For the past few days, both Elder Pat McCoy and Elder Dean Robbins have been travelling throughout Ukraine. During their first few days, they were blessed to be able to be part of a pastoral conference. They reported a wonderful day yesterday at the Pastor's conference in the city of Kharkiv. Here are some of their own thoughts on the conference; "We dealt with subjects such as "The Pastor and His Family"'; "Dealing with Stress and Conflict." Today we deal with the issue of "Time Management." What a joy it is to share discussions of these issues with our Ukrainian Brothers. God has blessed us with two days of study and fellowship in Ukraine. We met for two days with 47 brothers who are serving the Lord as pastors or leaders in rehab centers, homeless centers, etc. God is moving in a powerful way using these brothers to reach the unchurched and needy." Please continue to keep Pat McCoy and Dean Robbins in your prayers.
DMI Supporters and friends,
As we closed the year 2016 we were uplifted by the support you, our faithful partners, provided to help the people of Ukraine and Haiti. In fact, by the end of January 2017 we had received funds to help us with several projects.
The DMI board was praying for donations to come in so we could
provide assistance in the following areas.
Build a church in Ivashky, Kharkiv Oblast- ($10,000)
Addition to orphan teen girls shelter- ($8,000)
Support Pastor Vasily Derkach- ($6,000)
Complete LOR annual budget - ($21,000)
Food for Haitian orphanage - (28,600 / $21,000 remaining)
All of this aid came in besides the regular monthly support from many of you. We need the monthly support to meet our regular ministry needs. Our monthly support enables us to provide the assistance Brother Sasha needs to carry out the ministry of DMI in Ukraine. He is traveling all over Central and Western Ukraine checking on the various projects we are involved in. He keeps us informed on the different ministries and what is needed to support pastors and churches. Praise God for all His provision to help so many people in the world.
In 2014-2015 when the war broke out in Donetsk Region there were so many people fleeing the war areas and resettling in Central and Western Ukraine. Your assistance helped several refugee families begin their lives anew. It is so good to go back and visit these families who received our support and see their progress. They now have homes to live in and have found jobs or started their own businesses. One family we assisted with funds to purchase tulip bulbs in 2015 has built a second greenhouse and now plants bulbs in both and sells the tulips each spring. They are doing well.
Now we have another request. The Malov family has been involved in ministry in Ukraine all their lives and has been a great help to DMI. Sasha, whom some of you know, works tirelessly throughout the country traveling sometimes 1,500 to 2,000 miles a week in his visits to churches and rehab centers to pray with them, encourage them and find their needs.
His brother, Andrey, is one of the main leaders of Light of Resurrection. This is the Christian organization we have supported since 1993. They were in Makeeyevka and had to flee the country in 2014. They have re-established in Zhitomir, Central Ukraine. Andrey still travels back to the occupied area to check on churches and pastors who are still in those regions under rebel control.
Their father, Valentin, will be 71 in May. He lives in the occupied area and for some time there were thoughts that he needs to move out of there. He did not like that idea, but with the latest developments in the region and a true border being established traveling into the occupied areas is becoming more complicated. Also, his health is not good and there are no close family members left there, so he is ready to move to Zhitomir area. He wants to live close to Andrey and Tanya.
Brother Valentin has been a deacon in his church for many years. He was a great help to us several years ago when he helped organize two medical clinics for us in different villages. He loves the Lord and is a very faithful, serving Christian.
The Malov family house in Yenakiyevo is worth nothing. The real estate market is down and many houses remain empty since many people have left the town.
If he is able to sell the house it may bring $1,000-$2,000, and that would be a miracle.
This will be a hard move for him to leave the house that has been the family home for so many years.
Andrey has found a good, small apartment in very good condition – worth $26,500, which is a very reasonable price for Zhitomir. DMI would like to help the Malov family purchase the home for their refugee father and help him move from the occupied area to live near his family, continuing to minister to God’s people for as long as he is able.
