By Brother Sasha:
Greetings to you, dear prayer and financial supporters!
As the year 2017 is coming to its end, I want to thank all of you who have aided me through your financial and prayer support this year. Your prayers and generous financial contributions have been making great impact on the lives of hundreds and thousands of people in Ukraine. As I always say – only in eternity will we fully understand the impact of our prayers and financial support.
The end of each year is always a busy time in our ministry. We visit all the supported ministries trying to evaluate each one of them and put plans together for the next year. It is always a difficult time, when once again we see the greatness of the need, but having limited resources entrusted to us. We must make a choice on what to support next year and to what extent, and also what ministries we do not have resources to continue.
One of the places I really love going is the city of Kramatorsk, in Eastern part of Ukraine. In my previous reports I’ve introduced to you the ministry of Oleg and Anna Serbo. My recent visit with them was, as always, encouraging and one that encourages us to keep-up in the ministry, by seeing the impact on the lives of people.
Rehabilitation Center For Women:
This year DMI has been able to support the expansion of their house and hopefully very soon they’ll have the new addition to the existing building ready. There will be a dining area and fellowship hall. I met some of the ladies on my last visit. Two new women, Lida and Rita had just arrived. Below is a report on these two ladies.
Lida, 72 was brought to the center the night before I came. When the ladies saw her, they cried because of the terrible shape she was in. As they said to me – we’ve never seen anything like that, she was full of lice and even with the worms on her body. Her leg has a big open wound. She became homeless, with no papers. She has partial loss of her memory. She remembers she was an engineer and was retired and lived in Donetsk region. When the war started in Donetsk region she fled to Kharkov area. Her documents were stolen and for 3 years she lived on the streets with no income and no place to go. By a miracle she was told about the center for women and Anna and Oleg brought her to this place. The ladies washed her and did all the necessary sanitization; burned her old clothes and gave her a place to stay. For the first time in 3 years she slept on a bed and had hot meals. She told me right after I was introduced to her – “I’ll never leave this place.”
Rita, 42 The life of this woman has been ruined by drugs. She’s started on them in 1992. Rita was raised in a good family, but the love of her parents and being in a secular rehabs did not help her. At the end even her Mom cursed her and wished she would die. She has HIV, hepatitis and all kinds of other diseases. She witnessed to me – my life was a hell. She knew about this Christian ministry and one day when she was so close to death, she called Anna and asked her to get her and bring her there. For 2 weeks now she is at the center. Over this time understanding has come to her – only God and His word could treat her and even more – only God could give her salvation. She reads the Bible. She listened; she knows almost nothing, but is showing great desire to get out of her past. Remember Rita in your prayers. There were many women like her, who would come to the center, stay there for a month or so, and then leave – hoping to be able to stay sober on their own. Most of them would get back to the drags or alcohol. May the Lord give Rita strength, and may He open her spiritual eyes to see the real causes of her problems – the fallen nature corrupted by sin.
Home For Elderly People:
In my previous report from Kramatorsk, I have shared with you another need. There were old- aged ladies who, after the rehabilitation center, have no place to go; there were other ladies too in the community left with no relatives and without proper care. Since I wrote about that need, the Lord has sent enough funds to purchase a house which has become a place for 6 women to live there now and for 4-5 more to come there soon. It is indeed great to see how the Lord answers the needs of this ministry. Together with Anna I made a stop there. I love being with them. They’re like kids – asking questions; sharing their life stories and very thankful for this house they have to live in. This ministry was not in our budget plan at the beginning of the year, so the need was to meet their needs through the end of the year. Once again, the support from DMI has make a difference – I had funds reserved for ministries like this and due to generous support from DMI these ladies will have warmth, food and medications through the end of the year.
Shelter For The Orphan Girls:
Every time I go to this shelter I can feel how the atmosphere in the house is changing. When the girls first come to the house, they were reserved and did not talk much. Now right after I got in they are ready to talk and share their joys and sorrows, plans and recent developments. An important part of ministry to the girls is protecting their rights. For example: some of the girls, by the Ukrainian legislation have rights for their own place of residence. In other words the state of Ukraine, has its responsibility for the orphans to provide them with enough financial support to buy a very modest apartment in the area. There are certain limitations on who could participate on the program and who could not.
It is a big and difficult bureaucratic process on who could apply and a lot of orphans in Ukraine were never told (on purpose) they have such rights. For the girls with low mental development, to go through the process is impossible without someone assisting them. Anna is doing a lot for helping the girls on this matter and praise God some of the girls were able to apply for the program and some even got the ownership rights on their own apartments. Of course, they’re not to leave the shelter right away, since they are not able to live on their own yet, but owning an apartment may generate some income for them – like renting the apartment to someone.
