Board Member Sees Missionaries' Work Firsthand During May Trip to Ukraine
MIWC board member Kevin Lacefield had never ventured off of North America until his trip to Ukraine a few weeks ago. In May, Lacefield traveled from Fort Worth, Texas to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to join MIWC President Steve Benham for meetings with MIWC's Ukraine ministry team.
Lacefield was surprised to find the city of Kyiv so full of 20–30 year-olds, saying it seems to have a very young population. This population displayed contradictory examples of wealth, as he saw very expensive sports cars as well as inner-city poverty. While large numbers of rich and poor were visible, what he didn’t see much of was a middle class in Kyiv.
Regardless of economic status, Ukrainians were very friendly and hospitable throughout his visit, he said, and seemed very receptive to the Gospel.
The trip afforded Lacefield the opportunity to meet the missionaries supported by MIWC and get a firsthand look at their ministries. Armed with this information and personal experiences, Lacefield said he gained a better understanding of the missionaries’ needs, their vision for their ministries and the impact they are having on people in their part of the world.
He described MIWC’s missionaries as “on fire for the Lord and making plans to reach the lost, but hungry people.”
Meeting with missionary associates Vitaliy Bolgar, Sergei Bilokin, Sasha Kreshchuk and their families left many meaningful and unforgettable impressions on Lacefield.
“God opened my eyes,” Lacefield said, “We need to continue to find ways to support these missionaries as they work to spread the Gospel to all of Eastern Europe. I gained a renewed sense of urgency of the importance of supporting the missionaries we have in place.”
MIWC, through its supporters, provide the resources that allow missionaries to evangelize throughout Eastern Europe. Lacefield found the missionaries to be “highly effective” and constantly creating new projects with new ideas to reach unbelievers. He reported MIWC needs to continue to raise the level of support so the Gospel can continue to spread.
Lacefield pointed out that unlike a typical American missionary who goes to a foreign land and has to learn the language and culture to minister, MIWC supports missionaries from the land where they are evangelizing.
“Our missionaries are extremely effective because they are locals who understand the needs of their people,” he said.
Along with a great appreciation for the missionaries’ commitment to the Lord and His work, he felt humbled at their eagerness to give and serve, in some cases leaving their own endeavors behind.
The men’s personal, heartfelt thanks for the support of their mission work, Lacefield said, gave him a renewed spirit to work hard to find that support and increase it in the future.
Kevin Lacefield, MIWC Board of Directors, is the Director of Fine Arts at Northwest Independent School District (Fort Worth, TX).