Tuesday, 13 September 2022 22:04

September 13, 2022 News Update

12 September 2022

Dear Friends,

There is good news about the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian armed forces have taken back a very large territory that had been under Russian control in eastern Ukraine. This has also resulted in thousands of Russian troops being taken prisoner – so many that the Ukrainian government has said that the number is so great that they don’t know where to put them all. In addition, it is reported that a large amount of Russian ammunition and a great number of military vehicles have been captured. The sad news is that a multitude of atrocities committed by Russian troops is also being uncovered in these liberated areas. Evidence of rape, torture and extreme brutality is undeniable.

While the victories of the past several days are significant, the fighting still continues, especially in the south. Missile and artillery barrages are constant and the senseless destruction of civilian targets continues. Many of the cities in that area are without water and power. There is much suffering. One of our soldiers reported that his unit has been able to go to a house at night to sleep. The house has no power and is very cold. He said that he awoke last night by something around his feet. When he turned on his flashlight he saw a rat nibbling on his socks. He said that with so few people in the area that the rodents are proliferating. He requested a dozen rat traps! That’s the first time I have heard of that in a soldier’s kit.

The Ukrainian soldiers that we know personally are all conducting themselves with great courage and honor. One man is piloting drones not far from the front. Another is an artillery commander. One man has been put in charge of a HIMARS unit. Their faith in God and in His plan for their lives gives them boldness and the determination to carry on in spite of extreme weariness, danger, and deprivations. They fight to protect their homeland, their wives and children. Please do not fail to pray for these brave warriors every day. There is no end in sight, but we have hope. Pray for victory in Ukraine, that peace might be found throughout that wonderful land.

In spite of the horrors of war, God’s grace is still to be seen. Believers are continuing to grow in their faith and there are many evangelistic efforts that are being launched among the soldiers and the refugees. Word of God Church continues to meet on Sundays, and this is also live-streamed to our displaced people throughout Ukraine and in several foreign countries. The church also meets online twice a day for prayer. It is wonderful that in spite of being widely dispersed we can still see one another and talk with one another, and pray together. I received a message today which said, “thank you for preparing us for this time. You didn’t know what we would face, but your Bible teaching makes it possible for us to understand what is happening and what we need to do in these circumstances.”

More good news: I am scheduled to teach a Bible conference for several churches in a small city close to Auschwitz in Poland next month. This will also be a wonderful opportunity to see some of our people who are now living in Poland. We also are planning to go into western Ukraine for a few days to encourage the church there. If it is possible, we also hope to make a trip to Zambia in November. We haven’t been able to go there for a couple of years, so we are really looking forward to returning.

We have been very busy here in the US. We have traveled to or through 20 different states, speaking in 30 different places. I also have 8 more dates on my calendar in September. We praise the Lord for His sustaining grace in giving us the health and strength to be able to do this. We know also that this is surely because you have prayed for us. Our Father has been pleased to hear and answer your prayers. Thank you for your encouragement and support. May the Lord be glorified in all of it.

By grace alone,

Jim

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 20:34

July 25, 2022 News Update

25 July 2022

Dear Friends,

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that Moscow’s overarching goal is to topple the government of Ukrainian President Zelensky as Russian forces continue to pummel Ukraine with artillery barrages and airstrikes. He said that Moscow is determined to help Ukrainians “liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime.” “We will certainly help Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical,” he said. This is pure propaganda. The Ukrainian people are certainly not being oppressed by the Zelensky government. My question would be, if Zelensky agreed to step down, would the Russians withdraw their troops and allow Ukraine to determine its own future? I doubt it.

The Russians agreed to allow Ukraine to resume exporting its massive grain exports, but then immediately began shelling the ports from which the grain would be shipped. You can't rely on the Russians to keep any of their promises. The Ukrainian forces continue to fight to defend their homeland. They have been courageous and relentless in their struggle for freedom. More than ten million Ukrainians have been displaced because of this war. Thousands have been killed, more have been wounded. The destruction of cities has been incredible.

