Dear prayer and financial partners,
We greet you with gratitude for your prayers and financial support. Our ministry continues, and we would like to introduce you to the latest news.
The first half of the year 2019 was special in the political sense. In April, Ukraine elected a new president, and in July - a new parliament. We are grateful to God that the elections went peacefully, without any civil upheaval, and our prayer is that the new president and the new parliament could work honestly, and positively influence the state of affairs in Ukraine with their work.
In this newsletter, we would like to introduce you more closely to the key people you financially support in Ukraine, and to present you a very important project that we are working on now.
Please, meet: Eugene Grinishin, planting a new church and ministry for children.
My name is Eugene Grinishin. I was born in 1991 in Makeyevka, Donetsk region, Ukraine (now it is a territory occupied by pro-Russian militants). The Lord granted me salvation when I was 14 years old. After school I was admitted to a seminary. I was happy to be a student there, to study God's Word. At the seminary, I met my wife Yana. God blessed us with a son, his name is Nazar, and he is two years old. I like to spend my free time with my family. I enjoy reading, learning English, playing table tennis, and cycling.
A year and a half ago, God called me to be a missionary and to plant a new church in the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk region. A pastor from Donetsk region called me and invited to move to Pokrovsk. This is a front-line city with a population of about 70 thousand people. Many work in mines, produce coal. Such a provincial city of working-class. And if you look at it from a human point of view, it was not my dream city, and initially I had doubts that God was calling me to this place to do ministry. But now, looking back, I understand that He arranged everything so that we would move here and begin the ministry.
Today we have 18 members in our church. Every Friday, we gather at my home for Bible studies, prayers and fellowship. Every Sunday we have a service where I preach, now we are going through the first Epistle to the Corinthians. We pray for the kingdom of God to expand in Pokrovsk, and for people to come to the knowledge of the Truth.
In 2018, we opened a Day Center for children. This is a place where children from disadvantaged families can feel safe and receive what they cannot get at home. We meet with the children in the church building three times a week and each time we serve a hot lunch for them. On Tuesdays, we help children do their school homework, and study the Bible together. On Thursdays, we have an English club where children learn new words and grammar rules. On Saturdays, we have trainings on various topics (for example: ABC of finance for children, how to build relationships with parents, how to resist bullying and violence, etc.), as well as an art studio where children learn to draw and do useful crafts.
In September, we plan to launch computer literacy and vocational guidance courses. Most of the children attending our children's Day Center do not even think about what they will be when they grow up. We want to show them that there are many interesting professions, and they can become whatever they want, but for that they need to study diligently. Our main goal is to bring the Gospel to children, so that the Gospel would change their hearts. We believe that only Christ can influence their lives. Currently, 22 children attend the Day Center, and six of them attend Sunday services. Thanks to the ministry of the Day Center, we began to get acquainted and connect with parents. Our dream is that we could help a family comprehensively working with both a child and parents. And we also pray for every child who comes to the children's Day Center so that what we do would not be in vain, and the knowledge that they receive from us would help them further in life.
Please, meet: Gennadiy Prosyanko, pastor, ministry in the gray zone of the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
My name is Gennadiy Prosyanko. I was born on October 2, 1963 in the city of Kurakhovo, Donetsk region. Now this city is located 15 km from the demarcation line between the Ukrainian territory and the so-called territory of the DPR.
Here I finished secondary school, and here in 1986 I graduated from Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages of the city of Gorlovka with a degree in English and German.
Together with my wife, who was also a graduate of that university, we were sent to Pereshchepino, Dnepropetrovsk region.
In that city there was an Evangelical Christian Church, and we became its members in 1992. And in 1997, I became a pastor of a small church, which I am pastoring to this day.
God gave us two children: a son Viktor, born in 1989, and a daughter Julia, born in 1993. Both of them are believers.
I clearly remember how the Lord spoke to me in prayer with a passage from the Scriptures "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). I wondered what that meant, but at the same time I was sure that the Lord wanted to tell me something through that passage.
I realized that in this way the Lord was calling me to help my fellow countrymen. We prayed all together in the congregation, and then collected offerings and used them to buy 500 loaves of bread. I loaded bread in my minivan along with Christian literature and clothes that we were able to gather, and went to the war zone. All that time I was accompanied by my brother Vyacheslav and his wife Lyuba.
When we arrived to the residential area of the district center of Maryinka, we saw ruined and burned away houses. There were practically no people on the streets. When we were just standing and watching the ruins in horror, one woman came up to us and asked: “Do you have any food?” We, still in confusion, replied that it was the reason we came, and gave her a loaf of fresh bread and Christian magazine. After that, the woman thanked us and left, but a few minutes later people began to come from everywhere for bread. They thanked us that we came for them, cried and hugged us, sharing their worries and fears. After everything we saw and heard, we still could not recover and did not know what to say to all those poor people. But suddenly those people began to pray and thank God for sending us to them.
As we drove back home, I felt that something had happened to me on that trip. I was not just impressed by what I saw and heard. I became a completely different person.
After that trip, I realized that God gave me a new heart. The heart of a minister to people in need, where there is so much grief and tears, and where the Lord draws me to be an answer to someone's prayers for help, for a piece of bread or for simple human compassion.
Our ministry continues. Many people pray and support us, although lately everyone has become very tired of this incomprehensible and useless war, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to whip up support. But we believe that the Lord will give us everything we need and bless us in the ministry to which He has called us. Please pray for our ministry and for all the people still living in the war zone who are in great need!
Please, meet: Maxim Mamakin, pastor, planting new churches, rehabilitation ministry for addicted people.
My name is Maxim Mamakin. I am 53 years old. I am a dad, I have two sons. One is 20, the other one is 21 years old. They have almost flown out of the family nest. One studies to become a lawyer at the Kiev-Mohyla Academy, and the second one tries himself in modern digital music. He is a freelancer and is trying to find himself. I am a pastor of a church in Kiev and a pastor of a church in Makarov. Also I lead a network of rehabilitation centers. We have 4 rehabilitation centers: 1 center for women, 3 first stage centers for man, and 1 second stage rehabilitation center. We are now in the process of building the house for the third stage rehabilitation center.
For 10 years we have been engaged in the rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addicts. We believe that this is the most open, the most responsive group of the population, the most fertile soil, the one that brings the most fruit. Until recently, we baptized 30-40 people a year. We usually have two baptisms a year, and this is a very significant fruit for me. This is what I dedicate my life to, the measurable result of our ministry. Well, of course, ministry is more than just the baptized.
