March 8, 2022 News Update
8 March 2022
The war in Ukraine continues. It is more horrible than you can imagine. Cities that have no military value are being bombed for no discernible reason. Civilians are being offered safe passage by the Russians along certain corridors. When people have tried to flee along those routes they are met with gunfire or they discover that land mines have been planted along the road. But the Ukrainian people have great resolve and are bravely standing their ground and fighting back.
I have a few more names that I would ask you to pray for – people in danger zones:
- Roman Ovcharenko, pastor in Kiev, who continues to minister to those of his congregation who have not been able to flee.
- Sasha and Ira Kudlaev. Both are Bible college graduates, who have ministry to youth.
- Kostya and Katya Grinuk. Bible college graduates, Bible teachers. They live just a few doors away from Sasha and Ira.
- Oksana Senko – staff member with CRU – great evangelist.
- Oleg Lozinski and his extended family living in our house reports hearing frequent blasts from tanks and artillery and occasional small arms fire.
- Jim Dumas – American who works with children has now entered Poland and is safe.
The following is a short note from one of our pastors. He is the father of four children.
Sometimes it is very difficult to pray in the evenings with my daughter, Sasha. She is only five years old and it is difficult to answer her questions - why were we attacked? how long will the war last? You see, at her age, she (and many other children) should not know what war is. But she knows .... and every evening she reminds me that we should not forget to pray for our soldiers, so that God protects them, gives them courage in the fight against our enemies. And she also prays for the enemies, so that God would give fear to their hearts so that they would not have the strength to fight with us and that they would surrender themselves into captivity .... As I see, God answers her prayers ...
Thanks to all of you who are warriors in the spiritual conflict, who enter into this warfare with the secret weapons of intercessory prayer. Do not cease in your efforts. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call.
All by grace,
March 7, 2022 News Update
7 March 2022
The conflict continues in Ukraine. They need our prayers and our support. I just spoke with Oleg, pastor of Word of God Church. Everything is quiet in his village right now and they have utilities and food. However, in Irpin, the city just to the north of Kiev, there is much destruction. There are no utilities (gas, water, electricity, heat) and now there is no internet or telephone connectivity. In addition to that the Russian soldiers there are murdering civilians on the streets. The people were promised safe passage along a particular route. When they went there to escape from the city they were killed.
The people that we have known and ministered to in Irpin have all left the city (so far as we know). But there are many people there who cannot leave and they face tremendous problems. Not only is there the danger of indiscriminate shelling of buildings, they have no heat, and it is winter time there, and no water and food is becoming scarce.
The report is that the food supply in Kiev is still plentiful, but it is a city of almost 4 million people, and that requires a constant influx of goods. Even though the Russians have targeted communication and utility sites in the city, they have not been successful in knocking them out.
I just received the following letter from Vasya in Lviv, with two photos provided below. Vasya (nickname from Vasili) is one of our early graduates from the Bible college. He has become an outstanding pastor and Bible teacher.
Thank you very much for your prayers. We really need them now in a special way. It's not an easy time, but you're right, it's a good opportunity to serve people, share the gospel with them.
We have now provided our church for refugees. We are able to accommodate 24 people there. We also provide them with food, volunteers also help us in this, they constantly bring provisions. And of course we can share the gospel with people who stay there.
Also, 8 people live permanently in our house now. They will stay with us until the end of the war.... Many people just stay with us to spend the night and go on to Poland. Of course, we help them, provide transport, help with the purchase of tickets....
Only yesterday I was able to bring my uncle, Victor, to us. He remained in Irpin to the last, lived under shelling and served his unbelieving neighbors....he helped evacuate families... At night he patrolled his yard with his neighbors and also shared the gospel with them. One of these neighbors took him out in his car. Victor did not know how this neighbor took the gospel.... but when, during a telephone conversation, Victor said that the neighbor helped him get out, this neighbor corrected Victor and said: "not a neighbor, but a brother in Christ."
Victor asked to thank you, Jim (and I also join in his gratitude), and other teachers of the Bible College. Because it is thanks to you, your time invested in our training and education, that we can stay here to serve people no matter what. It is your sound Bible teaching that has shaped our character, our trust in God and confidence in the better future that God has prepared for us - whether in life or death....