Pray for Ukraine! Pray for victory, pray for peace, pray that the Lord will preserve this nation. Pray that God will be glorified through His people who are using this conflict as a platform for evangelism and Bible teaching, both at home and in the surrounding nations.

Here is a recent letter from Pastor Oleg in Kyiv:

We have no changes in our church life here. We have prayer meeting twice a day and Bible study twice a week, as well as Sunday morning service. The church meets in person for those who are still in the city, and online for the rest.

Luda is doing ministries in Warsaw serving Ukrainians. They did two camps for kids there. In addition to that, they ministered to the mothers afterward. She has very good ministry there. Lusya is in Czech Republic. She has started a ministry for a kids at her dormitory.

Olga, Lusya's sister is in Czceh Republic too, but in an another city. Their husbands are in Ukraine. Uliana had an incident at her school where she teaches. She fell and hurt her face which has left some scars, causing her distress.

Katya is in Germany looking for a job. Her husband, Kostya, is at home in Ukraine. He is working with the youth in their home city and keeps building a house. Ira has stayed in Ukraine with her husband. He is looking for work and Ira is doing some ministry for women.

Maxim, who was wounded in battle is back with his unit in the East. He was doing fine, but for the last ten days we haven't heard from him.

Vova had a concussion. He lost his ability to hear and see in his left eye and ear. He was at the hospital for two days and then they sent him back to his position. His condition is a little better but he hasn't recovered yet.

Denis recently met another man from Poland who was Paul Miles' student at the Word of Life college. That man said that Paul recommended that he listen to the courses from our Bible College, which he did. Now this man and another former student of the Word of Life college, who is pastor of a church, plan to start a Bible school at their location. They invited Denis to help them. I don't know any details yet but I will keep you informed about it.

Zhenya, pastor from Baryshivka has started a meeting for pastors, so we have a meeting on Monday, once a week just for fellowship and prayers.

Phyllis and I are back from our six-week trip to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, where we visited 15 churches. It was a wonderful time to renew acquaintances and to also meet some pastors from churches that were new to us. It is so encouraging to know that there are men who are faithful in teaching sound doctrine and presenting a free-grace gospel. We also had the joy of spending a little time with Bible college graduates Robert and Elvira Bolender who are now living in Bellingham, WA.

We leave later this week for a journey to the east, going to Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Connecticut. So we will be on the road until Labor Day. But we will keep you updated as we get news from Ukraine. We are so thankful for your prayers, your encouragement, your support.

All by grace,

Jim

Sunday, 10 July 2022 02:01

July 10, 2022 News Update

10 July 2022

Dear Friends,

The war in Ukraine continues and people are being killed every day, both soldiers and civilians. But our merciful God has spared all of our loved ones to this point. I have no doubt that this is because of your fervent and faithful intercession for them. Thank you for that. Please don’t stop.

The good news is that the Lord continues to use the war to further His own purposes of bringing people to salvation and the build up the saints. Below are excerpts from recent letters

From Oleg, pastor of Word of God Church in Kyiv:

I talked with Andrey, pastor from Dnipro, this afternoon. He is fine, his family is about to come back to Ukraine. They have a lot of ministry to the needy and they do an evangelism with them. Lusya Ustinova started a Bible class for unbeliever kids. All the others from our church are still at the same places as before. Vova and his soldiers are all alive. His car was damaged by Russians twice. Right now it is in a car repair shop.

As for the church we are still having online prayer meetings twice a day and Bible study twice a week, and we have Sunday morning services. As for the war we expect a new attack from the north. The threat is real. Of course, our forces this time are better prepared. But we depend on the Lord’s protection.

From Luda in Poland:

I am grateful for your prayers because they have been supporting me all this time. During the past month I have been involved in ministry a lot. I met with many people, had many conversations, and served at a children’s camp. God is faithful and provides everything I need for my ministry, even when I run out of strength.