An especially important for me ministry where I strongly experience God and special joy is teaching the second London Confession or the Baptist Confession of 1689 in the Kiev and Makarov churches. This is a special course to prepare for water baptism those young believers who have just begun to attend the church and take their first steps. This course teaches all Christian teachings. I see how people grow, how they get changed by the Word. This is a great inspiration to me.
In addition to rehabilitation, I do pastoral counseling. I teach at the Coram Deo Bible Institute. I conduct a private practice of Biblical counseling. Different people from different churches come to me, families, ministers, etc., who have problems in life. And of course, this is the most difficult part of the ministry for me, but it allows me to see how amazingly the Word of God works when applied to difficult life situations, how sufficient, strong and powerful the Word of God is in bringing the light to the depths of the human soul and changing the very foundation of the human heart. It offers such a depth of exploration and examination of the human heart! Doing so many ministries makes my life very busy. But thanks to a good team of ministers that we have, everything can function without my direct involvement. And this is such a grace that makes it possible for me to focus on preaching the Word of God, on counseling, on the main points of teamwork, on issues of the strategy of the ministry and spending time with my family.
Now we have moved from Kiev to the countryside, closer to our rehabilitation ministry. We now live in a private house, that God blessed us with. And this brings a huge number of various kinds of issues related to maintaining the house and taking care of it, etc. It’s also a great temptation to do all that, it can take all the time. So when doing this, it`s important to limit oneself and stop on time. Also, recently we got a wonderful pet, his name is Keks. He is 3 months old and he brings us so much joy.
I also play tennis a bit. This helps me to maintain good physical shape, good health, keeps me from getting stuck, and gives a fresh look at reality, saves from depression and despondency, gives a fresh and cheerful outlook on life.
I pray for my wife, who is also very much involved in the ministry, in a more “earthly” part of it, related to construction, reconstruction, issues related to nutrition, medicine, all household issues, issues related to employees, documentation, accounting and etc. I pray for her to remain cheerful, so that this pile of problems would not “crush” her.
My greatest dream is to build a church in Makarov, which would become a center of Christian life in Makarov and the whole district, where people could every day find some kind of group or ministry activity. So that it would be like a big hive, where everything glorifies Jesus Christ, where there are many different directions of ministries. I dream that this church would serve for the Christians of the Makarov district as a stronghold of Christianity.
My dream is that we build one more rehabilitation center. Gradually, from a very poorly organized and poor 10 years ago, our ministry turned into such a complex, organized ministry with premises, houses, people and a team of ministers. It is structured much better than before. Now rehabilitation program consists of three stages. Stage 1 is three months long, Stage 2 - half a year, where a person already works for himself, takes the first steps of a new life for Christ, but is still under the close supervision of the leaders of the centers. He is in such a reporting system and immersed in a Christian atmosphere with obligatory activities: home groups, fellowship, ministries. He is under close attention of mentors. And the third stage - when he began to receive greater freedom and independence, he begins to slowly create a platform and foundation for a future family life, he prepares to start a family, and earns money for it. At the same time, he remains in the ministry of the church. It is such three-level rehabilitation program. Of course, now this ministry is on a higher level than it was before. Now, by the grace of God, a rehabilitation center is being built - a house of 600 square meters to be used for the second stage of rehabilitation. We hope that this house will be completed within a year. Then the second and third stages of rehabilitation will have each their own house.
Over 10 years, about 3,000 people have passed through us. Over the past 5 years, many families have been started within our ministry, about 25 families. Now we have about 50 people on rehabilitation of the first stage, about 20 people are on rehabilitation of the second stage, and 10 people are on rehabilitation of the third stage. I dream for this mechanism to work very well, so that the Makarov and Kiev churches would continue to be replenished by people who complete the rehabilitation program, and develop. So that people from Makarov could join the church, repent in their sins, believe, and strain after holiness. So that the church could have a significant impact on the area. In addition, the Makarov church is developing serious ministry to the people with disabilities and ministry for teenagers. We dream of making it stronger. We have a good worship group, and at least 120 or more people participate in our Sunday services. In the Kiev church, too, many people join. A pastoral team is growing there, and all this is very inspiring when we see how God acts and continues to save people, how He is glorified through people. We are grateful to Him for this.
Sasha Malov: We are honored to support the ministries of these three brothers financially. For their financial support, we need $2,500 a month. Thanks to your donations, we were able to transfer the support to them up to and including September 2019. We ask you to continue supporting them financially so that we could transfer to them the support until the end of 2019. Through the ministries of these brothers, God touches hundreds and thousands of people. Be the part of what God is doing!
Each situation is analyzed by us either independently or with the help of a local church. Our goal this year is to help 300 families. A huge amount $36,000. We spoke with Ukrainian believers and businessmen, and we received a long-awaited response to our requests: they are ready to donate $21,000 if we additionally raise $15,000 (or $50 per family). This is a huge breakthrough and a blessing. We ask you to take part in this great and blessed project and help us raise the missing amount
Thank you for standing together with us! May God bless you, your families, churches and your country!
On behalf of staff members in Ukraine,
Greetings to you, dear partners of the Light of Resurrection Mission!
We appreciate that you remain with us. Thank you for your interest in our ministry, and for supporting us with prayer and financial aid. In fact, we all do one thing, we are co-workers in the work of God.
As a mission, we try to ensure that our ministry is not just about “project monitoring”. One of our values is “to know people”. This includes involvement and being present "in the field". Both are an important part of our lives and minisries. We all visit day centers and various shelters. We visit in the home of people we help from the budget of the Emergency Relief Fund. We communicate a lot with the local ministers.
I would like to tell you about our latest trip to the east in June. It was a bit unusual. First, I had no work related goals. I wanted to immerse myself in the ministry for 10 days. Secondly, I had my son Sasha on a trip with me. We believe that it is important to pass on the spirit of the mission to the younger generation. During these days we went to 10 front-line cities and villages, visited people, delivered food and water, conducted small group studies, and participated in church services. Below are some of our most vivid impressions of this trip.
Opytnoye. The village located near the runway of the Donetsk airport. The epicenter of the shooting war in 2015 - 2016. Now only one road leads to this village - a rough track through minefields.
In the village live 38 people instead of the pre-war population of one thousand residents. Here, almost all the houses are ruined from the shelling. For 5 years, people live without electricity, water, and gas. No store, no hospital. There is nothing here. They cook food on fires or gas burners, volunteers deliver them water. Two times a month, people are taken out to the mainland for different matters. They travel to the nearest city, Avdeevka. That is if the weather permits. When the rough road is eroded by rain or snow, people walk to the city which is 7 kilometers one way.
We brought groceries, water and other supplies with us. We talked to people, listened to their sad stories. They talk about their lives almost calmly, however, their eyes are full of an incredible grief.
