NEWS / MEDICAL

Trains of Hope

We had a medical outreach to refugees and everything went very well. We had about 40 people attend the event and almost all the patients were refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk regions (the war zone). We followed the usual plan for our medical outreach events: we began with a short sermon, explained that we are a Christian ministry, and we engage in this outreach as a free service because of the volunteer medical staff and because of the loving donors in the United States who want to bless them. We explained to the refugees that we were here to help with their healing process, but we emphasized the need for them to look to Jesus Christ, who could be their Savior, healer, and provide eternal peace in their hearts.

We had conversations with several patients, but two people stood out to us the most. One was a 75-year-old lady named Tamara, who had to leave her home of Lugansk because of the military conflict. She decided to leave everything and move in with her sister, who lives in Kharkov.

Her decision to leave Lugansk turned out to be a wise one – a mere two weeks after she left, her town’s railroad station was destroyed by bombs. She has been surprised that the conflict has gone on so long, with no political resolution in sight. Her family of four live in a one-room apartment (not one bedroom, but one room) and there is very little space for anyone; but she is thankful not to be hear or be near the gunshots and exploding bombs.She doesn’t want to go back home until everything is resolved, which could be a very long time.

Another woman we served is named Luba (her name means“Love” in English). He story is similar to Tamara’ssituation. Luba lived in a town named Gorlovka (which is located on the border of the military conflict). Several of herneighbor’s homes were destroyed by exploding bombs andshellfire. She chose to leave and move to our city of Kharkov. Like Tamara, her train station was also destroyed a couple of weeks after she departed. By the grace of God both ladies were able to leave shortly after their train stations were demolished, but this destruction hindered many others from leaving. Those left behind have lived with constant fighting and in a spirit of fear.

Luba’s husband was in Gorlovka at the time, protecting their home from robbers, but when the fighting intensified, he was forced to run for his life. Because the railroad station was destroyed, he had to risk his life and cautiously hitchhike his way out of the war zone and reconnect with Luba in Kharkov. They have been reunited, but sadly, they discovered that their home was robbed and destroyed. During our outreach, Luba continuously wept because of the loss she experienced. She is fearful because she must begin anew with no job and with no end to the conflict in sight.

She expressed her gratitude to SCM, Living Hope Baptist Church, and the volunteer medical staff for this medical outreach. We asked her if we could take her photograph, but she denied, for fear that there may be repercussions, if she ever returned to her home town. It was clear to us that Luba was still experiencing traumatic stress and fear.

I read an article today (July 21, 2018) that the war in Ukraine has displaced 1.5 million people, with 10,000 people killed in action. We have helped serve several hundred people over the past five years, but pastor Sergey Datsko (in the photo above) and his church have helped thousands of refugees since the crisis began. We have been honored to partner with Sergey’s church over the past couple of years (ever since the UN refugee camp where we were working closed its doors). SCM hired two employees from his church a year ago to serve displaced and hurting people, like Tamara and Luba.

Waiting for a Doctor, but Meeting Jesus!

Another medical outreach was in the city of Kharkov, in a large college district of the city named Studencheskaya. The local church promoted this event quite well, and as a result, we had about 85 patients. In order to avoid a large crowd with long wait times, we created two events: the first one in the morning, and the second one in the afternoon.

After a short introduction and church service, we began seeing patients. People had their blood pressure measured, filled in the registration forms, and stood in line to see a physician. While they were standing in line, pastor Dmitriy was preaching the Gospel to them and explaining why Jesus was crucified and what was needed for salvation.

This was one of the few medical outreaches when the local pastor was so good at communicating/preaching to those in the line that four people were saved, while waiting for the doctor! We believe that more patients will be saved because of how well the Gospel was presented, the openness of the people, and through the movement of the Holy Spirit. Many of the patients agreed to come back to church.

 

During one of our conversations, we discovered that an elderly lady named Nadezhda (Hope in English), came to Kharkov from Balakleya because of the ammunition depot that was destroyed in Balaklayea (the same location as pastor Sash in the first testimonial). Nadezhda decided to remain in our city of Kharkov for now. When she discovered our medical outreach, she gladly came with a thankful heart.

 

This second medical outreach was very successful and everyone involved expressed their gratitude to all of you -- our American friends, who made this event possible (and may I add all the events possible)!

