News from Ukraine March 15, 2023

March 15 (Day 385)

Yesterday was a special day in our church, we received guests who came to teach a seminar on helping people with war trauma. Dr. Jim Wilder, the chief neurotheologian of Life Model Works (USA) and Thomas Gerlach trauma therapist (Germany) made a trip visiting different cities in Ukraine with a mission that is very timely now. We had a big group, we invited people from other churches, I was glad to see our refugees who are ready not only help themselves but also help others. We learned a lot about trauma and the intention of the enemy to destroy our peace and make us weary. And we also learned about the way of healing, how to bring back positive memories of what God has already done in our lives and coming into His presence, feeling it and experiencing joy of being in closeness with Jesus. It was so nice to see the tears of joy not sadness in the eyes of people. When the seminar was over the audience did not want to leave and people stayed for some time talking and sharing with each other their new feelings that were positive and joyful.

While we were having this seminar enjoying the process of healing, the enemy started a massive attack with rockets right on Odessa region. The sirens of alarms did not stop. When we all were having lunch in the basement of our church four rockets were heading to our town. Praise the Lord they all were successfully destroyed in the air, the parts of one of them fell into the bay very close from us. Later we found out from the news that our town was attacked by planes which came close to our coast and shot the rockets and 17 russian ships were in the proximity of our shore ready to attack. We thank God that He did not allow the enemy to ruin our joy and protected us from the attacks.

We were glad to have a live meeting with our counselors who came for the seminar, because now we almost always meet in Zoom. Our new counselor George is very excited about his work with war veterans that he has started. He has many plans and is ready to learn and grow in the field of psychological rehabilitation of veterans. Roman and Vika continue their active counseling activity. We shared our news and struggles and discussed the plans we have for the refugee center.

We continue to pray for our soldiers. The city of Bakhmut is still holding out and its defenses withstand numerous enemy attacks. This city, which the enemies almost wiped off the face of the earth, has become a symbol of protection and strength. We keep close contacts with the units that moved there from our town. Last week our local defense group sent them several camouflage nets and some food and lanterns. We are looking forward to hear from them to know that they are all right. We hear from Paul from time to time and his messages are short he writes that he is busy and we understand that there are active battles there. We don’t know exactly where he is but we suspect that his detachment is also somewhere in the active zone. Dr. Anya must be busy, too, because we rarely hear from her.

Please, pray with us for our country our soldiers and our work.

In Christ,

P.S. There are photos of our seminar that we had yesterday and some views of the city Bakhmut