One young couple with a small child, from our church, was able to leave for Poland just before the enemy invaded our territory. As soon as they were in Poland, in a small town called Rabka (near Krakow), they started talking to local authorities and businessmen. In this way they were able to organize a refuge for 500 Ukrainians. There they are provided with housing, food, medicine, if necessary, help to find a job, learn Polish, etc.
In this, too, there is your merit Jim, yours and other teachers. You taught me, I passed on your teaching to others... Now this young couple (Sasha and Yulia) serve in their place, and I in mine.
Thank you for preparing us for these difficult times, your work was not in vain.
Pray for the Christians in Ukraine that they will utilize the Word of God which they have been taught and that through their faith God will be glorified and others will be strengthened. Pray that God will work through these believers to lead many others to faith in Christ. Pray for the safety and deliverance of these people. Pray for the brave Ukrainian military who are standing firm against great opposition. Pray for President Zelensky and his administration to have wisdom and courage.
Thank you for your prayers and support,
Vasya’s home, providing a place to sleep for refugees.
Imagine doing laundry for so many people and providing clean towels so they can shower.
March 6, 2022 News Update
6 March 2022
Word of God Church met online this morning with a large audience — more than we usually have in attendance. The Word continues to go out, the gospel is being preached, and the saints are being edified. Pray for Oleg and the other faithful men of God who are standing firm in the faith and focusing on serving God Most High.
More of our people are leaving for the west as they have opportunity to escape the ongoing destruction which is taking place not only in the large cities, but also in smaller towns. Some people have no ability or possibility to travel and must remain in place. Please pray for those who cannot travel, for those who a traveling dangerous roads, and for those who have already fled.
Those who have been able to get to other countries are now faced with great problems, where to go, where to live, where to work? Refugee camps are being set up, but these tend to be dreadful places and are only stopgap measures. But God has made provision for His children. May He be glorified in them and through them.
Pray for the peace of Ukraine. Pray for the glory of God.
March 5, 2022 News Update
5 March 2022
We are heartsick as we watch the continuing destruction in Ukraine. We have no control over these events, but we do know that God has a plan and that He can work all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Of course we pray for peace, for safety, for the deliverance of our loved ones, for an end to this horrible display of the depraved and sinful nature of man. But we know from Scripture and from history that wars may last a long time. In the midst of those wars many may be turned to the Lord. Please pray that the faith of believers who are enduring this suffering may be strengthened and that their ministries will be increased. A pastor of mine from long ago used to say, "Suffering is an intensified opportunity to glorify the Lord."
One of the frequent themes of my teaching has been to focus on bringing glory to God in every circumstance of life. We have not been called to comfort or ease, we have not been called to success and prosperity, but we have been called to faithfulness so that we might fulfill our purpose of glorifying the Lord.
Kostya and Katya Grinyuk are a young couple, graduates of Word of God Bible College. They live not far from Kiev, and thus are in a very dangerous place right now. I just had to share with you a note that she just sent out. You can see the focus of their lives.
“We need spiritual and physical strength. Pray to God for us, that He would help us to grow in the knowledge of Him, that He would give us the strength to love and serve those who are near and each other. We talked for a long time to God about our plans and chose His life for ourselves. May God now renew us and, in His mercy, use us to the fullest for His Glory. Pray that our souls will yearn to please Him and seek Him. That His Word for us is above all. That Kostya has wisdom for studying and teaching of the Bible, that I can teach the Word to women and children. May God take whatever He wants and give whatever He wants to us. Please pray that we will desire to be pleasing to God as never before, and that the fruit of the Spirit will pulsate in us. So that God gives us the strength to accept and go through everything that He allows, with gratitude and in humility.
Please continue to pray for this couple and all the others whose names you have seen. God has a purpose for them right now, right where they are. "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty ...."
March 4, 2022 News Update
4 March 2022
Here is a list of our loved ones in Ukraine, students, church members and graduates. I have indicated whether or not they are in a danger zone (DZ) as of the time of writing. The situation may change rapidly. Some of these names may seem strange to you, but are common in Ukraine. Even though you do not know these people, God knows, and He will recognize them as you lift them up in prayer.
