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Travel & Prayer Blog

We just received word our new residence documents are ready!

PRAISE We just received word our new residence documents are ready! An extra note of victory considering all of the hangups with daily power outages in Kyiv and everything closing every time there is an air siren warning. Makes for few working hours per day for any business or office. Abe again found high interest for Centers of Hope in the areas he traveled to last week. These are regional meetings so they covered wider than the four different cities they met in. Superintendents and teams were invited from surrounding provinces. Abe found many people already doing a good work, but a great interest in opening up Centers in areas without an evangelical witness. PRAYER Abe got home safely on Saturday evening but the rest of the team had to go on to Kyiv as the last meeting was in Lviv to the west of us. Unfortunately a tire gave out on the van and so they were very delayed getting home. New winter tires have been ordered and are to arrive today and be installed tomorrow. It is quite critical because we do have snow on the roads now. Abe and I both have to go to Kyiv early Thursday morning to pick up our documents, and the weather report right now shows freezing rain that night. So pray that the tires would be get put on. And pray for safety on the road. Abe travels further east early Friday morning with the whole team—a 10-hour drive. Road hazards anyway when you go east, but winter is bringing the extra dangers. Pray that we would be able to both pick up our documents (there is supposed to be no power outages from 10 AM-3 PM) and that we would be able to get them registered the same day in Irpin, suburb of Kyiv, different office…They are supposed to have electricity from 12-4 PM!!! That means, pray they will keep that schedule, and pray that there would be no missile threats during the time we are there because all offices immediately close down for those. It would be such a blessing to get it done in one day. Otherwise Abe has to leave a day early next week and I would have to make an extra trip to Kyiv. This is a 4-5 hour trip one way. There seem to be many people interested in serving in Centers of Hope. Pray that God would move and call people to this ministry. It is strongly based on personal evangelism linked with meeting physical needs. We need couples who are in love with Jesus, overflowing with joy, and with a burden for the lost. (And willing for the hardships) Continue to pray for God to deliver Ukraine. This past month has seen much of Ukraine without power for about six to twelve hours a day, most days. The power cuts range from three to eight-hour blocks, two or more times a day. This may seem insignificant, perhaps a bit inconvenient, but in reality it is much worse. What Russia has done by destroying our electricity manufacturing capabilities, is to damage production of materials, limit times that stores can open, sell products and function properly. When there is no power, there is often no service on your telephone. You can’t call anyone. You can’t call for help. These times are difficult times for Ukraine. Russia is trying to destroy the infrastructure with a goal of getting Ukraine to compromise and give up their claim to—Ukrainian land! People in areas now controlled by Russia have no religious freedom and many are persecuted. Certainly this is a spiritual battle only the Lord can win. We have a time of physical darkness intensified by the short days of winter. We have a time of educational darkness when children can only be in school when there is electricity or during daylight hours, and the alternative is online…which requires electricity, plus equipment which many people can’t afford. Oh the joy of lighting a candle, or turning on a battery-powered light. The joy of hitting a light switch and having it respond. But spiritual darkness is much worse. Here are some precious verses about our transition from a kingdom of darkness into the Light of Christ: “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.  “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Colossians 1:11-14 NLT That is our prayer for you. And we pray that thousands of people in Ukraine will be transferred into Christ’s Kingdom where they can have spiritual light and thrive and grow and enjoy the abundant life He promises us.

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Well, Abe walked out the door