One woman, Lyuba, wanted to show us where she lives. This is a partially destroyed apartment building. Lyuba is the only person living there. Her apartment is dark, damp, and gloomy. Windows are covered with plywood or plastic food wrap instead of glass. In winter, Lyuba warms herself near the wood stove which she installed right in the room. This is very dangerous. Near the house entrance there is a place for a fire. There Lyuba cooks food when the gas in a small tank runs out. She smiles and says that she is used to such a life. But we all understand that it is impossible to get used to such life...
In Novgorodskoe, there has been no water for the whole month. Disruptions to water supplies have happened before as well. These disruptions were associated with the shooting war: shells damaged the public water supply. It is said that now there are some other reasons. The Ministry of Emergency Situations brings clean water to the population. Older people struggle to carry a wheelbarrow with containers from a cistern. Together with the local Pastor Dmitriy Chernysh, we delivered drinking water to the neediest people. There was a good opportunity to talk with people about the living water that Christ gives.
In Nevelskoe, near Donetsk, fellowship with the locals was not easy. The Word was received with hostility. Questions were asked like this: “Why did God allow the war? Are we the most sinful? Why did God not punish those who started this war? Why are we suffering for 5 years?”
I remembered the Prophet Jeremiah and his Lamentations. I said, in his time everything was like in our time. Just even worse. And Jeremiah said the same thing to God. He complained, asked questions, lamented. And then insight came: “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, they are new every morning.” And the man again felt the ground under his feet. Let us also try to recognize that the Lord is merciful to us. My listeners were silent, thinking. With that we ended.
After that the woman who was one of the harshest in the discussion comes up. She asked: “Do you have a Bible? Show me that Lamentations that you were talking about. I want to read it myself.” I gladly gave her my Bible. And put a bookmark on Lamentations, chapter 3. She said: “Thank you for listening to us, we need to pour out our soul to someone”.
Her name is Svetlana. Tears covered the eyes as she spoke to me. Mine too. To the lamentations of Jeremiah our lamentations were added... Behold, oh Lord, from heaven the sufferings of people. Comfort them, tear away tears of those who are crying. Do not punish strictly for mourning.
Verkhnetoretskoe is located practically on the line of demarcation. To get here one has to go through an unusual way. The village was badly damaged by the shooting war. The only way to get here is by pontoon ferry, since the bridge is destroyed. There is a family of believers there, Zhenya and Lyuda. Together with Pastor Dmitriy Chernysh we visited them. Before our arrival, Zhenya and Lyuda had gathered neighbors in their yard. We shared spiritual bread with people: read the Word, and prayed together. We also handed them grocery sets .
Novobakhmutskoe. Together with the village head, we visited the needy, delivered grocery sets to them.
Elena, 61 years old. In 2015, a shell hit her house. Miraculously she survived. The International Red Cross has restored her housing and bought some needed equipment for her. But another trouble came. In 2017, Elena injured her leg, gangrene set in and the leg had to be amputated. She has a minimum pension. We talked a little, urging her to hold on to the Lord.
Anna, 66 years old. All her life she worked as a milkmaid at a local farm. Her health was undermined by hard work. She has a minimum pension. 2 years ago her house burned down. At that time many houses burned down in the village in one day. The grass caught fire from the missals and the fire went to the housing of people. She moved into a half-ruined house. She cooks on a wood fire. Anna's son has recently been released from prison. He returned home with cancer. He cannot work, and there are actually no jobs available in the frontline village. He goes fishing in the local pond to be able to provide at least small addition to their support. Anna accepted the grocery set with great gratitude. Attentively listened to a short word about our Savior.
There are also children in this village. We visited Zhenya, she has 3 children. She takes care of them by herself. Her eldest son, Sasha, finished the 1st grade. And younger boys, twins, Artem and Maxim, are 6 years old.
The boys have developmental problems, both physically and mentally. Zhenya`s house also burned down. She lives in an old house that needs repair.
We see that in the Donbas, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Therefore, we would like to organize trips of teams from the peaceful regions of Ukraine for a short-term mission. These teams would be a good help to local ministers. It is also important that young people see the real needs of the people, get a taste of the ministry, catch the fire of the missionary spirit. We do not know yet how to do it all in a right way. Furthermore, we do not have special funds for such trips. We are looking for advice and wisdom in these plans.
We also ask you to pray for the restoration of health of our staff member Igor Semenov. He underwent medical surgery. Thank God, the surgery was successful, the terrible diagnosis was not confirmed. We pray that the Lord will fully restore our brother's health.
Blessings to you in everything -
Andrey Malov and all the staff members of the Light of Resurrection mission
If you are interested in helping DMI support any of these ministries please contact us.
Send your contribution to:
P.O. Box 69
Culloden, GA 31016
Greetings to you, dear friends of the Light of Resurrection mission!
We are sincerely grateful to you that you remain with us!
We would like to present you our news for the first quarter of the year 2019 in the form of a report on the latest trip of our Project Coordinator Andrey Malov.(Andrey is Sasha Malovs brother)
“The first destination point of my trip was the town of Kotelva in the Poltava region. Our good friends, the Knizhnik family, live there. Andrey and Alla have five children, and three of them are adopted. The youngest, Cornelius, is only 9 months old. Recently, the Knizhniks learned the terrible news that baby Cornelius has cancer. Neuroblastoma, third stage, with metastases in liver. Now Alla with the baby is in the regional hospital, in Poltava, undergoing a course of chemotherapy. Andrey stays at home with the other children. In addition to the family, Andrey takes care of the church, as he is a pastor. Moreover, Andrey himself also has cancer, for many years he is been taking strong medicines that suppress cancer cells.
I arrived when Andrey was alone at home as the children were at school. It came in handy as we could talk heart-to-heart over a cup of coffee. Not about work, but about life. About pain, about despair, about disappointment. About gaining hope. About the hand of God. About how God reveals Himself in the valley of lamentation. We spoke frankly, even about a possible tragic outcome and readiness for it. Prayed together. I shared my worries with Andrey, he gave good advices. This fellowship was helpful to both of us. Andrey said that many people support them at this time, including financially. But a lot of money goes on almost daily trips to Poltava, which is about 70 km one way. The road is worn-down, so the cost of the often car repairs is also high. In addition to our one-time assistance, we are looking for an opportunity to support the Knizhnik family on an ongoing basis.
Then I headed to the east. The car was loaded with diapers, which we distribute as a part of the Dignity project. The goal of the project is to make life easier for the sick, to help people who have a delicate problem to gain human dignity. In the war zone, life is hard for everyone, and especially for bed patients. Together with Sasha Radin, the missionary in one of the frontline villages, we visit those who need diapers.
