Pray for Ukraine

Pray for Ukraine

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Florida was fantastic!
Forgive me if I don't mention every church we went to and everything we did but Florida was great. The Ukrainians had an amazing experience exploring the oceans during a couple of beach afternoons from the east side to the west side.

Northland Church was the biggest event so far of the tour. The KSOC was the special feature for music at all five of Northland's services over Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Then we had a special 1 hour long concert Sunday evening. Northland received us well and I am impressed with many of the ministries and people I saw at Northland. I had never been to a church of that magnitude before –it is huge. I was initially skeptic as to what this church would be like, but the longer I spent there the more I appreciated the projects for Christ it operated. The pastor's preaching was solid also. The church staff worked hard and the congregation was receptive to our Ukrainians. Thank you Northland Church. 

Northland has an incredible video team which recorded the worship service. If you are interested I have a Video Link for one of the services the KSOC was at. This is not a concert video –this is the entire worship service at Northland, which includes the KSOC performing.

At Northland we met many incredible people. I personally had many great adventures. Thank you to all the people I had a good time with.

Orlando was a great place to be. We got to stay at the same host families for three nights which was a special treat. On this long journey we have been staying at a new home every night. So it was a splendid bonus being able to not have to completely "pack up" every day.

Before we made it to Northland we had a series of great concerts throughout Florida. Each of the churches served us a fine dinner. I've met many fantastic people throughout this trip. Below are just a few pictures.

A welcome cake for our Ukrainians.

Please pray for the KSOC and our ministries back in Kiev, Ukraine. The tour will be ending soon. We have just five concerts left before heading home. Let them be glorifying to our King.

–Christopher Janzen

P.S. If you have any requests for anything feel free to comment in the comment bars.

Also, check out our youtube channel and Facebook page.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Video #4: Steal Away to Jesus

Here's video excerpt number four! Please enjoy this song by the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

This is from a live performance at Trinity Methodist Church, in Troy, North Carolina.

"Steal Away to Jesus."

Please like and share this video with your friends.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Music Mission Kiev has a very vibrant widows ministry. Each week, we handout food packages to over 420 widows. This is truly a lifeblood for them The widows government pension is minuscule and is not enough to pay for utilities, food, and medicines. MMK also provides assistance for widows requiring medical aid.

Each week, MMK hosts Bible classes and church. Kim Janzen and Diane McMurrin each teach a class from a book of the Bible. Hundreds come weekly. Additionally, we have small group Bible lessons where we provide a hot lunch for those who come. We nourish the body, then nourish the soul. Our mission is very well rounded and provides for many needs. 

Many of the widows MMK serves express how grateful they are for the help. They tell us that before they came to our church they were depressed and bitter; but now they have joy with Christ in their life. MMK offers a safe encouraging community.

This is only part of the story. Many of our widows are so overjoyed with their new life in Christ that they want to serve God. They actively invite friends and strangers to our church, St. Paul's. They also deliver food packages to the homebound. It often takes several hours to get to one of the homebound homes –so this is a big commitment. Commonly, I hear widows tell stories of how they discovered MMK: "I was sitting on a park bench and somebody sat down next to me and invited me to the St. Paul's church. I decided to come and now I am so happy to know Christ. Thank you."

Sasha, pictured below, is an active member in the church. He reads scripture most Sundays at church. Astonishingly, he has memorized over 100 psalms. He never even completed high school. He is a great testimony to the studying of God's word.

Please consider helping us serve more widows each week. There are many widows which we would like to serve and many are coming to Christ. Just a couple months ago we had 80 people join our church.

Now that war is in Ukraine there is a new generation of young widows. MMK is expanding its ministry to help these young widows and their children. Many soldiers and civilians have been killed. We have many that we are helping.

This is an encouraging letter written to us by the pastor of Sycamore Presbyterian Church in Midlothian Virginia. We had a concert there September 19. I remember that church being greatly hospitable to our group. Thank you!

"What a treat we had at Sycamore Presbyterian Church with the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus! They performed for us in concert on Saturday night and participated in worship on Sunday morning in worship. Their talent takes them where many others could not go with the gospel of Christ presented through the classical Christian masterpieces. Their compassion takes them where many others would not go, as they care for the widows, orphans, and war refugees in Kiev. The combination of their talent and compassion together make this ministry unique and powerful.  It is our privilege to have a long and growing relationship with Music Mission Kiev, and we look forward to having them come back again."

–Harry D. Long: Sr. Pastor, Sycamore Presbyterian Church: Midlothian, Virginia.

P.S. I was filming this night so this is the best still photo I had, Below is a video from another church, "Steal Away to Jesus."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Video #3: Duba –Ukrainian Folk Song

This is a video of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing a traditional Ukrainian folk song, "Duba."

Please like and share this video with your friend.

P.S. We still have lots of concerts in the tour here is the Schedule once again.

Feel free to check out our Facebook page, our Youtube Channel and here is a link to our Music Mission Kiev website.

