Archive for Ukraine

A time of fellowship

We had a wonderful time the past couple of days with a young man we had the privilege of hosting during his visit to Debrecen. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, James is a student at Judson University; at the age of 19 he already has a lot of missions, teaching, and leadership experience under his belt. He stopped over with us while waiting to connect with Commission to Every Nation missionary Clinton White to head on to Uzhgorod, Ukraine.  Among other ministry opportunities, James will be sharing the gospel with refugee and at-risk youth at a youth camp in Lviv, Ukraine.

Last night was a special treat for us, as our Hungarian friend Adél came over to join the three of us for a Tex-Mex dinner (well, our version of it!)  We enjoyed hours of fellowship…time talking about life, the Lord, and our favorite Scripture passages. A huge “thank you” to James for playing the guitar as we sang worship songs together!  The evening ended in laughter over some goofy YouTube videos before we took a group photo by the tree and said goodbye for now.  We look forward to a day when we can fellowship together with no more partings!  But in the meantime, there’s work to be done….

For more about James and how you can join in his mission through your prayers, check out his latest update. Thank you for praying for him and those he’ll be sharing the gospel with over the coming two weeks in Ukraine.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”  Psalm 96:3 (NIV)

Gardening project

Gardening advice about the Millers’ raised bed*

Praise the Lord for the opportunities that come as believers use their gifts and life experiences to make connections and share the gospel!  We’re always excited to see how God can use people from any field of study or career background to creatively minister around the world.

Last week Dr. Curtis Smith, horticulture expert from New Mexico, was here serving in eastern Hungary and western Ukraine.  He has been vision casting and sharing his knowledge as we partner with nationals to start a new ministry called “The Master’s Gardeners.”

Pray with us that local leaders will arise for this work  in many communities across the area, which will not only help provide food and business opportunities for needy families, but will also allow believers and churches to minister to their neighbors in new and very practical ways.

Vali and bro-in-law discuss soil quality
Ukrainian pastor Valentin Nehro & his brother-in-law discussed soil quality with Curtis*


Karcag research center measuring water absorption
Karcag ag center researcher Dr. Kovács explains measurement of soil’s water absorption*


Karcag research center project to produce heartier wheat
Karcag research center project to produce hardier wheat. A reminder of the harvest we are praying for!*

*Photos compliments of the Smiths

Salt and Light – May 21

Greetings from Debrecen,

Thankful for nearing the end of school! It has been a more challenging year with the transition back to Hungary and continuing with school but we are getting closer to finishing. Things will change as we will transition into full summer mode. Darrel continues to diligently study Hungarian and he is trusting God for the results. God continues to bring people into our lives and we are thankful for the opportunities that He gives us to share about Him.

The girls and I have really enjoyed bike riding. The one thing I love about living over here are the many bike trails in town and from town to town. It is fun and encourages more people to ride their bikes. I am amazed and honored that God would continue to grant us favor in the lives of our lost friends. I have been more bold in praying for them and also telling them that I am praying for them so I trust that God will answer my prayers in such a way that they will know that He is God.

Next week I will be leaving on a trip for about a week for some training so you can be praying for Darrel and the girls. Arianna is also leaving this Tuesday for a week to Boston with FBC Irving on a mission trip. Mission trips have a way of changing our lives in some significant way. A co-laborer and friend “S” is also serving in Ukraine just across the border from us, encouraging a church in the area of evangelism.


  • Divine appointments for “S” and those sharing the gospel this week in Ukraine. The church would be encouraged in the area of evangelism.
  • God would use Arianna and the mission group from FBC Irving to share the Gospel in Boston. They would have many spiritual conversations and that people would be willing to give their lives to Jesus. The students who go, that their lives would be changed and that they would be challenged.
  • God would use this training next week to better equip me for His service. God would give me opportunities to share the Gospel as well and that I would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading.
  • God’s peace, comfort and faith to be strengthened in the lives of a Hungarian couple who have struggled with having a baby.
  • God’s favor in the lives of students and the University so that we will have opportunities to share the good news.

Thank you so much for praying for us!

One of His servants,
Kimberly Hathcock

Outreach and training in western Ukraine

Please pray for Gary this week as he serves in western Ukraine. Today he is doing a one-day Grain Game Bible camp for youth, demonstrating how it is done so that the local believers can learn to use these creative methods for reaching kids in the 10-15 age range. For the next week he will be working together with a volunteer from the US doing street evangelism and training believers in how to share their faith.

Pray that God will be glorified in all that is done, and that the outreach and training will bear fruit for the Kingdom.

TLTI: Practical training for ministry

TLTI training around the dining room table

As happens everywhere, pastors here are often stretched far beyond their limits in serving the people.  Some work other jobs to support their families, and we have pastor-friends who are responsible for four or five churches in an area, requiring them to travel more than an hour between the towns.

We’re excited to partner with Timothy Leadership Training Institute (TLTI) to help provide practical training for church leaders; the workshops teach them how to train their people to join in the ministry of caring for one another.  One of these seminars is being held right now in Debrecen.

Unfortunately, several of those planning to come were unable to attend after all, but great discussion is going on now as I type this post. Since the group was so small, it was relocated from a local church to our dining room…conveniently close to the coffee maker.  🙂

Pray that God will give wisdom as new action plans are being drawn up and acted upon, and that the training will be passed on to others.  Pray that in the future more pastors and church workers will come and participate, and that the Lord will bless them as they implement what they’ve learned in their churches.

Special request: please lift up TLTI trainer George DeVuyst (at left in photo) and his family, as they live in Ukraine and are being affected by events there.