Next week there will be another camp near Warsaw. There at a place that provides lodging for about 200 Ukrainian refugees we will have a camp. A sports team from Ukraine will be leading them and we will be helping them. Please pray for opportunities to share the gospel with children and adults personally, and also for the physical and spiritual strength I will need for this work.

Thank you for your prayers and support! Seeing God work here is a blessing and a big encouragement for me. It helps me understand His power and greatness better. Of course, war is evil, but because of it so many people reexamine their life and look for hope in God. This is not just my ministry, but yours also! You are here with me through your prayers and gifts, and I am very grateful for that. Please let me know how I can pray for you.

From Dennis in Poland:

We are fine now in Poland, waiting until we can receive documents to legally live and work here. We decided not to return to Belarus for now because of the military, because I would have to fight against Ukraine.

Our church here is called the “Church of Free Christians.” We are small, but I am using the knowledge that I acquired in college as I preach in the church. Whenever possible I listen online to lectures from the college. I also try to prepare lessons in writing for our people.

My wife and I pray that the Lord will use us. We know that it is not the temporary earthly, but the eternal heavenly things that are important, and we want to live like this. For now we are doing what we can. The college has become an invaluable treasure for the beginning of our ministry for Christ. Thank you for that.

From Jim in the USA:

Phyllis and I are still on the road in the Pacific Northwest, with a really packed schedule for the next 10 days before we fly back to Houston. We give thanks to God the Father for His abundant provision and daily mercies for us. We praise Him for the grace given to us through your prayers, encouragement, and support.

Only by grace,

Jim

Thursday, 09 June 2022 07:02

June 8, 2022 News Update

8 June 2022

Dear Friends,

The bloody war in Ukraine continues unabated. Tens of thousands have died, and the toll rises every day. Yet, we know that in spite of this, God has a plan for every individual. The time of death and the manner of death are in the hands of the sovereign God who created us for His own purposes. When God’s time for your life to end arrives, nothing can keep you alive. On the other hand, until it is God’s time for you to die, nothing can take you out of this life. This has been beautifully exemplified in the life of Yuri, one of our college graduates who is now serving in the Ukrainian military. His unit of almost 1,000 soldiers came under heavy bombardment and enemy fire. Only 50 men in his company were unscathed; the rest were wounded or killed. The Lord preserved Yuri. He is a faithful witness and evangelist to those around him.

Several men from our church and Bible college are fighting for the freedom of Ukraine. To this point, through the mercies of God which are new every morning, not one of them has been killed. One man, Maxim, was wounded in the leg, but not seriously. He will soon be returning to the front lines. Please continue to pray for these men, along with Anatoly, Vova, Ivan, and Vasily.

The church members who have been scattered because of the war continue to find opportunities to minister where they are. With several million Ukrainians now in Poland, Romania, Moldova, and other countries, they need evangelists, Bible teachers, and pastors who can minister to them in their own language. God foresaw this need and prepared men and women through Word of God College. Denis, now in southern Poland, didn’t have to go looking for a church to pastor, it just appeared. Hundreds of Ukrainians in that city wanted a church home. They visited a Polish church, but they couldn’t understand the language, and there was no pastor-teacher who could help them. Denis walked into the church and found a congregation. God provides for those who want His provision.

Word of God Church continues to meet as a body on Sundays, with the small group left in the city. But through the Internet they have a growing congregation. But they also have a twice daily prayer meeting online – morning and evening they sign in and join together in prayer. This is being serious in prayer, just as Peter exhorted us to be. They also have online Bible study two times a week. This is the fruit of their having learned the Word of God. You can’t wait until the crisis comes to get serious about the spiritual life.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9


Phyllis and I will be traveling for the next couple of months, going to the Pacific Northwest. If you are in the area, we would love to meet you.

2022 – Summer NW

If you are in the area and would like to see us, we will be at the following locations.

