We are on our last week in Canada. Every moment has been precious, every meeting, small or large.
We are traveling across the USA to the West coast, and then going north to Canada and traveling back to Ontario and then the States. Our goal is to talk to people all along the way about the needs in Ukraine and to raise support for the renewal of Ukraine. Money, yes, we are asking people to give $100. And time – for prayer, asking for God’s mercy on Ukraine.
We would like to introduce ourselves. We are Christian missionaries who have lived overseas for 39 years, working in Communistic countries. The past 32 years we have lived in Ukraine. YES, it was still under Communism when we moved here. Now we are saddened with Russia’s attack on Ukraine in an effort to again oppress them. There is very little freedom in Russia. After much prayer we have decided to do what we can to bring renewal to Ukraine—even in the midst of war—and definitely after the war. The physical devastation is horrendous. Over 6 million Ukrainian refugees are now in other countries, but we have millions more displaced people here.
Contact Us by email@example.com
This morning we took our breakfast to a bench beside Lake Nipissing in North Bay, ON. A beautiful peaceful moment to eat, read our Bibles and pray.
The days fly by as fast as the miles. We had such a good time in Medicine Hat, reconnecting with old friends and meeting many people. Good TV interview, good newspaper interview, and good meeting Monday night with about 50-60 people attending. Praise the Lord for open and generous hearts!
Many we do not hear from because of where they are living. But the majority of the men Abe has been working with come from east of Kyiv, so unending challenges. And of all times the Word of God needs to go out!
1. Assistance to families with husbands and children at war There are over 27,000 villages in Ukraine. During the war, every settlement falls into one of two categories: some were destroyed/occupied/shelled, and the others are waiting for their defenders to come back to their homes. There are from 100 to 200 Ukrainian soldiers dying daily. On June 8, 2022 brothers from the Baptist Union of Ukraine visited one of the villages in Volyn, whose husbands and children are at war, to provide aid to needy families. 39 families received assistance, including food, clothing, and some necessities. There are some families in the village whose father with his sons are serving in the army at the same time. Some families sent several of their sons to the war. In this village we found out that many of their husbands and sons are serving on the border with Kherson region – in Mykolaiv, Bakhmut, Slovjansk… One family got the news that their son got missing in Lyman (Donetsk region). The level of social support for these families is extremely low. We hope the Baptist Union will be able to provide such aid to other villages as well because there are many families in need whose husbands and children are protecting the country from Russian invaders. 2. New wells on the territories of three churches of Mykolaiv open new doors for the Gospel. The city is under constant fire from the Russian invaders. Unfortunately, the tap water in the city is extremely poor quality. It's not suitable even for dishwashing. So the Church has the great opportunity to minister to people with quality water from wells. Victor Zolyn, the regional pastor of Mykolaiv region tells about wells drilling on the territory of three churches ("Reconciliation with God", "Church of Jesus Christ", and "The source of life") of Mykolaiv, and putting those wells into operation. Volodymyr Shemchyshyn (Assistant of the Baptist Union's President) and brothers from the Odessa region have visited the Mykolaiv and local churches of the Mykolaiv region to support the local churches and their ministers. They were brought some food aid and became a fraternal encouragement which is so valuable today in times of danger and high risks. 3. Military hospital and teenagers. What might they have in common? The "Refresh-teens" youth club has existed at the Lutsk Bible Church for three years now. The motto adapted as the leading principle for the ministry by Alyona Yukhimchuk and the team of the club's organizers is: "If you don't teach teenagers to minister, you will have to entertain them all the time." "So," – says Alona, – "every meeting that gathers 15-20 teenagers, we dedicate to ministering others outside of the club. The war provided another area for the ministry - to the wounded Ukrainian soldiers. We bought tea, cookies, hygiene items, and socks. Thus we formed 111 such packages. We took them to the Lutsk garrison military hospital to distribute to our wounded soldiers. 