Ministry Update for the Week of 4.19.22 – 4.25.22
Dear Friends and Partners, I want to thank you for your prayer; you are a blessing! I have been very busy over this past week with meetings, sermon prep, organizing volunteer activities and preaching. I am trying to set up my preaching schedule for June and July, so if your church is interested, please let me know. I am happy to fly, if outside of Colorado.
Our connection with our ministry partners has been quieter last week than previous weeks. Several are battling exhaustion and sickness and it was also their Easter week in Ukraine (they celebrate the week after we do in America), so we gave them some space. We were able to send an additional $3,000 last week for repairs to their cars, vans, and buses that they are using to distribute food and humanitarian aid. It was providential timing, because within hours of sending the money, two vans broke down! We didn’t raise the $10,000 like I was hoping, but they are still very thankful. We need to help them keep their vehicles running, since this is their lifeline to people needing food and supplies.
The news isn’t much different this week, as to other weeks – just constant shelling and missile strikes across the city – it is happening on an hourly basis. According to the mayor of Kharkiv, there are now at least 2,055 buildings damaged or destroyed. Here is a video one of our partners posted showing the destruction of one of the Kharkiv suburbs:
In the past week, there have been another 15 citizens killed and 55 people injured, by the official count, but I am sure the count is much higher. The good news is that the Ukrainian military has pushed the Russian army away from multiple locations around Kharkiv.
The most disturbing news this week, comes from a report from Kyiv Independent, where a watchdog named, Lyudmila Denisova, informed the newspaper that Russian troops created an internment camp (like a concentration camp) in a factory building in Vovchansk, which is about one hour drive northeast of Kharkiv. She remarked, “Residents [within this town] are tortured and forced to cooperate, she said.” If this is true, then this is horrific news, but I haven’t been able to verify this report.
In our April prayer letter, we highlighted my friend Illya from Bucha. I have asked him to provide me with an update since his family fled across the Ukrainian border. Here is his update:
“Thank you for the prayers of everyone! We are doing well – the German government gave us a house large enough for our family and now trying to get some furniture. Today, we will be meeting with other Russian and Ukrainian speaking Church and our children will be signed up to begin their schooling. I am sad to report that we knew some people that were killed or murdered in Bucha. What hurts us a lot, is a volunteer driver, named Janna, was killed after driving us to the border.”
Please continue to pray and please consider becoming a regular/recurring donor. If you can please advocate to your church on our behalf and see if your pastor would speak with me about visiting your church, it would be a huge blessing too. Here is our link for your gifts to help us help the refugees and those in desperate need in Kharkiv: https://www.slavicchristian.org/donate God bless you in every way; thank you again!