Spokane WA: June 12, Sunday, Spokane Bible Church, 9419 North Five Mile Road, Sunday School 9:30, Morning service 10:45, contact person: Ron Kellam, 509-276-3386

Deary, ID: June 13 -16, Tuesday – Thursday evenings, 7:00 to 9:00, Disciple Making Conference, Deary Community Bible Church, 4981 ID-8, Contact person: Pastor Jared Donigian, 208-669-0869

Kennewick, WA, June 20, Sunday, Columbia Bible Church, 202 South Van Buren, Phone: (509) 783-9093 Sunday service 10:00AM

Brookings, Oregon, June 22, Wednesday, 6:00 PM, Grace Bible Church, 302 Hazel St, Brookings, OR. Contact person: Cam Lynn 541-661-9510,

Portland, Oregon, June 24, Friday, Bible Doctrine Church of Portland, contact person: RD Fortner, 503-9278754

Banks, Oregon, June 26, Sunday, Manning Bible Church, 47200 NW Sell Rd., Sunday service, Contact person: Ron Stark, 503-309-7495

Lake Stevens, WA: July 3, Sunday, Life Bible Church, Grange Hall, 2109 103rd SE, Sunday 9:00 Missionary report, 10:45 Bible lesson. Contact person: Pastor Paul Breckel, 425-345-8825

Bellingham, WA: July 10, Sunday, Rome Community Bible Church, 2720 Mt. Baker Hwy, Missionary report. Contact person: Robert Bolender, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Olympia, WA: July 12, Tuesday, Grace Redeemer Bible Church Grange Hall, 6011 Black Lake Blvd., Tuesday PM 7:00 PM, Contact person: Andy Stacy 360-556-7109

Shoreline, WA: July 24, Sunday, Evergreen Baptist Church, 19010 5th Ave NW, Sunday 10:30 AM, Church phone: 206-362-2575.

All by grace,

Jim

Saturday, 21 May 2022 17:38

May 20, 2022 News Update

20 May 2022

Dear Friends,

The war continues. Missiles continue to rain down in almost every region of Ukraine. According to Radio Free Europe the last Ukrainian soldiers holed up in Mariupol's Azovstal Steelworks say they were "ordered" by Kyiv to stop fighting as Russia intensifies its assault on eastern Ukraine, relentlessly pounding the Donbas region that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says now resembles "hell."

After more than 12 weeks of fighting since Moscow launched its invasion, Ukrainian authorities said that "massive" artillery barrages by Russian forces continued to target civilian infrastructure, including residential districts.

Ostensibly the order to surrender was given to save the lives of the soldiers. This comes after a three-month siege that completely devastated the city and killed thousands of civilians. Almost 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers who valiantly defended the sprawling Azovstal steel plant have surrendered.

According to the Red Cross, those who surrendered are registered as prisoners of war and should be treated accordingly. They will be transported to Russian controlled areas and put into concentration camps, where, according to reports, the conditions are horrible beyond description. It is said that people are being tortured and starved in violation of Geneva Convention rules.

The military town of Desna, about one and a half hours drive north of Kyiv and 40 miles south of the Belarusian border has been the target of many Russian missiles, killing civilians and soldiers alike. This city has a church pastored by one of my former students from Ukraine Bible Institute. Pray for the continued ministry of this church and the protection of the Christians there.

Vova is one of our church members recently deployed to eastern Ukraine where the fighting is fierce. Pray for his protection and for his witness to the men with whom he is serving. Pray for Vasily, Ivan, Anatoly, and Yuri who are also active military.

We hear wonderful reports of the spread of the gospel among the armed forces and continuing Bible studies among soldiers and refugees. Of course our prayers are for an end to this horrible conflict so that there might be peace in the land. But even more our prayer is the Lord will be glorified through His people as they exhibit faith and focus on pleasing Him in every circumstance.