Lozinskiy-- Oleg, Natasha. Oleg is pastor of our church in Kiev (Word of God Church). He is doing a marvelous job of shepherding the flock during this time. They have many people living in their house right now since they live in a small village about 20 miles from the city center. However, I have been told that a contingent of Ukrainian military are in the vicinity, so there is the possibility of some action. DZ
Lozinskiy-- Vova, Natasha. Vova is brother of Oleg and lives in the same village. DZ
Kizhnyak-- Sergei, Oksana, Vlad, Svyeta. Sergei and family are staying with Oleg at this time. Sergei is a Bible college graduate who teaches a weekly Bible class for the church. DZ
Pinkovskaya-- Natasha, Dasha (special needs daughter, needs medicine). Natasha is Oleg’s sister and is living with him in the village at this time. DZ
Voznuk – Victoria, Maxim, Analiza. This family is also at Oleg’s in the village. DZ
Rekeda-- Natasha, Vitalii – Baryshivka. This is a city close to Kiev. They have had some fighting there. Vitalii is a deacon at the church. DZ
Kravchenko, Vova and Marina. Marina is a college graduate and was the college secretary for several years. They are with the Rekeda family in Baryshivka. DZ
Luda Ugrimova – Irpin. Irpin is a city immediately to the north of Kiev. It has suffered great damage because of shelling. Four bridges that connect it with Kiev have been destroyed to prevent travel to Kiev. Luda is a wonderful evangelist and servant of God. DZ
Sasha and Katya Slavinski – Irpin. Sasha and his bride of just a few months live in Irpin. He is a current student at the Bible college. DZ
Katya Dmitrishin -- western Ukraine. Katya has gone to her parents’ home close to the western border.
Sasha and Irina Stetsenko – Sasha is a deacon in the church and Irina is the bookkeeper for the church and the college. They have evacuated to Poland.
Sasha Vladimirov -- Sasha was one of our early college graduates. He has been a faithful member of the church since its founding. I do not have information as to his whereabouts.
Artak and family – Artak is a Bible college student who came from Armenia to study with us. He and his wife and five children have gotten out of Ukraine, but not back to Armenia.
Ivan – is a current student at the college who has gone to his home in Lviv
Shamrov-- Denys, Alvina, Luke. Denys is a current student at the college. He is from Belarus and was therefore able to leave Ukraine. He and his family were able to get into Poland
Nina Grigolyia – Nina was one of our early Bible college graduates and has a real knack for languages. She teaches both Greek and Hebrew at the college. She was able to go to Poland
Smolyar-- Igor and Yulia and Timothy, Sophia, Daniel – Yulia and younger ones have gone to Poland. Igor and Daniel (about 18 years old) cannot leave Ukraine. Igor is a Bible college graduate and pastors a church in Zhitomir. There has been bombing in that city. DZ
Savchuk -- Lyosha and Alphia and children. Lyosha, a Bible college graduate, is pastor in Chernigiv, a city a couple of hours north of Kiev. His family has gone to Poland. He is in a danger zone.
Petrenko--Sasha and Ira and children. Sasha is a Bible college graduate who has planted a church in Goncharovsk, small town north of Kiev. At this time the town has not been threatened.
Savchenko -- Zhenya and Vika and children. Sasha was our first Bible college graduate. He is an outstanding Bible teacher and pastor of a church in Baryshivka. – Vika and children have gone to Austria. Zhenya is in a danger zone
Antipenko -- Sergei and Olga and baby. Sergei and Olga are both graduates of the Bible college and work with Lyosha Savchuk in the church. They have gone to small town in western Ukraine where it is quiet at this time.
Lidia – faithful woman from the church has gone to Lviv on the Polish border whcre she is saying with Vasiliy and Larissa Chaplayev, who are college graduates.
Anna Maximova , single woman has gone to Poland
Anna – single woman. I don’t know where she is at this time.
Shakraiuk-- Olesia, Vitya, Katya and baby and Roman have gone to western Ukraine where it is quiet at this time. Olesia often works as my interpreter.
Ivan and Kristina – have gone to western Ukraine
Valentina Yakovlina. Old and infirm widow is unable to leave. She remains in Kiev with granddaughter. DZ
Grinyuk-- Kostya and Katya. They are both graduates of the Bible college. They live in a town just south of Kiev. DZ
Oksana Senko – Oksana is an evangelist who has been with CRU for many years. She is in Irpin. DZ
Munko – Viktor, Luda and four children. He is a Bible college graduate and Luda teaches biblical counseling with Coram Deo. Viktor is a Bible teacher at Irpin Bible Church. The church is housing many people in the basement. Viktor and Oksana Senko are able to evangelize and minister to these people. DZ
Munko – Vasily, Marina and four children. He is a Bible college graduate and pastor of Grace Bible Church in Lviv. The Lord provided him with a large house last year and he is now housing many people who have gone to Lviv before crossing the border to Poland.
