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Travel & Prayer Blog

We talked to our grandson Jesse

PRAISE  We talked to our grandson Jesse a few days ago. He is the one for whom we’ve asked prayer as he virtually had become an invalid. Praise God he has been steadily improving over the past few months! He figures his strength is about 80% and he managed to finish his seminary studies and will graduate in March. Meanwhile he has taken on an internship at a church in Brisbane. And God has provided reasonable and pleasant housing for them for the next year in a very tight housing market. Thank you for holding him up in prayer for these many months when he went from someone who seemed to be dying to almost fully functioning again. (No, I don’t think doctors ever knew what was going on.) The picture is Daniella(top), his wife of 3 years, his sister Miriam, who has fought a battle with an immune illness since she was 16, and is excited to be leaving for a ministry opportunity in another part of Australia soon, having finally gained enough health to stretch her wings. And then there is baby Quintus, another sister, Marie, and of course Jesse. Their smiles in this photo are representative of their joy in Jesus and how He is working in each one of their lives. And I will add a note to say his parents (Daniel and Priscilla) hope to return to Australia for his graduation—and to see their precious children and grandson. (Daniel also has a sister who is getting married. A good very family-centered break!) Over the last week Abe has received reports of at least 10 people being saved through the people he is working with now! What a joy in Heaven! And meanwhile we get regular reports from the men Abe has worked with for a number of years as they continue to reach out, hold evangelistic Bible studies, and train new believers to follow Jesus. Praise God for faithful committed people!   PRAYER Abe left today for the next workshop to be held tomorrow and Thursday (18th and 19th). He has spent hours in preparation. Pray for him as he teaches and trains. Pray for receptive hearts. And always hearts that are passionate for Jesus. In the end we are not talking about what people can do, although the Lord needs people as His instruments. But we are talking about what the Holy Spirit can do through them as they have faith to reach out and touch lives. One of their initial assignments was to prayer walk the area where they are ministering, praying for people, businesses, schools, and for open hearts. And we want the Centers of Hope to focus on prayer, in all of their people contacts whether individually or in groups, or in church services. Pray for the Lord to move. Abe feels after this workshop we will have a better idea of who exactly is committed to having a Center of Hope. And even so there will be a 3-month trial period to make sure each couple or family is on track. Sasha was not able to get his car repaired in time for this workshop so another man came to drive the team to Kyiv. Abe just called me. He found out that this man, Ihor, did not actually own the van. It belongs to someone who has emigrated and wants to sell it for what sounds like a very reasonable price. And so, the issue comes, should we buy it? It would most likely be a situation where Sasha would actually buy it with money we loan to him and which he would repay to us over a period of several years. Evidently several people have counseled him to get rid of his own van. This is just