Bomb Rains Down on Church

The town of Zmiiv, which is a town about 15 miles away from our main city of Kharkov. We did all the usual preparatory work of buying the medical supplies, marketing the event, coordinating the event with the local church, and rallying a volunteer team of doctors and nurses. As is always the case, Christians from the local church advertised the event (as a “free event”) and invited people from the community. And by God’s grace, we had about 25 people in attendance.

 

We shared the Gospel message, provided Christian literature, and invited the newcomers to the church. During one of our conversations, one gentleman inquired about “The meaning of Easter the purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross.” We gladly engaged in dialogue, but the man was not ready to give his life to Christ. The local ministers also gave a short service, so everyone would hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Everyone understood that they were being blessed by Christians, despite no one coming to the Lord.  

 

One of our long-term friends, pastor Sasha Salfyetnikov of Balaklayea came to this event too, but not as a helper, but as a patient; he was struggling with back issues. It was a joy to see a friendly face at this event. He told us how someone sabotaged an ammunition depot in the city (Balaklayea is near the border of the war), and how there were munitions flying all over their city. An unexploded shell from the depot, fell through the roof of the church, causing much damage. Thankfully, only the roof and windows were damaged, otherwise, an explosion would have destroyed much of the church. The repairs on the church have already begun.

 

This event didn’t usher in the salvific results of other medical mission trips, but it was a good remembrance that the war is still active and dangerous. Thankfully, God protected these beautiful Christians from having their entire church destroyed. Perhaps the remembrance from this outreach is that God, in his infinite mercy, protects us, our churches, and our health!

God’s Love Manifested in Babai

In October, SCM had a medical outreach to the village of Babai. There were 22 people who came to this outreach. Alexandra was a reluctant woman who chose to come to our event – and she was so happy that she came, because she was overwhelmed by that professionalism of the medical staff and the sincere Christian love that was shown toward her. She was shocked because secular doctors in Ukraine rarely express concern or care about patients. In fact, everyone had the same testimony: God’s love was manifested to them in a tangible way!

With each patient, the team spoke to them about Jesus and the way to salvation. They had several follow-up questions and were very inquisitive. When we gave the opportunity to repent, our team was surprised that no one came to Christ, considering the dialogue we had with them. The team was a bit sad when they departed, but they were reminded that their job was to manifest Christ’s love, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to usher them into the kingdom. So they departed solemnly joyful, knowing they did their best for the Lord!

Triple Blessings in Balaklayea

Several weeks ago, some of you may have received my email where I linked the video of an explosion in the town of Balaklayea (about an hour drive south of Kharkov). This is the same town where we have engaged in many past ministry events. Recently, our focus has been more on reaching people in the community through these medical outreach events. We decided to engage in three medical outreaches in this same town.

Pastor Sasha Salfetnikov, the senior pastor in this town, did an amazing job of orchestrating these three outreach events. Each event had medical doctors and nurses, church members volunteering their time to provide guests with free haircuts, the church provided free food, and a worship service. At the time of this outreach, the war was still a distance away from them, and our director spoke to pastor Sasha about possible ways to reach out to refugees, but during that conversation, they had no idea at the time of that outreach that the war would come to their town!

During the second and third outreaches, the format was very similar to the first outreach, with an additional 95 people in attendance, mostly unbelievers. Once again, the church offered free food, Christian evangelistic movies for people to watch in the waiting room, free haircuts, physical therapy, and we served the people with medical consultations and free medication. As was the case village Chkalovskoy, the people were surprised, blessed, and very appreciative by everyone’s sacrificial giving. During these next two events, three people repented and accepted Jesus as their Savior and an additional four or five more people came to the church service the next day. All-in-all, we had three events and three conversions – a triple blessing!

Tenderizing Hearts in Chklavosky

On November 29th we had a medical outreach to the village Chkalovskoy. There were about 40 people who came to the event, with 35 people being unbelievers needing medical attention. As with all of our medical outreaches, the even began with a short sermon and an invitation to the church by the local pastor. After the service, people waited to meet with the doctor and get any medications to help their medical condition. While the people were waiting, the team had conversations with each person about Jesus, eternal life, and salvation. Many people had kind words towards us, because of our willingness to offer the medical services for free and to show them Christ’s love, through our acts of kindness (we never charge people for the medical consultations, medication or Christian literature).