4. Practical aid becomes a great opportunity to point people to an incredibly good God The war is not yet over, but the Russian aggression already results in numerous Ukrainians becoming homeless. And, of course, not everyone has the funds to rebuild their homes. Caring evangelical Christians from Manchester city (USA) became aware of the problems these people have and decided to minister to them. Having the idea and the necessary funds, they could not implement it alone because they located overseas. The brothers from the Transfiguration Church of Rivne became their "extended hands". They have already restored many houses. "I'm amazed people can be like that: so sensitive, so kind," – says Nadiya, a resident of Andriyivka (Kyiv region). Brothers were restoring her house, barn, and garage. 5. Baptismal services are held in dozens of churches 13 people were baptized in the Transfiguration Church of Kyiv recently. Many other Ukrainian churches had also held baptismal meetings: in Lviv, Ternopil, Odesa, Chernivtsi, Irpin, and others. After pastoral guidance and people’s testimonies of their way to the Lord, the churches executed the commandment of Jesus. 6. Today, the society is slowly changing its mind about the church. People are beginning to see more and more that Christians are not freaks united by a certain fanatical idea, but it is truly people who put on practice the things they teach. There was a number of training courses on first aid held in Rivne within these three months. One of such training was held at the First Rivne Church recently. About 20 people got their first aid certificates. One lady covered about 500 km specifically to gain some skills in this field. It is worth to note that people studying on those courses are far from the medical field, but they want to be useful for the society by their ability to provide the necessary assistance in military conditions or at general emergencies. 7. Russians continue to destroy church buildings The war continues to kill, injure and destroy the lives of people of Ukraine. Adults and children, rich and poor, believers and non-believers – all fall under the senseless millstone of the war. Church building of a small Baptist church in Soninke village (Donetsk region) came under Russian army's fire. Also, a devastating bombing raid damaged a Baptist church in Druzhkivka in June. We pray for a miracle - for God to give us a victory over extensively bigger, more insidious, and cynical enemy. 8. In occupied territories of the Kherson region that are now closed by Russians for entry and exit humanitarian crisis intensifies The regional pastor of the Kherson region says he can visit the liberated part of the Kherson region. Brothers, who minister here, bring people food, presents, and aid. And in the Russian-occupied territories, due to a lack of food, medicine, unstable communication, lack of social benefits, and so on, a humanitarian catastrophe is coming. The civilian population is terrorized and often deprived of the opportunity to leave for the Ukrainian authorities' controlled territories.
Churches that remain in the war zone are anticipating to be visited It is very important for residents of the frontline territories of Donetsk region to feel that they have not been forgotten or left behind. Therefore, evangelical Christians who managed to evacuate from Mariupol to peaceful territories are trying to go to churches in the Donetsk region. In the last week of May, brothers that are IDP from Mariupol visited settlements near Maryinka. They brought food aid, visited the believers and took part in church services. This has become a huge support for local believers and non-church people. It's hard to say what made them most happy – the aid they brought or the visits themselves. Every Saturday, the first Rivne Church invites children of IDPs for chess, guitar, and art classes. Teachers, who pass on their skills to children, don't only strive to develop their creative abilities. But young Ukrainians also need help preparing for adulthood. Classes are conducted by members of the local church. Such a ministry is an important component of the educational and creative development of local and displaced children. Thus, adaptation and individual psychological characteristics will be easier to overcome. Special services for internally displaced persons In the village of Chervona Sloboda, Cherkasy region, the Word of Life Church organizes separate services for internally displaced persons. They are willing to visit them, showing interest in listening to the Gospel. In recent days, residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been coming here, where intense fighting is taking place. The pastor of the church, Ruslan Uroda says that 500 displaced people stayed in the village. And 60 out of those are received by the church in familytype