Video #2: Bridegroom –Ukrainian Folk Song

Here is is video of a song called, "Bridegroom." This was performed at Trinity Methodist Church, in Troy, North Carolina.

The two soloists:
Misha, tenor.
Inna, Soprano.

Please like and share this video with your friends.

I hope to post more videos soon.

Feel free to comment if you want a particular song to be posted.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It has been a while since the last post, so this one shall have many pictures from many different churches. The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus has been performing super well.  Some people are even driving several hours to be able to come to multiple concerts because they like the event so much. One man told me, "This is the best music you're gonna hear this side of heaven." People commend our concerts as being healing for the soul.

Below: St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC.

On September 27, 2015 we were in Troy, North Carolina at Trinity United Methodist Church. That concert was packed. A special thanks to Paul and Sophia who worked so hard to make the concert great. I have no photos of that concert because I was concentrating on filming it. I had a three camera system going that night so I am hoping to post some footage of that soon. The video should be really good.

The photos below came from Trinity Episcopal Church on our Sept 28, 2015 concert.
There was a good crowd this night, and the church sanctuary was beautiful.

After this concert we slept the night at our host families. The next morning we had a mega bus ride of about 8 hours to get to Beaufort, South Carolina.

Community Bible Church in Beaufort had organized a massive missions conference. I commend this Church for hosting a great event like this. It seemed to be well organized and the church staff were working hard with passion. I saw scores of volunteers being extremely helpful. The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was the special feature kickstarting the conference. This church really impressed me. This is a good example of a church that is generously striving for the Kingdom of Heaven.

The next morning the Ukrainians had a special treat. We went to the beach! It was a beautiful beach day with a high tide, sunshine, and partial shade from clouds. It almost could not have been better. The ocean air was fresh and lively, and the waves were fun to play in. The Ukrainian group had a great time. After having so many long drives and so many concerts this really was a treat.

That evening, the weeklong missions conference started with our concert. It was beautiful seeing many dozens of missionaries from that church standing on stage during the flag ceremony of the event. It was a great testimony to what it truly means to be a follower of Christ.

Following that fantastic event we went to Briarwood Presbyterian, in Birmingham, Alabama. Below are some nice pictures. Briarwood was a monstrous facility.

Please, I really want to stress how much of a big deal our concerts are. They are not merely an entertainment thing –they are much more. The music is great and people are so enthusiastic and encouraged afterwards. Many people have personally rejoiced to me about their gladness at attending. However, I would like to see larger audiences, especially at the supposedly bigger churches. I want to see the churches packed out to standing room. That is my dream here. You are Americans who care about those in need. So please invite your friends, invite people you know. This is a big deal. We need people to learn about our mission so that they can help grow the Kingdom of Heaven.

If you care about what our mission is doing, help get more people coming to the concerts. Church members need to be the leaders bringing people to the Kingdom of Heaven. That is what MMK and the KSOC desires. Our concerts are a great opportunity to invite friends to your church.

Share our Facebook page and Concert Schedule with others. Let people see our Music Mission Kiev website to learn about our mission. Check out our Youtube Channel to see some movies about the KSOC and our mission in Ukraine. Prompt yourself to be an active participant in the church.

People who volunteer to be host families are great examples of Christians from the early church who invited the apostles into their homes. Thank you so much to the generous host families who help contribute so much for our Ukrainians.

Our Ukrainian musicians are coming from a country that is undergoing Russian invasion. Over 1.5 million people have had to flee the battle zone. Yet, God is still in Ukraine. We are a light in the darkness. Our mission is responding by sending trucks with aid to help those who are hurting. We offer Bible lessons, we offer hope. We are helping supply hospitals and orphanages with supplies. We are helping widows. We have a vibrant church. This is just some of what we do. We are on the Samaritan road showing love to those who need it.

–Christopher Janzen.

Blessings in Christ.

Only love can defeat pride and pride is the enemy of love.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Welcome to my webpage about the East Coast Tour.

Down below is a series of pictures from the last several concerts. Thank you to everybody who made these concerts possible. A video will be posted soon of some songs.

Photo Below from Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina.

Below are photos from a beautiful church we performed at in Winston Salem, North Carolina. This was at Centenary United Methodist Church. Approximately, 750 people came to this concert. The audience was great! People are telling us many thank you's and "That's the best concert I've been to." The compliments are huge.

The two photos below are from a friendship dinner event that the KSOC was welcomed to in Durham, North Carolina. One of our Music Mission Kiev board members Hellen Harrison worked hard organizing this event. The food was tasty. Wes Janzen spoke about what Music Mission Kiev is all about. The work that we do with people distraught by the war, the wounded soldiers in hospitals, the widows ministries and so on. Thank you for the hospitality to the people from Durham. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Photos from the September 18th concert near Richmond Virginia.

