So, we want to be completely honest and transparent about the mission work that is happening here. You had read previously that I would be spending some time in Stryi. Well, that plan has changed. I went to observe, listen, and try to understand the situation better. I learned more in two weeks that I thought I would be able to learn in two months.
Everything has resolved itself in a really wonderful manner. I'll give a brief bit of background. We once had a music person on staff at the Lviv UM church plant. Our pastor, Lyubomir, offered to cut his salary in half so that we could hire someone to do music. Eventually, that music person needed to leave the city for family reasons. After some prayer and thought we decided to send him out to work toward establishing a preaching point in the town where he was moving. Today, two years later, family circumstances are pushing him to migrant work in a different country to try to earn a better salary. In the last two years, a small group was formed and good efforts were made to establish a congregation - but, ultimately, not everyone is a church planter, there isn't always a need for a new church, and sometimes the timing is just off. This is one of those situations.
So, today we chose to refocus our energies on Lviv and the surrounding suburbs. It was a hard choice, but one that we ultimately feel very comfortable with. While we would love to see a healthy, vibrant, growing congregation in Stryi - we are thankful that the small group will continue to grow and nurture one another as a community. We pray that someday we will be in a better position to disciple someone to be a church planter. We learned a lot, and we are thankful for the experience.