Jim Dumas. Jim is an American who has lived in Kiev for many years with a ministry to orphans. He is trying to get into Poland.
Anatoly – Bible college graduate. Works in a church southwest of Kiev. He is a veteran of the Ukrainian military, and even though he is over 50 he has put on his military gear and gone back into the army to defend his country. DZ
Families are being split up. Because of martial law in Ukraine, no males between the ages of 16 and 60 are permitted to leave the country. Many wives and their children are fleeing to safety. Please pray for these families.
For those who are in danger zones, pray not only for protection from enemy attacks, but pray also that they will have sufficient food, water, medicine, electricity, heat and fuel for vehicles. Pray also that they do not suffer damage and loss.
Give thanks for those who have been able to get out.
Give thanks for those who are willing to share what they have as expressions of love and grace.
Pray that each one will have a testimony to all who have contact with them, that their faith will grow strong and that they will glorify God in the midst of this conflict.
Pray for the Ukrainian military. Victory is not based on the size of the army.
Pray for president Zelensky and his advisers.
Pray for the spread of the gospel and the strengthening of believers.
March 1, 2022 News Update from Jim
1 March 2022
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
March 1, 2022 News Update
From the website manager:
As you know, Jim and Phyllis have been experiencing this "adventure" with Robby Dean. I didn't receive an update today from Jim, however, there's an update from Robyy that I thought I'd pass along.
Last Bucharest Update
From the time we left the Myers’ home Friday morning at 10.00 we travelled 45 hours through the heart of Ukraine to the southwestern border to cross into Romania. The crossing itself took a little over six and a half hours.
We were met by a former pastor, who knew our friend Pastor Greg Allen from State College, PA. We met Greg in 2016 when attending the Christian Leader Seminar at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial.
You might ask how we managed to be evacuated by Project Dynamo? As I said earlier, it was when Pam [Dean] alerted our Christian Outreach AIPAC friends, one of whom I became long time friends with, Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert.
Each of the connections that brought us to the border were through contacts we developed in our support of Israel. In Gen 12:3 God made an eternal, unconditional promise to Avraham, “Those who bless you I will bless, those who treat you lightly I will judge harshly.” [my translation from the Hebrew] In Gen. 12:1-3 God summarized for Avraham that which would be the core of His eternal promise to the Jewish people. We, the Myers’ in their ministry, and me in my ministry, have always taught the importance of blessing the Jewish people and Israel and never succumbing to anti-Semitism.
In our extraction, God demonstrated His faithfulness to this promise as He has throughout 4,000 years since that was made. And we anticipate the ultimate fulfillment of those promises when Christ returns to fulfill all of His promises to Israel and to establish His glorious kingdom.
This morning I am sitting in the Coanda Airport in Bucharest awaiting our flight to Istanbul and then on home.
Throughout this journey the words of the third verse in John Newton’s well-known hymn have echoed through my mind:
"Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come,
Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home."
It is God’s undeserved mercy that protects, provides, and perserves us. It is by God’s grace through faith in Christ that we are saved. At that instant we become God’s adopted child, and among other things given a divine commission to serve and glorify Him. That is what should define our lives, shape our decisions, and focus our thoughts.
We live in such insane, and perilous times. It is God’s challenge to us to serve Him, and to do so whatever it might cost. Serving Him doesn’t save us, it is motivated by the gratitude that He has already saved us, and when all is said and done, that service is all that we take with us into the presence of God.
All is based on grace, and the proper response is gratitude. Each of us three are profoundly grateful to each one of you for your prayers for us, and many of you prayed hour upon hour, and we will never know how many of you or which ones of you were so motivated by we thank you. God answers all prayers, and this one He answered in the affirmative.
God has intervened to protect us from our enemis, to preserve us through problems of traffic, an overheating bus, enormous crowds, He provided unusally warm weather for February, even through we stood in the 32 degree cold we were warm and it wasn’t wet or snowing. God provided friends to pick us up at the crossing and to take us to their home and feed us.
There was a young man who escaped with us. He may or may not be a believer, we took him along so he could get to Bucharest. He saw things he had never imagined. The unconditional love of two Romanian families that welcomed us and him into their home. It was automatically a family environment. We were well fed, cared for, by total strangers all because we were brothers in Christ and in need of rescue. Only God produces this kind of qualitative, undonditional love for one another.
