Dear Friends and Partners,
Here is monthly war update – our regular prayer letter will be released in a couple of weeks. After seven months of severe and non-stop shelling, targeted missiles, and exploding bombs, the volume of such attacks have lessened over the past few weeks. Russia is still targeting villages, towns, and our city of Kharkiv, but the frequency of such explosions is less than before, which is good news.
Over the past month, Russia redeployed some of their military might from the east side of Ukraine to bolster their forces in the southern part of Ukraine – I am assuming to keep the land bridge from Russia to Crimea. This left the Russian military vulnerable in our region and the Ukrainian military seized the opportunity to counterattack and they successfully took back large portions of land in our region.
This has allowed our ministry partners to visit some badly hit areas and bring humanitarian relief and biblical resources to thousands of people who were trapped behind enemy lines. What was revealed by the Ukrainian military was horrible – interrogation camps, torture facilities, and graves that were exhumed to discover bodies of tortured adults and youth. I am even more thankful than ever that our friend pastor Sasha left with his life, but I am horrified by the ruthless acts and war crimes against so many innocent civilians.
Since 2014, Russia has annexed five Ukrainian regions: Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk and Kherson and Zaporizhia in more recent weeks. There was a sham vote in the new regions (which of course revealed the people wanting to join Russia), so the Russian Parliament is now in the process of ratifying the voting results of the Ukrainians – but in all reality, the Russian Parliament is just following the party-line.
The real question is what will be Putin’s response after these areas are ratified and accepted by Russia? Will Putin escalate the war even more? Putin publicly stated that any attack upon the annexed lands of Ukraine will be seen as an attack on Russia – so this begs the question, “What will Russia do after the Parliament ratifies these areas?” Ukraine and western countries are not going to relinquish the land or stop fighting just because of this pretend vote. Interestingly, Russia isn’t fully in control of any of these regions and is losing more and more land weekly. So what will be Putin’s next strategy - escalation?
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and other world leaders have criticized Putin’s annexations as a blatant violation of international law that will never be accepted by the vast majority of countries around the world. And since this annexation, the Nord stream pipelines 1&2 have been violently destroyed/damaged, which removes the possibility of any natural gas to western European countries across the Baltic Sea for the foreseeable future.
If you believe western news reports, the Russian media is preparing its people for the possibility of a nuclear event/explosion. There are indications that Putin has mobilized his Poseidon nuclear submarines and that he has sent a fleet of Russian bombers to a Russian military base that houses many of their nuclear bombs. If you believe all of these reports, as I do, then we should be praying consistently for God to intervene and cooler heads will prevail.
In our region, civilians are preparing for the bitter winter ahead. Because many people do not have electricity, natural gas for heat, and their windows were blown out by explosions they are boarding up the holes where windows once were located with wood or plastic; but this will not help too much when it is 20 below zero during the middle of winter. So please pray for our region – especially the elderly and the young!
Here is our link if you would like to financially support our ministry efforts in and around Kharkiv, Ukraine orphans in Romania, and refugees Romania, Germany, England, Spain and Ireland:
Our prayer requests:
1) Please pray for the war to end and cooler heads will prevail; 2) Please pray that people will not starve and freeze in the months ahead; 3) Pray for our ministry partner’s safety as they travel and distribute food and supplies; 4) Pray we can raise an additional $19,000 in emergency funding to make it to the end of this budget year, since our Ukraine budget is almost exhausted for 2022. 5) Pray especially for the senior citizens and children to have food, be warm, and be well mentally, spiritually, and physically as the weather turns cold.
Thank you again for your prayers and support; God bless you in every way!