orphanages. Some displaced persons are returning home to the liberated territories, but most of them have nowhere to return yet. Small churches of the Ternopil region do great things We have heard many fascinating stories about how large churches actively volunteer. But the war shows that not only churches with a big number of members have the resources to serve people. To help thy neighbor with the vital needs, the church can have even just 20 members. The small church "Grace" in the village of Pidvolochysk, Ternopil region, has been taking care of those in need since the first days of the war. They were able to receive 200 refugees. The church was also able to transfer medical materials, turnstiles (tourniquets) and bandages to the military. At the same time, believers are active in helping local pensioners (retired), single and large families. Any social ministry is accompanied by preaching the Gospel. Today, the church is going through another happy stage: four people are preparing for baptism. Times of trials have become times of opportunity for the Kyiv church, "God's design" Meeting the urgent human needs helps to reach more people with preaching the Gospel. "Christ could teach people in an accessible and interesting way, gathering thousands of people around the Word. We also learn from the Lord to convey spiritual truths, so we use God's talents to serve adults and children. We combine dozens of boys and girls into different interest groups," says Oleg Larkov, the church's pastor. Thousands of Ukrainians made room to accept displaced persons Especially noteworthy are the ministers who were the first to open the doors of their home without having the proper conditions or enough money for this. 26 displaced people lived in the house of a missionary pastor in the Poltava region, where he also lived with his wife and their seven children. "A little later, we managed to find additional housing and make it suitable for the life of displaced people," says Pastor Viktor Lesnikov. Back in 2011, he moved to the Poltava region from the Luhansk region. Here in Velyka Rublivka, he serves in the small church "Blagovist". This small church was able to receive four dozen displaced persons, and it provides humanitarian aid – clothing and food-to more than 300 displaced persons who settled in the village. If you visit the Church in Nadvirna, you will get acquainted with several dozens of displaced people living in the House of Prayer since the beginning of the war. Each family has its own history, as do millions of other Ukrainian refugee families. Five families who now live in the House of Prayer in Nadvirna hid in bomb shelters for 9 days, after which they went to Ivano-Frankivsk region, their travel took 4 days. In one family, a 10-year-old boy needs constant care because he has cerebral palsy. In another, a 4-year-old girl gets scared every time she hears a siren and runs away somewhere. Most of these people lost their jobs. There are also elderly people for whom it was physically difficult to move. In addition to the 44 displaced persons who live in the church, there are 25 people who were accepted by the believers into their homes. All of them really want to return to their homes, but unfortunately, there is nowhere to return yet. More than 20 churches in Khmelnytskyi region on a permanent basis provide for the needs of displaced persons and take spiritual care of them. Weekly meetings are held over tea, Bible study, joint prayers and discussion of issues that concern displaced people today. "Increasingly, those who were far from God are beginning to pray and read the Bible, take an interest in spiritual topics and attend church services. Such positive developments please and inspire," says Anatoly Melnyk, senior Presbyter for the Khmelnytskyi region. There are circumstances that no one is ready to change quickly Someone is already returning home, and someone still can not leave the dangerous territories. All these circumstances can be mitigated by the care and prayers of caring people. In the Donetsk region in the town Chasiv Yar the church tries to provide any possible assistance to the residents of the region. Konstyantynivka and Stepanivka – here pastor Andriy Pavlov and a group of volunteers conducts Evangelistic and charitable events with the distribution of food aid, and they also visit the Society for the blind. At that time, in the Donetsk direction, the invaders are trying to break through the defenses, using a lot of everything that brings destruction and death. But we are strengthened by God's word: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm" Psalms 20:8-9.
God keeps Ukraine by his mercy. God blesses Ukraine with your prayers and your help. We sincerely thank all our brothers and sisters, friends and partners.
