Our team, consisting of Ivan B., Tom Chandler, Don Vinez, Connie and I, spent two weeks ministering in Ukraine and Armenia.
It was a long way from here to there involving planes, trains, and automobiles, which included a delay in Washington that put us in Kiev one day late. We made it to Kiev just a few hours before boarding a train for an overnight 12-hour ride to the southwestern part of the Ukraine, which is very beautiful and mountainous. It is very hard for me to put into words what great things God has done but I will let some of the team and comments from those who attended do the speaking for me.
Tom wrote: “From the beginning of the conference in Ukraine until the end of the Armenia conference two weeks later, it was apparent that the Lord was being faithfully served by the work of Shepherds’ Support. The Ukrainian pastors and their wives were hungry for the sound, Christ-centered biblical teaching Steve brought, and the women in particular were encouraged to hear of how the Savior has worked in our lives (largely through Connie’s testimony) to bring us through struggles. The Armenians, a more mature group, were greatly moved by Steve’s and Connie’s teaching on the biblical view of marriage and the roles of men and women in the marriage. It is easy to see that what this group of influential pastors from across Armenia learned at the conference might not only change their lives, but also work through them to bring needed change to the culture in Armenia.”
Don wrote of the impact the trip had on him personally: “I witnessed a profound humility and dedication by both the Ukrainians and Armenians to serve JESUS on very little in the form of financial and physical resources. It serves as a memorable example of how we take for granted our blessings…I brought back a great deal more than I left. Thanks for the opportunity. I am forever grateful.”
Ivan, who is originally from that part of the world, (now based and ministering in Houston in a ministry called Revival Sport) was also our contact person and he was instrumental in organizing the conferences. He wrote: “I want to say thank you so much for taking your time, your energy, your finances and willingness to travel to visit my people, my nations. You have become an incredible blessing to our ministry, to our pastors, to our nations. You have shared the word of God with them and your experience in the Spirit. You shared your life with them. You blessed them by prayers in the conferences, in their homes, on their properties of the ministry. You have blessed them with your clothes, your books, and your money. Thank you so
One of the critical needs in that part of the world is for pastors to value their wives. Wives are seldom if ever invited to a conference with their husbands. They have little voice. We really strike a chord with them when we speak on marital issues. One morning I mentioned that when we husbands offend or hurt our wives we need to ask their forgiveness. We take that as a given here in the west (I need forgiveness from Connie at least once a day). I could see that this created a stir. That afternoon one of the couples was beaming as the husband said “For the first time in 40 years I asked my wife to forgive me.” One of the pastors wrote: “We do need a picture of Biblical families and we need to learn from the life experiences of seasoned leaders like Steve (and the team) who went through many challenges (the heat) of life. This wonderful team that for 5 days ministered to over 100 leaders of Armenia fulfilled its mission by the grace of God. I am personally involved in married couples’ ministry and am praying that the Lord gives us another grace of having such a conference again. This has truly been a pastor-supporting ministry. May the Lord bless you!” Pastor Davit Torosyan, Bethel” Baptist Church, Yerevan, Armenia.
By hosting these conferences we allow pastors and wives to get to know one another as they network together. They can continue to be an encouragement to one another long after the conference is over On a personal note, God was very gracious in giving me the strength to speak a total of 26 times during the two weeks, including the Q & A sessions. I was tired of hearing myself speak. But we all came away
with a sense of mission accomplished. If you would like to read more testimonies please see the attachment.
Again we want to thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support which makes these trips possible. A team of seven of us will be traveling to Malawi next month. We will send you prayer requests before we leave. Truly God is good, and as they say in Africa, “all the time.”
Please make note of our new address below. We thank Marsha and John Shields who have for the past 5 years allowed us to have a mailbox at their place of
Pastor Steve Troxel
Here are some comments from participants at Shepherds’ Support Ukraine and Armenia Conference:
Respectable Supporters of Stephen P. Troxel,
We were greatly blessed by the teachings of Steven and by the testimonies of Connie, Tom and Don. We do need a picture of Biblical families and we need to learn from the life experiences of seasoned leaders like Stephen Troxel who went through many challenges (the heat) of life. This wonderful team that 5 days ministered to over 100 leaders of Armenia fulfilled its mission by the grace of God.
I am personally involved in married couples’ ministry and am praying that the Lord gives us another grace of having such conference again. This has truly been pastor-supporting ministry.
May the Lord bless you!
Praying for you,
Pastor Davit Torosyan
“Bethel” Baptist Church