She is not qualified for receiving her own housing from the state, but Anna applied for a disability pension to her and she got it. Over each spring and fall, she is not stable, because of her mental decease. Not long ago, she had a nervous breakdown. When she was in a hospital for 2 weeks, other girls from her hospital room got to know where she is from and played a bad joke with her – they told her: Oleg and Anna really do not love you and they’ll put you to the state psychiatric hospital where you’ll be the rest of your life. This poor girl has believed in such a lie, and when she’s got back to the shelter she started to scream at Anna, blaming her for not loving her and wanting her to be sent to a psychiatric hospital. It took a while for her to get calm. What I liked very much – she talked to me herself on her feelings and on how bad she was to Anna. She continues her study at a trade school. Keep this girl in your prayers.
Masha was able to apply for an apartment and got it. Anna helped her to find a good renter and it generates some income for Masha’s daily needs. Her eye sight is better now, and she has her first glasses in her life. An eye surgery could help her, but she is not qualified for it yet, since she needs to get more emotionally stable. Her behavior has been changing in a positive way – if at the beginning she was a big fighter with the boys at the trade school, now she learns how to express her feelings in other way rather then fight.
This girl is showing great progress. She finished her study and now works. The only job she could get in town, was a street cleaner, but she loves being outside. She is the best friend for Masha and to their joy, she also got an apartment in the same apartment house with Masha, just on different floors. Hopefully next year she and Masha will move from the shelter and live in one apartment and the second one will still be rented out to give them income.
She is newly arrived at the shelter. Very smart and good girl, but needs some more time for full adoption at the shelter. She is from Donetsk; she has 4 siblings, but their Mom has had all parental rights taken away and all the brothers and sisters are scattered around in different state orphanages. Because of her mother’s behavior, Lyda’s life was terrible, but you need to hear how well she speaks of her mother. She is not blaming her for anything and when she’s got to the shelter she learned how to pray for her and for her brothers and sisters. It is touching and emotional experience of unconditional love of daughter toward her Mom. Pray for Lyuda to get fully adopted into the shelter’s life and for salvation and heart change of her mother.
Vika & Daughter Xenia:
Vika is growing spiritually and has been grown-up to be a good assistant to Anna and to another lady who cares for the girls. She does not talk much, but has gained great respect of all the other girls. She has grown into a great Christian young woman. She continues her study at a trade school learning to be a cook. After the new year Xenia (her daughter) will go to the kindergarten. Anna is busy with her papers now and there is a chance she’ll get her apartment next year. She is not qualified as an orphan, but Anna has found a way to apply as the single mother and IDP (internally displaced person), since she is originally from the occupied area of Ukraine. It is not clear how successful the attempt to get an apartment will be for Vika. As for the prayer request for her, the biggest need for her now is an apartment.
As you may remember the story of this girl is very special. In her development she like a 7-8 years old. In her case there was no future at all. The only place she could be taken was a state psychiatric hospital where most likely she’d be there the rest of her life. There was no legal solution as for keeping her at the shelter after February next year. The only solution was if somebody will take her under official foster care. Anna and Oleg were willing to take official foster care over her, but there was another obstacle. By the Ukrainian legislation, someone may take her under the foster care only if she would have her own housing which she did not have. I remember talking to Anna on the phone and her crying explaining the problem. Like I said – we always deal with the limited resources and to find extra money is always an issue. But when the Lord starts His work – no one could stop it. In a day or two after that conversation, my brother Andrey got a phone call from a man he never met before and invited Andrey for a short meeting at a gas station parking lot. Andrey called me and asked what to do. I said – you go for a meeting, but if that man will ask you about the needs we have – please, put a priority for Nastya. He agreed and when he met with that man, he found that he is a business man from Germany, who immigrated to Germany from Ukraine. That was like 10 minutes meeting – first contact ever, with no real clue at that moment on how that man got to know about our ministry. At the end of the meeting – that man gave to Andrey $5.000.00 for Nastya’s apartment. We knew that girl is very special to us, but after all that development we have no doubts she is very special to God. Now she is officially under Oleg’s and Anna’s foster care and a happy owner of 2 bedrooms apartment which will provide her with some rent income for her life. She is happy and we all are happy too. After several years of living in a dog house Nastya is now an owner of her own apartment and has a family that loves and cares for her. God is great!