DMI would ask you to be in prayer for him as he makes this transition while he still is able to leave the occupied area. Pray for him to be able to settle into a new place.
If you would be able to help us financially to serve this faithful man that would be appreciated also.
Continue to pray for the Lord’s work in Ukraine. Pray for Dean Robbins and me as we travel back next Wednesday. We will be leading our first pastor’s conference since 2013. We are excited about this conference with a new group of pastors. Pray that God will guide us as we labor together with them. Pray that we can help and encourage them. Many of these men are new pastors the Lord has raised up. Again, thank each of you for your prayers and support of this ministry.
In the Master’s service,
Elder Pat McCoy
If you would like to make any contribution to this ministry, please consider donating online by clicking the button below.
LOR Mission: Zaporozhye, Ukraine
The Prison Ministry Department includes 7 staff members of the Mission and more than 40 volunteers. In 2014, the majority of the staff members moved to the city of Zaporozhye (Eastern Ukraine), where most of our ministries are concentrated for the moment. Two of our staff members returned to the occupied territory, resuming the rehabilitation ministry and evangelization in prisons. All the ministries of our Department intersect with each other and stem from one another. A final stage of the ministry cycle is the rehabilitation program for former prisoners. After this rehabilitation program the participants of the program are involved in the ministry to others.
Staff members of the Prison Ministry Department, Zaporozhye.
By preaching and various assistance in prisons and tuberculosis dispensaries, we identify those who respond to the call of Christ. When they get discharged from hospital or released from prison, we transfer them to one of the four rehabilitation centers, where we continue to work with them for 6 to 8 months. After the completion of the rehabilitation program, we commit our graduates to the care of the local churches and continue our cooperation with them in the ministry.
Serving In Tuberculosis Hospitals
We have three constant team members and few assistants from local churches of Zaporozhye. During one day, we visit six hospital departments of the Zaporozhye regional tuberculosis hospital, with 500-600 people in them. Not everyone is ready to listen to the Word of God, but about 300 people receive us with joy. For some of them, meeting us is the only joy in the gloomy hospital rooms filled with fear and feeling of death.
In addition, once a week, we visit a TB dispensary outside the city. Hopeless patients who do not have a chance of recovery are sent there. We go into every hospital room, tell people about God, give out the New Testaments and Christian literature. The majority of patients are people who are below the poverty line. Many of them are former prisoners, alcoholics and drug addicts, abandoned by all. These people cannot afford to buy even bare essentials. Therefore, apart from preaching the Gospel, we want to show people in practice the kindness and care of God, helping them to supply their vital needs (medicine, hygiene products, food, glasses, and clothes).
Hard everyday life in hospital rooms leads people to the deepest depressions. We try to enliven their lives, we congratulate them on their birthday, celebrate together Christian fests, fellowship with them on different topics, bring them to the church services. In two hospital rooms, we have put DVD players, so everybody can come to watch Christian movies and programs. At Christmas, we congratulated the patients and medical workers, told them about the meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ, gave them gifts.
Over the past three months, four people came to Christ. Out of those who came to Christ before, two people died and three were discharged from hospital, one of them was sent to Mangush for rehabilitation.
We visit the children's department: with children from two to eight years old we play games and make them feel loved, and with the older children we talk on biblical themes. For Christmas, we brought them a theater performance.
By Brother Sasha:
We live in amazing times, times of upheavals. Times when it is very difficult to maintain confidence and equanimity. It seems like the whole world has gone mad. Events and upheavals follow each other with kaleidoscopic swiftness. Tragedies occur constantly and the memory of them lasts until something else happens.
The world does not look safe. Terrorist attacks, upheavals in different countries, natural disasters, crime and violence cover every continent. It is impossible to hide anywhere.
