John & Jackie Taylor
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Update from John and Jacky Taylor - March 18, 2015:
Training and assisting church planters in Ukraine
Dear praying friends,
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they arenew every morning” (Lam.3:22-23). Recent conversations and news have reminded us that so many are struggling, and yet we praise God for His mercies, even in the midst of lamentation!
John would appreciate your prayers as he returns to our “home” country of Ukraine today, staying until March 29. This trip will include several key meetings:
- strategic planning for our region of Central & Eastern Europe & the Mediterranean, and talks with our Regional Administrator,
- board meetings for the Church Ministries Institute. We will be interviewing a national candidate to replace John as Director, and make several key decisions as we nationalize this ministry,
- Ukraine team retreat. We have a very full schedule of strategic planning and sharing.
- that John would be an encouragement to our Ukraine teammates, as they juggle many active ministries with the stress of living in a country at war,
- for God’s protection on this trip, and for Jacky & Joanna as they remain in Canada, but even more so for our national partners as any are serving in the conflict zone,
- for boldness for our family, and our Ukrainian national partners, in sharing the Good News,
- for wisdom as we make several key decisions related to the CMI, our team ministries, and the Ukraine Crisis Fund,
- for a lasting peace in Ukraine.
Thank you for praying with us!
John & Jacky
Update: February 8, 2015
Dear praying friends,
“Somebody has to do something about this!” As we watched the carnage from the shelling of a peaceful residential neighbourhood in Mariupol last week, killing 31 citizens and injuring many more, this was our thought. The fact is, somebody is doing something. As the Ukrainian army and rebel troops battle for territory in eastern Ukraine, God’s people are doing good works in Jesus’ name. We thank God for over $85,000 (US) that has been given by believers in North America to help the struggling church in eastern Ukraine. With those funds, thousands have been fed, homes have been heated, and refugees have been helped – all in the name of Christ.
Praise God for:
- $22,500 that has been raised so far for the ABWE Canada annual project – our goal is $30,000 to develop, expand and nationalize the ministries of the Church Ministries Institute
- a wonderful trip back to Ukraine in Nov-Dec, as we met with teammates and celebrated our church plant’s 10th anniversary
- the beautiful wedding of Josh and his bride Abby in NY before Christmas – we are so thankful to have this lovely and godly girl as our daughter-in-law! It was also nice to have our whole family together for a few days over the holidays, as Jessica traveled back from N.Africa.
- the first course in the CMI’s new distance program was offered this week! – after years of preparation, it is great to see 10 men being prepared to become course facilitators
- record numbers of visitors who attended various Christmas outreach events at our church in Ukraine over the holidays, including about 2,000 who came to see this year’s Christmas parade
Please pray for:
- the critical situation in Ukraine – join us on our Facebook page “God at Work in Ukraine” for stories of what God is doing through the crisis – please pray for protection for those who are risking their lives to coordinate help in the war zone, for boldness in proclaiming the Gospel, for wisdom for our team as we distribute aid, and for peace in Ukraine
- safety as we travel, and God’s blessing as we speak in North American churches every week, and for God to raise up new missionaries for Ukraine and other countries
- John as he begins to transition into his new role as ABWE’s Executive Director of
Training with various meetings and training throughout the year
- God’s timing, as we wait to see if the rebels will approach towards Odessa (which has been identified as part of Novorossiya, a region that Russia would like to see separate from the rest of Ukraine), which would likely necessitate relocating several ABWE families in Odessa and could complicate our return home in the summer
- John as he travels to Nicaragua to do on-site training for our ABWE team in Feb.
Thank you for praying with us.
John & Jacky,
Jessica (in North Africa), Josh & Abby (in Cedarville, Ohio) & Joanna (Grade 11)
Update: January 16, 2015
Dear praying friends,
For some time now we have been asking you to pray for wisdom as our ministry in Ukraine goes through a time of transition. Praise God for answered prayer, as the Church Ministries Institute and our church plant are well on their ways to becoming fully indigenous and mature, and for granting us clarity as to the next step for our family.
As a vital part of our prayer support team, we would like to send you a letter that we have already sent to our financial support team. It outlines a very major, and difficult, change that is coming for our family. We thank you in advance for your continued prayers, which we need now as much as ever.
We will be sending a more detailed year-end ministry report soon, including an update on the situation in Ukraine. Let us know if you have any questions. We count it a great privilege to partner with you for the Kingdom.
By His grace,
John & Jacky
Letter: January 2015
Thank you for your continuing support of our ministry, and for being a part of our ministry team for these many years. Over 21 years ago, our young family moved to Odessa, Ukraine. What a privilege it has been to serve alongside our Ukrainian brothers and sisters to facilitate church planting movements.
We have learned much from these godly men and women, and seen our share of difficulties and conflicts. Through it all, God has worked mightily, both knitting our hearts together and raising up life-giving churches for His glory.
As you know, our ministry for all of these years has centered on training and assisting Ukrainian church planters. John co-founded the Church Ministries Institute in 1994, and served as president for 14 years. Thousands of Ukrainians, Moldovans, and Russians have come through the CMI programs, and are serving in a variety of church ministries. It is with great joy that we are planning to appoint one of our first CMI students as the new CMI director this year.
This marks the end of an era, as John steps out of leadership in the CMI to make way for our national partners. We now find ourselves at a crossroads. After much prayer, consideration, and words of affirmation from many trusted advisors, we have sensed that God is leading us to broaden our focus beyond Ukraine for the next season of our ministry, sharing what we have learned in Ukraine with others from around the world.
With the encouragement of our sending church leadership, and the approval of our mission, ABWE Canada, we have accepted the invitation to serve as the Executive Director of ABWE Training. Since this new ministry involves training and assisting church planters internationally, it will require a geographical relocation from Ukraine to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We will still be foreigners, but with only a slight accent.
In this new position, John will lead a dynamic team of trainers in ABWEʼs Center for Excellence in Ministry (CEIM), oversee pre-fielder and in-service training for all ABWE missionaries internationally, oversee the enhancement of theological education within ABWE schools and among our national partners, and extend training offerings to other mission agencies and local churches. Jackyʼs role will continue to be to support John in his ministry. In addition, she would like to become significantly involved in evangelistic outreach through a local church in the Harrisburg area.
We hope to be able to continue the good relationship that we have had with you as a
part of our support team for many years. We look forward to continuing to communicate what God is doing through our ministry around the world – both directly, and through those whom we are leading.
Our support requirements will remain approximately the same. Some categories will be lowered, as our children move out on their own, while our travel expenses will increase, since this ministry will involve travel across continents rather than across Ukraine. The plan is to remain as ABWE Canada missionaries who will raise support and report to our supporters like any other missionaries.
We are still intending to return to Ukraine at the end of our furlough in late June or early July 2015, staying there until January 2016. That will allow us time to transition out of our Ukraine ministries (including as team leader), sell our home, and complete Johnʼs Ph.D. dissertation research.
We appreciate your prayers as we launch out on this new journey. While we believe this to be Godʼs will, it will take some time for our hearts to catch up. Leaving Ukraine may well be the most difficult thing we have ever done, and the decision was not made lightly. We love these people dearly, and grieve during this time of crisis.
Feel free to contact us personally if you have any questions, concerns, or words of advice. We are so thankful to be serving with you to facilitate church planting movements for the glory of God. May He multiply our efforts for His glory among the nations.
John & Jacky Taylor
Training and assisting church planters in Ukraine, and internationally