| Dear Praying Friends and Family,I pray this letter finds you well in the Lord looking forward to His soon return. This is my third attempt at writing this overdue prayer letter. The first two turned out to be small theses and were too long. Lord willing, I will find a way to put all my thoughts on what is going on in Ukraine from a Bible believer’s perspective and post it on our website.|
After much prayer and consideration about the Lord’s will we have decided that He wants us to stay the course and finish what we came here to do in the USA and prepare for our return to Ukraine. We have supporting churches spread out in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New York that we have not yet updated. We have not seen them in anywhere from ten to seventeen years. When we are finished with this part of our ministry we will take another look at the situation and hopefully return to Ukraine to a people prepared of the Lord ready to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! If, however, the war is still going on we will look into ministering to Ukrainian refugees in one of the bordering countries until it is safe to return with my family.
In the meantime, we continue to encourage our people in Ukraine and send money to men in four separate areas where they can help those whose lives have been turned upside down by this war. I received a report from one brother that he has led over twenty people to Christ using the aid we sent him as a way to open a conversation. We also just received a report from my assistant in Rozdilna, Brother Alexei, that our church contacted the local authorities to receive a list of registered refugees from eastern regions hit the hardest. They made contact with 200 households and ministered to them. They also organized a church service where around one hundred refugees came and heard Brother Alexei preach the Gospel to them and give them food and clothing that was purchased by the funds sent from you, our supporters.
My hope and prayer has been that the Lord would use this awful situation to prepare people to receive the word of God from western missionaries. The anti-west propaganda that has been pumped into Ukraine from Russia for the past twenty years had made it very difficult to even have a conversation with them.
The Lord has very graciously answered our prayers and, for the first time in my lifetime, our ministry in Ukraine received a positive write-up in the local newspaper in Rozdilna about how we are helping people and preaching the word of God to them! You would have had to have lived in Rozdilna for the past thirty years to understand what a miracle this is! Words cannot describe how thankful we are that our church and people are still standing against all the trials and temptations that are in Ukraine right now. They continue to hold regular church services and reach out to the surrounding areas with personal witnessing, literature, and humanitarian aid (See 3 John 1:4)
We would like to include a short update on our family. My son, Samuel, has decided to relocate to Boise, ID for work and attend the Bible Institute there while he transitions to life in the USA. I drove him out there and helped get him set up. It is so hard to let go, especially when they are so far away. My consolation is that I’ve watched Samuel over the past few months really get his own relationship with Jesus Christ and prayerfully make decisions about what God wants him to do, not what he preferred to do (See again 3 John 1:4).
My daughter is still willing to return to Ukraine with us but is open to whatever the Lord wants her to do in the meantime. She is also praying about finishing her Bible degree but must first work and save her money to relocate. She has become almost irreplaceable to me in the ministry as a secretary and accountant. I can’t describe my thoughts and feelings about losing her. She really adds a lot to our ministry. Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done in her life as we face some difficult decisions ahead.
Bible believing churches and people continue to express their desire to financially help those affected by the war. We still have channels open to help people inside Ukraine. If you would like to help please send a check to our mission board with the words “Rue/Ukraine relief” on the memo line. My number is 513-376-1011 if you have any questions.
Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine.
Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!