Besides the girls, a single woman with 4 kids live in the shelter. Another woman, Alyona, with her daughter also live there. Ayona is a full- time staff member. In total that gives 13-14 people living in that house at one time. It is crowded, but full of life and love!
Please, keep all these ministries – rehab, old aged women house and the shelter in your prayers! The Lord is at work there and there is no bigger joy as to see those lives transformed by His grace! Thank you for your prayers for me, I need that and appreciate that a lot. May the Lord be close to your hearts as we about to enter Christmas season.
Brother Sasha's Report, August, 2017
Here is a brief update on our ministry here. Recently I visited people and projects in Western Ukraine, mainly those supported by the local supporters.
Regarding my trip – I’ve been blessed so much by ministering to those who are in the ministry serving in the field. Indeed, this was a “ministry to ministers”, which is what is always on my mind as one of the areas where I could utilize my gifts and experience to serve others. God, by His grace, has taught me much over the years of my ministry. It is a joy to share with others in ministry. The Lord has blessed me with good quality time with 6 people we support and with our brother, Sanych, in Rivne. As you know our focus in the ministry is to support financially and spiritually those brothers who minister and often are not seen by other people. Most of the people I have visited do not have anyone with whom they could openly share their problems and challenges. As some people say to me – I just need to have somebody to weep with. I try to visit each person and project we support every second month, which keeps me busy, and usually I spend 3 weeks every month on my visits.
I visited with Vasily and Olga Derkach. It is frustrating to see the decline of Vasily’s health. He is barely able to walk. But such a great joy to see his spirit uplifted and the depth of his relationship with God is just amazing. He sends to all of you brotherly greetings and asked that you keep praying for him for the spiritual strength in the remaining days of his life. He is thankful for the financial support given to him by DMI. His son is building a house for his family and a small house for Vasily and Olga on the same property.
Vasily was able to sell his house in Donetsk, but the funds from that sale are not enough to build a new house. With the funds they have they hope to finish the shell of the new house with the roof and probably windows being installed by winter. They do not have funds to complete the work. He did not ask for any support from us.
We got together at the construction site. As you can see there is a lot of work to be done. No roof yet, just the walls. It does not look realistic to finish all the work on Vasily’s house this year, but hopefully by the winter they could start to do inside work. Obviously the money is the issue for them. Before I came I did not mention that out of DMI “as needed fund” we will give them $4,000 for their house. I kept it a secret until I arrived. So, we came to the construction site –I saw a lot of work which needs to be done. Just one of their sons Pavel is doing the construction. From time to time other sons who live in other towns far away from them may come and help. There are no funds to hire any labor to do the work faster.
I told Vasily and Olga I want to take a picture of them, they posed and I gave to them $4.000 from DMI. You should see how much joy it brought to them. Vasyli is becoming very emotional and with the tears he started to praise the Lord for such an unexpected blessing. I see his health decline and my prayer that the rest of his days he’ll live in more or less comfortable conditions. Lately I’m thinking on how we could assist to those faithful ministers of Gospel who preach in various villages. A lot of villages are dying and all the young people leave to the cities. The older people drink and have no interests in anything.
I also met with Brother Mykola, former KGB worker under the Soviets, who is 66 years old now. Every week he goes by public transportation to the village which is 150 km away from his place and preaches there. The only group which is positively responding are the young people and kids. He preaches in that village for about 10 years, with just 3-4 adult people converted. But he is reaching out to hundreds of kids via summer camps; Sunday schools etc. After graduation from school most of the youth are leaving and moving to bigger cities, like Rivne, Zhitomir, and there some of them join the local churches. So, it is a type of work where a minister will not see the fruit of his work by the growth of his congregation. But he is giving to the young people some hope to get out of darkness and build up a better life, hopefully as the followers of Jesus. Mykola’s frustration is from the fact that not many people want to minister in the small villages. Christians in big city churches enjoy themselves and excellent choirs, but very few want to go out and reach out to the villagers.
Another meeting with the 4 brothers in another region. The brothers are Ivan, Anatoly, Sergey and Vitaly. We had a great bible study together and then discussed the needs and challenges of their ministries. They all also work in the remote villages. There are small congregations there of 19, 31, 32 people. These congregations are mostly old people. There is no future in those villages for young people. There is much Spiritual darkness, alcoholism, and poverty. But there are some kids and young people. However, most of them will leave their villages to the bigger cities in several years. The local schools are open for pastors to go and preach the Gospel. Each one of these brothers work in 3-4 villages. Often there are no paved roads to get to the next village. The youngest Vitaly (28) – all his family have moved to USA. He decided to stay and preach and reaching out to the kids and young people. The rest of the brothers are in the age of 55-60 and again as in case of Brother Mykola do not see younger people who’ll be willing to replace them or support them in the ministry. Real heroes of faith. What we have discussed is the idea on having more systematic work with the kids and teenagers. Like a day care center – where kids may come after school. They may have hot food, bible lessons, general knowledge lessons (English language???) They may have a shower and a washing machine to clean their clothes. (a lot of those kids do not have showers in their houses). There are great needs and great plans. Praying that all will become possible.