1.Every day we gather news for you to the sounds of air raid sirens. Each such siren can end in rocket attacks. During the Baptist office in Lviv, at least 10 rockets flew into the city. The Baptist Union Coordination Center continues to receive and send aid across Ukraine. During the 76 days of the war the humanitarian storage in Lviv received and sent more than 127 twenty-ton trucks. At least 320 vehicles were sent from the storage. 2. Even shelling does not stop the work of volunteers These days, Roman and his team in Lysychansk came under enemy fire and were forced to hide under the supports of the railway bridge. God saved their lives, and they continue to serve those who still remain in Luhansk. Lysychansk, like all other unconquered territory of Luhansk region, has been at the epicenter of enemy shelling for several weeks. Another 60,000 people remain in the free Luhansk region. They need the delivery of humanitarian goods with delivery to bomb shelters. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, a team of volunteers from the local Grace Church, led by Roman Kozodoi, has been serving those affected by the bombing and humanitarian crisis: taking out refugees, bringing medicine and food, and visiting basements. "One of the last evacuations was very difficult," says Roman Kozodoy. – An elderly woman with a fracture of the femoral neck can neither walk nor sit. Due to the fact that she could not cope or find volunteers, she made two suicide attempts. We managed to take her to the Dnipro and hand her over to the people who will take care of her". Communications in Luhansk region were completely destroyed as a result of hostilities. Under the current conditions, both electricity and water supply in Lysychansk will not be restored. That is why people here are in extremely difficult conditions for survival. 3. Gifts for children – a special load in deoccupied villages The village of Bilka, Okhtyrka district, Sumy region, survived the Russian occupation in February and March. After backdown, the occupiers left a lot of stretch marks here, mined parks areas, administrative facilities, cemeteries, and plantations. Humanitarian aid here is organized twice a month by Light of Salvation and Hope Poltava churches. There are 220 children in the village. Therefore, among the systemic help, volunteers should keep in mind a special burden – gifts for children. Sweets, cookies, stationery and creative items – any of this will add a little joy and warmth to the younger generation of Ukrainians. 4. Fewer and fewer people want to be evacuated Church from village Horodyshche constantly preparing and collecting all kinds of help in hot spots. Brothers from this church have been visiting Gulyaypole city, in the Zaporizhia region and Kramatorsk city in the Donetsk region. But during the last two days, the occupying forces have been mercilessly shelling these cities. The brothers say that the people who stayed there do not want to be evacuated; they say they are afraid to go into the unknown. They name the reason: they have no money and no acquaintances to whom they would dare to move. The brothers say that a baby was recently born in the basement and now lives with his mother in the basement. The child is simply wrapped in a sheet, without baby’s clothes. Volunteers say that at first they gave help in the amount of one package of 50 cm by 50 cm, and then one thing at a time for everyone to have enough. Ivan Chernyak, a volunteer from Horodyshche, says: “God would allow those people to accept Christ! So that they don't just accept help. And they came to God and received salvation from Him. One day brother who organized a church there wrote an ad: "Whoever wants to come glorify God, come on Sunday". 200 people came. 9 of them repented! 5. In addition to serving the settlers, the church does not let other needy people out of sight The Church of the Resurrection from the city of Chernomorsk, Odessa region, like many other churches of the fraternity, is working hard for the twelfth week of the war. Yes, it is true that the war gave us new types of ministry, – says the pastor of the church Vyacheslav Shcherbakov. But we did not leave our "peaceful" areas of work. We are talking about the rehabilitation service of drug addicts, for example. The church has men's and women's rehabilitation centers, where we help our wards change their lives through faith in and support for the Lord. We study the Bible with them, pray, and volunteer together. And we continue to serve the 25 blind people in our city: we help to clean the apartments, make purchases in the shop, and cook. We also pray together and read the Bible to them.
