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.