a thought. Please pray for Abe to know whether it has merit, and if so, that all of the pieces would fall into place. We are still living in our house. We still don’t have a lease. We had not had any word from our lawyer at all. But this has been a holiday time so… Well, today one of the ladies who represents our landlady (who lives in Russia!) showed up at the door after Abe left. She asked if we actually wanted to continue living here, which I confirmed. So she said Abe should contact our lawyer. Abe won’t do that until he gets back. When he is doing ministry he is singularly focused on that. So, continue to pray that the Lord would work this out to His glory. Final prayer request. I go into Kyiv myself tomorrow to the eye clinic where I had surgery for a detached retina a couple years ago. I had a few disturbing symptoms in my other eye a couple weeks ago. They have settled down somewhat, but I will go and see if anything is happening. Eye sight is precious isn’t it? I still have distorted and somewhat limited vision in my right eye. Which of course increases my desire to be careful about my left eye. At the same time, I know full well I’m in the Lord’s hands. Russia You may know there was another attack across Ukraine last Saturday. Many electrical stations were damaged. And more horrendous, an apartment building was hit in the city of Dnipro, and 45 people were killed. Civilians, some of them children. Ukraine is braced for ongoing attacks, and ongoing devastation and attacks on power stations. The roar of generators was very loud yesterday when Abe and I went downtown as more and more businesses have them. The Ukrainian people, led by Zelensky, stand strong with no intention of backing down. “We are free, we are strong, we are together,” is a recorded message I hear on the phone when a call does not go through. People consider freedom worth fighting for. Today I also saw a message that our province has received equipment to protect against the destructive killer drones Russia sends and to enforce our border with Belarus. This equipment is from Poroshenko, our former Ukrainian president. Ukraine is not just waiting on western help. Many wealthy Ukrainians are contributing to the cause. This has become rather long. I’m hoping that as I get some of the paperwork and communications under control I can write a bit more frequently again, and less in length. I’m very aware of how limited we are as human beings in what we can effectively pray for. I always hope that when you read these messages, rather than saying a “blanket” prayer over them all, that the Spirit will give you one or two items to focus on, even to pour your heart into. I will leave this message for you, posted by our church a couple weeks ago. We have men from our area, from our church, who are on the frontlines. Lord, bless the 64th brigade and all the running of missile defense, air defense systems!  🙏🙏 They want to plunge us into darkness and chaos again!God will help us get through these attacks!We went through almost a year of war, resisted, got stronger, grew!The Lord continues to build His Kingdom even under fire! Ps.  17:8-10: "And protect me,like the apple of His eye!Hide me under Your wings from those people who want to destroy me,from mortal enemies who surrounded me.  They close their hearts to pity;with their mouths they speak arrogantly.” Church, we continue to stand in prayer for our cities, for our army, for our government! Peace and tranquility to all!