One man named Alexander, a 73 yrs old man, was very touched by the medical team of Christian doctors and nurses. It was the first time he had ever entered a Christian church or interacted with sincere Christians. He promised visit the church in the future. Elena, a 63 year old lady, said that she was so touched by the generosity of everyone that she went home and told all of her neighbors about our visit to their village. No once came to salvation that day, but God may have tenderized their hearts and they may visit the church in the future.

Hard Hearts in a Small Village

In another medical outreach, the Baptist medical team of volunteers visited the village of Gineevka with five physicians and two nurses and driver. The event took place in the local church and about 35 people from the village came to this medical outreach, but sadly, not many unbelievers. Just like the other outreach, we engaged in advertising, prayer, and were well organized, but it didn’t have the same results as the other two medical outreaches, but we continue our best for the Lord, but this village had hard hearts and apparently didn’t want much help.

Pre-Evangelism Blessing

We also had another productive medical outreach with “Source of Life Baptist Church” in the village of Rogan, which is not far from Kharkov. No one made a first time confession of faith in Jesus Christ during this outreach, but it was still a very productive “pre-evangelism” trip. Pastor Aleksey gave a huge “thank you” to Slavic Christian Ministries supporters for making this event happen. About 40 people attended our outreach and there was shock and awe within the community that we would have this event for “free.” Here are a few testimonies from Ivan, Ludmilla, and Victor.

“Hello, my name is Ivan and my wife died a few years ago. Since her passing, I have been very lonely. When pastor Aleksey came to my home with the advertisement and invited me to this medical event, I knew I needed to participate. I am embarrassed to say this, but I have lived in Rogan for many years, but this is the first time I have visited this church. I am so pleased that I came because I was able to hear God’s Word and also receive some medical attention that I really needed. I am so delighted I met pastor Aleksey and received some medical attention!”

“Hi, I am Ludmilla. I have been a Christian for many years, but I have had to travel a long distance to attend church. I am so joyful to have met Christians from Source of Life Baptist Church. They have made me feel welcome and I believe I will visit this church again, since it is only five minutes from my home. Thank you for reaching out to me and making me aware that I am invited and accepted. The congregation and pastor are very nice!”

“My name is Victor and my wife and I decided to come to your outreach because we have never attended this church, despite living on the same street as where the church is located. When the church invited us, we thought ‘This is the time to come and check it out.’ While I was there, I took advantage of the moment and asked pastor Aleksey many biblical questions and received many spiritual answers. I believe my wife and I will visit this church for very soon.”

Broken Town, Broken Bodies, Healed Spirits

During one of our medical outreach ministry events, we went to the town of Kovsharovka, which is about 90 miles from Kharkov and has approximately 25,000 residents. During the Soviet Union era, there was a huge factory in this town that employed about 16,000 people. But after the Soviet Union collapsed, so did this town and the people in it — economically, spiritually, and as we have observed physically too. This is a very poor town with many broken lives.

Good News Church sent their volunteer team of doctors and nurses, and as always, we participated in the event administration, purchasing the medication, helping with the transportation costs, and paying for the local advertising of the event (this is the usual routine for all of our medical outreaches). As is always the case, Christians from the local church ended up distributing the flyers and letting everyone know that this was a “free event” and invited people from the community. And by God’s grace, many people came … about 100 people!

It was very cold outside, so everyone had to wait inside in very narrow corridors to keep warm; this was the only struggle during the outreach. While people were waiting, the local pastor with whom we partnered with this day took the patients into a side room and prayed with them.

Despite the cold conditions, I am pleased to report that about 100 people (mostly elderly unbelievers) came for the free medical services we provided. Of the 100 people, 10 people made confessions of faith in Jesus Christ and many more received needed medical attention. During this week, their spirits were truly uplifted!

God Quietly Draws People to Himself

In today’s prayer letter, I am reporting on four additional medical outreaches to Bezludovka, Selekcionay, Merefa, and Serpnyeva. As you will read below, there are no striking  testimonies, but ordinary updates on faithful Christians serving the lost in quiet and inconspicuous ways. There was no fanfare, no elaborate celebration at the end of our events; just loving and obedient Christians reaching out on behalf of our Lord. The result was 22 people making first time confessions of faith in Christ. Here are the updates:

Bezludovka

We had a medical outreach to Bezludovka, where 25 people visited our physicians. No one accepted Jesus as Savior during this trip, but the Lord had us minister to many medically ill Christians. One man was an employee of the Christian Bible Society, where he was responsible for delivering Bibles to churches across Ukraine. Because there was no salvific fruit, SCM returned to this town and had a much better result during our second trip (despite having to deal with the harsh winter weather). During this second trip, five people received Christ as their Savior. All total, about 50 people’s medical conditions were treated. The five people who repented were connected with the local pastor for follow-up on their recent conversion.

