News from Ukraine May 29, 2023

May 29 (Day 460)

Dear brothers and sisters,

We hope you had a good worship day and a nice start of a new week. We had a good worship yesterday, Sergey preached about our attitude to prayer and gave an example of the conversation of two boys that he witnessed in the yard of our apartment building, where we used to live before the war. One of the boys boasted that he knew the Lord's Prayer by heart and to prove it, he recited it very fast, in one go like a robot, without pauses or intonation. For many people in our Orthodox culture, prayer plays the role of a spell or a protective ritual and it’s so important to help people to know their Heavenly Father and to come and talk to Him.

The day before we did a big cleaning in our sanctuary and the refugees from our group joined us. We see that our church becomes their church and more and more of them want to be involved in different things we do in the church. Ten of them are attending a communicant class that Sergey started for those who want to become church members.

The war goes on and our nights have become very restless. The last two nights were especially difficult for Kiev. People are sleeping in the metro again. There have been 15 massive air attacks on Kiev during May. Praise the Lord for the work of air defense that destroys most of drones and rockets, but the wreckage falls on buildings and causes fires and destruction. This night there was also an attack on Odessa and there were some destruction in Odessa port.

Yesterday evening Sergey and I were reading Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotions about Lamentations 3:21 "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope." It says:

“Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency. Dispairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort…”

As we discussed it we confessed that we expect that the memories of this war will always be a cup of mingled gall and wormwood for us, but then we began to think of how many good things happened in the midst of this tragedy. How many people would never hear the gospel and come to the church if not the war. How many people opened their eyes to see the reality, how many of them realized what real values are. And then we agreed that yes, God always does His amazing work, even in the dark times and He can transform our memories into an angel of comfort.

Please, pray for us to stand the severity and duration of the war looking at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

In Christ,


P.S. There are photos of our group meeting and of our big cleaning in the church