Vera Viktorovna (72 yrs old, widow)
She lives in Krasnogorovka, which is located in close proximity to the front line. Her apartment is on the last, 5th floor. A shell hit the roof of the house, so in the rain the apartment gets flooded. There is no central heating, so an electric heater is the only source of heat. Vera Viktorovna has diabetes. Because of diabetes, she became blind, and two years ago she had both legs amputated. Her son takes care of her. But he drinks, so the care is irregular and not always proper. There is no possibility to call neighbors for help as only a few apartments in the whole residential building are inhabited. Vera Viktorovna is happy with diapers, they are very useful to her. I looked at the photo on the wall. Vera Viktorovna with her husband in their young days. She was beautiful. They were happy. And now it is coldness, sickness, loneliness, helplessness, and fear. We spoke with Vera Viktorovna about Christ, prayed with her. During our prayer, I was ashamed that we ask the Lord to help this poor woman, while we ourselves are in a hurry to get out of there. Together with Sasha, we wiped off with the rags the puddles of water on the floor.
Nina Sergeyevna lives with her paralyzed husband in an apartment on the first floor. The diapers are meant for him. These people heat their place with the wood stove, and use it for cooking the food as well. There is no gas in Krasnogorovka for a long time.
From the area of the five-story buildings we moved to the private sector. We drove past the ruined houses, and burnt cars.
Svetlana Alekseyevna, (88 years old)
She lives alone, she has no relatives. Her friend Mira Alekseyevna visits her. She stays for the night because together it is not as scary in a deserted village. Svetlana and Mira are not only friends, they are also sisters in Christ. They said that they often sing Christian hymns. We proposed to sing together. We sang "You are my holy God, I strive for You, for I know: there is peace in You." A well-known hymn, but in the military Krasnogorovka it sounds in a special way. We brought a grocery set for Svetlana Alekseyevna. We asked if she also needs diapers. Being embarrassed, she said she could do with diapers, because recently she has problems with going to the toilet. Actually, the smell in the room confirms this. It is good that we had diapers for Svetlana Alekseyevna too.
Yulia & Karina
Yulia with her daughter Karina lives in Pervomaiskiy. It is a village near Donetsk, not far from the epicenter of hostilities - the airport. Unlike other houses on the street, their house survived. A fence battered by shrapnel doesn’t count. Karina is 14 years old, she has a severe form of cerebral palsy. Yulia and Karina welcomed us warmly, they are open and friendly people. Despite the fact that Karina hardly moves, Yulia takes her for a walk, if there is no shooting and the weather permits. A teenage girl needs to go out of the closed space of her room. Diapers are simply a vital necessity for Karina. She needs a lot of them, at least three pieces a day. Yulia and Karina are very grateful for the help.
In addition to visiting people, on Saturday I took part in the service at the church for refugees in Pokrovsk. The brothers asked me to say a sermon on the topic "Blessed are the peacemakers". On Sunday, they invited me to have a short speech for the youth at the camp ministry workshop. The youth will conduct summer camps for children from the frontline villages. "Someone has touched me". We also come in contact with people. It is important to feel the touch of faith, to respond to it. To encourage those with whom we adjoin. Immediately after the fellowship with the youth, I headed to the south, to the Kherson region.
Sergey and Tatyana
In the village of Kalinovka we support the Day Center. Sergey and Tatyana moved to the village from Kiev. They came there as missionaries. Adults are not really drawn to the church, but children are more willing to respond to the Gospel. Tatyana is a physics teacher. Every day children come to her, she helps them with their home assignments. Children often come hungry, so aunty Tanya feeds them. Of course, there is always room for talking about the Word of God. Such a simple, but necessary work is being done with rural children. And we call it the Day Center.
I visit another family of missionaries - the Cheban family in the village of Chulakovka. Kostya and Yana moved to this village a few years ago. They have three wonderful kids. They live at the church. And the church is a former collective farm office. Their living conditions are more than modest. But they do not lose heart. They actively work both in their village and in three others. They do multiple ministries: small groups, day camps during all school holidays, sports with children, physical labor - to help those in need to plow the garden, to mow the grass. Kostya passionately talked about all of this while showing photos on a tablet. It is evident that he is bound up in ministry, he is on fire for God. I asked Yana if Kostya was not too carried away by the ministry, if he has time to attend to his family. Yana said that everything is well balanced. I believe her, their family radiates love and mutual care. We are glad that we can support the ministry of the Cheban family.
In addition to these visits, I also had a meeting in Kherson with the Promise ministry for young people with disabilities. Possibly these are our future partners.
The whole trip took a week, I drove more than three thousand kilometers. Most of the roads are in terrible condition, especially after the winter.”
The Light of Resurrection team
Praise God from Whom all blessings come. It seems as though 2018 had just begun, yet we find ourselves at the beginning of 2019. 2018 was one of the most blessed years in our history. A summary of the year includes two trips to Ukraine and one to Haiti. Each of these trips accomplished much.
In February, Elders Sam Bennett, Walt DeLoach, David Summerford and I traveled to Haiti for a pastors’ conference. There were 45-50 ministers present the three days we met at Grand Guave. The theme of the conference was “TULIP”. We gave presentations on the basic doctrines of Grace summed up in this acrostic “TULIP”: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the Saints. Most of these pastors had not heard of or knew very little about these doctrines. There was much discussion after each session and many vital questions were answered. At the end of the meeting they asked us to come back again for further study together. Perhaps in the future we will be able to return.
In May Brother Cliff Proctor and I spent two weeks in Ukraine. While there, we traveled across the country visiting pastors and churches DMI supported during the year. We also visited two new ministries involved in outreach to children. Two families in two different villages are ministering through the week to the children in their communities. Most of these children have had very little contact with other Christians and are being introduced to the love of Christ through the scriptures and through the personal love shown to them by these couples.
Our worship on Sunday was with Pastor Max and a congregation made up of people from five rehab centers for drug addicts and alcoholics. These men and women, in these separate centers, reside in their respective centers during the week. They meet together for worship on Sunday in a city auditorium. There were about 150-200 present. One of the highlights of this 2.5 hour worship was our celebration together of the Lord’s Supper. How beautiful it was to celebrate this Ordinance with these believers!
Brother Cliff and I also visited the construction site of a new house of worship. The land was donated by one of the members of the congregation, DMI furnished the funds for construction and the men of the congregation did the construction work. Final touches were being made on the building making it ready for the first service, which we held on our last trip of the year in October.
