Dear Family and Friends,
Hello from Ukraine! July 5th marked my 16th anniversary of my being a missionary and serving the Lord in Ukraine! It’s hard for me to believe that much time has passed since I first moved here. Much has changed over the years but God’s faithfulness has remained the same! He’s done so much here and I know His heart burns for Ukraine and He has SO MUCH MORE! It’s my honor to serve this nation and these people! Thank you for your integral part in making that possible! Together we are bringing the Kingdom of God to Ukraine! Thank you!
Camp of Truth’s Jurassic Period Camp: Our Church kid’s camp is over! We had an amazing six days of camp with about 40 children attending daily. This was the first time when I felt we had enough volunteers to help as well, and that helped things go smoothly! This year’s theme was the Jurassic Period and we had lots of fun with dinosaurs. When we were outside we were were paleontologists and every day we had a new dinosaur bone to find! When we went into the church we travelled back in time to a jurassic jungle when all the dinosaurs were still alive. We even found a Russian’s kids song called “Act like a dinosaur” that we sang every day! Besides all of the dinosaur fun, we had lots of games, sports, crafts and a daily cooking class where the kids made things like veggie sushi and dogs out of hot dogs! Of course we had daily Bible lesson time and memory verses; 28 children memorized every single verse! The Bible lessons were: God knows me, God hears me, God strengthens me, God loves me, and God sends me to the world. The kids and the volunteers all had a wonderful time!
Camp Testimonies: Camp truly is an important and powerful time. I still remember verses, songs, and moments that impacted my life from when I was a child going to camp. Many seeds were planted this week and many gave their hearts to God as well – including one of our camp counselors! She is a girl we know who doesn’t go to church but loves to work with children so we’ve had her help us several times. Before camp began we did evangelism and handed out flyers for camp, and this girl was helping us as well. In the middle of our evangelism time she asked to pray because she wanted to get right with God! It’s awesome! This year during camp we wanted to take some time and teach these kids how to worship. So several days we sang a worship song and then had a time where we had the kids simply ask God to speak to them and they spent time listening. Afterwards, one of the nine-year old girls, Veronica, told us she saw a picture of herself as a tiny baby and that Jesus was standing there with her. Veronica was crying and said now she knows God’s always been with her! It’s powerful! Several of the other kids said the felt God’s presence too. It’s so important to teach children to pray, worship and listen to God. He speaks to us at every age!
Evangelism: We went to the streets several times this past month and we had both coffee and homemade blueberry lemonade to give away, as well as free balloons! Our team talked with many people and I prayed with several. One man named Vasya was so shocked that we would give out something for free, he couldn’t believe it. I talked with him and he was such a broken man that our simple act of kindness shook him up, I spent some time praying with Vasya and the tears just streamed down his face. I’m so grateful we were in the right place at the right time to bring hope, kindness, and love to a man in need. Later on, another man was hurrying after getting off a bus and he stopped for a free cup of coffee. He had another bus to catch to get home after work and he said he prayed on the bus that he’d have enough time to get a cup of coffee, and here we were answering his prayers right at his bus stop! You know sometimes it’s the littlest things that make a lasting impression and impact on a person’s life. I do not think he will forget his quick answer to a simple prayer. God is good and I love having the chance to be kind to others and simply share about God with them.
Smila: Pastors Dennis and Oksana have a new roof on their house and they are elated! Their children’s camp is happening right now as I write this newsletter too and they are having a great time! They really do a wonderful job now with their camp! Now the bad news, just as the Yeliseev family were getting their new roof on their house, the roof on their church started leaking badly. It was only built back in 2014, so it’s not even old! But apparently the company that put the roof on did it wrong and there was lots of condensation that occurred causing everything to rust out! The entire roof has to be replaced, the trusses are maybe salvageable but everything else must be replaced. Also, like most companies in Ukraine, they work without any type of contract so to get that company to fix their mistakes is impossible. They still don’t have an estimate on how much the roof replacement will cost, but it’s definitely something they don’t have a budget for. If you would like to give any donations for the church roof in Smila, just designate that amount as Peterson Pastor Support and I’ll make sure they get it! Thank you!
-For our upcoming youth camp, Pure Heart, August 12-16th. That it would be a time where the youth encounter God in a mighty way!
-For Pastors Dennis and Oksana and the Church in Smila as they seek a way to fix their leaking roof.
-That the seeds planted during kids camp would grow and bear fruit!
-For those we meet during evangelism to have an encounter with the living Jesus!
-For me and my upcoming ragweed allergy season (it’s so bad here, not like Wisconsin!), that I make it through feeling better than I ever have! Or for complete healing from it!!
-For our leadership team to be refreshed, strengthened, and healed! Also for answered prayers!
The ladies and the kids: Beyond everything else, we’re still visiting the ladies at Greenfield and the kids in the TB hospital. They are always happy to see us and spend time with us. One of the last times I was at the TB hospital, one of the little girls I just love, Anya, told us she was about to be released! It’s very happy news! I can’t actually be sad to not see her anymore, she gets to go home to her family and I know all those times of prayer and Bible stories are planted in her little heart!
Thank you again for your continual prayers, support, love, and encouragement! I’m so grateful for you! God Bless You!
Your Missionary to Ukraine,
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About Leann Peterson
Leann has been serving in Ukraine since 2003. During that time she has witnessed the Holy Spirit touch a multitude of people, bringing them salvation, healing, freedom, and deliverance. Ukraine has seen it’s fair share of hardships: hopelessness, corruption, alcoholism, high divorce rates, addictions, depression, and poverty. But God can change all of that! He has given Leann a heart for the people of this nation. She believes that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Ukraine and that there will be a mighty move of revival all around the land!