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,