Remember to pray for those “unknown” ministers of the Gospel who have labored for years, having very little visible results, but who have impacted hundreds of young souls. May the Lord bless them to keep on going and bless the new generation of ministers to come and to do the work of the ministry.
Yours in Him,
Note from Pastor Pat McCoy, President DMI
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Now in existence for over 24 years, Discipling Ministries International continues to strive to expand its programs and ministries in Ukraine.
It is our mission to take the Gospel into all the world, provide support to pastors, orphans and refugees. In order to meet our mission and provide services in Ukraine, we rely on the generosity of individuals and churches for support. Without the assistance of mission-minded people, we wouldn't be able to serve those in other countries each year.
As we approach the end of the year we need your support. Our goal is $10,000 to complete our support through the end of the year (October – December). We hope that you will be able to help us reach that goal. Your generosity will make a difference in many lives as you enable us to continue in our work.
Remember that every donation makes a difference, regardless of size.
Thank you in advance for your support!
On October 28, we will hold our annual Delegates’ meeting at Ramah Primitive Baptist Church. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided. We invite you to attend this meeting when a full ministry report will be given covering this year’s projects and a projection of the plans for 2018.
November Mission Trip
November 5-17, 2017 a DMI Mission team will travel to Ukraine. Two different events will be taking place in Western Ukraine: two medical clinics set up in Western Ukraine and a conference for pastors and church ministry leaders. This will be the first pastors conference DMI has led in Western Ukraine.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps you are already aware of the situation with this young man, Jean Renaud Dufrene, at The Good Samaritan Project here in Haiti. He is 33 years old but looks like a 13 year old boy. He has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. We urgently ask you to be in prayer with us for him. We did all we had to do at our level in Haiti and have obtained a referral from competent Doctors in Haiti who told us that Haiti is not equipped for such an operation as is needed for Jean. With our small financial capacity, we paid for Jean to obtain a Passport and a Dominican Visa.
On Wednesday, June 21st, I accompanied him to Santo Domingo, which is a nine hour bus drive. I stayed with him for four days but could not get him in to see any Doctor. But thank God after six days we finally got to the information desk of a public general hospital, but were only able to get an appointment to see the Doctor on September 5th.
The bottom line is, we have two options: one is for Jean to wait for that appointment, which will be to redo the same process he undertook in Haiti and wait for a decision. It will apparently be the same -- that he has to have surgery; and he will have to suffer a much longer wait. In this case he may need less than $10.000 US dollars for everything.
The other option is to speed up the process by going to a private Clinic to get a referral from a Dominican Doctor to a semi-private hospital. In this case, he will suffer less as the process will be much faster but the cost will be higher. Likely from ten to fifteen thousand dollars for treatment first and with surgery included.
So please continue to pray for us, especially for Jeanjan. And whatever way the Lord shall lead you to help us crossing this very difficult valley, please do as the Lord provides. We thank you in advance in the name of our Lord.
Pastor Enock Deroseney
Haiti Primitive Baptist Church
All contributions are appreciated and will be used for the purpose you designate.
Discipling Ministries International
P. O. Box 69
Culloden, GA 31016
Just mark your check “Jean Dufrene”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Yesterday I had a meeting with Andrey at his place. We spent a good deal of time discussing our strategy for the work in the Eastern Ukraine, grey zone on the Ukrainian side. He and I are going there at least once a month. He does projects there for KOEH and I’m visiting and ministering to “my people” projects supported by DMI and local business people. Lately Andrey and I were in touch with Gennady and through LOR we support some of his trips over to the grey zone. We are giving over $3,000 for Gennady’s ministry to the soldiers on the lines and citizens in villages in the grey zone.
Andrey and I are very happy with the ministry we are doing. On each trip we visit poor people, both Christian and non-Christian. We give them some help financially or with food and clothing. We are also preaching in the churches in these villages.
