We serve as missionaries in L’viv, Ukraine, with New Horizons, an evangelical church plant in the Calvary Chapel network. Some of the church’s regular ministries are Sunday services, home fellowships, weekly English club, and youth group. The church also engages in outreaches like visiting orphanages and the elderly. If you would like to learn more about New Horizons, please visit their website.
As a family, we feel that our primary calling in L’viv is to support New Horizons and Mike and Michelle Pratt, the pastor and his wife (Nicole’s parents). Some specific areas of ministry we are involved in are English Club outreach, sound and worship ministries, and discipleship, especially of young couples in the church.
Josh has always felt that he is gifted as a “hole-filler” – he loves to meet needs where they are unmet. He does a “little bit of everything,” taking part in church staff projects and activities as they arise.
He and two other missionaries co-lead the weekly English Club evangelism, where 15 to 30 students attend to practice English with native speakers. It’s a conversational environment, where they focus on teaching English and developing relationships with the students. People attend from our church, other churches, and from the community in general.
Josh also helps to oversee the church’s sound ministry, working closely with another sound technician and training others to participate. In addition to running sound for some of our weekly services, he provides training in this area, as well as support in technical problem-solving and equipment set up for the church.
He’s also responsible for the “words” ministry: the people who make sure there are song lyrics on the screens during worship. We are excited about this area of ministry, because we feel it’s a place where new people can be involved and those who are young in faith can contribute and be discipled at the same time.
Nicole’s primary ministry continues to be as a wife and mama, but she is also involved in several church ministries.
She’s played a major role in the worship ministry. She led Sunday services for roughly a year, and her last Sunday leading was a few days before the birth of our son in early June, 2016. When we first moved here, Nicole helped to develop some policies and guidelines for the worship team, as well as to focus on team building. Over the past year, she has felt that God was calling her to step back from leading worship, so she’s gradually been turning over her responsibilities to others in the church.
Nicole also meets regularly with girls and young women from the church, to develop relationships and provide support. She has a heart to listen to, encourage, challenge and simply love these women, and she is continually blessed by how much she receives from each of them, as well. Growing up as a missionary kid herself, Nicole remembers how the Lord used her stay-at-home mom to be a living example of a Christian wife and mom, and she now hopes that girls coming into our home find that same example, by God’s grace!
God has also given Nicole a vision for a community building ministry, which will begin in the fall of 2017. We’ll start with a community needs assessment to determine which populations in our city are most underserved. Using that information, we’ll develop programs to help meet their needs. Some of the ideas we are praying about are a police chaplaincy, services for soldiers and refugees from Ukraine’s war, and ministry to women who are being prostituted or trafficked.