Rodney Sexton – UK:
One of the joys and privileges of being part of the LightHouse Community is the forging of new friendships across political and cultural borders. We have so much to receive from one another, enriching our understanding of what it means to be disciples of Jesus. So, when Heather and I were invited to Plungė, Lithuania, to stay for a weekend with Edgaras and Nijole Untulis we jumped at the opportunity. It was a great weekend!
This was our first visit to Lithuania and although we did not see a great deal of the country what we did see was
beautiful – an open, rolling countryside, deep forests, and a delightful coastline. We enjoyed the attraction of the seaside resort, Palanga in low season and valued walking around Plungė, soaking up its atmosphere. One thing which impressed itself on us was that we were in a post-Soviet country rather than just a post-communist nation; a (scary) visit to the cold war museum, with its missile silos, made this very real. Grand houses set in wonderful parklands told a story of a much more glamorous past. Meanwhile, the presence of a huge, Russian freight train on its way to Kaliningrad highlighted the nervousness felt about the situation in Ukraine.
The hospitality we were shown was truly overwhelming. Edgaras and Nijole made us very welcome, and we quickly
felt ‘at home’. And we were so well fed! I especially enjoyed the different varieties of porridge – warm food for a
cool climate. The folk of the evangelical church obviously appreciate eating together. Two meals in their upper
room made for good conversation and the sharing of insights and experiences.
The church is small but has a significant ministry to Ukrainian refugees in helping them to learn the language. There
is a vision to move into a larger building or even to build one themselves. The 25 years of faithful service by Edgaras
and Nijole is not only honoured within their own fellowship but also by other churches in the area.
I had the responsibility of speaking three times over the weekend. On Friday evening and Sunday morning we looked at the power of the gospel, following on from our Lighthouse Community Warsaw gathering in June. On Saturday
morning we were joined by people from 4 different churches in order to study the gift of prophecy as it operates
within the local church (1 Corinthians 12-14). This seemed to be well-received, judging by our meal-time
conversation afterwards. What was amazing and humbling was that a spontaneous offering was taken up for me, to
use as I saw fit during my forthcoming trip to Romania. This has now taken place and the gift has been put towards
financing new initiatives in evangelism and social outreach in central Transylvania, where the church I visit is
situated. A wonderful demonstration of our one-ness in Christ and partnership in the gospel.
Please pray for Edgaras, Nijole and the church in Plungė. There are enormous challenges and great opportunities
ahead and (I am) confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus,’ Philippians 1:6 (NIV).