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JTC Misson to Reni, Ukraine


Year of Training Feedback

On the 30th April at 5.30am the Yotties started the first wave of people hitting the road en-route to Ukraine. After travelling through four different countries in one day by aeroplane, bus and taxi we finally arrived late evening. What an adventure it was! We supported the ‘Light for the World’ Church with Love Reni and numerous projects such as:

  • Painting all their playground equipment
  • Refurb and decorating work on their main church building
  • Decorating the Raduga children’s centre,
  • Refurb as well as painting and decorating on the Ark which is their foster home
  • We made food packs that we handed out to the community
  • We ran youth nights & socials,
  • We were able to bless an elderly disabled lady in the community by improving her living conditions
  • Performed and served at the Love Reni Gala event itself

We also had the opportunity to go into the maternity ward where we decorated the waiting area and blessed the nurses. We visited the pro-life centre hearing all the stories of the children that are being saved daily through preventing abortions and counselling the mothers through their pregnancies. We built lasting friendships during our two weeks in Ukraine and although we went with the heart to bless, we came back blessed beyond what we could have expected. A very fulfilling two weeks!

Anna Reynisdottir – YOT Student Leader


Year of Training Student Testimony: Joshua Crook.

While we were in Ukraine we were exposed to a huge need and a mountain of lists of things to do. But God showed me that people are far more important. The amount that needed to be done can be very overwhelming and although we show God’s love through doing the work, it shouldn’t take priority over people themselves. The friendships that I made whilst I was out there are friendships that will last a lifetime.

School of the Word Feedback 

The Training Centre mission to Reni, Ukraine was both incredibly inspiring and incredibly challenging at the same time. We had been briefed as to what to expect by a number of different people that had previously been to Reni and experienced the culture. I had a picture in my head of a run-down and socially oppressed town, where hope was a rare commodity. What I actually found was beacon of light, shining bright, pouring out Jesus’ love into a grey, and seemingly forgotten world. Wherever this light fell, new life sprung forth, new hope stirred. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of social challenges for this amazing little part of the body of Christ to face, but they seem to have the gift of stick-ability (also known as endurance).

We spent days working on different projects. From an orphanage that was set up to house abandoned children, to a free kindergarten provided by the church to look after children up to six years old; these kids would normally have been wandering the streets, or stuck at home. We helped Vera, a disabled lady that society had written off, because they deemed her as being without value. I suddenly became very aware of how much of a privileged life we live. For us, $50 might be a new top or a pair of shoes. For them it is a month’s rent, or will feed and clothe two children for a month.

I was deeply touched by how Ockert and Michelle as a young South African couple had answered the call of God. They were willing to lay their lives down for His mission, to see the fruit of their labour only now starting to bud and grow after years of toil. But even more than this, to see how the joy filled the hearts of the people we connected with, young and old, teenage and grandparents, all of which were bursting with the love of Jesus.

We saw and heard testimony upon testimony of how the Holy Spirit is transforming people’s lives, from alcoholism, sickness and poverty, into a beautiful bride, radiantly waiting for Jesus to return, but not staying idle in the meantime.  So yes you could say that Reni had an effect on me, and I will always be grateful to them for their continuous generosity, and being willing to share their hearts.

Ian Rich – School Of The Word Staff


School Of The Word Student Testimony: Mark Lawrence

This was a new experience for me; going to a poor country and strange unknown language. On arrival God clearly spoke to me about building relationships with the people. Especially as I was an older man in a country where most of the men are away for months working on ships. One of my many highlights was playing games all morning with teenagers at a picnic. God just said “yes, that is what I want you to do stay here and play, they never get this normally. “ The youngsters took to me and we had a great time and many  friendships were made. I was amazed that they came to me and were chasing after me to say goodbye when we left. God is good. Deep heart relationships have been made which have continued even now when we back at home.

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