Podil UBF News for October 2014
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’” --Acts 18:9, 10
Dear Family and Coworkers in Christ,
In Acts, chapter 18, we learned how God encouraged his servant Paul at the time of discouragement. Paul looked invincible like an Abrams M-1 tank, but actually he was human like each of us. He fell into physical, mental and spiritual weakness from time to time. Paul had been attacked and harmed so many times when he spoke the gospel. One night the Lord spoke tenderly to Paul in a vision. He reassured Paul saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul. Keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you.” God was always there with him to encourage him and strengthen him. God also told Paul to keep on speaking because there were many people in the city of Corinth waiting to hear the gospel and be saved. Corinth looked like the most corrupted city in the world and so many evil people lived yet there was hope.
On the last week of October, Lena and I finished studying the book of Ecclesiastes. As she prayed, she asked for God to end the stupid war in Eastern Ukraine. She was angry and fed up. Her mother wants to go back home in the Donetsk region but it is still unstable there. All three of them including Lena’s sister, live in a small studio apartment. Her mother has gone through a lot already in her life, as a single mom and barely escaping the East with her life. She is looking for a job in Kyiv but has been unsuccessful. When she came to our Sunday Worship Service, I gave her the direction to write a book about her life. Lena said she has been doing it every day since I mentioned it. I also told her to find the Bible verses that helped her overcome her difficulties and to put it in her book. In this way she can also encourage other women who also have a hard life.
Also Fedor, who built our house and the father of Shepherdess Olena, joined the Ukrainian army even though he is over 50 years old. He was supposed to go to Lugansk area last month. But by God’s grace it was postponed. He had some time to work for us in October. While talking and praying with him, he has been a changed man. In the past he didn’t like his wife and daughters having prayer meetings at their home. He also suffered from depression and anger. But in the course of living and working among UBF members and attending church he became a Christian. He said he is so happy now that he believes in Christ. He made a promise to God that as long as he lives he will go to all the prayer meetings and Sunday Worship Services when he is not in the army. He said among his fellow soldiers he is the only real Christian. He prays for them and shares the gospel with them.
The war has affected many people in Ukraine. Many have lost their love ones, homes and jobs. There seems to be only suffering and hardship. But in spite of it all God has been with us. There have been three miraculous events in October.
- Parliament election. For the first time in Ukrainian history there is no communist party elected in Parliament. If Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk (these are regions who usually vote for the communist party) were allowed to participate in the election the outcome would have been different. It appears that the communistic era has ended in Ukraine. Thank God.
- Anti-corruption laws. The new government has been passing anti-corruption laws and already 400 top corrupted officials have been fired.
- Gas agreement: For the last five months Russia has stopped supplying gas to Ukraine. But in this month an agreement with Russia has been passed with the help of the European Union. It was a miracle since winter is close at hand. Also the weather in Ukraine has been warm in October and even now this week in November it is still warm. Russia promised to supply us heating gas for all winter. Amen
We really thank God for these three miraculous events in Ukraine. For any lasting change to happen in a nation or to a person, one must go through the fire of purification. We have been praying for God to change Ukraine. Now we are in the process. We thank God for his word in Acts that promises us that He is with us. God has been blessing our English club and our study of Acts. We are continuing to help with the relief effort and support of the soldiers. We were also thankful that Natasha was able to help with the wedding of Andrew and Natalka in L.A. Also for the opportunity for Yulia to visit Poland for two weeks for an cultural exchange program. Out of 1,400 applicants in Ukraine only she was chosen.
Please pray for the city of Mariupol. Now that the Azov Sea is impassable because of the winter storms, it is hard to supply Crimea from Russia. Russia needs a land route to supply Crimea and the city of Mariupol is in that route. There has been heavy fighting in and around that area. Also please pray for the people in Donetsk and Lugansk to have food and a warm place to live. Please pray with us for the war in the East of Ukraine to end soon. Most of all may the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ be preached and accepted in the hearts of the Ukrainian people. May God help us to keep speaking and sharing the gospel with the people of Ukraine!