We conduct our ministry in Ukraine among frustrated, frightened and often embittered people. The shocks of the past few years resound. It seems like the entire nation is struck with fear and pain. Some people withdraw into themselves, trying to limit their contacts with the real world. Some people withdraw into alcohol and drugs. Other people, falling into despair seeing corruption, social injustice and devastation, look for a better life for themselves and for their children and begin to immigrate. It is difficult, very difficult to see any prospect of further life in Ukraine.
It is also difficult to be in ministry because only a person who is consoled by the Lord can comfort other people. However, the minister is not a robot without emotions, the minister himself can experience pain, despair, and uncertainty about the future. I know God, I know His promises, but being human, I experience feelings similar to those people whom I serve. There are times when dark despondency comes to my heart. Discouragement because of the imperfection of this world. Pain from so much grief around. Despair because our possibilities and resources are limited to help everyone we would like to help. Sometimes there is a desire to lock yourself in your own world, in your home, in your family and not let someone else's pain into your life.
But the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter for a reason. He condemns the heart, but also provides comfort. He recalls the meaning of life. He talks about the realities, realities of an earthly and eternal prospect. He enables us to focus internally on true biblical values. He strengthens my inner man and gives me strength to continue my path. And not just continue, but also to find joy in life and in ministry.
He comforts through the Word of God, for example, through this passage from the book of Revelation, chapter 22:11-13 (11) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (12) And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Many times in my life, His Word calms my troubled soul and gives me peace. Is there injustice around? God says, you be just. Is there unrighteousness around? God says, you put on the righteousness of Christ and live this righteousness. Is there devastation around? God says, you build it up, because God is the Creator of all new things and He gave His children strength and ability to restore things around them. He gave us the ministry of reconciliation - the ministry of reconciliation with God. The ministry of restoration of relationships destroyed by sin.
I am thankful to God that He blessed me with many good friends here on earth. For a long time, being the head of LOR and conducting pastoral ministry, I struggled to find people with whom I could openly share my experiences, problems, and the struggle against sin. Basically, I had to solve my spiritual experiences on my own. Often God spoke to me through books, sometimes He sent the right people at the right time, so that even one short conversation could affect the state of my heart.
Today, I am glad that God has blessed me with several close friends with whom I can pray and share my experiences, be open to them and search for God together with them.
I thank God for the team of our LOR ministry. I am grateful to Him for the gifts and abilities of the brothers - for the heart and wisdom of Vadim Chubukin. For the dedication and vigor of Andrey Malov. For the experience of Konstantin Antonyuk. For the wisdom of Andrey Murzin. For the spiritual depth of Igor Semenov.
God especially blessed me, because He brought these and many other friends and co-workers into my life. During the first three months of this year, God gave us a special grace for fellowship and reasoning. It's been three years since Ukraine was plunged into conflict. Nobody expected that this time would last so long. When all LOR team left Makiyivka, everyone thought they were leaving for 2-3 weeks, no more. It is now clear that this conflict and the division of the country will be here for a long time.
Nevertheless, in all that has happened there are some good moments as well. Before the conflict started, the ministry of LOR was mainly concentrated in Eastern Ukraine. Now God has blessed us to serve throughout Ukraine. It is no exaggeration to say that our ministry has multiplied and expanded. Yes, we left in Makeyevka a beautiful mission building, church, and clinic. But in return, God gave us many more opportunities and now we preach the good news of His death and Resurrection to far more people than it was before the war started. Now, I understand that it was God's plan to disperse us throughout Ukraine, and His plan to give us many more opportunities to serve. Glory to Him for His ways that are past finding out.
Each week another journey begins. Meetings with the pastors of Eastern Ukraine. Visiting lonely and sick people. Meetings with refugees who have relocated from the occupied areas of Western Ukraine and much more. I know that on this trip, I will also face a lot of pain and tears. A lot of disappointments, anger and resentment. On the road, I take His Word with me, Word that can comfort both my heart and the hearts of those I will serve. Revelation, chapter 22:
(3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.