Merefa, Selekcionay & Serpyneva

Merefa is a town about 30 miles away from Kharkov. The church in this town has an evangelist passion to reaches villages in their region. After our planning meeting with the pastor, we decided to partner with them in reaching several locations, which included their town of Merefa, as well as, the villages of Selekcionay and Serpnyeva. The medical staff served about 100 people during these three outreaches and 17 of these people accepted Jesus as Savior for the very first time! Some of them have begun attending and worshipping at the local church, which is an encouragement to us.

Valentina, one of the new believers, reported to us that she was “determined” to meet with our physicians once she received one of our flyers. During her visit, she shared many of her life difficulties and challenges. It was evident from the conversation that Valentina knew she was lost and needed salvation – she was very fearful about her eternal future. She was immediately ushered into a conversation with the pastor, who shared the Gospel of Christ and led her in a salvific prayer, where she repented from her sins and received Jesus as her personal Savior. Praise God!

Serpnyeva


This is a small village where we have ministered in the past, God drew about 50 people to receive medical help. This is a huge number of people for the size of this village. Only one person came to Christ, but it was still considered a very successful trip because of the response from the community.

The church had been trying to make inroads with the residents of this village for a very long time, with not much success. This outreach was the first successful outreach in quite some time. The church was pleased that their village was served, physical needs were met, and seeds of the Gospel were planted in the hearts of people. The local pastor thanked God and our medical ministry for remembering their small village. I am confident that they are more hopeful going forward because they now know that God’s Spirit remains near them too (Psalm 139:7-12).

Friends, these are just a few encounters we had during our medical outreaches. A few paragraphs don’t do justice to the long hours and commitment to these events. However, you can see that some people were medically served, some were encouraged, and some were saved. There are no awe inspiriting testimonies to share this month – just the reality of our Lord and Savior’s activity in the lives of hurting people. Some were treated medically, while others received spiritual help – the best medicine of all.

The Tale of “Five” Locations

Village of Mihalivka


Dear friends in America, we had a medical outreach in a small village named Mihalivka, which is in the state of Poltava, about an hour and a half drive from Kharkov. The village only resides 400 people, but it was a wonderful success. It is unknown the last time missionaries arrived in this location, but there have not been many missionaries who have visited within its 150 year history as a village (mostly because of the small size of the village). All said, about 50 people came to the event, which comprises about 12% of the entire village! Most of them were unbelievers, and I am proud to report that three people asked Jesus into their hearts. One of them is an elderly lady named Ekaterina, is a 74 year old lady who never married or had children. She has lived in this small village her entire life. During the Nazi occupation, God’s mercy and grace allowed Ekaterina to survive when so many others perished. Now she understands why – she had not yet met her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in a personal and saving way. It took seven decades, but our Lord found her and touched her heart!

When the pastor explained to her the way of salvation, she listened intently and then gave her life to Christ. She repented from her sins, asked for forgiveness from our Lord, and was delighted that she discovered her newfound identity in Jesus! She thanked everyone who came to minister to the sick and were willing to share the Gospel with her. People like Ekaterina is what makes this ministry so special to us and hopefully you too!

Suburb of Jukovskaya


During this medical outreach in a suburb of Kharkov, only 25 people attended this event. This was a surprise, considering the huge population of the region. Because the number of people were trickling in, many of the team went to the streets to invite people in for a free medical examination. And despite such a low turnout, there were five people who asked Jesus into their heart as their Savior. It goes to show that it isn’t always a numbers game of how many people attend our outreaches, but on how the Holy Spirit is moving in people’s hearts. Because of the team’s necessity of trying harder and seeing positive results, their faith grew, they learned that a little bit of extra effort can produce positive results, and all were blessed that particular day.

Village of Kolomak


When the team traveled to Kolomak, they decided that it was more strategic to rent a large room in the center of the village than anywhere else; this way, there would be better access for everyone in the village. After passing out numerous fliers, about 60 people came to the event – most of them were unbelievers.

Many of the people were skeptical and wondering why we would offer something for “free,” because that is quite unheard of in Ukraine. It was explained to them that our team was comprised of Christians who wanted to express God’s love to them in a tangible way.