We may complain about many things in America, but our conditions pale in significance as we think of millions who have been driven from their homes, who have left behind family and all material things. Gas prices are high, but I received a letter yesterday saying that after a 5 hour wait at the gas station he was only allowed to purchase 2 gallons of gas. Many places have no gas at all. “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

All by grace,

Jim

Friday, 13 May 2022 21:13

May 13, 2022 News Update

13 May 2022

Dear Friends,

We have been in Yerevan, Armenia for the past two weeks. I have been teaching a course for the International Baptist Bible College, founded by Dr. Ron Minton. The topic was Man, Sin, and Salvation. One of my favorite courses to teach is soteriology with all of the doctrines associated with the gospel, including redemption, imputation, justification, regeneration, reconciliation, sanctification, faith, security, and assurance. It is exciting to watch as people learn these truths and see how they are all related to the grace of God, brought to us through the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross for all sins. Shackles were broken as they learned the gospel of grace, which excludes all human works such as feeling sorry for sins, praying a sinner’s prayer, inviting Christ into the heart, or giving the life to Christ.

While we have been in Yerevan, there have been daily demonstrations with thousands of people protesting current policies of the government and calling for the resignation of their prime minister. This has to do with an old conflict with Azerbaijan and ownership of territory. And so it goes. There is no peace in this Christ-rejecting world. Man by man’s efforts cannot solve man’s problems because of the ever-present sin nature which keeps on seeking to gratify its lust for power, material wealth, status, etc. It is so liberating to learn the secret to contentment as the Apostle Paul expressed in Philippians 4:11–13, 19:

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ….19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This same attitude is being expressed by our people in Ukraine, people who have been driven from their homes, having left their worldly possessions behind. They have exhibited great faith as they cast their burdens on the Lord and know that He has promised to never leave nor forsake them, but will provide their needs. The Lord has been so merciful in keeping all of our loved ones safe. Not one has been killed or injured, including our men in the military — Vova, Ivan, Eddick, Yuri, and Anatoly.

Others from the church who have been scattered to western Ukraine or other countries where they have refuge are finding ample opportunities for ministry among the millions of refugees from Ukraine. They are giving the gospel, encouraging the weak, teaching, and praying. Indeed, they are redeeming the time.

It appears that the war in Ukraine is not headline news in America any longer, having been superseded by politics and economic problems. But the conflict continues, and the future of the nation of Ukraine is in jeopardy. Please continue to pray for a quick conclusion with withdrawal of the enemy and victory for Ukraine that they may have peace. Pray for continued protection and provision for our people who are still in Ukraine, who are continuing to minister in churches, shining as lights in the midst of darkness.

Thank you for standing with us and our loved ones in Ukraine. We are so grateful for your support, your encouragement, your prayers.

Jim

Friday, 29 April 2022 17:37

April 28, 2022 News Update

28 April 2022

Dear Friends,

The war continues. Even though the media coverage in America has diminished in recent days, the fighting has not. Please do not diminish your prayers. Reports are that the Russians have taken thousands of civilians as prisoners, perhaps to use for prisoner exchanges or for propaganda displays on May 9. Also, thousands of children have been taken to Russia, being separated from their families. The purpose behind this has yet to be realized.

The good news is that many people are hearing the gospel. Our church members and our college graduates are faithful in ministry. Below is a photo of a Bible study being led by Kostya Grinyuk, [bottom right] who along with his wife Katya graduated from the college a couple of years ago.

Working with them are Sasha and Ira Kudlayev, also Bible college graduates. Please put these couples on your prayer list. They live in a town just south of Kyiv.

Grinyuk Teaching

Kostya Grinyuk (far right) leading a Bible Study

 

We hear accounts of prayer meetings and Bible studies in other countries also where our people have gone. Dennis Shamrov and his wife Albina have been able to get documents which allow them to live and work in Poland. A large number of Ukrainians have come to the church where they have been attending. Since these refugees don’t speak Polish, they need someone who can speak their language. So the pastor of the church has asked Dennis to teach them. The Word of God is available to those who want to hear. God has supplied a man who is a very capable Bible teacher.