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Abe had a great workshop

PRAISE Abe had a great workshop with about 70 people on Thursday and Friday. The theme was “Renewing the Mind” because they need a fresh approach to ministry with non-Christians. People were very responsive, very receptive. The next workshop will be held Dec 27-28 and they expect between 25-30 couples to come. This basically means they are committed to starting a Center of Hope. It is an overwhelming response!! Abe said it is going to run the gamut from working with university students to working in small villages. Right now he is not turning anyone away. Thanks for your prayers!

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We received our residency documents

PRAISE  We received our residency documents for another year and got them registered! So that’s something we can put behind us! Abe was in Kyiv last week to make a major presentation for Centers of Hope. This was with the main leaders and committees for the Baptist Union, about 100 people there. Everyone is excited about the Centers and talking about them. People are offering materials, Bible studies for unchurched kids, SS materials, etc. Abe is thrilled with the response. Right now we have 29 potential couples who want to serve in Centers of Hope coming to the introductory workshop this week. A wonderful number! How many of those will actually commit is another matter, but word is spreading! Abe was also honored at this meeting for his 80th birthday and his 33 years of service here in Ukraine. One man came to him and said, “You are a pillar of hope to us.” The president of the BU said, “We don’t know who will be here next year or in 5 years or in 2050—but we know Abraham will be!” 😊 (Well, he did have a grandmother who lived to be 106.) PRAYER So…please pray for this workshop being held on December 8 & 9. There are many issues. We don’t know if there will be heat. There is a generator, so hopefully that works for projectors etc. This is a huge organizational effort because it is the first workshop since the war, with a fresh emphasis on new opportunities for evangelism. There will be a vetting of candidates. Basically everyone willing will be on trial for a period of about 3 months. But the most critical issue to pray about is that God would call people to this ministry. They need to have a calling, whether strongly or softly. Some may hear a loud clear voice. Others will be finding there way tentatively as they seek God’s will. And the other prayer is that everyone who comes will be encouraged in their walk with Christ and have a renewed sense of urgency about evangelism.   Ivan (in black) has been working with Abe for a number of years, since Abe first developed the concept of Centers of Hope. The sign says “Welcome to the Center of Hope”. This is what we hope to see all across Ukraine! Pray as we are purchasing many “helps” for people. Battery-operated lights, back up batteries, systems to keep furnaces with electric thermostats running. It is a time consuming and difficult process because everyone wants these things. Prices keep escalating. Our focus right now is helping co-workers so that they are maximally functional. But this will be an ongoing need as we begin to open Centers, to help the leaders to be functional. You may have heard that there was a fresh attack from Russia on Ukrainian infrastructure on Monday. Out of 70 missiles sent, 60 were shot down. But everyone only expects it to get worse, and are preparing for the worst. All of this jumps our costs up considerably. Pray that we would be wise in our ongoing preparations. And always—pray that God would deliver Ukraine. And a personal prayer request. Those who have followed us for a couple years know that we have had a lot of stresses regarding the house we’ve rented for over 20 years. In June we paid rent until the end of the year but have heard nothing about the intent of the “landlady” (who lives in Russia) yet. We have been putting ministry first, there has been so much to prepare and get oriented to, but obviously we need to pursue this shortly or we may be sitting on the street come January 1. Right now we don’t even know if our lawyer is still here or if he joined the army! Pray that the Lord will guide us, help us, protect us and give us the opportunity to continue to live here. This not just for ourselves. Actually we could live anywhere, but we have a whole office and warehouse full of materials. Over and over this past week or two, my Bible reading reinforces that God is the Judge and His throne is established on justice and righteousness. He works righteousness and justice.  Not willing that any should perish. Also judging the wicked. When things seem upside down and evil seems to flourish, the Bible reassures us that the wicked will not end well. But those who fear God, the righteous, will end very well. No, it’s not talking about worldly riches or an easy life. But it is talking about all the things that God promises us that have eternal value. That encourages my heart when darkness threatens to overwhelm me. Let us take courage together! Rom 12:12  “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

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Ukrainian Baptist Union Reports