October arrived and Elders Craig DeLoach, Dean Robbins and I made our final trip to Ukraine for the year. This trip took us to southern Ukraine for a church leader’s conference. There are so many different ministries being carried on through as many different churches. These ministries include rehab centers, ministry to orphans, ministry to children through daycare centers, ministry to the elderly and ministry to the homeless. Through the past 25 years, we have seen so much progress and aid given to people in Ukraine. There is such a heart to help those in need. Assistance is not “handouts” as we see so prevalent in the States. The assistance is centered on the love of Christ being shown and taught through deeds of kindness and through the ministry of the word of God. These ministry leaders and pastors sometimes feel like they are making little or no progress. Opposition arises and they seem to see no fruit being born for their labors. Thus, they become discouraged. Our ministry, during this conference, was to encourage and remind them that God is with them and will strengthen them and bring them through the tough times.
As we begin a new year, we first want to thank God for His leadership in the ministry of DMI during the past year. He has continued to open doors for service for 25 years. Secondly, we want to thank you for your prayers, participation and financial support of DMI. Without your financial contributions, we would not be able to do what we do. Our budget for 2018 was met and exceeded our anticipated needs. We received over $125,000. All of this went to support three pastors, aid a shelter for teen girls, build a sanctuary and help many poor families with winter help such as electricity, food and heating.
Our budget for 2019 is $100,000. This is based on the average yearly income for the past five years. Below is the breakdown of our proposed support in Ukraine. There are 38 different projects Light of Resurrection is sponsoring. Support comes from the local churches, local business men, DMI and two other western organizations. These contributions aid churches, pastors, needy families, homeless, and children. With the support of DMI these pastors below are able to assist thousands of people in need.
Sasha Malov (mission director)* - $36,000
Pastor Maxime (rehab centers) - $6,000
Pastor Vaciliy (retired- MS) - $6,000
Pastor Gennadiy (aid to soldiers) - $12,000
Pastor Eugene (unchurched youth) - $6,000
**New Van for ministry - $25,000
TOTAL - $100,000
*DMI provides full salary for Sasha Malov for the year. This amount includes his travel expenses each month. Sasha travels over 1,000 miles a week, sometimes nearly 2,000 as he visits the various ministries to see how they are doing and to encourage and strengthen them.
**The new van is necessary for Sasha’s travels each week. There was a new ministry which started this past year and they need a van to carry on their work. He gave them his van and has been using his own personal car for travel. A van is so necessary for him as he carries supplies to the refugees and winter help to the poor.
Please be in prayer that God will provide the needed funds for these ministries. It is amazing what God is doing in the lives of so many people in this one country alone. As we come to the end of the year you may be considering making financial contributions to different ministries. Please remember DMI in your planning.
May God bless you today and always,
Elder Pat McCoy
If you are interested in helping DMI support any of these ministries please contact us.
Send your contribution to:
P.O. Box 69
Culloden, GA 31016
By Brother Sasha
Let me share with you the latest news about the Girls’ shelter ministry in the city of Kramatorsk.
This ministry was started by Pastor Oleg Serbo and his wife Anna in 2016. God turned their attention to the destiny of orphaned girls who graduate from state boarding schools at the age of 17-18 years old and are left to their own - without any skills, without experience, and without any good friends who would be able to help them find their way in life. Moreover, it is especially hard for those girls who have some physical or mental disabilities.
For such girls, the house was purchased, becoming their home during the time they are getting education and acquiring social skills. Most of the girls study in the specialized schools, where they learn a profession such as a cook or a painter. In addition, during their stay in the House the girls get acquainted with the church and with believers.
This House is like a beehive. There are many people there and it is noisy and fun. It`s interesting for me to see how the girls change after they move into this House. At first, they are closed and cautious, but then every time I visit the House, I see how they thaw.
The House is a temporary place to stay. The goal of the center is to help girls as much as possible during 1-2 years, so that they would be able to live independently, though still under the supervision of the House staff. The biggest problem for all girls is not having their own house. The state is obliged to provide orphans with social housing or with the money for its purchase, but not all girls have such an opportunity. Some of them are biological orphans and in these cases, the chances of getting help from the state are much higher. For those girls whose parents are alive, even if they do not care about them, the state social programs do not apply. It is not an easy task to break the bureaucratic obstacles of the state. Often these orphans do not know about their rights, especially those who have mental disabilities.
By the grace of God during two years, the issues of purchasing housing for Masha, Nina, and Nastia were resolved. Now their apartments are being renovated. Ira got married and together with her husband, she is expecting the birth of her child in July.
Vika and her daughter Ksenia are waiting for the completion of construction of their apartment. They will receive this apartment from the state, as they are refugees from the war zone. All the acquisition of housing would be impossible for the girls if the staff of this ministry did not make every effort to help them. For now, none of the girls is ready for a completely independent life, but they are preparing for the day they will leave the Shelter and begin an independent life. Then new girls will take their place in the House. Some of them have a job and already earn their own small money.
One of the most amazing girls in this group is Tanya. She is unusually attached to Anna and other House staff members. It is important for her to be close to someone. She can walk several kilometers on foot just in order to stand next to Anna in her house for a few minutes. She likes to walk and walks a lot. If there is a need to buy medicines and take them to the elderly home (another project started by Oleg and Anna) or to the rehabilitation center for women then Tanya is the first person who volunteers to do this.
Her attachment and care sometimes create tragicomic situations. Once she saw some abandoned graves in a cemetery, fences around the graves were rusty, all overgrown with weeds. It touched Tanya`s heart, and she immediately, sincerely told Anna: "When you die, I will watch over your grave. I'll paint the fence, and clean up weeds." It was so sincere, but with Tanya`s mental development, she does not always understand what is appropriate to say and what is not. Of all the girls, her legal situation is the most difficult. The state did not recognize her as an orphan although her biological parents disappeared from her life many years ago and most likely they are not alive. The staff of the House managed to register Tanya for a mentally disabled pension, although for the sake of it, they had to go through all the circles of bureaucratic hell.
The latest biggest and most joyful news is that thanks to donations from many people, money was gathered to buy an apartment for Tanya. Now the necessary documents are in the process of finalization and soon the deal will be completed. The apartment is located close to the House, which will be good for Tanya when she starts to live on her own.
This is a good ministry and I always rejoice in my heart when I am there. Not everything always goes smoothly, various difficulties and trials are part of life. The girls are not always obedient. They do not always show the fruits of salvation in their lives, but this painstaking work is worthy of respect and prayer.