Igor Smolyar, a college graduate who pastors in Zhitomir, has been involved in ministering to people who have been bombed out of their homes. He went to the front lines last weekend to preach the gospel to the military and others in the war zone. He found audiences who are ready and willing to listen to a message of eternal life. Pray that many will come to faith in Christ. The enemy means to use this war for evil, but God can take all things and make them work together for good.

I have received a number of letters from people who are concerned about things they have read on the internet that Ukraine is rife with corruption and anti-Semitism. Their reaction is that America should have nothing to do with Ukraine. Is there corruption? Of course, just as there is in America. But the Ukrainians don’t want corruption, and they certainly are not fighting to preserve it. They have been attacked and invaded without provocation. They deserve our prayers and our support. Of the many European countries I have been in, Ukraine is the most open to the gospel. We have been seeing great advances in biblical Christianity throughout Ukraine.

The question about anti-Semitism is serious. I have lived in Ukraine for 26 years. I have taught in Messianic Jewish churches, I have visited numerous Jewish organizations and have met their leaders. They will tell you that Ukraine as a nation is not anti-Semitic. One of our Bible college graduates taught Hebrew to Ukrainian Jews at a Jewish community center in Kyiv for several years. She just recently said that there is no policy of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, nor is there any policy of toleration for anti-Semitic acts. In fact, there are laws that forbid anti-Semitism.

Here is an excerpt from a recent article that addresses the issue:
KIEV — A leading Ukrainian rabbi said on Wednesday he saw no sign of hostility toward Jews from nationalists but was cautious on whether there could be a rise in anti-Semitic threats.

Russia brands some groups that helped to oust President Viktor Yanukovych as neo-Nazis, highlighting their admiration for Ukrainians who fought against the Red Army in World War II as one of the reasons for Moscow's takeover of the majority Russian-speaking Crimea.

But Moshe Reuven Azman, a senior rabbi in the capital Kiev, told a news conference he was not aware of new anti-Semitic acts since Yanukovych's fall [in 2014] and had not heard anti-Jewish statements from leaders of far-right parties. He cautioned against speculation on the issue being "exploited" for political ends. "There's no big, general Ukrainian problem," Azman said.

 

One pastor recently wrote and said:

The Ukrainian people are not fighting to maintain corruption or to fulfill the ambitions of the World Economic Forum, they are fighting for their liberty, their homes, their families, their land, their livelihood. All of this other stuff [anti-Semitism, etc.] is just clutter and irrelevant to the main issue.

 

Phyllis and I are leaving today (Apr 29) for Armenia where I will be teaching a Bible college course on “Man, Sin and Salvation.” Please remember to pray for us as we travel and seek to minister the Word in the city of Yerevan.

We are grateful for all the support we have received to help the Ukrainian people. We are distributing funds, clothing and other items to our people in Ukraine and in the other countries where they have become refugees. Thank you.

All by grace,

Jim

Thursday, 21 April 2022 03:58

April 20, 2022 News Update

20 April 2022

Dear Friends,

Below is a letter from Vasily Munko (nickname Vasya). He was one of the first graduates of our Bible College in Kyiv and has been a pastor in Lviv for more than 15 years. He is a faithful servant of the Lord and a very capable Bible teacher. He has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, housing 8 refugees in his home on a permanent basis, putting up a couple dozen people at the church every night, feeding them and providing transportation to the border. He is one of several people who we are supporting financially who are using that to provide support for the refugees.

Hello Mr Myers. Thank you very much for your prayers and financial support.

Yes, our enemy has resumed missile attacks on Lviv. Unfortunately, eight people died as a result of this. We are all right, thank God for that. We continue to serve the refugees as before. But besides this, I help financially different refugee families in different places in Ukraine.