This young man spent a very long day surrounded by Christians loving him and loving one another. And it was obvious that he had never seen anything like it.
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We must head to the gate now. We thank all of you for your love, prayer, and care for us on this journey.
February 28, 2022 News Update
28 February, 2022
Dear Partners in the conflict,
We thank God for working out many details to bring us out of Ukraine. And we are so grateful for all of you who flooded the throne of grace with intercessions on our behalf. The Father has been pleased to answer your prayers.
While we are not there in the flesh, nevertheless we are there in spirit. We have many loved ones who are in the very heart of the conflict. Please do not let up in praying for Ukraine. Most of our college students have gotten out of Kiev, but some cannot do so. We have an Armenian student who is here with his wife and five children. He has no way to evacuate. Some of our church members have been able to move to other cities to be with family or to places that are not immediately threatened. Many have no place to go and must remain in place. One family had damage to the apartment building in which they live when a rocket hit it. One woman has had to spend nights in the basement of her apartment because of shelling in her neighborhood. Another sent me a photo of her apartment where she has filled the windows with sand bags to provide some protection from flying glass. There have been explosions close by.
Our Hebrew teacher, Nina Grigoliya, along with student Denis and his wife and three-year old son are trying to get out of Ukraine. They were able to get a train to Lviv on the border of Poland. They went to the border where the crush of people is tremendous. They have been standing outside in cold winter weather for about 36 hours as of this writing. They say that they are getting close to the check point. Please pray that they can get across the border.
Denis needs additional prayer in that he is from Belarus. Since Belarus was a staging area for Russian troops who invaded Ukraine, and since rockets were launched from Belarus which targeted Kiev, he may have problems leaving Ukraine and entering Poland. Denis is one of the best students we have ever had at the Bible college, whom I believe will become an outstanding pastor and Bible teacher.
Update: right after I finished this letter I got word that Nina and Denis and his family got across the border. What a wonderful loving Father we have. Now pray that they can find shelter, work and other things that they will need. I am sure that the Lord has a purpose for them where they are and that they will be faithful in serving Him wherever they are.
Pray also for Oleg Lozinski and his wife Natasha. Oleg is pastor of Word of God Church and now has the incredible responsibility of shepherding a flock which is literally under attack. He is tirelessly working to encourage the people, to keep tabs on the circumstances of each family, to know where they are and what needs they might have.
We just heard that there is activity and a number of deaths in the city of Brovary, which is just east of Kiev. Brovary is just a couple of miles from our house where Oleg also lives.
Tomorrow we are hoping to fly to Istanbul and then on to Houston. We will keep you posted.
What a privilege to be alive right now. To think that God has put us here at this time to be His representatives in a world gone berserk! He has entrusted us with the greatest news that could ever be broadcast – eternal life can be yours as a free gift, paid for by Jesus Christ. Just put your faith in Him and you can receive that eternal life, you can have peace with God and peace from God.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.
February 27, 2022 News Update
Sunday, February 27, 2022
How gracious how merciful, how loving is our heavenly Father. We finally got through the border check points about 6:30 this morning. We were met outside the gate by long-time friend Tony Dedan and a new-found Christian friend who works in a church about 20 miles south of the border crossing. We went there for a wonderful breakfast. There we met the family of an American missionary who works in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. He and his wife and five children had a much more difficult passage through the border, which took them more than 24 hours.
After breakfast we drove about 7 hours to the big city of Bucharest where we are being treated to two wonderful nights in a beautiful hotel. We had to get covid tests before we could check into the hotel. We are so glad that all of us tested negative. Robby had tested positive before we left Kiev, so we rejoiced in the results of this test. But, we will have to get tested again to be able to fly to the US on Tuesday. Phyllis is faring well and her medicine has been helping. She is very tired, but doing much better. We are so thankful for all your intercession for us.
We have reservations to fly to Istanbul and then on to Houston. We plan to just relax for a few days and then make plans. Obviously we have no way of knowing how long this conflict in Ukraine will continue, but we are already looking forward to being able to return.
We have received just dozens and dozens of notes and letters from so many of you expressing your concerns, assuring us of your prayers for us, and sending precious promises from the Word of God. How we treasure all of those. Thank you all. All praise and honor goes to our loving heavenly Father who caused so many factors to come together to bring about our salvation from the war zone. In a future letter I will explain more fully how God takes all things and makes them work together for good for those who love Him, for those who are the called according to His purpose.
Thanks to you from our grateful hearts,
Jim and Phyllis
February 26/27, 2022 News Update #3
February 27, 2022 3:30 AM (EEST) - February 26, 8:22 PM CST
Beloved. Prayer Warriors.
We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of your love and concern for us.
It is now 3:30 in the morning. We had to walk a couple of miles with luggage to get to the Romanian border After standing in a huge crowd of people for 3 hours in sub freezing temperatures we finally crossed the border into Romania.
We have been waiting for almost an hour to get to security checks. I hope it will be soon. We have been on the go for almost 40 hours.
Phyllis is holding up well with the help of some medication. We pray the walking and exposure to the cold and lack of sleep will not worsen things.
He who dwells in the secret place of the most high will dwell under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress, my God. In Him I will trust.
All by grace,
February 26, 2022 News Update #2
Update: February 26 10:00 PM (EEST) - came in at 5:11 PM CST
We are still at the border at 10:00 at night. No clue as to how long it will take. Pray for an opening.
February 26, 2022 News Update #1
Update: February 26 (11:09 CST)
After a 27-hour ride, we have arrived at the Romanian border. However the line of vehicles is exceedingly long and could take 18 hours.
It is possible to cross on foot, but we have been warned that this could take 10 hours. We would need to stand up and be outside in very cold and windy places. Neither prospect is attractive.
But we praise God that we are in a place where we are safe.
February 25, 2022 News Update
February 25, 2022
Dear Praying Friends,
It is morning after an uneventful night for us personally. We heard heavy planes last night and a couple of explosions far away, but it was otherwise very quiet.
We live in an old farmhouse in a village about 25 miles from the city center. It would seem that this is a relatively safe place to be at the moment. Several families from the church have come out to our place, considering this to be a safer place than the city.
I have decided to try to evacuate, if possible. Phyllis wants to leave, although she is willing to stay. However, she has been sick and needs to see a doctor. Also, it is an added burden for our people here to help us take care of our personal needs because they need to focus on their own family's needs. They are committed to taking care of us, but I consider it better to get out of their way.
We have made contact with Project Dynamo, the organization that rescued so many people from Afghanistan last year. They are now working in Ukraine also. We are awaiting instructions from them as to a time and meeting place. They will then provide transportation to one the countries bordering Ukraine to the West. Reports are that the lines are very long at the border crossings, but we can wait. Robby has already arranged for someone to meet us on the other side of the border to take us to an international airport.
It was a wonderful time last night as we joined an online prayer group being led by our Ukrainian missionary in Turkey. This prayer meeting lasted for many hours. People joined us from around the world, from Uzbekistan, France, UK, and several others.
Time to go right now.
February 24, 2022 News Update
February 24, 2022
We were awakened before dawn this morning with several loud explosions. So it has begun. Russia has indeed invaded Ukraine. In my recent letter I had expressed that the situation here was largely calm and that I did not anticipate an immediate attack. But, I also said, that obvious things could change in a moment, and that has happened.
All Ukrainian airspace has been shut down so there are no commercial or private planes in the air. The borders have been shut down and travel between regions has been blocked. Martial law has been declared. The highways out of Kiev are in gridlock as many people are seeking to flee the city and country. Banks and ATMs are closed as well. The gas stations and grocery stores have incredibly long lines as people are trying to stock up.
These are the early hours and we have no way of knowing what will happen. Perhaps we will have more clarity in a day or two. In the meantime we are at home and still have electricity and internet. We are not in any immediate danger. We have food and water and plenty of firewood i we need it to heat the house.
Robby Dean is here in Ukraine right now. He came to teach at the Bible college, not expecting that the situation would deteriorate so rapidly. When things started to look dicey and KLM cancelled its flights out of Kiev, he decided to leave early on a different airline. However, when he went to get his PCR test he tested positive for Covid-19. So he had to wait a few days to get another test in order to be able to fly. With the travel restrictions on the highways he is unable to get out of the country at the present time.
We will keep you posted as we are able. I am confident that you will be in earnest prayer for us and for Ukraine. Pray for our safety. Pray that we will find a way for Robby to get safely home.
Pray also for Phyllis who has a severe case of bronchitis right now. Pray that we might glorify the Lord in the midst of all the chaos, and that this might be a great opportunity for the spread of the gospel and the spiritual growth of the believers.
Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabemacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!