February 24th, 2012

Marhanets is a mining city near the large Kakhovka Resevoir in Dnipropetrovs’ka, central Ukraine. Hosted by Pastor Oleg, it was here that we held our third training event for children’s leaders. Sixty delegates from the surrounding region made it through the icy roads which deterred many other potential delegates.

It was during a break from training that John was approached by Natasha. Two years earlier, she had participated in training. She, her husband Anatol and two sons live in the nearby town of Nikopol, where they began a church in 2003. Attracting children in a Ukraine town is easy, but keeping them connected and growing within the church is not so easy. A lot of women tend to be Christians, but their husbands are not, and this is reflected by their limited involvement in church. Speaking through an interpreter, Natasha told of how two years earlier, she went home both inspired and determined to make a difference with the children of Nikopol. Applying the principles she had learnt resulted in many children from her community coming to Kids club and experiencing God. Excited with their new found faith, these children brought their parents along to church – not just their mothers, but their fathers and siblings too!

With a job well done, and lives impacted, Natasha has reason to be proud of her achievements. However she is not happy to settle for a few good results. Instead, she desires more training, more new ideas and a greater outworking of God in her local community. Natasha is living proof of someone determined to make a difference.

There are many other Kids leaders like Natasha, not just in Nikopol or Marhanets, Ukraine, but also in Madrid, Spain, in Slavošovce, Slovakia, and in every other European nation. Training, resourcing and partnering with them develops skills and realises dreams – dreams of impacting each child they come in contact with. But this will only happen with you and I alongside them. Why not partner with us in giving children across Europe the best chance at life – life with a future and a purpose!


Update (2) July 2009

July 30th, 2009

Click here to view the second Kids Works International update for July 2009.

In this update:

  • Vital information about the BOOST tour
  • BOOST It! Slovakia project report
  • Personal update

Update July 2009

July 13th, 2009

Click here to view the Kids Works International update for July 2009.

In this update:

  • Kari is scheduled to go into surgery on the 13th.
  • Lauren (Doug & Kara Watson’s daughter), has begun to show signs of a miraculous healing from Tuberous Sclerosis & epilepsy.

On the personal side…

May 15th, 2009

Kari – As you may have noticed from the pictures, Kari’s appearance has changed over the last couple of weeks due to 1) loosing her first tooth and 2) getting glasses. Over the past 6 months, we have been visiting a number of medical people, including a Consultant Paediatric Opthalmologist. The end result is she has a lump called a dermoid (normal tissue in the wrong spot) in her right eye socket. We are waiting on scan results to see if anything needs to be done with it, and what the options are. It was also found that she has astigmatism in her right eye (i.e. a funny shaped eyeball) and hence the glasses, as this can sometimes be corrected.

Lara – Lara received her birthday present early this year – a new bike! John said to her that if she learnt to ride her bike without the training wheels, she could get a new bike for her birthday. It took one afternoon for her to master this – talk about determination!

Courtney – Way back in January, Courtney reached double figures and celebrated with a sleepover party. 10 friends were invited with the thinking that they all wouldn’t be able to make it – wrong! They all came, and so we had a very full lounge room of girls, all ‘sleeping’ over, although we don’t think their definition of ‘sleeping’ was the same as ours!

Bushfires – We have been very saddened and shocked to see the devastation caused by the bushfires in the Kinglake area earlier in the year. It was very close to home, as we lived in St. Andrews for 7 years and would attend annual training at the local CFA, along with having a fire plan. Our deepest sympathies and prayers to everyone affected by the fires, especially those of you who have lost loved ones, property and/or possessions.


May 15th, 2009

Easter meant that on Christine’s birthday, John and Courtney left home at 3 a.m. to travel to Madrid, Spain, where the Salem church held their annual Easter conference. Here, John continued building relationship we began last September and trained around 90 kids leaders. This included a practical demonstration where John ran a ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Sunday, assisted by Courtney. It ended with most of the 80 kids and 40 leaders crying (because of the Holy Spirit, not John’s speaking!) and responding to the challenge to stand up for Jesus, take a risk for God and be serious about their faith.

The church leaders in Madrid are very supportive of kid’s ministries and want to see it embraced across the nation. Don’t underestimate what is happening here in Spain. They have a passion for and value kids. Seeing kids interact and respond to God overwhelms them, and so they want to learn how to effectively minister to them. Our involvement in Spain looks like it will be a 4 year project, as the leadership are really keen to see this become a reality in their nation. This will include intensive training twice a year for the kid’s leaders.