News from Ukraine, October 30, 2023

October 30, 2023 (Day 614)

It’s Monday and we start a new week making plans and summing up the results of the last week. We had a good week. God blessed us with wonderful weather, it is warm and sunny, so warm that we feel like summer is back.

A joyful event for us was a visit of our old friend and brother in Christ Kevin Ellis. We met him 30 years ago when he first came to Ukraine as a part of the co-mission team, a missionary group whose mission was to teach the subject of Christian morality and ethics to the local schools. It was a time of great change and renewal. The time when God planned to build our church. Now when we look back we see the amazing work God has done and give Him glory. Sergey’s sermon yesterday was “How the Lord Builds His Church”. Kevin came to support and encourage us and also help us with the renovation of the refugee center building and we are very thankful to him and to everybody who made it possible for him.

Another good event last week was the arrival of the ambulance vehicle for Dr. Anya’s medical unit. Our elders Peter and Victor went to the west border of Ukraine to bring it here. It’s not ready to be used yet, it needs some serous repairing but it is here and we know that it will be done. We thank everybody who helped us with this project.

The counselors of our center continue to work giving help to different groups of people. In our work, we often intersect with people who do the same work as us. Today in Ukraine there are many psychologists and social workers working to help people traumatized by the war. As we communicate with some of them, we see that not everyone has enough resources, materials and experience for this work. There were direct requests from some of them for help. We decided to hold a webinar and share our experience and knowledge. It took place last Friday and our counselors together with guest speakers spoke about the work of support groups, help to the war veterans, help to separated families, trauma care, compassion fatigue, etc. We hope it was helpful and encouraging for people who joined our webinar. We plan to do some more educational projects and also share our vision and beliefs.

Every day our main prayer is for our soldiers who stand for us and due to whom we can sleep at night and go about our business during the day. We rarely hear news from Pavel Lukoshkin now, his detachment is very busy and they hardly rest. Yesterday in church there was a special prayer for Paul, it was his birthday. Then we found out that he had a day of rest and even shared a post on Facebook.

This is what he wrote: “There are many important topics in the Bible that we come across every day. It reveals the issues of anger and love, lies and truth, peace and war...
But there is still a special topic that we do not notice while living day by day. The theme is peace. Or Sabbath, as it sounds in the original. It is peace that gives us a sense of freedom. A sense of peace with God. This is one of the first things that sounds back in Eden and which God taught His people in the desert when he freed them from slavery in Egypt. He taught them peace. Because being slaves they did not have it. This is the thing that Jesus brought us on the cross. And now, during the war, this peace that you had and considered normal, has become especially valuable. It gives the opportunity to feel like a free person and remember why you do what you do... In order to, with God's help, give peace to the country in which we all live. Therefore, appreciate the peace you have and do not forget that it is the privilege of the people who are free!”

Let’s pray for peace, for that special peace that comes from the Lord.

In Christ,
P.S. There are photos of Paul Lukoshkin, of Kevin working in our Refugee Center, the photo of the kitchen where the new cabinets have just been installed, the photo of the ambulance on the way and in our church yard.