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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, April 20th I commandeered Noline's FB to chat with all her friends. To my surprise being right there communicating with you made the distance from the US to Ukraine so much less than the thousands of miles it really is. Thank you for the love and support I received so quickly. It is because of you this blog has begun and I hope in the days ahead I will be able to share with you truth and real emotions which accompany a major move in one’s life.

My immediate response was to share some exciting adventure in Europe. Something that would have you salivating or at least longing to go to the mission field. But this morning while waiting on the Lord He spoke to my heart and said I needed to be authentic with you and not simply sermonize, or adventureize if there is such a word. Oh there will be the sermon or two because only by truth we are set free. To the most part I will touch interesting events that will be painted with words so you will see what we are seeing. I will also deal with counseling issues which I have had to apply to my own heart that you can know the freedom I have received.

So let's begin with a word people hate to acknowledge but can actually happen to anyone. DEPRESSION! Goodness sakes, I am not a depressed person. In fact I am the last person alive that suffers from any kind of depression. The image of me is that I am an extravert, a people person, a talker, always ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. Noline has struggled with me being so extravert. I go into the store to purchase a pint of milk and I am in there for an hour because I am extroverting with people I don't even know. It has been exciting and frustrating trying to communicate with non English speaking Ukrainian's, but I do it and I love it. I have developed my own sign language to get the message across. So don't talk to me about depression!

Then why did I sink into the depths of a dark pit and feel "down in the dumps?" Now don't tune me out because you are not there at the moment and you want something more positive. Stay with me; this could actually help you today or in the near future should you find yourself in the 'mullygrumps.'

Getting to Ukraine was the easy part. I was hyper enough after leaving NYC to get through customs like a breeze. Seeing my daughter and grandchildren added to this superimposed joy and exuberant attitude I was having. Staying with Deb and Bruce I immediately got stuck into helping around the house with fix-it projects, dishes and even cooking. After all you have to pay your way as this was no vacation, this was missions.

Almost to the day, one and a half months after leaving NYC and Times Square Church I hit the wall. I suddenly started weeping and could not stop. Deborah, played me a song by Gersh, called, ‘Breakdown.’ I took the mp3 and went to my room and while listening to it I began to sob from the bottom of my heart. It was uncontrollable. What had happened to the upbeat and positive preacher at TSC? I was falling to pieces and there was no way to stop or even slow this blessed train. All I could think about was that I am glad none of our friends could see me like this. Being far away in a foreign country had its benefits. No one could call or just pop in to see me. Even Noline was still in the States staying with our other children.

The feelings I began to experience include: a lack of sleep, decreased energy, worthlessness, even guilt; difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions; there were even thoughts of death and suicidal ideation. Mostly, I was sad! Sad because I was grieving at the loss of losing all our friends and close relationships with the leadership. This made me sad. It felt so permanent. The excitement of a new venture was swallowed up in this word, DEPRESSION. I was depressed and there was no way out of this pit trying to climb out in my own strength. Even my cries for help in the forest next to my daughter’s house fell on deaf ears.

So now on my very first blog I have made you depressed. If I go on like this, I stand to lose you as an electronic friend that I actually need right now. Therefore let me console you with two things as I close this first attempt to share meaningful and ‘gut level’ thoughts with you.

God sees through the quagmire of the darkest day. “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness” (Ps 18:28 KJV). And in the simplest and quietest voice, that still small voice Elijah heard in the cave of his depression, I heard the Lord speak to me these words. “I am going to teach you about a faith that comes from rest and not from necessity.” Wow! Again, like Elijah who wrapped and hid his face in his coat I too buried my head into the pillow and loved on the Lord.

In the next episode, I will face the giant and see him fall. David carried the head of Goliath, that central nerve center from hell to demonstrate to all that Satan had no lasting power over God’s people.



  1. Looking forward to hearing more -- love your wallpaper! Andrea & Joe

  2. Thank you for your honesty! Love you and miss you Pap Neil!

  3. Dear Pastor Neil, We LOVE you and miss you and sister Noline so much at TSC!
    Thank you so much for your honesty, there is only one Pastor Neil,
    and no one could ever take your place!
    Looking forward to the next time...,It makes me feel like your still here and I'm back stage talking with you:-)
    Love you!
    Nancy (Alexandria's mom)
    PS. She sends both of you all her love.....

  4. Pastor Neil,

    thanks for being honest. You and Noline have blessed more people than you know. To leave the comforts of NYC and head to the Ukraine, you have now set a real example of being obedient to the Lord. We wanted to go to India and prayed and were ready to go but God wanted to see if we were obedient and we obeyed. Now we are in Denver and I ask myself, "Why are we here?" But obedience is better than sacrifice. You are a man that is a good example of Jesus. You are real and you speak to people. You are an encouragement to all!!! Keep in touch, Anil

  5. So well written Neil and such heartfelt honesty. When you write straight from the heart words that are not sifted through the head, diluted or painted in any way, God will honour you with many readers who too will surely find healing wherever they might be. One of the things I have learned over the years is that we as a people need real and I guess God does too. Looking forward to "visiting" again soon....xx

  6. P.'re killin' me...I laughed and cried! So typical of you to do this to us ;) Please keep writing. You're both encouraging us sooo so much!

    Love, Shy

  7. WOW! Thank You for being so real and genuine! It's so encouraging everytime I see how God is glorified when He walks us through the darkest times as well as the best times of our journey here on earth. We Love You Both! Look forward to reading more! Marisol

  8. Very encouraging Pastor Neil. Thank you for remaining so real and so refreshing.

    God bless,


  9. How did I get featured on your depressed blog post?
    I truly enjoyed visiting with you and Noline and let's meet up again soon.
    Miss you both

  10. Pastor Neil,
    It is so nice to hear from you again. Thank you, thank you thank you for starting this blog and sharing your journey with us. Look forward to more entries. No matter where you are, you and the rest of the pastors at TSC will always be our spiritual papas. We love you!!!!

  11. We are so glad you decided to have a blog. It's awesome to read you. Thank you for your openness. We miss you! Andrew and Gisel

  12. You rock Pastor Neil. Your sermons, really opened me up to heavenly things.

  13. Dearest Neil and Noline love you guys and you are often in our thoughts and prayers... You will always have a VERY special place in our hearts....Lynda and Dave