Tuesday evening Nov. 15 Well, Abe walked out the door less than a half hour ago. Ivanka, our office manager, was chatting awhile and went out to close up the warehouse. I was standing in the kitchen getting a drink and watching her out the window, and suddenly I saw her move and look up to the horizon, and there was a glow and a soft boom—and the electricity was off. More missiles. She came back and said that they are hitting all across Ukraine again. It is 4:30 PM, so getting dark. Our generator is here but we did not get it finally hooked up. (I know how to start it though!) So I assume it will be a quiet, dark evening. I immediately filled pails with water because undoubtedly it will go off. Usually when Abe leaves on a trip I fast for the first 24 hours. Now I shall have more time to pray. I won’t be ironing or dusting, or listening on the internet to the women’s Bible study I’m doing with a group—tomorrow (well, that was the plan). I won’t be working on my website. All these things were in “the plan”. Plans don’t mean much in these situations. I sit quietly in our central hall, our “safe space”. All supporting walls, no windows. Because we have no internet connection of course I have no news of what is happening. Or not happening. Lots of time to wait on the Lord. Listen to His voice. I will light some candles in awhile and write in my journal. The one between me and the Lord. I have about 8 hours on my laptop which will be more than enough for today. But I won’t be sending out the emails that were to go yet. Well, they will be prepared for that time. Wednesday Nov 16 Well, today the world is right side up again in our area of the country. Millions of people were without electricity yesterday after al of the missile strikes. When I awoke at 2 AM our electric was back on. I switched our furnace back to running with a pump (much more efficient) and went back to sleep. There will be rolling blackouts in our city today, probably at least for the rest of the week. We will see if they will come to us or not. Last time we had not blackouts after the original hit. Russia spent almost 1 billion US$ yesterday for…. This was the largest attack on Ukrainian infrastructure since the first day of the war. Almost 100 missiles and drones. About 80% shot down. I can’t imagine what the damage would be if they all successfully hit their targets. So, just a little life experience. Praise Abe and I interviewed a possible new member for our team. It looks like a good fit. She has a complete command of English and seems to have a willing heart. She is 21 and a college graduate. Wants to study further because she loves to learn. The “love to learn” part was important to me because some of the work that would be so helpful to me is definitely on the learning end. She is a pastor’s daughter and is active in her church and helping also with refugees. She is here right now because—she feels her country needs her. Thank You Lord for bringing this young woman into our lives. Prayer requests Do pray that in this ongoing chaos our documents for living here would be processed and finalized. Usually they would be done in two weeks but we have not heard anything, nor are we surprised. But it is an issue for various reasons. Continue to pray about our house. For those new to our updates, we have lived in the same house for over 20 years, but the landlord died and the inheritor lives in Russia. We tried to buy it last January but she reneged on it. We have paid rent until the end of the year, but we have no idea what will happen. Obviously we would love to stay here. We definitely don’t want to pay exorbitant rent. And if the opportunity presents itself again, we don’t know if we should buy it or not. Just pray that God would be in this, open doors, close doors, protect us from evil. We do trust Him to provide, whether this house or someplace else. In some ways it’s a small matter in view of the war. But…we do have to have a place to live. And…a place for our office and warehouse. The following is not original with me (I think I have few “original” thoughts!) but it spoke to my heart. From Headington St. Ebbe’s Church in Oxford, UK. 'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.' (Isaiah 43 v2) Someone has said, reading those verses: 'There is no bridge.' In other words, God's people will have to walk right through floods and fires; we can't avoid them or scoot past or over them. We will have to endure difficulties and dangers, sorrows and trials as we go through life on the way to the new creation. But this says that God himself will be with us at such times. Our sorrows and strains may rise to extraordinary levels and test us severely, but the Lord is equal to every occasion and present with us. We can be sure of his presence and faithfulness in this regard, because he gave his Son to go through the waters of judgment on our behalf. What a God who is with us!   AMEN!  

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As we wrote last time

P RAISE As we wrote last time Abe made a trip to a couple more areas last weekend. When the driver came to pick Abe up he was maybe 5 minutes late and apologized. And then showed us this picture. The garage where he stores his car had burned down that morning. Someone had the presence of mind to move it out quickly, but the other car in the garage was…. God’s grace upon Sasha. And upon Abe and his team. Sasha had committed to driving Abe all this winter. Another provision of God! Abe felt the presentations of Centers of Hope were well received on the trip. As always, he does not just present but challenges people with new ideas! His reputation across Ukraine is on his side as far as people listening and considering what he says. His trip this weekend was moved to next week, so we had all week to work on office work, cleaning up a lot of things that were hanging because of our long absence. It was very fruitful! There is great rejoicing in Ukraine today as the city of Kherson is officially again under the control of Ukraine. Kherson is in the southeast and was the first major city taken over by Russia early on in the war and the only regional capitol. What this means as the war progresses---? But rejoice in an important victory anyway! And we have such faithful people whom Abe has already been working with for a number of years. In spite of power outages, they are going ahead with holding Bible studies with seekers!   PRAYER REQUESTS Abe now will be leaving Tuesday and traveling through Saturday next week, covering 4 provinces this time. He will again be presenting Centers of Hope to these leaders from probably a total of 8 regions. He has also been asked to lead the 45-minute devotional time with each group with a focus of praying from the Bible. This is a great joy to his heart as we want every ministry we are involved in to be based on prayer. Pray for safety on the road, a good response to Centers of Hope, and wisdom in presenting fresh and dynamic ways of praying. A major focus of prayer right now, and it will be ongoing in the weeks and even months to come, is for God to bring us the right couples to open Centers of Hope. What are we looking for? Husband & Wife teams Dynamic Relationship with Jesus Passion for lost Souls Willing to move and live on site Self-motivated Willing to learn Showing the character traits of Colossians 3:12-14: compassionate, kind, humble, patient, forgiving, full of the love of Christ And yes, we do have people who are already interested. Abe will be holding an initial meeting early in December to make a full presentation to them. Thank you for standing together with us in prayer! To Him be all glory    

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I don’t know when this will go out, but I will write

