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.
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.