Two Paths Become One
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
She did not plan on living half way around the world, but Tanya (Australian), One Mission Society missionary in Ukraine, met Sergei (Ukrainian) Susidko, also an OMS missionary in Ukraine, while on a mission trip to Ukraine in 1997. They were on two separate paths when they met. Tanya had just finished a mission trip to Africa when she heard about the possibility of going to Ukraine. All the while, God was working in Sergei’s heart. In that same year, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Sergei and Tanya crossed paths on Tanya’s second trip to Ukraine.
In that same year (1997), Daniel, a teammate of Tanya’s, needed to learn Russian. Daniel met Sergei through prayer meetings with a small group that he attended in Ukraine. Sergei knew Russian and once Daniel found out he asked if Sergei would teach him and a few others Russian. Sergei agreed to this, and one evening Tanya came to a Russian language lesson. You could say that the rest is history, but this is only the beginning of their story.
In 2002, the two were married, and Sergei finished Bible college. He wanted to share his knowledge as well as his heart for evangelism and discipleship with others. He pulled out a map one day and spotted Rzhyshchiv. Sergei and fellow teammate, Ben, began to take the bus every week to Rzhyshchiv to play their guitars and speak to people in the street.
God began to open doors. Shortly after Sergei and Ben started this street ministry, a local councilwoman took notice and said, “Please come and talk to the students!” Rzhyshchiv has several technical colleges, so Sergei and Ben formed a group and started spending time with the students. Sergei says, “It was amazing!”
The Susidkos then went to Australia and had their first two children and asked this question, “Could we go back to Ukraine?” It did not take long for God to answer this question. The Susidkos would return to Rzhyshchiv.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others Philippians 2:4 (NIV).
Soon after this decision was made a friend began to ask questions, “How will you be supported? What will you do?” “Who will hold you accountable?” The Susidkos responded, “Oh, we’re just doing what we can do, but we don’t have a solid plan.” The friend said, “You need to get someone behind you that could really help you out.” Tanya and Sergei agreed, but they did not know how to make this dream a reality.
“Could we join someone, Lord?”
Sergei and Tanya began to pray, “Could we join someone, Lord?” A year prior to their departure for Ukraine, OMS Australia missionary, Michelle Taylor, who had served in Russia before health problems brought her home, spoke at the Susidko’s church in Brisbane. Sergei states, “So, of course we had to say hello and speak some Russian. She was excited and asked if we could meet together. She introduced us to OMS.”
Michelle asked, “Have you ever thought of joining a mission organization?” The Susidkos were thrilled with the idea, but they had a few questions. Michelle then asked, “Can OMS come alongside you in your ministry?” Tanya and Sergei spoke with the OMS director in Australia, as well as with the pastor at their church, and they both agreed that it was a great idea to join OMS.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service 1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
Two paths became one. The rest is…well, only the beginning. Tanya and Segei have been happily married now for 10 years and have three wonderful children. The Susidkos and OMS have a beautiful partnership.
Have you considered joining OMS, or have you considered letting OMS join you? When two paths cross it is a beautiful thing. If you’re considering ministry opportunities with OMS click here. OMS would love to begin a journey with you for God’s kingdom and glory.