Well, we’ll soon be off to Ukraine and Poland, where God has opened many doors of opportunity.
The first half of our trip will be spent in Ukraine, a country which has been through so very much hardship. The ravages over the last century – through communist and nazi domination – have taken their toll on the people. Fear, poverty, and deprivation have brought about wounds of the soul which are hard to overcome. Drug addiction and alcoholism are rampant. So is homelessness.
But Ukrainians are very courageous people.
Some excellent Christian ministries have risen up, and we are going to support them in their mission. Mickey will be teaching on Sunday morning at a spirit-filled church.
Throughout our stay Mickey will be meeting with some area pastors to encourage them and assess their needs for teaching materials. Most people speak Ukrainian, and very few speak English. The follow up will be to supply digital teachings in Ukrainian.
We will also visit an orphanage in Kiev. This facility is bringing in children orphaned by the war in eastern Ukraine. Other children there have mothers who are alive, but unable to care for them. ( Because of drug addiction, mental illness, or poverty).
Suellen will be holding ladies’ meetings at the orphanage and at the church.
There are many needs, but these brave people are so hungry for God’s move in their land. We are exceedingly blessed to be a part of what God is doing there. He is indeed restoring the people to the place of blessing.
Ukraine has an erratic history. Though in the 1000’s Ukraine was a cultural center of the world, and though the farmlands are rich enough to produce grain for much of Europe, and though it was once deemed a Christian nation, the last one hundred years have been horrendous.
First the Russian communists took over the country after World War I, and Stalin’s evil schemes engineered the genocide (by starvation) of over one million people. Then the Nazis came and, of course, Jews were slaughtered. After World War II, Russia was in control again – with an emphasis on “control.”
Though mass genocide wasn’t reinstituted, the murder and “disappearance” of dissidents was the norm. So peoples’ lives were lived for the good of the regime – whatever that seemed to be. Kruschev outlawed Christianity in the country. The nation was declared an atheistic nation – “for the good of the regime.”
Finally, in 1991 the USSR was dissolved and states which chose to become independent were allowed to do so. At last – Freedom for Ukraine…But not so fast! It was indeed free, but Russia tried to maintain strings to bind the nation to its cause. Russia’s choices for leadership kept rising to the top, and decisions which reflected Russian advantage kept being declared.
The winter of 2013-2014 changed all of that. Having had enough domination, some college students organized a protest in the square outside of the government buildings. Others came. They were totally peaceful as they sang songs of deliverance and patriotism for their beloved homeland.
The police weren’t as peaceful. They began showing brutality toward the unarmed young men and women. When that didn’t work, the pro-Russian government leaders turned out some prisoners to do the dirty work. Many young people were killed.
This brutality didn’t work either. The crowd didn’t diminish; it grew larger. People came from all over the country to stand up for the cause of freedom.
Finally, freedom came. The president slipped out of the country to find asylum in Russia, and the Ukrainians were free to hold elections for democratic leaders.
These people were and are so very brave. The eastern borders which connect with Russia are having to fight for their freedom again, but the center of the nation is enjoying peace at the moment.
We are excited to be going to these great people. God has opened the door, and we are walking through it.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support as we go.