Two houses of prayer were damaged in the Luhansk region this fall The Russian invaders burned down the house of prayer of the Baptist church in Vovchoyarivka village of Luhansk region.  The “Nativity of Christ” church had a house of prayer that was serving as housing for IDPs, a meeting place for Bible study groups, and many other types of ministry; there were organized the ministry for teenagers, children's camps, and English learning classes. The children enjoyed going there.  Then the Russians brought there the destruction and decay. First, they occupied the church building for the accommodation of their militants. Then, after looting, they burned the building down. Today, thanks to the Russian aggressors, the house of prayer is left in ashes after burning.  The house of prayer of the Baptist church at the occupied Hirske town (Luhansk region) was also destroyed. The church was well-known in the region for its activity. For the house of prayer, the community purchased a historic and spacious building. The church was paying special attention to the ministry of serving children and teenagers. Church life before the war was full of children's laughter and various social activities. When Girske was captured by the russian troops and the house of prayer was taken away from the church, all of that stopped. It is known that the building was occupied. In November the house of prayer was destroyed as result of shelling. Since then, the church was left without an important resource. But we believe the russian occupants will be driven out of our land, and through joint efforts the church will restore so needed ministry... Villages on the border of the Sumy region The russians continue to shell villages on the border of the Sumy region. Residents of those villages live under constant tension and expectation. It reminds us that there are Ukrainians today who continue to live very close to the border with russia (literally 500 meters away). We thank God for allowing us to minister to those people even in such an uncertain time. Oleksiy Myroshnychenko, the pastor of the Krasnopillia village church, is one of the volunteers ministering there regularly. He shares the difficulties local people have: electricity is often absent for several weeks in a row, logistics and delivery of goods are poor, and quality communication is almost impossible. Our ministers are monitoring those needs and are trying to respond to them. So the local church of Krasnopillya village is bringing those people with urgent needs generators, fuel, bread, and other food products. The recent events and a large-scale war make people more open to God. They are happy to receive Bibles and share faith with their friends. Houses of prayer are getting full; the repentance and conversion prayers to God are sound in churches today. Vasylivka town, Zaporizhzhia region Most of our stories are not finished or do not have a logical conclusion. So it is worth returning to some of them. On June 12, 2022 (during the Holy Trinity day celebration) armed Russian invaders came to the Baptist church in Vasylivka village of Zaporizhzhia region. They drove everyone out of the house of prayer, searched the building through, took away the keys, sealed the building, and said that “totalitarian sects have no place in «liberated Vasylivka»”.  The church pastor (Mykola Zholovan) was placed under house arrest, and all of the information carriers he had were confiscated. Later, at the end of June, he was arrested and held for almost two days in the so-called "military commandant's office". He was eventually released. But the house of prayer is not yet returned. Numerous attempts to return the building (which is a historical monument) had no success. Pastor Mykola Zholovan shares: “For the last sixth month our building is used by the russian military, and we have no idea when we will be able to return our house of prayer while the city remains under Russian occupation. When I was released from the “commandant's office”, I realized that my entire family (besides me) was under the occupiers’ close surveillance. This convinced us of the need to leave the occupied territories. Most of the church members were also forced to leave the town. With the approval of the Baptists regional association’s leadership, I left Ukraine for a while. Today I am in Europe, and working with refugees. We pray for the faster liberation of our country from the aggressor and doe the opportunity for me to continue ministry in long-suffering Ukraine."   Water baptisms continue in November Belgorod-Dnistrovsky church had a large celebration in November 6. There were 20 brothers and sisters baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ. Most of those people recently came to the Lord during the full-scale war. These are fruits of happiness for a community tirelessly ministering to people for the last eight months.  “Our church ministers to our town by helping to feed more than 2,000 families. Whole families are turning to God. A girl who came to God through teenage ministry is a good example is. She brought her mother and later her grandmother. All of them got baptized today. This is a real awakening we were praying for!” – says Pastor Valentyn Lupashko. That is the second water baptism this year, and the church has already started preparation classes for the third baptism, which, if God willing, is planned to be held this winter. The “Transfiguration” church in Kharkiv have also baptized 15 people on the same day.    “Potato story” The Baptist church of Nedrigailov village (Sumy region) has only 30 members but a strong missionary spirit. They are constantly looking for opportunities to spread the Kingdom of God in Ukraine 24/7. Besides preaching the Gospel, brothers of this church have already delivered about 15 tons of potatoes to Donbas! Where do the brothers get those potatoes? They proposed the villagers share the harvested crops. Some people offered a bag of potatoes (approximately 20-30 kg), others gave two, and some were giving even more. This harvest this year was good! Then brothers sorted the potatoes and packed them in nets.  Dozens of settlements in Donbas tasted potatoes from Nedrygaylov village. Recently, Balaklia joined their list too. 15 tons of potatoes with the price of potatoes at 10 uah per kilogram is equivalent to 150,000 uah. That’s a lot of money for a small rural church community. That’s a good story of initiative, cooperation, and sacrifice. May this “potato story” help others to look for the opportunities they have, and to use them wisely.

