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Organ Fund

Raised toward our $18,000 Goal
6 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 31, at 11:59 PM CST
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Belcher Center Organ Update May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019
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Report #3 - one week later

June 04, 2018

To return to the concert...

My plan originally was to perform the St. Nicholas Mass by Joseph Haydn, the Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, and Benedicite by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Vika Konchakovskaya, the head Ukrainian conductor for Music Mission Kiev, urged me strongly to replace the Vaughan Williams with music of mine, as they have performed and recorded some of my music before.  Therefore I brought my Cambridge Songs Suite which I performed three years ago in Longview, TX with the East Texas Community Chorus and orchestra.  Just before going to Kiev this year I revised it a little and am very pleased with it.  Although this performance would not have clarinets, bassoons, or any brass other than one horn I decided to just go with it, and it was fine.  


As I introduced the Requiem I mentioned to the audience that there were two things unusual about it.  First, it included a movement with text from Ecclesiastes, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity."  Second, the Agnus Dei is placed BEFORE the Sanctus for theological reasons: the composer makes the statement that we cannot appreciate the holiness of God (Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus) until we have come to the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) for mercy.  I expanded on the concept of the Lamb of God, his atoning sacrifice for the sins of man, the just for the unjust, etc.  At the end of these statements I said simply, "Slava Boga," meaning "Praise the Lord!"  About half the audience responded, "Slava Boga!"  What a thrill to stand before hundreds of people in a nation of a different language and talk clearly about Jesus Christ and what he has done.  (The other two times were in my sermon and to the university students.)


What precision, what beauty this performing ensemble demonstrated!  The level of music-making in Ukraine and Russia is very high, and the culture is such that classical music is deeply appreciated at an emotional level.  Again, if you have time to listen to some of the audio, go to  I expect to get an edited video recording soon, and will post that on Facebook and send you links.


Did I mention that we were able to attend an opera for $4 (100 hrivna) and a ballet for the same amount?


That's all for now.  Thank you once again for making this trip possible with your support.  YOU went with us, YOU were speaking when I was speaking, WE went and YOU sent.  Slava Boga!

Report #2 - one week later

June 04, 2018

I chose as the topic of my sermon at St. Paul's Evangelical Church "The Best Is Yet to Come: Death, the Intermediate State, the Return of Christ, the Final Judgment, and Heaven."  My idea was that with so many elderly in the congregation and with much foggy thinking they might have on these subjects it might be good to present very clearly exactly what the Bible says about these.  I prepared it line by line so the translator could see it ahead of time.  The translator remarked afterward that it was unusual in that there were no jokes, no applications, and just Scripture, but that she could tell that the Holy Spirit was working powerfully.  She thanked me for listening to the Holy Spirit and teaching on this important topic.


My friend from previous visits, Taras Maronyuk, is a music professor at Grinchenko University, where there are approximately 2000 music students.  He arranged for me to lecture to the students (the first image below is the announcement), and I spoke about LeTourneau University and the concert that was to come the following Monday.  I then played some Beatles songs for them on the piano and guitar, which they received enthusiastically.  The department chair and a music administrator had us stay for tea and sweets following, and some lasting connections were made that may result in exchange students between LeTourneau and Grinchenko Universities.

Report - one week later

June 04, 2018

Dear Supporters,

A quick summary here of our trip to Kiev between May 21 and 29:


All was fabulously and tremendously successful.

  1. The concert was absolutely beautiful, the artistic highlight of my life.  I have never worked with musicians of this caliber and I can go to heaven right now.  
  2. The students were exposed to ministries that were profoundly affecting.  Their exposure to the culture and the ministries reaching it will stay with them all their lives.
  3. My preaching at the church and lecture to the university students were very warmly received.  On three occasions I gave the Christian gospel very clearly to large groups of people, and we sensed the Holy Spirit moving.
  4. No drama, no catasrophes, all returned safe and sound.
  5. I made connections that may result in exchange students between LeTourneau University and Grinchenko University.


This choir and orchestra were remarkable.  The 1st violinist is the concertmaster of the National Opera orchestra; the 2nd violinist is the concertmaster of some orchestra I didn't understand, and the 3rd violinist is concertmaster of the Kiev Chamber Orchestra.  And the choir and soloists!  For audio files go to  This recording shows that it was better than I perceived it to be during the concert.


The students taught a Bible study for 400 widows and widowers on Saturday morning in two large classes.  They washed windows for Center Logos preparing for music camps the following week, and learned what nurse Pam Dandre is doing there to help the dislocated and to promote health.  They learned how Music Mission Kiev is ministering to especially the elderly and neglected at the war front in eastern Ukraine, and got a good grasp of the scope of the mission.  They were surrounded by the Ukrainian culture riding the metro, walking the streets, eating the food, trying to read the signs in Cyrillic.  They had a laugh-filled dinner with young MKs at one table while the older folks were at another table.  They experienced international travel surrounded by foreign languages.  And they rehearsed and performed with one of the best choirs and orchestras in the world!


More details and pictures on the next update...

May 16 Update

May 16, 2018
Backers Only: Only backers of this project can see this update. If you are a backer please to see this update.
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