Иисус Воскресе! Воистину воскрес! Jesus is risen! Truly He is risen! I hope you had a wonderful Passover and Easter just like we did here in Ukraine! We are also rejoicing in the fact that the spring weather has finally arrived – it sure took a long time to arrive this year!
Greenfield Women’s Home: Our team travelled to the village of Greenfield to celebrate Easter with all the ladies in the special needs home. I have to admit, the day started off like the old mission’s adage – “hurry up and wait.” We had ordered the special Pascha breads (see picture) for all the ladies from a local bakery. These breads are the quintessential Easter treat and we knew the ladies would be blessed by something so special. Our order was ready, but somehow it still took us over and hour to pick up 40 loaves of bread! By the time we finally arrived to Greenfield, we were well over an hour late, but thankfully they changed their lunchtime to accommodate us. We shared the beauty of the Easter story, sang songs, played games, prayed and then gave the ladies their special breads. They were so excited to eat them! So even though the day started out rough, it ended wonderfully! I love these ladies so much, they are such a joy to me and I’m so glad we could celebrate Easter with them and brighten their day!
Пасха (Pascha which means Easter): I love to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ! It’s the foundation of our faith. It’s the source of our eternal hope! It’s freedom from fear of sin, death, and the grave! It’s new life, true life! It’s our reason for living! Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and that you are the victor! I had the privilege of preaching the Easter message at our church this year, which for us happened to be on the 8th of April. Orthodox Easter usually occurs at a different time than Easter in the Western world. We truly had a glorious service that was marked by the presence of God. We had standing room only, as so many people attended service that day. – including several new faces. At the end of my message, many prayed a prayer of repentance and rededication with me. After the service, in true Ukrainian fashion, we had a feast of home made goodies – sweet buns and buns with meat and cheese. Several of the ladies spent hours upon hours baking these special treats for everyone – what a blessing!
Refugee Camp: The Easter festivities continued as we held a small Easter service at the refugee camp with a visiting team from Minnesota. Once again I preached the wonderful message of Jesus’s death and resurrection, and what it means for us. Three individuals asked to pray a prayer of repentance, which we were happy to do with them. One young mom, Tatiana, asked me to pray with her. She asked me to just agree with her as she prayed and what followed was one of the most beautiful and honest prayers of repentance I have ever heard. She needed no prompting or help, the words poured forth from her heart and by the end of our prayer together you could see the overflowing joy she now had in her life. I felt honored to pray with Tatiana and be part of this experience with her. During our visit, I saw some of my other ladies there – Lida, Olga, and Katya. Katya was now in a wheelchair as she had a broke hip, her entire leg was twisted and sadly, it sounds like there is no chance of her getting much medical help. We prayed for her healing and Katya assured me that God would heal her, because she’s only 76 years old and she has a lot of life left to live. Please pray for Katya and the healing of her hip and leg!
Baby Hospital: On this visit to the Baby Hospital, I was surprised that there were 6 babies there! Two siblings had just arrived the day before, a 3-year old girl and a 6-month old baby. Their Mom went to the store and never came back. The grandparents tried to take care of the children for a month but it proved to be too much for them, so they called the police and the police brought them to the Baby Hospital. This is their first step into the government system while they still look for their mother and work on their documents. The grandparents said the mother had a severe drinking problem and were not surprised that she abandoned the children. That same story of alcoholism and drugs is true for every single baby that was in the Baby Hospital. Four-month old Jhenya was there from the day of her birth, the same with two-and-a-half year old Sasha. Sasha is the only one I’ve seen there so long, she’s been living in this little room at the hospital her entire life. When she is three-years old she will be transferred to the baby orphanage. There is a problem with her documents or they would have already moved her to the orphanage. Heart-breaking stories, but we pray and believe for a better future for these little ones. We enjoyed playing with them, loving them, singing with them and praying over them. We prayed that the Lord will provide them with good families who love and take care of them, and not just got stuck in the government’s foster care system.
Dorms: The dorm ministry continues on, there are five different dorms that I personally visit with our team, while there is another two dorms that other members of our team visit. It keeps us busy connecting with all these students and children. It’s always an experience, sometimes our Bible studies go amazingly well, other times it’s hard to get anyone to pay attention. But the fruit we’ve seen and the growth some of the students experience keeps us wanting to go back – despite the difficulties.
TRP: I’m happy to report that everything went smoothly with my Temporary Residency Permit, and it was even delivered to my city so I didn’t have to drive two hours (one-way) to go and pick it up! I’m all set for another year! Praise the Lord!
- For peace in Ukraine/end to the war in Eastern Ukraine
- Church of Truth – for the students to encounter Jesus in a real way
- Church of Truth – prayer for the leaders, especially Pastor Max Fetisov and Pastor Max Efremov
- For people to catch the spirit of evangelism and reach out to those around them!
- For protection, health and safety for me and my team.
- For wisdom as we make plans for the summer outreaches
God bless you and may He fill you to overflowing! Thank you for choosing to partner with me as we reach Ukraine with the Gospel of the Kingdom! I could not be here apart from your prayers and financial support!
Your missionary to Ukraine,