Friday, September 18, 2015

We have delighted in attentive and appreciative audiences. at least five people have already told me, "That's the best concert I've ever attended." Our wonderful Ukrainian musicians are giving their all. Our concerts have a lot of variety; vocal and instrumental, very soft and very powerful, slow and fast. We bring Slavic a cappella, sung prayers, sacred classics, Ukrainian folk music, hymns, instrumental chamber music, and stories of God's grace. We ask all of our friends to look at our schedule and phone ahead or email ahead to friends, and encourage them to come to one of our concerts. They will not be disappointed.

Wes Janzen
KSOC Conductor and President of MMK.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pennsylvanian hospitality has been exceptional!!!

Thank you USA. Our Ukrainian musicians are giving their all. We've completed our first two evening concerts and a Sunday morning worship service, each ending with a standing ovation. Some people are coming to more than one concert. The Pennsylvanian landscape and farming communities are beautiful. We look onward to sharing many more concerts as we slowly move south. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Please pray for our team; for health, strength, and safety.

Written by: Wes Janzen
KSOC Conductor and President of Music Mission Kiev
The First Couple of Concerts

On Friday, September 11 we had our first concert of the tour at Christ Wesleyan Church, in Milton, Pennsylvania. We were warmly received by the audience there. The church served the group a fine dinner before the concert. It was greatly appreciated.

The concert was a success and the choir and instrumentalists performed fantastic!
Many people during the intermission and afterwards told me they were thrilled by the performance and deeply touched when hearing about our ministry in Ukraine.

Below is a photo of our flute player Anatolii.

Below: Yuliya sings a beautiful solo

After the concert all of the Ukrainians met up with their American host family for the night. My group went with a spectacular family. We had a wonderful time and they were kind and welcoming. I had a splendid experience with them.
Thank you to all of the host families for allowing us into your homes. Your contribution is significant.

The next morning, after a delicious breakfast was fed to us by our host family, we headed to the church to meet with the bus. The Pennsylvanian countryside is very beautiful even with all the rain.

Our second concert of the tour was on Saturday, Sept 12. This was at First Baptist Church in Danville, Pennsylvania. I'd like to thank all of the people at each of the churches who contributed in any way. People enjoyed the concert immensely.

Misha and Vika sing a duet with the choir.

it was Misha's birthday!!! Hurray

After the concert we went home with a new host family. Again we were met with generosity and kindness. As a group we are very thankful for our hosts. I have seen and heard from many of the Ukrainians that they had splendid experiences with their American hosts.

Written by: Christopher Janzen

P.S. Please invite friends to concerts. It is one of the best ways for people to learn about us. Word of mouth is incredible!!!! Thank you!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Beginning Of A New Adventure.

The Ukrainians safely landed at JFK airport yesterday evening. They drove on the bus to the beautiful Pennsylvania Spruce Lake Retreat centre. At the centre we are preparing for the upcoming 49 days of the tour. The KSOC members had a chance to explore the forested mountains of Pennsylvania and enjoy the fresh air outdoors. They worked hard on their last day rehearsing before the concerts begin. The support team prepared the bus and accompanying truck with the supplies. Now we just need to trust in God that the tour will glorify Him. We hope that many people will come to the concerts, so please invite friends, family, and co-workers. We hope that churches will actively promote our mission. The music shall be extraordinary and the musicians have insane skill.

I would like to give a very brief summary of some of the things the KSOC and Music Mission Kiev does back at their home in Ukraine. The KSOC is the musical arm of MMK. Their primary function is to present friendship-evangelism concerts. We have close ties with many churches in Ukraine so we commonly partner with them during events. Recently, we held concerts in Lviv where funds from ticket sales went to help the wounded in the Lviv hospitals.

Music Mission Kiev has a large ministry to widows. We provide food packages for over 400 widows, including 100 homebound. Each Saturday, MMK has several large Bible study classes where Kim Janzen and Dianne McMurrin teach hundreds of widows. The widows enjoy coming to classes to learn about God and because we offer a safe community of friends for them. Additionally, the widows receive a weekly food package. Many of our widows have loving hearts and deliver a food package to a homebound friend each week. This allows the homebound widow to have an opportunity for quality fellowship, encouragement, and prayer.

Ukraine has undergone an enormous time of stress over the past two years. Ukraine's territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed in fighting in the east. We have teams that deliver food aid into the conflict zone. They commonly have to wear bullet proof vests and helmets for safety. They deliver food to orphanages and victims of war. We provide the food staples for hundreds of afflicted people on a weekly basis.

These are just a few of the ministries MMK works on.  I have seen our workers make valiant attempts to fill serious needs. In Kiev, we bring significant assistance to wounded soldiers and their families.

The workers at MMK deeply care about those we help. Our staff in Ukraine genuinely love and make friendships with our people.

–Post by: Christopher Janzen

P.S. I hope that you will share this blog, so that others can learn about MMK and the tour the KSOC is having these next couple months. You are welcome to come to our concerts!!!

P.P.S. Our first concert is at Christ Wesleyan Church in Milton, Pennsylvania.

P.P.P.S. Here is a link for the Concert Schedule for September and October. Please take a look and see if any of your friends are nearby. The music will be incredible.