One of the women who came was Eva, who was originally from Belarus. She had visited the Orthodox Church a few times, but she had no understanding of the salvation message. When the pastor (who we partnered with in this village) clearly and concisely explained the way to salvation, she opened her heart and accepted Jesus as her Savior. After Eva’s conversion, two more people repented, bringing a total of three people to the Lord during this outreach!

Village of Kachalovka


Before going to the village of Kachalovka, we discovered that some locals were initially “against us” coming to minister in their community. Their spirit was one of fear and anger and their attitude was less than welcoming, to say the least. Nevertheless, the team was not dissuaded by a few naysayers.

During this outreach, our team worked in cooperation with the local hospital, which was somewhat of a surprise, considering the early feedback we received. All in all, about 30 people showed up and five people accepted Jesus for the first time. After the people saw the team’s Christian character, love, and self-sacrifice, the mood quickly changed from negativity to that of joy and elation. The majority of the people were blessed by the education and professionalism of our medical staff and with the free gift of medicine. A few of the patients had not seen a physician in a very long time due to the unaffordable medical costs in their region. So this free event became a blessing to the poorest patients.

One lady, named Maria, who accepted Jesus during this trip remarked, “Thank you for helping us medically, but more importantly, telling us about God. It is so necessary for us to hear this message, because no one ever told us about Jesus – you have a wonderful program!” Time will tell if these new believers’ faith will grow as the local mission pastor follows up with those recent converts. In the meantime, those early antagonists asked us, “When are you coming back?” Now that is a wonderful change of events!

Suburb of Nova Bavaria


Nova Bavaria is also a suburb of Kharkov. During this medical outreach the weather was extremely cold, and there was some concern if many people would endure the elements and visit the physicians. And despite the freezing weather, 40 people withstood the cold and attended our outreach. No one accepted Jesus as Savior during this event, but it was still considered a success, from all outward appearances.

In the beginning, one woman named Masha was unwilling to give us her name or personal information for fear that we were going to try to extort money from her at later time. But after we ministered to her and shared our Christian faith, she asked a simple question, “When is you church service, I would like to visit.” She wasn’t ready to give her life to Christ, but the positive Christian spirit of our team saw that she was willing to seek, learn, and possibly discover more about our Lord. In fact, almost all of the unbelievers asked for the pastor to follow up in inviting them to the church. Of course, those words were music to the local pastor’s ears!

Victoria’s time had come

We had a medical outreach in the town of Pervamiesk, which is about one and a half hour drive away from Kharkov. It is a midsized town of approximately 30,000 people. As is usually the case, we do all of the preparation and advertising for the area, but only 25 people showed up for our free medical clinic. The medical team felt this strong impression from the Lord that they were supposed to return back to the same location for a second outreach. A short while later, the medical team returned to Pervamiesk and another 25 people showed up. In all, we had about 50 people in both outreaches, despite distributing 600 flyers. It didn’t produce as much fruit as other outreaches, but don’t tell that to Victoria! During this second outreach, the Lord drew Victoria, a young 18 year old to us. After receiving medical attention, our team spoke to her about the Lord and she yielded her life to Christ as Savior!

Apparently, her mother is a Christian and had been praying for Victoria for years, but she never saw any movement of the Holy Spirit.

 

Apparently, Victoria needed more than words, smiles, and platitudes that people gave her in her past; she needed Christian love, care, concern, and authenticity. But when the sacrificial love of many people traveled long distances “twice,” because of the “burden” the Lord placed upon our staff and medical team, we now see in retrospect that God was still needing us to reach Victoria, so she could respond to the wooing of her eternal Savior.

Never too Old to Turn to Christ

Dear Friends of Slavic Christian Ministries,

Thank you for helping us in Ukraine. Our first medical outreach was as success, but I am pleased to report that our second medical outreach was even more encouraging!

After distributing several hundred flyers informing people about our outreach event, we saw the Holy Spirit draw about thirty people to our event. It was inspiring to see the people lined up and waiting for us before we opened our doors! We could sense the favor of God on our day. The people’s openness toward us and to the Gospel message was very evident and refreshing. As the patients were being treated by the physicians, they continued to ask probing questions about our church, Christianity, and the Lord. They were asking questions like,

• “What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, and Protestantism?”

• “Who is God?”

