations to change our visa, we have finally been successful. For some reason, Nina had more  pull with the same man that gave us a hard time a few weeks ago.   Eugene and I went several weeks ago, and the same person gave us a different story than the previous time. One that I knew was not correct legally.  this time however Eugene, and I did not go in, and Nina got the approval immediately. Now I will have to leave the country at the end of english lessons as my 3 months will expire on the 12th.

Friday, March 14, 2008

English lessons quickly approaching

We will begin english lessons in two weeks. Our team is a little smaller, but we will be arranging the schedule to make it more available to people who work during the day. hopefully, we will attract a more diverse group. John Van Voorhis will be doing an evening lecture. this session, we will set a lower limit on the age. For those students who are too young, we will offer a summer session for six weeks.

pardon the interruption

We moved to a new apartment at the end of Febrruary and found out that we do not have a telephone. we have also found out that we do not have telephone numbers available in our area (I know that sounds funny, but you just have to know ukraine). bear with us.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February inconvenience

  I apologize for not posting more frequently.  This is a hectic month so far.  we are preparing to move in a week, and we have to do a bit to get the apartment ready for inhabitability (no hot water, cigarette smell etc.).  This month has been a little inconvenient for the church as well.  It happened to be that in the process of rezoning, we have to switch our electrical service from private to commercial, which is billed at a different rate. At the same time it would have cost us an extra $500 to keep our gas service, which is what we used for heating.  Unfortunately, they decided to cut the gas first, and then told us not to use the electrical, due to the billing at a lower rate this catch-22 has left the building a little colder for services.  I have run the electric heaters for service times, but that's it.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fun day...

If your idea of a fun day is a wild bureaucratic goose chase, that is. As it turns out, at some point in the near future, I will have to leave the country. For me to be registered through the church here, I have to have a 'missionary visa'. This will allow us to be here for up to a year without having to leave.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Eugene helping out

Eugene is going to be filling in for Adrian as youth group leader for the month of February. We have noticed a growing maturity, as well an excitement about his Christianity.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Busy Month Ahead

   February looks to be a busy month.  With the Merrill's in Minsk, I will do the bulk of teaching.  In addition to studies with Zhenya, Vadeem, and Vasilli, I have to start our permanent registration process, and Katie and I have to clean up a new apartment, have a hot water heater and shower installed, and get our stuff packed and moved!