1. Holidays and weekdays of the Irpin Bible Church Up to 70 volunteers live, eat and work in the church building in Irpin. Every evening they talk about the emotions of the day, followed by a prayer of thanksgiving. Each of them has its own area of work: A team of builders goes to the damaged houses to cover the broken windows with husk, repair the roof, and repair the doors. The boys also help the owners to take out the surviving things from the half-burned or half-destroyed house or apartment. As lunchtime approaches, the boys deliver hot food to the Territorial Defence Forces and the Armed Forces. During the day, people go to church to wash and dry clothes, charge their phones, get basic necessities, vegetables, clothes, and basic building materials. And every morning and every evening the citizens are invited to pray. Pastors and deacons are waiting to listen and be there. We pray that the church will be able to expand its ministry to restore life in the city, helping spiritual revival, emotional healing, supporting the elderly who remained in the city during the war. 2. Along the front line in the Donetsk region crowded church worships Myronivskyi village in Donetsk region has been living near the front line for eight years. The hardships of war motivate people to reach out to God and go to church. Because where to find acceptance and support today? "How valuable it is to be with the church," says local missionary Ilya Natalchenko, recalling the celebration of Easter. "This is the best Easter of my life. There are so many people coming that there is not enough room for them." 3. About 40% of inhabitants of Mykolaev left the city in connection with constant attacks of the Russian troops. The city is preparing for the siege of the Russians. On the eve of Easter, explosions were heard all day - fighting took place on the border with the Kherson region. But the service took place in all churches of the Mykolaev area which are in the territory controlled by Ukraine. Churches are serving God and people in this difficult time. They need our prayerful support because the threat here remains great - the Russians are trying to get closer to Mykolaev, continuing to shell the city. 4. In Luhansk region, Sunday meetings did not take place due to shelling The bishop of churches of the Luhansk region Gennady Shulzhenko tells that churches didn't gather together on Easter. Those churches that planned to gather in the evening could not come to their church buildings in the morning due to heavy shelling. Only one church was able to hold Easter worship - in Lysychansk. The period is difficult, many have limited resources, and the majority of the population has become displaced. Those who remain distribute humanitarian aid, visit basements and, if possible, help all those in need. 5. The Chernihiv region has new people joining the Church Despite the fact that public transport has not been restored in Chernihiv, the church is visited by many people. The second Chernihiv church has 75% of nonchurch people in the church. That part of the hall, which received a direct hit of the projectile in the window sill, has not yet been repaired. Here on Easter 8 people prayed the prayer of repentance. Also on this day, 45 people gathered for worship in the village of Dniprovske, Chernihiv region, 15 of them accepted Christ into their hearts. 6. Villagers are helping to rebuild cities Ukrainians do not yet know the plan for post-war reconstruction. And although our victory is still on the way, we all want to rebuild and develop Ukraine now - in the little ways we have. Baptists from the village of Buzivka in Cherkasy region have joined a volunteer local fire team to help rebuild the suburbs of Kyiv. This group came to Irpin at the invitation of the city government and has been working for several days. They eliminate the consequences of the destruction of administrative and private housing. 7. The people of Lviv brought Easter bread to Bucha and Gostomel Volunteers from Lviv distributed 600 pieces of Easter bread to the residents of Gostomel and Bucha. From morning till night they handed out the Gospel to the people, testified of Christ, and called to keep God. Gryhoriy Ryasnyi, pastor of the Message of Hope Church in Lviv, said many people still live in basements. There are empty streets. Residents hang a white handkerchief at the gate, indicate their phone number and wait for help in the basement. People say: we are afraid that there will be shelling now. They are very frightened by the horrors they have experienced. This is their second trip. Baptists brought people gas cylinders, medicines, generators, mobile phones and Ukrainian food. 8. In the church near Kharkiv, meetings are filled with non-church people On Sunday, the church of Merefa, located 20 km from Kharkiv, was able to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ together. Thank God, the church was able to gather at such a difficult time. The hall was filled with people, and many non-church people in the area began to come to church regularly to seek consolation in God's Word and fellowship with Christians. After the worship there was a tea party. All children received sweet gifts. 9. Churches were able to hold Easter worships in the temporarily occupied Kherson region On Sunday, the churches of the Kherson region, despite the temporary occupation, gathered to serve together to glorify the Risen Savior and encourage each other. Meetings took place even in those settlements located on the front line, under fire. Brothers and sisters gathered together in the homes of believers, the Word of God and songs of praise and hope were heard. Intimidation and provocation of criminals could not deprive believers of the joy of resurrection.