• “How can I be saved and go to heaven?”

These exploratory questions are uplifting to us because the people’s openness to the Lord had been waning over the past few years. During this outreach the Holy Spirit was moving and by the end of the day, another four people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the very first time!

I would like to tell you about an 87 year old senior citizen named Ekaterina Stepanovna, who came to our attention during our event. Apparently, she was too ill to visit us, so the medical staff and I drove to her home, examined her, and spoke to her and her family about salvation in Christ alone. The entire family was encouraged by the visit and Ekaterina was very lucid and coherent, considering her age and health. What was so encouraging was that Ekaterina accepted Jesus as her personal Savior at 87 years old! Clearly, you are never too old to accept Jesus in your heart. And our Savior was keeping her on earth until we could visit her! Thank you for everything! – Pastor Igor, Good News Church in Bezludovka

Dear friends, this testimony is very similar to the other medical outreaches we have undertaken. Of course, each trip’s success lies in our Lord’s hands, but it takes the coordination of SCM, the Christian medical community, and the local church to make it all come together. Many man-hours are invested for each event. And by God’s grace, he always allows us to see lives saved and/or healed. I want to thank you for partnering with God in Ukraine and always being there for Slavic Christian Ministries.

Blessings Come in Three’s!

We had a medical outreach in the town of Bezludovka. As usual, we worked in cooperation with the local church to help with advertising and preparing their facility to handle all of the patients who will come seeking medical help. I want to say that the outreach was a success! We had about forty people show up, mostly unbelievers who really needed help. The group of physicians and nurses did an excellent job of ministering to the people’s medical needs.

Many of the patients were pleasantly surprised to see the quality of our medical staff, considering the fact that we were offering our services for free, in the name of the Lord. They were amazed at the attitude and joy of everyone. They truly felt the love of God in the brief encounter we had with them.

One hour after we began receiving patients, one young mother named Galina came to me and the pastor and asked us to help her accept Jesus as her Savior! We were delighted that she was so moved.

Then about an hour later, another woman named Olga came forward with the same request – could we pray with her to receive Christ too! Then if that wasn’t already enough to delight us, a third woman named Elena came forward and had the same request – please help me know Jesus as my Lord and Savior!

It was a wonderful day to see not one, not two, but three different people seeking physical healing and spiritual salvation! Truly, the Lord blessed Slavic Christian Ministries and all of our volunteers during this outreach. Now we are even having the physicians use SKYPE to interact with their patients, so they can receive follow-up recommendations. It was a wonderful trip. Here is what pastor Igor, the local pastor, has to say:

 

Dear pastor Ron and Slavic Christian Ministries,

Thank you for this wonderful medical outreach. We are so blessed to have all of you investing in our community. Because of your team’s help, we have been able to touch a few people living in our region. Truly, Christ was glorified!

As a pastor, I was so glad to see some people pray for salvation and tell me they want to visit our church in the near future. We have now named this new ministry: MINISTRY – 911. Thank you for providing such professional and deeply dedicated medical staff. Everything was done at a very high level of professionalism. – Pastor Igor, Good News Church in Bezludovka

Dear friends, we began our medical mission outreaches about a year and a half ago, and it has been a joy to see how it is maturing. And consistently, we have seen how the Lord has poured out compassion upon many hurting people. As I write this prayer letter, I am reminded of the compassionate heart of our Savior in Matthew 8:5-7.

In this story, Jesus entered Capernaum and “a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.’ Jesus responded, ‘I will go and heal him.’” A simple request and a simple response. Six common, but powerful words that moved the heart of God and healed a hurting person; six words and a willing Savior.

This same humble Lord of ours consistently goes before us and helps those who truly need him, both physically and spiritually. We continue our outreaches because that is what we are called to do in this ministry: to go and heal people, in the name of Jesus. So please continue to pray for us every month that our impact will remain steady and our efforts fruitful!

Tears of Joy

The first woman I would like to introduce to you is Svetlana (in the photo above). Prior to our event, Svetlana had never visited an evangelical church, much less, any protestant church. At first, she was a bit apprehensive, but she quickly felt at home, when she began interacting with all of the Christians, who have such a wonderful spirit about them.

While being treated for her physical ailment, she asked inquisitive questions about our Christian faith. She openly confessed that she was “Looking for God, but didn’t know how to find him.” One of our team members explained to her about Jesus, the way to salvation, and his death on the cross for us, and if she desired to accept him as her personal Lord and Savior, they would be willing to pray with her. And I am happy to report that Svetlana accepted Jesus into her heart that day!

