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.