I have attached some photos to the letter. In photo 1, the family of Sergei and Oksana who were forced to leave Kyiv. In the photo is Oksana, their youngest son Sasha and their daughter Ira. Sergei and their eldest son Andrei remained in Kyiv. They fought for the city in the ranks of the army, and now they are fighting for our country. Pray for this family, Oksana is a believer, but the rest have not yet been reconciled with the Lord

1 Sergei family

Photo 1: The family of Sergei and Oksana

 

In photo 2, the family of Yura and Lena and Lena's mother, Galya. This is a believing family that was also forced to leave Kyiv. Yura once worked in an orphanage. There he and his wife adopted two children. Because of the war, Lena and Yura were left without work.

2 Yura Lena family

Photo 2: The family of Yura and Lena and Lena's mother, Galya

 

In photo 3, Vitali, Olya and their daughter Vitalina. I met this family in the Kherson region in September 2019 when we held a seminar on the letter to the Galatians. In 2014, they were forced to flee the Donetsk region, when Russian troops invaded. They started a new life in the Kherson region, but now they were forced to flee again. And for the second time they were left with nothing. Vitalik himself wrote to me and asked for help....

Unfortunately, not everyone managed to escape from the occupied Kherson regions and some Christians who attended our seminar became hostages of enemy forces. They especially need our prayers.

Here is the message received from them: “We have worse than hell here, Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol are all the same here as Russians purposefully destroy the population. Almost 20 shells flew into our homes, but we miraculously survived. It is impossible to leave, the light and gas have been turned off for more than a month. No food. There is no medicine. No connection. There is no hope of deliverance. The village is under continuous shelling. There are no places left for people to hide from the shelling.”

Please pray for these people and for pastor Sasha, who is with them in these difficult times ....

3 Vitali Olya VitalinaPhoto 3: Vitali, Olya and their daughter Vitalina

 

In photo 4 is Maryana. This is a woman from our church. She is a journalist who has been constantly helping our soldiers since 2014. Now, because of the war, she has lost her job, and there is no one to help her except us. She lives alone. She is going through the war with great difficulty as she has already lost several of her military friends from Lviv. They gave their lives to protect us.

From Vasya

 4 Maryana

Photo 4: Maryana

The war is fierce and devastating, and in some places the situation is desperate for those under attack as they have little hope of surviving. Yet we know that God has a plan for each one, and He is able to do that which is beyond our ability to even imagine.

Please pray for victory in Ukraine, that God will deliver them from the enemy, and that peace may come to that land once again.

By grace alone,

Jim

Monday, 18 April 2022 05:05

April 18, 2022 News Update

18 April 2022

Dear Friends,

The war in Ukraine has gone on for almost 8 weeks. Russian attacks in the north around Kyiv were repelled, but with much destruction and many deaths. When the Russian troops withdrew, there was a great reduction in the number of missiles and artillery being shot into that area. There were some strikes in the city of Kyiv over the weekend. We praise God that again our people have been spared.

On Easter Sunday Russian missiles targeted the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. This city has been relatively safe, and several million people have gone there, either to find a place to live or as the port city into Poland. The Russians would like to see that city destroyed because it is a major conduit for supplies from the west to enter Ukraine. As of now the most Russia can do is to bomb the city because they don’t have troops in that region to attack it. Many of our people are in Lviv and its environs. Please be in prayer for Vasily Munko, pastor of Grace Bible Church and Misha Grishenko, pastor of Greater Grace Church in Lviv. Luda Ugrimova is in a nearby town. These are heroes of faith, in my opinion, for their ministry among the refugees.

We just received a text from Ukraine saying they think that the war in the Donbas region is about to be a full-scale invasion. The big city of Kharkiv has been under constant bombardment since the beginning, but apparently the attacks are about to intensify. There are several cities in that area where I have taught in the past. Pray for the believers there that the biblical truths they learned will sustain them, that their faith will be a great testimony to the grace of God, and that they will redeem the time by spreading the gospel.

