Sermon Illustrations

Closed Doors - Open Doors

My first trip to Ukraine was in 2000. We visited Kiev and L'viv to connect with ministry training institutions.

In 2002 I made my first teaching trip to L'viv to teach at L'viv Theological Seminary (LTS).

It was so rewarding to contribute to God's work in Ukraine and meet students with a passion for the gospel.

In the past 22 years I've made many more trips - and developed some lifelong friendships.

In 2018 it seemed like time to move to Ukraine and teach full-time at LTS.

We applied to go, but upon formal application we were told, "We don't need you in Ukraine."

Door closed.

Surprised, yes.

Confused, yes.

Then God opened a door of ministry in St. John's, Newfoundland in the fall of 2018. The beloved place of my childhood. It had been 35 years since I lived in Newfoundland.

Surprised, Yes.

Now, in the year 2022, because of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainians are moving to St. John's!

Two former students of mine - now married and with 3 children, accepted our invitation and moved into our home.

They attend our church - and together we have started a ministry to Ukrainian refugees.

It seems God's masterplan was far superior to our modest plan.

Surprised, Yes.

James 4:13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

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