Natalia, also an unbeliever, who has never visited a Christian church prior to this outreach, traveled 20 miles, just to receive some help from us. Natalia and her child were sick and she was a determined mother willing to go anywhere for help. After her medical needs were met, she asked penetrating questions about our faith. And like Svetlana, she too received Christ Jesus as her Savior!

After praying, Natalia wept “tears of joy” for her newfound relationship with Jesus. She was delighted with the medical care, but even more encouraged for her newfound discovery that God loves her. The Holy Spirit drew her 20 miles away so she could respond to the Good News! When the event completed, we gave her a Bible, one of my theology books, and our team drove her back home. The entire ride, she wouldn’t stop asking questions about God!

Dear friends, we believe that both of these women’s conversions were sincere, and we are thankful to have impacted a few more lives.

As you can imagine, there is much preparatory work needed prior to every medical outreach: making facility arrangements, partnering with a local church, marketing within the community, recruiting the medical staff, and praying before the event. Then on the day of the outreach, the team does its best to help others with their physical and spiritual needs. By God’s grace, these two women are the fruit of all this labor of love.

Medical Ministry Update

Last fall, Slavic Christian Ministries began a new medical outreach ministry around our region of Ukraine. We have partnered with non-denominational and Baptist churches, physicians, and nurses to address the physical needs of many hurting people. And so far, it has been moderately successful.

The outreach is quite simple: We partner with local churches, advertise around their town, set up our medical facility with the church, purchase most of our medical supplies, and then prepare to examine the patients who appear for help.

Before the day begins, the medical staff and the local pastor lead the patients in a time of singing worship songs. Then the pastor preaches a small sermon about Jesus being our “Great Physician,” and how he can heal everyone spiritually. Afterward, there is an introduction of the medical staff before the examinations commence.

Just like any medical appointment, the medical staff and volunteers check vital statistics, speak with the patient about the needs, and the physician makes an analysis of the person’s medical condition and offers a plan for restored health.

At the end of each visit, we provide them with Christian literature and ask for the opportunity to tell them about the Good News or invite them to that local church. We usually have a medical team of seven to ten people, as well as, SCM staff, and a few church volunteers from the area. We are averaging about 70 visitors during an eight hour outreach event. Honestly, I was hoping for a greater response of people, but I am pleased with those the Lord has allowed us to help!

Almost everyone who visits our outreach expresses their desire to stay in touch with the partnering church, which is very encouraging! Those who came in the past have seemed delighted about our concern and care for them; especially since our physicians are with higher credentials than are often found in outlying regions of Ukraine! Here are a few short testimonies:

“Hello, my name is Aleksandra; I am a 58 years old lady from Ukraine. I discovered this medical outreach from a friend of mine. When I came, I was filled with absolute peace by the loving spirit of the people here. Because of this event, I visited the church today for my first time! I am very thankful to the church and this ministry for helping me in so many ways. I also want to thank you for the Christian literature and medication too.”
– Aleksandra Fedorovna

“Hello, we are two women from a small town in Ukraine. We don’t know Jesus as our Lord, but after speaking to our friend, Lena, we decided to visit your physicians because of some health issues. We were amazed at the wonderful attitude of the medical staff. We are pleasantly surprised that you would care for us enough to give us free medical supplies and gifts from your ministry! Thank you for caring for us in so many ways!”
– Tanya and Ludmila

“My name is Valentina; I am a senior citizen of Ukraine. In my 76 years of life, I have never visited a local church, but today I decided to come because of the medical attention I was able to receive. The people were hospitable and warm. I was able to receive medical attention, but I can see that Christians do put their faith into practice! I am very thankful to the church and for SCM for making this project happen!”
– Valentina Ivanovna

As you can see from these testimonies, we are reaching people that were previously unreachable. But showing the “tangible” love of God, we are planting seeds and trying to attract people to our Lord and Savior! Lives are being saved through our ministry, but the fields are not as ripe for people coming to the Lord as it was when I first became a missionary to Ukraine ten years ago. But we are still reaching people and impacting many lives as God allows us! Prosperity, secularism, and governmental control have hindered much in the area of salvation. But we press onward in prayer and faith! Please keep praying for salvation to continue in people’s lives. They truly need the Lord!

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