Wednesday, 02 March 2022 17:57

March 1, 2022 News Update from Jim

1 March 2022

Dear Friends,

Attached below are photos I have just received from Oleg, pastor of our church in Kiev. The war is real. Please pray for our people. Pray for Ukraine. Pray for the brave men and women who are willing to risk everything to secure freedom for the loved ones and homeland. Salute! you brave souls. May God protect you and bless you.

We have just boarded our plane for our flight to Houston. When we arrived in Bucharest we had to get a covid test to be able to check into the hotel. We had to get another one this morning when we arrived at the airport to be able to board the plane. Face masks are still compulsory on the airplanes for the entire flight. (Sigh!) But I think of the thousands of people at the borders who would love to put on a mask if it meant that they could get out of Ukraine. How can I complain?

We do not have any updates from the people I mentioned in the previous letters, but I do have a some names I would like you to add to your prayer list. Vanya, a young man who is one our Bible college students, is staying with the Armenian family. His home is in western Ukraine, but has chosen to stay in Kiev. Kostya, with his wife and 9 year old son, are living in a basement of their apartment building which has received damage from the shelling.

Know that we are overflowing with gratitude for the lovingkindness and multitude of the Lord’s tender mercies. We also have seen such love from Christians along the way. When we were finally able to cross the border into Romania we were taken to the home of some Christians some distance from the airport. They prepared a marvelous Romanian breakfast for us. While they certainly are not on the same page with us theologically, they are without doubt fellow members of the family of God. They also took in a missionary family from Ukraine with five children, and will house them for the indefinite future. They didn’t know this family but saw fellow Christians in need and opened their hearts in love. How wonderful to see this love in action.

We also had opportunity along the way to minister to others. There was a young man named Kevin who boarded the bus with us in Kiev. His parents were Catholic, but he didn’t really have any kind of religious training while growing up and he never had any interest in knowing anything about Christianity. But from the very start of our journey he kept on being exposed to the concept of grace. The organization that extracted us wanted $250 from each of us. Kevin only had a credit card and crypto currency, neither of which would the driver accept – cash only in Euros or Yankee greenbacks. Out of nowhere came an offer of grace to him as someone offered to pay. Later we offered to give him a ride with us from the border to Bucharest – about a seven hour drive. Again, he is astounded by grace. On the way we stopped at the home of those Christians who gave us breakfast. He simply cannot comprehend why people would welcome strangers into their home and treat them with such love. We took him all the way to the airport so he could get on his way home. He is totally baffled by all of this. We explained the concept of grace – and he was quite aware of the concept, having seen it in action. He knew for certain that he had done nothing to earn or deserve the favor being shown to him. We will follow up on him. Please pray that Kevin will be willing to accept the grace of God that was provided for him at the cross.

We have no way of knowing how long the conflict in Ukraine might last. Our prayer is that it will be short lived. It may, however, be of long duration. So, we will be seeking opportunities to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in other places. Pray for us that the Lord will open for us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, that we may make it manifest as we ought to speak.

Only by grace