One of the prayer needs of this ministry is related to funding. Today there are people, mainly from abroad, who financially support this ministry. We are grateful to God for this, but nevertheless we feel the need to search for opportunities for earning money independently. To do this, a poultry-house was built in the yard of the house with a capacity of 300-500 chickens. In the fall, pullets will be purchased and an attempt will be made to start a small business to grow chickens. This is a good idea, so please support us in prayers for the blessing of this initiative.
May the God of peace be with you all!
An example of the ministry of a "small town" pastor, whose ministry is supported by the Light of Resurrection Mission.
Igor Lysykh, his wife Natasha and their three children now live in a small town of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, located 80 km from Kiev. In 2014, when the war began, they moved here from the Lugansk region, from a city in now-occupied territory. There they had their own house, business and a blessed ministry in a small Baptist church. In one day, being able to collect only personal belongings, they were forced to leave their home and like Abraham move to a place they did not know. God led them to Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, where they literally began their life from scratch. Igor actively joined the ministry, started preaching in the surrounding villages and helping other refugees. As a result of his preaching a new church was founded in the village of Vypovzky. After a while, the local brothers where he lived invited him to take a position of a pastor in the church in the city. This is a small congregation of about 50 members. Igor accepted this invitation and began his ministry there. We often communicate with him and visit him.
It turned out that the congregation is in a rather complicated internal state - many people who have been in the church for a long time do not show the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Indifference and apathy is seen on their part. There is a lack of desire to change anything, both in their life and in the life of the congregation.
Once in desperation, Igor said - "I do not see that these people who are in the church can change. It seems to me that it is much easier to evangelize and work with nonbelievers than to expect changes in the lives of current members of the church." One can disagree with Igor's conclusion, but this is the way he sees the situation from within.
Igor asked the Light of Resurrection Mission for help. The congregation does not have financial means to support him full time as a pastor, so we included him in our pastors support program. Now, we not only support him financially, but also help to pay for the rent of a small apartment.
Then there was another request from Igor - there are many dysfunctional families in the city, and in such families children are not given much attention. We need to start a Day Center for such children where they can get attention, care, Biblical counsel, hot food, and help with homework. Maybe working with the children will give access to their parents and will give an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Our team decided to support this ministry. Currently 25+ children come to classes in the day center 3 times a week.
Here is how Igor describes the story of one of the girls for whom the Day Center became the first contact with believers in her life:
"... And this is Sasha, she is 12 years old. She is one of those girls who never skips the Day Center meetings without having important reasons. When you look at her, you can see her shyness and slight lack of self-confidence. But she's very good at making friends. Her friendship manifests in the fact that she first came to the Day center club with her classmate Katya, and now Julia and Alena are coming along with them. All the girls listen attentively to what is said in the Bible lessons, because it's all new to them. At home, nobody speaks to them on such topics. And when we have personal conversations with children, we can see how little they know about God. Sometimes they ask questions that show that what is being said, it does not pass by them, but the Bible truths remain in their hearts.
Having become further acquainted with Sasha, you learn that she has both father and mother, and an older sister who already has a job. None of her relatives know the believers and Sasha is the first one from the whole family who came to church.
Sasha really likes doing crafts. When there are sport games at the Day center, she does not show much interest, often we need to invite her several times, but when it comes to crafts, there she shows special interest and diligence. When Sasha manages to create something special, you can immediately see how she begins to feel more confident and wants to take her craft home. And how important it is to understand that such small moments in children's life are vital, this way children begin to "grow in their own eyes."
When we began to talk her dreams, what Sasha wanted in life, among common childish dreams there were dreams that are mature enough, that she formulated clearly and intelligibly: Sasha dreams of peace for the whole territory of Ukraine, and that people would no longer kill each other, but learn to love and forgive.
It is a special privilege to work with children who do not know and have never heard about God, but at the same time it is a great responsibility to correctly and accurately convey to them the Bible truths, and by reflecting them in our own lives.”
Day Center is a work that does not lead to quick results, but its success is possible only in laborious daily work with children and their parents. Our prayer is for God to use the ministry of the Day Center for the profound transformation of children and their parents, for their salvation and for the filling of His church.
Then Igor turned to us with one more need: preaching at the villages, he saw that old people live in dire need. They live in such poor and meager conditions, especially those who do not have relatives. Many do not have an opportunity to move around and take care of themselves. Many do not have the money to buy firewood to heat their homes.
Igor asked us to consider a possibility of providing monthly assistance to 10 old people and single mothers with children. Help is needed for food, medicine and for firewood in winter. We decided to provide assistance from our Emergency Relief Fund program. We know that Igor and his team not only render material assistance, and help in the practical needs of the elderly, but also testify about Christ to these old people who are very close to the transition to eternity.
Having moved to Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and communicating with pastors of churches in the region, Igor saw how divided churches and ministers are. Every minister lives his own life and tries to solve problems in their churches all alone. Pastors and ministers lack communication. Igor asked us for partial financial assistance in holding a two-day meeting of pastors from that area of the Kiev region. Assistance was provided and preparation for this meeting began.
Again, we give the floor to Igor:
“Greetings to you, dear Brothers!
A few weeks ago, in Pereyaslav there was a pastoral conference for the ministers of the Pereyaslav region.
I would like to share those blessings that we experienced during these two days.
Due to the fact that in order to participate at the meeting the brothers were not only to travel long distance, but also to leave their work, ministry and families, we did realize that they should get something worthy at the meeting. This entailed an additional burden of responsibility.
43 people representing 23 churches managed to come to the meeting. Those are mainly ministers from the villages and from those places where such fellowship meetings of brothers are rare. Because such meetings of brothers were arranged so seldom, the taste of fellowship of brothers was lost. For some it was difficult to make a decision to leave home for 2 days. Some brothers no longer saw it necessary....
At the meeting were raised several topics for discussion and decision-making. To speak on those topics was invited an experienced and respected pastor - Vasiliy Davydyuk. He spoke with brothers on the topic of Unity, Dedication, and the Importance of Fasting in our lives. There were many examples visibly showing how these principles work in life. There were presentations of ministries, which are conducted by brothers in the villages. All who were present at the meeting prayed for these ministries.
During breaks, there was a good time to fellowship while having a tea or coffee together. Sisters prepared delicious lunches and dinner for brothers, which created a very good atmosphere for further fellowship.
One of the difficulties in the ministry is the fact that such motivational and supportive meetings are arranged VERY rarely. At such meetings, brothers see that someone "is in even worse situation than me" and on the other hand, they see who to look up to. Often brothers who are in ministry feel loneliness and the state that nobody needs what they do. Because of household problems and work load, brothers are not able to develop their ministries with more dedication. Such retreats are very helpful in "staying afloat" and keeping in the right direction.
Brothers also asked to support them in prayer for the following needs:
1. Understanding in developing of ministries.
2. Opportunities in developing of ministries.
3. Firmness in decision-making.
4. Building right relationship with the authorities.
I would like to express you a great gratitude on behalf of all the brothers present, for the opportunity to have such a conference!!!”
Igor's ministry is a good illustration of the projects and kind of people we want to support. It is important for us to find the right people, who we can learn to know, can influence and help each other.
We support him as a pastor - praying for the strengthening of the church in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky. We support the Day Center, hoping that God will continue His salvation work in the lives of children and their parents, and will add to the church daily such as should be saved. We support the ministry to elderly people, hoping for the grace of God towards them. We support meetings for pastors of the region, hoping that this will make church stronger and will support tired pastors.
Igor's health is weak and he needs our prayers. Igor does not have his own house, and we intercede for this need. We do not announce the cost of housing for him and his family, but if someone will have a desire to participate in financing this need, please contact us and we will provide you with additional information.
The staff team of the Light of Resurrection Mission sees ourselves as a small particle in His work here on earth. We are small, weak and tired people, but by the grace of God we are, what we are. We praise Him, because He uses us and we are happy to have all our prayer and financial partners together with us. Thank you! May the God of peace be with us all!
Your Servant In Ukraine,
If you are interested in helping DMI support any of these ministries please contact us.
Send your contribution to:
P.O. Box 69
Culloden, GA 31016
Thanks for your continues support and prayers for our ministry in Ukraine.
Pastor Pat McCoy
The staff team of the Light of Resurrection Mission greets you in the year 2018!
In this letter, we would like to share our news, experiences and prayer needs.
The end and the beginning of each year is a special and exciting period for us.
We summarize our results of the past year and plan our activities for the new year.
The philosophy of our Ministry:
We do not want our activities to be focused solely on budgets and programs, but we want to be where God wants to see us, and we want to do what He calls us to do. Probably, there is no greater tragedy for any Christian than not being where they should be, and doing things that God does not call them to do. Our team members spend a lot of time analyzing their hearts and motives for their ministry activities.
One of the questions that we ask ourselves is “what place does our organization have in the dispensation of the Kingdom of God?” What impact do we make on the world around us, on the churches that we minister with, on the people we serve? We are afraid to find ourselves in a situation where our activities serve only ourselves. Then the organization exists just for its own existence and nothing more than that.
The process of such analysis is rather painful for all our staff members, since we have to honestly personally answer the questions about the true motivation of our hearts.
A significant number of our staff members have served in the Light of Resurrection Mission for many years. During this time we have been spiritually growing and forming together. Most of us survived the forced flight from Donetsk because of the war.
We are not as strong and energetic as we were 20 years ago. Some of us have already become grandmothers and grandfathers. Therefore, understanding the limitation of our life on earth, as assigned to each of us, and being at a mature age, we seek God and His guidance for ourselves as well as for the Light of Resurrection Mission more than ever. We want to do what is really important and not waste time on an empty fuss.
With age and spiritual experience, there comes an understanding that God absolutely controls what is happening to us and around us. We do understand that the Light of Resurrection is a small part of His work in Ukraine. We understand that it is His business, His Church, not ours. We understand that He and only He not only determined the future of each one of us but also the place of everyone in His work. Perhaps this seems obvious, but in the context of work of the Light of Resurrection Mission, it gives a special state of peace - we understand and declare that the Light of Resurrection will continue its ministry for the time He appointed for us. If one day comes a time when God will say - The Light of Resurrection has done its work and now I do not need it anymore - I think our team will accept it with understanding and gratitude to Him, for all the good years of our ministry. It seems that He has not yet said this, and gives us His grace to continue serving Him.
Understanding the absolute control of God over all processes gives us peace and contentment about our financial state. Starting each fiscal year, we do not have the slightest understanding about what our budget will look like for the year. It is interesting that when we act in the flesh, trying to solve problems of filling our budget with some aggressive or manipulative methods of fundraising, we are faced with the fact that it does not work and God confounds us for the wrong methods and gives us a great experience of humility. The experience of this year shows that God gives us exactly as much as we are able to bear. Nothing more nor less.
In light of the above, the reader may have a question: “what are the ambitions of the Light of Resurrection team?” Our answer is: to do our work well, even though this work often seems imperceptible and insignificant, and to be ready to leave on time, when it becomes clear that God wants it. In other words, our main ambition is to be the best in what God entrusted to us, and to do everything from the heart, as for the Lord, not for self, but in order to glorify Him. The second passion of our team is the passion for proclaiming the Gospel. We participate in many projects that can be called social, but we keep our firm position that the fullness of the transformation in people's lives is possible only through enlightening of a man`s soul with the light of the Gospel.
Our place in ministry in Ukraine:
These reflections led our team to the understanding of our place in His work. We aspire to be in places and with those people to whom others pay little attention. In working with churches, projects (ministries) and pastors, we first of all try to pay attention to those people and ministries that are located in small towns and villages. The amount of need in such places is huge. Mostly these are small church congregations, which, due to their small number and poverty, do not attract the attention of most large donors. In such places, humanly speaking, it is difficult to assume a significant growth of church congregations. But in these small towns and villages live the people who need the Gospel, and there is where ministry is needed for the poor pastors. We want to be with these congregations and pastors, help them in the implementation of their projects, and serve the poor and disadvantaged. Such people are our main ministry base. Because of their poverty and small size, such congregations cannot finance their projects by themselves, so we come to them and help them. We go where others do not go.
How do we help?
The philosophy of our help is expressed in three components:
Personal care for the pastors, leaders of the ministries and for all who need our help. This is achieved through regular and quality visits, during which people have the opportunity to speak out in a safe atmosphere. As a result, we know people much deeper and are concerned about them, we pray for them, we know their circumstances, etc.
We strive to ensure that the Light of Resurrection Mission has the reputation of an organization that is open for contacts, meetings and interaction. We strive to ensure that all the members of our team are not detached from the realities of life, that they speak a language that people can understand, that they are simple and able to show compassion and help.
Cooperative identification and analysis of needs and problems. Together as we work on a project we ask questions and look for answers together. As a result, we minimize poor-quality or artificial projects. Holding meetings and conferences, e we discuss the needs and practical issues of ministries. It is a big mistake to try to influence without deep immersion in the lives of people we serve. Therefore, influence is possible only when we know situations and circumstances and when people trust and listen to us. One needs to "deserve" the right to influence.
Providing financial assistance and providing channels for access to other resources. In fact, in every sphere of Christian ministry or charity, there are people who specialize in one or another sphere. Someone works with orphans, someone works in the area of rehabilitation, someone helps the homeless, someone works with children with special needs, and someone does pastoral counseling. These people have knowledge and experience. We cannot be experts in all spheres, but we can connect people.
This corresponds with our broader philosophy - we are looking for cooperation and partnership with like-minded people in Ukraine and abroad - we believe in non-competitive partnerships between organizations, national and foreign donors, churches with the same goals and methods of work, and based on mutual trust and respect.
We look for such partners, for whom the expansion of Christian influence in society stands above the interests of their own organizations and we are ready to be such partners for others.
The map represents the work of the Light of Resurrection Mission in Ukraine:
The Light of Resurrection Mission 2018:
1. Administration: 4 staff members
2. Project Coordinators: 2 staff members
3. Prison and Rehabilitation Ministry: 9 Members
· Preaching the Gospel in 14 prisons in Eastern Ukraine
· Rehabilitation center for men, Makeyevka
· Rehabilitation center for men, Zaporozhye
· Rehabilitation Center for women, Zaporozhye
· Rehabilitation center for men, Mariupol
· Adaptation Center for women, Zaporozhye
(The total number of people who presently are in rehabilitation centers
of the Light of Resurrection Mission - 38 people)
· Preaching the Gospel in hospitals for people with tuberculosis and HIV, Zaporozhye
· Ministry to homeless people, Zaporozhye
4. Book ministry: 1 Staff Member
5. Support for pastors and ministers of rehabilitation centers: 31 people
6. Day centers for children from disadvantaged families:
· Kolo Druziv (Circle of Friends), Kiev - work with children with disabilities
· Baptist Church, Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv region
· Reformed Church, Ivano-Frankivsk
· Baptist Church, Strumok, Odessa region
· Baptist Church, Pechanovka, Zhytomyr region
· Baptist Church, Lubar, Zhytomyr region
· Baptist Church, Rhea, Zhytomyr region
· Baptist Church, Mariupol, Donetsk region
· Evangelical Church, Zhitomir
· Baptist Church, Kovel, Volyn region
In total: 195 children and 13 staff members
7. Kids Sponsorship Program:
· Izmail, Odessa region
Total: 93 children
8. Ministry of Oleg and Anna Serbo, Kramatorsk:
· Rehabilitation Center for women - 8 people
· House for elderly women - 8 people
· House for girls orphans - 8 people
9. Ministry for refugees and children from crisis families:
- Izyum, Kharkiv region, 20+ people
10. Ministry to ministers (M2M):
- Care of young ministers, 20+ people
11. Ministry for women in crisis pregnancy (Pro-Life)
- Ivano-Frankivsk - 10+ people
12. Emergency Relief Fund, 50-100 people monthly:
Through this program, we provide not only individual assistance to the needy, but also medical help and help in the form of food to some rehabilitation centers and ministries for homeless people.
13. Winter Help:
- Assistance to churches in the so-called gray zone,
Eastern Ukraine, 500-800 people, 15 church congregation.
The map represents the work of the Light of Resurrection Mission in Ukraine:
We are grateful to God for the finances He trusts us, and for the opportunity to serve such a large number of people. Our prayer is that God through the power of His Gospel would touch unsaved people and would give strength for serving to those pastors and ministers whom we provide help. As always, we profess our dependence on Him and ask for prayers for all the staff members of the Light of Resurrection Mission, both for those who work in the fields, and for those who do an important and inconspicuous office work.
Your Servant In Ukraine,
Here is the story of Vika. Hers is a very sad, but not uncommon story. The story was written and sent to us by Oleg and Anna Serbo. Vika is living at the House of Mercy Shelter for teenage girls in the city of Kramatorsk. This shelter was started several years ago by this wonderful couple, Oleg and Anna Serbo. Vika was taken in by this couple and now has a very important role in the ministry of this shelter. Please pray for this family as they minister to the needs of these girls in Kramatorsk. They are a strong, committed Christian couple. Last year DMI helped them add some needed rooms to the shelter for the girls.
Vika was born on April 30, 1998, in the city of Snezhnoe, Donetsk region. She was a happy, fidgety child, no different from any other kids, but her life abruptly changed at an early age, and her childhood suddenly ended. Victoria`s mother, even though she was a medical doctor, started drinking and soon became an alcoholic. One day, while drunk, she stabbed her husband (Vika’s father) with a knife. At the age of just 8 years old, Vika lost both parents in just one day. Her loving Dad was sent to a hospital with severe wounds, and her Mom was put in prison. Vika was then placed in an orphanage in the Donbass Region. Her Dad was never able to fully recover from the injury and died when Vika was 10 years old. Their last picture together is a treasure for Vika. Her Dad was the only person in her life who really loved her.
In 2014, because of the war in the Donbass Region, children from local orphanages were moved to other orphanages in safer places. Vika was moved to the orphanage of Svyatogorsk, called "The Emerald City". There she met believers from the city of Kramatorsk, who regularly serve in this orphanage.
Vika was a very sincere, modest and serious girl. She was focused on her studies and loved reading. But when she was 16, she fell in love for the first time in her life with a young man from the same orphanage. He told her he loved her and promised her they would one day get married and he will never leave her. For the first time after her Dad died, Vika opened her heart to a man. But when he learned that Victoria got pregnant, he immediately left her and even ran away to live in another city. He came back later but has never shown any serious desire to build a family with Vika.
She was only 16, all alone, and expecting a baby. When it was time for her to give birth, she was brought to the hospital in the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk region (Ukraine Territory), where she met our family (Oleg and Anna). At that time, we had just started our ministry to orphans. The delivery was very hard, but the prayers of the church were heard, and God blessed Vika. He gave her strength and patience to give birth to her beautiful, healthy daughter Xenia. After the delivery, Vika and her baby lived with our family. Vika quickly adapted to the family. She showed herself to be a very modest, obedient girl, and, to our amazement, a very good, caring and sacrificial mother, despite her young age. Together with us, she attended services of our local church in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk region.
At that time repair work was carried out in the house that was earlier purchased to become a home for orphans. At the end of the repair, the House of Mercy (shelter) was opened, and Vika and her daughter moved together with the other orphan girls. While living in the house for orphans, Vika began to attend a local church of Golgotha in Kramatorsk, where she was converted to God.
Now Vika is an integral part of the House of Mercy. She is a very responsible person; we can always rely on her and her help. Her modesty, obedience and her calm and balanced character affect others very favorably. She has a very good relationship with the other girls residing at the House of Mercy. During all these years, God protected, helped and blessed Vika, and we trust that He will continue to lead her. We are very grateful to the Lord for her. Please, join us in prayers for the future of Vika and her daughter Xenia.
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.