Word of God Church met on Resurrection Day for worship and praise to Almighty God who raised His Son from the dead in a powerful acclamation that He has accepted the work of Christ on the cross as the payment for all sins. What a great God! What a wonderful savior!

Pray also for Sasha Petrenko and his wife Ira who live in the Chernigiv area. This city was also devastated by missiles and Russian troops. Sasha sent some photos. What do you do if your church building is destroyed? Preach in the open air.

Sasha teaching Outdoors

 

Sasha and Ira ministering to the troops, providing food and clothing along with spiritual food:

Sasha Ira Troops

 

Sasha providing some essentials to a man who has lost everything.

Lost Everything

We are so grateful for all of you who are supporting our ministry. Thank you for your prayers and notes of encouragement.

All by grace,

Jim

Sunday, 10 April 2022 21:49

April 10, 2022 News Update

10 April 2022

Dear Friends,

Phyllis and I are on the road again, speaking in churches. If you would like to see a recent report that I gave, click on this link:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TYHeimPVZds

Some people have asked me if there are websites they can go to for good assessments of thee current situation in Ukraine. Here a few that you check out:

https://kyivindependent.com

https://www.kyivpost.com

https://www.iswresearch.org

I have had a few people make comments along the way about the corruption of the Ukrainian people, indicating that in their opinion we should not be helping them or promoting them because they are just as bad as the Russians. Others have expressed their idea that the Ukrainians and Russians are both the same and that what is happening is just like the Civil War between the north and the south in this country, and that we should just let them fight it out.

I find this wrong on so many levels. And because I have been confronted with this several times, I would surmise that this idea is coming from some common source, namely, the main-stream media. I will excerpt portions of a recent letter written by Dr. Robby Dean in response to comments made on a recent interview program:

First, the Ukrainian people are more united in their patriotism then ever before. I have read of estimates up to 400,000 Ukrainian ex-pat males who have returned to Ukraine to fight for their homes, families, and the future of Ukraine.

Second, they are not fighting to defend a corrupt government or corruption in general. Ukraine is well known for the level of corruption there, but so now is the United States, as well as Nigeria, Brazil, China, Syria, Jordan, the Philippines and a host of other nations in the world. Corruption is endemic today.

Ukraine was viciously attacked with no provocation on Feb 24. The claim that the Ukrainians are at fault because they wanted to be aligned with NATO is delusion… Blame the rape victim, not the rapist, is the same mentality. Putin has been trying to dominate Ukraine and Ukraine politics for a couple of decades

But ... it has been clear that the Ukrainian people do not want corruption, they do not want to be under the authority of Moscow, they hate the Russians with a historic hatred that goes back centuries. Ukrainians have their own language, culture, music, and government and they do not want to be governed by Russia. The vast majority are freedom loving.

Ukraine has the highest level of religious freedom of any nation in the Western world. Over the last 25 years tens if not hundreds of thousands have been saved. Numerous solid grace-gospel ministries have been planted ….

The Ukrainians are fighting and dying for freedom. They are seeking to destroy the barbaric Russians who are raping, torturing, beheading the Ukrainian civilian population and seeking to erase the Ukrainian people from the face of the earth.

To say that we Americans should not pray for victory in Ukraine because they have a corrupt government is ludicrous. If America comes under attack should we refuse to fight for freedom because we have a corrupt government?

Of course not all Russians are “bad” people. There are many who are decent, moral, law-abiding people who are hard working and honest. But when I see the unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the senseless bombing of homes, churches, hospitals, and refugee centers in Ukraine, the horrific murders, brutal rapes, and the pillaging of homes, I believe it is altogether right for us to pray for victory over the invaders and for destruction of their army.

I beseech you, do not stop praying for the freedom of Ukraine, for peace in that land, and for those people we have come to love so dearly.

All by grace,

Jim

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