Ukraine is in desperate need of people’s prayerful support and mindful action. While dozens of people, some of them civilians, continue to die every day in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Putin claims it is not his place to negotiate a ceasefire because the conflict is an internal civil war between the western leaning democratic government in Kiev, and the pro-Russian terrorists occupying and fighting for cities in the east. These are blatant lies, as not only has Russia supplied the separatists with weapons and supplies, but covert soldiers as well.
While Putin continually denies any Russian military presence in Ukraine many Russian soldiers have been captured, paratroopers claiming they crossed the border by accident, or their graves have been found. Their mothers and families in Russia are not so discreet as the Kremlin is in expressing their grief for their sons’ deaths on social media sites and such. The evidence is unequivocal. Some experts have estimated thousands of soldiers have invaded Ukraine.
Obama says that according to U.S. intelligence the Russians have been heavily impacted by the economic sanctions placed on them and that they know this. I suppose the hope here may be to create an inner power conflict in Russia between Putin and the oligarchs effected by these sanctions. Ukraine is seeking concertedly to join NATO, (what else can she do?) but the likelihood of this looks slim.
What will happen to Ukraine? Putin is not going to stop unless he is stopped. Ukraine cannot win, however patriotically, courageously, and sacrificially she holds on. The opponent is ever willful, shrewd, and numerous.
Nothing serious has happened in Odessa since the clash between the instigative pro-Russians and the massive crowd of soccer fans, resulting in a fire and several deaths on May 2. Many people have been concerned about our safety here and for good reason. Let me assure you that we feel safe in the moment. Certainly we have deep concern and daily grief for the events happening closer to the border and many times have discussed preparations in case we have to leave.
First, we do not feel that if God has called people to missions work that safety should necessarily always be their first priority. There is a lot of work to do here. Second, if it came to it, we could easily leave to a safer city such as Kiev or Lviv. No one is going to storm Odessa by night without a fight and without warning.
That being said, we are not fearful but gravely concerned and watchful. We know that God is sovereign and we trust His hand in all things. Notwithstanding His sovereign infinite holy wisdom, we pray, as in His wisdom He has asked us to and ordained to work by and through these prayers. Will you seize this colossal opportunity with us to ring the bells of Heaven?
***SO, HOW TO PRAY***
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE
Pray that Ukraine receives the help she needs from foreign powers. First that means that the universal church would pray hard for her. Help may also take the form of military supplies or soldiers, perhaps covert. The Ukrainian military needs uniforms and guns badly. The wounded soldiers in the hospitals also have several needs as well.
SAFETY IN ODESSA AND FOR THE CONFLICT TO BE ISOLATED
Pray that Odessa and other cities further west of the conflict would be kept out of the conflict and that Russia would be kept at bay in the eastern regions. In other words, that more territory would not be compromised.
SAFETY FOR PEOPLE IN THE EASTERN REGIONS
Some people are unable to leave, perhaps because of age or they have nowhere to go. Evangelicals are harshly persecuted and others have turned up missing, been tortured or even raped.
THE GOSPEL, PEACE AND STABILITY FOR UKRAINE
Pray that Ukraine can find peace and economic stability. Pray for the Gospel to be propagated rapidly and forcefully through the country. Pray for the Protestant church to grow as it carries this mighty Gospel flame.
Please pray for us and for our future plans in Odessa to build Oasis, a rec center which serves as a ministry center. Pray that it would be made legally possible, that all necessary doors would be opened, and kept safe from any form of corruption or interference.
NEXT SEASON OF MINISTRY AND THE WORKLOAD
Please pray for us and this upcoming season of ministry. Beginning next week we will be extremely busy with things and weekly preparation for those things. Every weekday we begin our day with the Lord, then off to exercise, handle errands and study Russian. It will take an acceptable amount of focus and organization for me to balance this with ministry prep, ministry, life in general, and rest.
Ministries to pray for include:
ORGANIZATION, PLANNING, AND INFORMATION FOR OASIS
Working out legalities and logistics for the future construction of the Oasis center.
FAVOR WITH MEN
Meeting with people to discuss those things just mentioned.
FRUITFUL WORK AND THE HOLY SPIRIT’S LEADING IN GIFTS
Video interviews, footage, and editing, regarding vision casting for the project.
TEACHING AND DISCUSSING GALATIANS AND IT’S IMPLICATIONS FOR LIFE
An advanced English conversation class I will be teaching at a friend’s English classes from another church. We will be looking at the book of Galatians and discussing it.
Freshman year theology course I will be teaching at the Christian University. I will be teaching on the doctrine of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity and how those doctrines relate to the Gospel.
Theology course I will be teaching to 2nd , 3rd , and 4th year University students. I will be taking them through Galatians practicing the Inductive Bible Study tools I taught them last semester.
Thursday evenings I will be meeting with a small group of guys to discuss various theological topics. We may read through a book on Galatians together by Tim Keller.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY
Tuesday evening Lera helps host and translate for a woman’s Bible study led by our missionary friend Robin. Pray for an increase of fresh visitors who need to know Christ. They have had some new visitors lately, and old ones returning, which has been great to see.
Balance of discipline and rest
Pray that I can stay disciplined to get all my prep work done to set aside Fridays for my wife.
INVITING COLLEGE STUDENTS TO E CLUB
Our English Club, which we call ELEVATE, takes place on Saturday after which this time around I will be teaching a Bible study looking each week at different events or parables from Jesus life.
All next week we will be giving out free cold drinks and handing out flyers near Universities to invite people to E Club which starts back up Sept 13th.
HELP AND SPIRITUAL SUCCESS WITH E CLUB
Pray for more regular English speaking help with the Club. One of our helpers who is a professional translator left us because she is involved with another church, but our friend Robin has said she wants to be more involved, which is great! We put a tremendous amount of work into making these quality English Clubs and the more help we have, the better the quality, and the more we can distribute the workload.
DISCIPLESHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY
During the week, when it is possible, I meet with my head pastor Gorik (or George) for discipleship and accountability. I also meet with other young men usually at least once or twice a week.
Lera is praying about starting a cooking night to invite girls over to cook something different each week. This may serve as a function were unbelieving friends from English Club would like to come. It’s similar to what I do when we occasionally throw a Friday night poker night.
Lera and I will be visiting a hospital in Odessa where wounded soldiers are brought, to find out what their needs are and bring them Gospels of John. More on this is forthcoming. If you would be interested in helping these soldiers please email me so we can discuss it further.
Our next update will consist of a detailed list of people in our lives, who they are and how you can be praying for them. Thank you so so much for your prayers. They are what keep us going!
SMALL FINANCIAL NEED
If you would like to help us fill our small, current, remaining monthly financial need you can find that information here: