A Letter from John & Maria Peace in Podil, Ukraine

by WMD   08-05-2014   0 reads

Podil UBF, Ukraine
August 1, 2014

“Then Peter came to himself and said, ‘Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.’” Acts 12:11

Dear Co-workers and family,

We thank God who rescued Peter from death row by a mighty miracle. It was not his time to die because God wanted him to continue to preach the Gospel boldly. On the other hand we were filled with the fear of God as He executed his hand of judgment toward king Herod, who proudly stole God’s glory for himself. Proud and murderous people will never go unpunished if they do not repent. We are comforted with our study of Acts. In July Misn. John gave the Sunday messages from Acts every week. They have been powerful and full of hope. He is on vacation from school, though he is continuing his on-line Masters program in Biblical studies in Liberty Seminary.

With the political unrest and so many horror stories that we hear going on in the East of Ukraine, we are continually stressed. Though it is relatively peaceful in Kyiv and Western Ukraine, the East is a war zone area! So many lives have been lost not only Ukrainians and Russians but innocent people in the Malaysian flight M17. But we thank God that He is with us. We will not die until it is his time and the liars and murderers will not escape their judgment if they do not repent.

We opened our home to two refugees from the East. They are the parents of Yaroslav Bylinchenko who goes to Kyiv UBF. His parents lived in Slovyansk. They didn’t want to leave but after having no electricity for one month and constant cross fire and bombing around their home and lost of pension it was just too much. The government stopped sending pension money because the separatist were taking the money by gun point. There was no food to buy and no money to buy them with. Between the bombing and cross fire they would run to their kitchen garden and grab their cucumbers and other vegetables. They told us they became vegetarians.

Our renter on the third floor, Noah who also goes to Kyiv UBF and has 4 children took in his wife’s cousin who has a boy and a baby girl. This woman found the little girl abandoned in the train station of Donetsk when she was leaving and so she took her.

Because of the situation in Ukraine the currency had dropped 1/3 of its value. Last year the hrivna was 8 to $1, now it is close to 12 to $1. Our sister Nataliia in Podil even got a 10% pay cut by getting a mandatory week off without pay in order to keep her job. At the same time her work load had increased. So she often works 12 hour days. Many Ukrainian companies went bankrupt. The cost of food has risen tremendously.

In this depressing and difficult situation what could we do? We can do the work of God.
In the beginning of July, Maria Joy came to Kyiv to help us. We decided to do a 10 day English club course for 2 weeks for KMA students. 5 students came and two of them attended all the sessions. They are eager to continue in the Fall. Several other students came from other universities. We thank God for this because it has been difficult to help KMA students to come to Bible Study and the Bible House. I also went to the University and will enroll as a student in the Fall for Ukrainian language study for foreigners. In this way I can improve my Ukrainian language and at the same time be around students in the campus.

Then at the end of July our church did a Saturday Bible School program in the village of Buchmani. We talked about David and Goliath. The Title of our program was Super boy with God. In our small group session we talked with the children about what their fears were. Many spoke about war. One child said that she has nightmares every night. We had the children write down all their fears and then we posted it up on the wall. When Maria Joy gave her message in Russian, she spoke about how David without fear fought the giant Goliath and won. She told them that only God can overcome all our fears. Then she wrote in big, black marker, “God” on each paper that the children wrote their fears in. Before the message Nate who is an American gave a monodrama of the passage. His Ukrainian wife Kate, read the passage in Ukrainian. The children loved it. It was funny and expressive. Nate is studying Romans with John. Last Sunday he brought Sasha who is an embassy worker. He studies English and the Bible with Nate. Sasha liked our service and wants to come again. During discussion he asked who goes to heaven or to hell. May God direct this young man to know Him personally through our Lord Jesus. Though our church is small we thank God that we can be a place of refuge to students, refugees and for the children of Ukraine. It is only our 5 loaves and 2 fish. But with God we can fight all our Goliaths that are ravaging the country of Ukraine. Thank you for your prayers and support.

In Christ,
John and Maria Peace