1. Evacuation from the East is getting more complicated The aggravation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine has made it difficult to evacuate local people. Volunteers, risking their lives, try to take humanitarian aid there and take people out of dangerous places. The other day brothers from Cherkasy took another 90 people out of Lysychansk. Vitaliy Andriyets, who has organized the column of vehicles, says that this may be the last trip for the coming weeks. Our brothers volunteers need our prayer support. 2. Our prayers were not stopping Oksana and her son from Mariupol miraculously escaped from the city under fire. The Lord Himself has helped them. At first they were in the basement and constantly repeated Psalm 90. They asked God to stop the enemy's attacks and become a wall of fire around the basement where they stayed. Oksana says, ‘One day our houses were shelled with "grad" (multiple rocket launchers) four times, and we were ready for death, but the shelled miraculously flew over our basement and exploded nearby. My son said, "Mom, let's pray the prayer of repentance," and we prayed. Next morning we heard someone calling us. It was our friend who managed to break through the shelling to pick us up and take to the evacuation site. We could hardly believe it. In a minute we grabbed what was at hand and left. We were taken out by strangers. All the way we continue to pray asking God to accompany us on our way, and we again recited Psalm 90. We just prayed and prayed… When we arrived to the safe place at last, my son said, “Mom, it's a miracle. God has created so many miracles in our lives!”. It was so true. I wept. The next day we learned that after our leaving a bomb had hit the basement where we were hiding. The Lord brought us out and took care of us through the people that we never met. We still have relatives that stay in Mariupol till now, and we do not know anything about them for two weeks. But we believe that God can and will save them, because the only hope is in Him. 3. Churches of Sumy region after the occupation Sumy region slowly resumes its life after de-occupation. More than ten churches of the regional association could not hold usual services. And we cannot even mention about any social work in the circumstances in which the churches of Okhtyrka, Trostyanets and Konotop were for a long time. Thank God, after the liberation from the occupiers, dozens of volunteer teams from different regions of Ukraine started to bring humanitarian aid to local people. So far, almost all churches have resumed their services and are praying that all areas of Ukraine will freed from Russian troops. 4. The city administration promotes the social work of churches Chernihiv has already been unblocked, and a lot of work is being added to the churches. Volodymyr Vysotsky, head of the Chernihiv Baptist Association, says there is a huge shortage of people to work here. The pastor encourages young people who have such opportunity to return home. "People here is in great need, both physical and spiritual. With this in mind, have opened the fourth and fifth Baptist humanitarian sites, on April 8th – one in a local church building and another in the City Garden area, where the city administration has proposed a large space to help people.. Churches are gradually resuming church services in the cities and towns liberated from the occupiers. The consequences of Russian aggression in the form of destroyed houses and burned equipment add black color to all we can see here. There is still a threat of rocket fire, but the fact that such a large territory was liberated from the Russian aggressors is giving new strength for the further service. The first Chernihiv church began to hold services just in the churchyard. The church building, which was seriously damaged by the enemy shells, has not yet been repaired. 5. Ministry to the Gypsies Six months ago in the village Mykhailivka, Kirovohrad Region, began a ministry for Gypsies. With the help of churches and sacrificial people, they bought a house for the church building, rebuilt it and started working with children and adults. Pastor Vasyl Bezushko, regularly comes here 15 km away. He is always accompanied by his wife and three children. Today the worship service is attended by about 70 people. 6. The Bible Church of the New Districts in Irpen will rebuild a new church building A year ago, a young church in Irpin bought a building that it rebuilt into a church in eight months. This church building remained intact for almost the entire period of hostilities in the city. After the occupying forces left Irpin, they carried out a massive bombing of the city, which completely destroyed the roof and burned the second floor of the house with all property, equipment and musical instruments. The pastor of the church Andriy Meleshko says: “The situation itself very upset us, because we miraculously bought this house in March 2021. We did repairs during the whole warm period of the year and completely finished it on the second floor. But if we look at it from the other side, we are glad that members of the church, parishioners and their relatives were saved and taken away in the first days of the war. We believe that the Lord will give us the opportunity to rebuild the church building after victory and make it even better and more convenient to serve the Lord. But most importantly, we pray for our people in Irpin and try to serve them so that they will see in action that in the most difficult times, the Lord is near. 7. Irpin-Bucha: dangerous and extremely necessary process of restoration works The team of volunteers of the Irpin Bible Church did not leave Irpin during the whole first stage of the war. And now here, as well as in the next Bucha intensive work goes daily: to the people who have survived, brought food. They help to clean and in every possible way help sappers to demine city territories. Pray that God will give them moral and physical strength and save their lives.
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