Praying Friends and Family,
I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service! The list of items jotted down to include in this letter is long and leaves me somewhat apprehensive about what to cut and what to include. I know that people are busy with little time for wordy prayer letters. However, I’ve always strived to not make the ministry about stats and bullet points alone. I pray you get a blessing from this letter even if it is a little long.
New Names in Glory:A sister from our church has been ministering to a neighbor family, hoping for their salvation. Galya lives in a two room house with her five children and one grandchild. Her husband is a convict, and when he was released from jail she was forced to flee because he began beating them. Galya, after attending church for weeks, responded to the invitation and received Christ as her Savior. Her oldest daughter is coming to church but has still not responded to the invitations. She is under conviction, please pray for her salvation.
My assistant, Alexei, and his wife, Victoria, have been praying for her mother for years to be saved. She was a very mean woman, and a drunk, living a life of degradation for years. Her liver is shutting down do to all the drinking. The doctors also discovered that she has tuberculosis in her bones and AIDS! Her liver cannot handle the drugs needed for treatment and there is no way knowing how much longer she has to live. I visited her in a special hospital in Odessa and was very to the Dear point about her soon-to-be eternity if she did not get saved. After about an hour of explaining the Gospel to her she bowed her head and prayed to receive Christ. Victoria said she has already noticed a difference in her – she no longer cusses up a storm!
Graduation Service: The public school system in our town celebrates graduation much like the United States, but the celebrations and parties are notorious for all kinds of wickedness. Instead our church puts on our own celebration for our young people and we try to do it up. It is a great testimony to the unsaved that we do things first class and can have a good time without lewd dancing and alcohol!We had people come and hear the Gospel who would never have come otherwise! We even had a Christian family cross the border from Moldova to offer their daughter an alternative to their local school’s party.
Children’s Bible Club:This year’s Children’s Bible Club was one of the biggest yet with a high day of 98 kids present! The Lord blessed the week with 17, mostly older kids, receiving Christ after being dealt with individually by our church workers. We have decided to add more such Bible Clubs during the school year when the local schools are out for their various breaks.
Visitors and Offerings:Over the years we have strived to be examples of giving to the Lord’s work and stressed that our people should do the same. In May, we witnessed something akin to the sacrificial giving mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8 when we took up three offerings for three different men and their ministries. Two of them were missionaries and the other was for Brother Sasha who has agreed to take over the work that missionary Ed Keough had started in Kiev. Our people do not have much money and do not have much economic hope for the future, yet, they gave sacrificially for the Lord’s men and His work. I was amazed and am truly thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of it all.
Exodus and Migrant Workers:Our church seems to be in the middle of an exodus at the moment. This is nothing new. No need to panic. We’ve been through this before. In fact, after looking over the past, I’ve pastored four different churches with the exception of a few core members. I’m glad to say that there are many who left who are still serving the Lord in their new locations. There is one difference this time – many are leaving in search of work in different countries like Poland, Germany, Israel, and the USA. A few spend long hours on public transportation back and forth to work in Odessa, but it leaves very little time for life. The economic situation here is getting worse and our present town offers little hope of bettering one’s station in life or even the ability to make ends meet. More and more people are left with no choice but to move. It is a blessing to know that some will be returning after their work visas expire but others have left for good. Please pray for the economic situation here.
Rue Crew Review: We were very blessed to be able to have our entire family home under our roof for a couple weeks. Both Joshua and Miriam were able to visit and it was so nice to all be together again.
I somewhat prematurely mentioned that Ben’s document issues were over. They weren’t. We had to spend a few more full days completing the process. Now all is done and he possesses a temporary living permit for one year. Now we get to begin the whole process for Sam, who turned 16. Hallelujah!
Mailing List Mix-ups and Prayer Letter Delays: After spending many hours going over our mailing list, all we can figure is that at some point within the last year an older list was mistaken for our newest one resulting in many of our supporters not receiving our letters. We apologize for the mix-up. The disconnect with many of you was felt both financially and in the area of prayer support. We have had many attacks from the enemy in many ways over the past several months. In addition we had a noticeable decrease in support for the month of June, the lowest month in years. We are still working on updating our mailing list and we plan to begin including pictures in future letters. We have also decided to use Mail Chimp to send our letters to those who prefer them digitally. Thanks again for your patience and desire to help us in the Lord’s vineyard of Ukraine
We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him,