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We get together and minister as the light Churches of Ukrainians continue to minister with greater zeal and courage despite the difficult life circumstances. We are convinced that the snowdrifts, worsening or absence of mobile communication, Internet, and electricity are not solid obstacles for the ministry to God and people.   As for now, their missiles and drones have damaged several hundreds of vital infrastructure objects. We are trying hard to save electricity whenever possible, which today is supplied by short time limited cycles.   Power plants, enterprises, and residential buildings were hit. But we are still alive and can work with incredible gratefulness to the Lord for every day we have. He still sits on His throne, and all the leadership, power, and further history’s writing belong to Him. He will not let Ukrainian people go through trials beyond our strength, so we entrust our current difficulties to Him. Ministry at liberated Kherson There is a humanitarian disaster in Kherson due to the lack of water and electricity. There is a lack of medications and bread because the bakeries can’t bake without electricity. So the problems with food are still acute.   The senior pastor of the Kherson region (Pavlo Smoliakov) had already visited the churches of the city three times since the Kherson was liberated (on November 11).   Visiting Kherson is still a difficult task. The curfew hours are from 5 pm to 8 am. Many objects in the city were mined by russians, and they damaged the energy, gas, and water supplies before leaving the right-bank parts of the Kherson region. Kherson was occupied from the beginning of March, and leaving the region during the occupation was a difficult and scary quest. Most of the members of our churches became refugees of internally displaced people (IDPs). There are many new people in these churches now. They came looking for help and hope. Even though light and water are absent and no there is not enough food, the life of churches continues. People thank God for everything! And everyone is happy that the flags of the occupant are now not hanging all over the city as they used to be not long ago. Pavlo Smoliakov shares the experience of the life of the Baptists during the occupation of Kherson: “The occupants have not had enough time to pay closer attention to the churches. They were coming regularly, arranging checks, ordered to re-register. Out of eight Baptist churches in Kherson, every one of them survived undamaged. Churches with their own premises (that were not rented) were allowed to continue their regular meetings and worship services. The churches were actively involved in humanitarian aid distribution and were helping people a lot throughout the occupation time. Some stuff we were purchasing locally, we were transferring funds when it was possible. Every single day after the liberation Christians are coming here with some aid.” Extreme poverty and cold in the de-occupied villages of the Kherson region Free life gradually returns to the de-occupied towns and villages. People return and try to live in their homes despite severe destruction in their settlements. The house of prayer at Vysokopillia village is not yet suitable for holding meetings. The village was on the conflict line, so every other house here destroyed. Worship meetings today are held in one sister's flat, on her kitchen.   All of the windows in the house of prayer at Novovorontsivka village were blown out. Pastor Serhiy Kostin says: “The church is still meeting, and unbelievers are coming too. The population lives in severe poverty. There is no natural gas supply, so people are looking for firewood to heat their homes using even small bourgeois ovens. We are trying to help people somehow survive through the winter. I saw a 20-year-old girl last Sunday. She became an orphan during this war. Her house is broken, and her roof leaks. These people turn to the church for help. We try to feed them with what we have at the church. Their needs are huge, but we don’t have enough workers to minister to them.” This pastor travels to hold meetings at two villages. He says: We are not getting discouraged because we are with the Lord.     The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated 179 settlements in the Kharkiv region (on the right bank of the Dnieper river) within the last ten days. Yet there are dozens of towns and villages still occupied and experiencing pain, suffering, and tortures.   The Russians took away three more Baptist houses of prayer in the Kherson region at the end of October. First, they robbed the churches and took away all the church property. After that, they converted two prayer houses into barracks for their military. And keep the third one locked up.   Novotrojitske, Cairy – the church building was taken away and turned into barracks for military personnel. Gornostaevka – the church building was taken away and closed. Please, pray for God to preserve the lives and health of people still amid the horrors of the occupation. The first children's camp in Izyum during the war  Children in liberated Izyum were rushing to the New Life church volunteer center’s territory for three days in a row. Worth to note that the occupiers burned down the house of prayer of this church in April, so the church today is ministering through the volunteer center. A team from the Rivne region held a camp there on November 9-11 for 30 local children.   Because of severe distraction, the residents of the whole city are having severe problems with sewage and goods supply. Children have no opportunity to study in school or even remotely due to damaged power lines and the absence of the Internet. Children of Izyum cannot go to their favorite places to play because of mines, and every part of the surrounding constantly reminds them of the terrible days of destruction and occupation. Therefore, the ordinary children’s day camp became to them a source of great pleasure and joy. Adults also received encouragement besides the joy that children had. We could hear people whispering to one other: “we didn't know there were still so many children left at Izyum!” They were watching the children play with volunteers, warming themselves with hot tea, listening to the Word of God being preached, and enjoying children's laughter.  

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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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