News from Ukraine, October 02, 2023

October 02, 2023 (Day 586)

The weather was wonderful all last week. It was very warm but not hot, the trees were still green and it felt like summer. Periodic alarms do not fit into this picture at all and introduce some kind of dissonance. In September, our enemy launched a record number of drones - 521 units. Many of them were destroyed in the air by our air defense but many of them hit our ports, grain storage facilities, energy facilities, and trucks carrying agricultural products. Our southern region was in the most difficult situation.

Now we are preparing for winter and thinking about how to heat our premises. We have started a project to install solar panels on the roof of the church building, this will help us accumulate energy and use electricity to heat the building. We will not have to interrupt our events because of the cold, as was the case last winter. We will continue a “Superbook” Bible club for lids that our youth leads every Saturday, Bible studies of several groups that meet in the church throughout a week, youth group activities, etc. Among the refugees that stay in our church guest rooms now there is a family with little children and we hope they will be warm.

Sergei and I feel like parents of teenagers again. Among our youth there are some children who are orphans or whose parents do not care for them. We worked hard to encourage them to study and get professions and are very glad they started this school year in different vocational schools. But we need to continue controlling and encouraging them to study and sometimes it is hard.

Our group of refugees has become very friendly and united, people happily accept newcomers and are ready to support them. This Saturday we played games and had a lot of fun. After the meeting, one woman came up to me and said: “Looking at the new people who join our group, I see the path we have all gone together, a year ago we were as confused and sad as they are now, but we learned to calm down and be happy and we can help them now” Yes, it’s true, there are a lot of changes.

During our Bible study last week our refugee group discussed Luke 8:26-40. I watched in amazement as they parsed the text of Scripture. A year ago they picked up the Bible for the first time. We tried to look at that story with different prospective: with the eyes of disciples, with the eyes of a possessed man and with the eyes of the citizens of the country of the Gadarenes who asked Jesus to go away but after some time gladly received Him in their land. We had good discussions and the minute when I hear these ladies profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior is one of the best moments of my life.

Over the long period of this war, we have observed different trends in counseling and how they are changing. Throughout the first year, we primarily worked with refugees. At the very beginning it was trauma, shock, pain from what they saw and experienced. Then the exacerbations of past problems, intra-family conflicts and problems in relationships began. Now we see that wives of the soldiers are those who primarily need help. This one of the stories that our counselor Roman shared:

Raya is a wife of a soldier, her husband Artyom serves in the army from the first days of the war. He serves in a reconnaissance group that often goes behind enemy lines on various missions. Every two or three months he is given a few weeks of vacation and he comes home. Raya worries so much about him and always looks forward to his coming home. But when he is at home, he doesn't give attention to her, doesn't spend time with her. All he does is play computer games at night, and during the day he sleeps or watches videos. Raya feels betrayed and abandoned. She thinks of divorce. There are many storis like this when women see their husband become different persons after returning home.

Please, pray for the wives of the soldiers and for us as we trying to help them. We thank you for all the help, support and encouragement you give us.

Please, send your donations to Pathway Ministries
E. Langston Haygood,D.Min.,Ph.D.
Pathway Ministries, Inc.
288 Huntington Parc Circle
Birmingham, AL 35226

In Christ,


P.S. There are photos of installing the solar panels on the roof of our church building, the night view on the bay in our town and the refugee groups.