I don’t know when this will go out, but I will write. (And now it is: OCT 24, 2022) Well, the sun has begun to shine at 10 o’clock this Saturday morning October 22. But at 9 the Russians bombed the power station here in Rivne. We don’t know what else happened because all electricity is off and therefore communications. We heard several explosions in the distance. And yesterday—we were beginning to investigate buying a generator to see us through the winter knowing that power outages will be a reality. Not a large one, but one that will keep us going for a few hours with the minimum things—especially computers etc. (This is a picture of the billows of smoke taken from our yard. The bombing was a couple miles away. No one was injured or killed! Praise the name of Jesus!) A friend called and told us to fill up everything we could with water because the water will go off eventually too. And so we have several gallons sitting around. And yes, it’s living one day at a time. By the time I send this message communications will have been reestablished and I will have more information. But the plans of the day and vanquished. We wait for an all clear, but even then what will that mean—without electricity? And so, it is Monday. Our electric was off 9 ½ hours Saturday—but praise GOD! It came back on! And our water came back on before that! PRAISE God! And our furnace stopped working even though it isn’t dependent on electric but Abe figured it out and we got warm again! THANK You, Lord! Our hearts are overflowing with joy and a new appreciation of the things we take for granted. No internet all weekend and the provider doesn’t know what the problem is. Vera was also without electricity on Saturday all day, and her phone did not work. Priscilla and Dan are experiencing outages, usually 4 hours at a time, more than once a day, as Ukraine tries to distribute electricity across the country. We are warned to not use appliances etc. Our street lights will now go out at 10 PM, the children will have a week’s break from school this week in our city of Rivne (those who are actually attending). And people work around the clock trying to restore power as there are still a couple areas of the city where there is no electricity. And we will have times without electricity, rotating throughout the city. Yesterday we went to church. What a joy! The electric was on when we got there, but went out in just a few minutes times. The leaders had already anticipated that and so had arranged a minimal situation for microphones and some lighting on stage. And it was Thanksgiving Day in our church! And we spent the service thanking God for many things. The picture is of the young people, (about 40) on stage, who were called up so we could celebrate them. There were no decorations as would be usual, but people had brought gifts to distribute to the refugees who are with us. I don’t know how many were given out—at least 50—probably more. And there was a gift for elderly people of a battery driven light, extra batteries, a small flashlight, a candle and matches. New realities as Russia tries to break down the infrastructure and spread fear and chaos.   PRAYER REQUESTS Please pray that we can find a generator and get it up and working. Needless to say there is a run on them! But we are searching. And praying. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we leave early to go to Kyiv to submit all of our documents for our temporary residence. Please pray that there will be no air sirens tomorrow afternoon in Kyiv and no power outages. That would mean we could not get the process started. A wasted trip for me and for the man who helps process the documents. He is traveling 200 miles to be there. Abe will be on his way to travel further Wednesday. However that also means we cannot do it Wednesday morning. Well, Lord, we are in Your hands. Pray for Abe’s trip on Wednesday. It will be east of Kyiv but not near the fighting zone. However it is an area where bridges and roads have been bombed and even though they are trying to rebuild all of that it can mean detours or slowdowns for one-way traffic. So pray for safety for the team. But also pray that the people whom they are to meet will be able to come and that it will be a time of encouragement, motivation and decisions. Last week the men shared what all they were doing with refugees and in their churches. This will be similar with problem solving being for filling churches with leadership, and then presenting the Centers of Hope and enlisting interest and finding options.

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Ukrainian Baptist Union Reports

1. Our defenders thank you for your prayers about Ukraine Our dear friends and partners! We thank you for your prayers and support!

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Open appeal The All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptiststo the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists leadership and churches.

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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.

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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 family[1]type 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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About us

We are missionaries Abe and Diane Bible

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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

victory@bibleyp.com
What They Say

Testimonials

Al Baanna

Pres/CEO, SERVING WORKERS FOR THE HARVEST (SWH)

It's been my privilege to serve in missions with Abe & Diane Bible continuously since 1983. At that time, we were serving together in a ministry of training church leaders "underground" in the old Soviet Union and Communist Eastern Europe, where such ministry was "illegal" and had to be done secretly. God has used them in a miraculously fruitful ministry since then, living in Ukraine since 1990, and doing extensive training for many thousands in both Ukraine and Russia.

Many of those involved in their training have gone on to serve faithfully in many additional countries.

Valery Antonuk

Head of the Evangelical Baptists Union

Abraham and Diane Bible have been missionaries in Ukraine for over 30 years. I personally know Abraham and have been working with him for 11 years. When Abraham began training ministers in the 1990s, there were 1,100 Baptist churches in Ukraine. Before Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine, the Baptist Union had 2,500 churches.

We appreciate the dedication of Abraham and Diane to the Lord and their love for Ukrainians. We pray that God will bless them during the fundraiser for the renewal of Ukraine. God bless you to spread the Kingdom of God.

Rusty W. Savage

EFC-ER Director of Multiplication 

Abe and Diane Bible have been trusted partners of the Evangelical Friends Church - Eastern Region (EFC-ER) for many decades, first as EFC-ER pastors and then as missionaries in Alaska and Ukraine. Their ministry has been characterized by consistent integrity, faithfulness, and joy. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to partner with them in their work in Ukraine and wholeheartedly support and endorse their ministry.

 

 

Dr. John W. Lucas

Founder/President
The Maranatha Evangelistic Association
Calgary, Alberta Canada

Having followed Abe Bible’s ministry for more than 40 years as well as having visited his ministry site in the Ukraine.  I readily confirm the exciting events and the integrity of his ministry.  It is inspiring, informative, innovative and deserving of support


 

 

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