We love all we are doing, but recently we have found there are Baptist churches in the grey zone where no pastors and young people remain. I am speaking of groups of elderly people – 20-30 gathering for worship services, but have nobody to preach the Word. Pastors left this area or remained in the occupied area. For example: a lot of village churches around Donetsk were pastored by pastors residing in Donetsk/Makeyevka. These cities are now in the occupied area. It is too complicated now for them to come to these villages on a regular basis and the churches in Donetsk need ministers too. Most pastors have left. Some moved to Ukraine, but a lot of Baptist ministers moved to USA. There is a huge movement of Baptist immigration from Ukraine to USA.
Our hearts ache for those dying congregations and for the elderly people left without shepherds. We’re working on a plan of ministering in the grey zone in a systematic way. We will be going there in shifts; Andrey, Igor from LOR, and myself. We plan on staying there for a week at a time. Our goal is to help the poor and preach in various villages where there are groups of believers. During one week, we will be able to cover 3-4 villages with preaching. Then next week somebody else is going there. It is good for Andrey and me because while visiting those groups, we will still work on our regular projects in the area. Some of those villages are close to the front-line, so we’ll have to have permits from military officials for going there. Please, pray for these plans. Andrey will be heading there next week. I just returned from several big trips – East, South and West.
Did I tell you that our Dad moved to Zhitomir 2 weeks ago? Looks like he likes it there, but he misses our house in Yenakiyevo. Nobody wanted to buy the house, so he just left it empty.
There are many things to praise the Lord for these days:
God’s guidance in our ministry.
The support of DMI for the ministry in Ukraine.
Our father’s safe move to Zhitomir.
We need your prayers as we try to minister to so many people in need.
Pray that God will open doors for finances to come in for aiding these small churches in the grey zone.
Greetings to all!
In Him, Sasha
Brother Mike, an avid outdoorsman, has taken off on a 150-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail. He has hiked the trail or sections of it many times. This hike is for raising funds and awareness of the needs of a group of teenage orphans in the city of Kramatorks, Ukraine. The shelter DMI is assisting currently has 14 girls in residence. The local church began this shelter to help these girls become active in society after they graduate from our equivalent of High School. At 15 or 16 the girls finish school, and the state orphanages release the girls with no help to further their education or find a job.
This shelter provides all the necessities for the girls and helps them to either further their education in one of the universities or develop a skill in a trade school. The goal is to provide a safe place so they can become self-sufficient.
Here is Brother Mike’s schedule.
(A.T.- Appalachian Trail)
Drive to Mt Harbor B&B
(between Roan Mt, TN & Elk Park, NC)
(A.T. mile marker 393.1)
Begin hike - campsite: (A.T. mile marker 409.8)
(Notice the greeting on the right that he received as he began his hike. But this did not stop him.)
Resupply @ Hampton, TN (Mile marker 421.0)
Continue on to Watauga Lake Shelter
Mile marker 428.7
Goal is Iron Mt Shelter w/spring
(Mile marker 442.5)
(The picture on the left was sent the first day before arriving at his campsite for the night. What a beautiful view of God’s creation.)
On Sunday, June 11, he was at Damascus, VA. This puts him a little ahead of schedule.
TN-VA State line (Mile marker 465).
Resupply at Damascus & stay at Dave's Place- in Mt Rogers Outfitters.
Goal is Buzzard Rock (Mile marker 489.7).
Goal is Old Orchard Shelter (Mile marker 509).
Goal is Campsite (Mile marker 526).
Goal is Atkins, VA (Relax Inn) (Mile marker 543.8).
Shuttle back to Mt Harbor B&B & come home
These pictures came in today, somewhere between Damascus and Atkins, VA.
By his note today he may finish tomorrow night. If that is the case, he has really traveled fast and furious. Maybe we will start calling him “Speedy”.
Thankful for his effort to raise funds for the shelter. The funds he has raised will be such a great blessing for all of these girls in the shelter.
This picture is of the girls and their counselors who stay in the home with them, providing guidance and encouragement as they pursue their education.
We are very thankful for Pastor Oleg and his wife, Anna,
and their love for these needy young people.
We want to thank all who have donated for this need. It’s not too late if you want to add your support. All contributions are appreciated and will be used for the purpose you designate.
Discipling Ministries International
P. O. Box 69
Culloden, GA 31016-0069
Just mark your check “Girls’ Shelter”
May God bless you.
Elder Pat McCoy
Leaving the Pastor's conference on Saturday afternoon, we began our travels to the city of Izyum where we would worship on Sunday morning. Pastor Slavic welcomed us. After singing What a Friend We Have in Jesus and Nothing But the Blood, Elder Pat McCoy preached to a crowd of around 70. Following the worship service, we enjoyed a meal in which a member of the church was celebrating her 90th birthday.
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.