May 29, 2023 News Update
We are back. This time we were in Romania and Ukraine. In the past two weeks I logged almost 40 hours of teaching in four different churches in three different cities. The bulk of our time was in a small village of about 500 people named Rikhta, not far from the town of Kamyanets Padilskiy. This was after a long weekend in Chudei. I am quite sure that you have never heard of these places, but the Lord knows them. In each place we found believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and local churches where they worship God Most High. They have not had sound Bible teaching but the people are open to the Word of God and willing to sit for hours to listen to Bible lessons.
One church was interesting because of its background. It is now in Ukraine, but it had been part of Romania before World War II. The name on the church building and the Bible verses on the walls inside are in Romanian language. Many of their songs are still sung in Ukrainian. But I taught in English and it was translated into Ukrainian. At different times in their history they have been under the domination of Germany, Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania.
In some of the churches they meet daily to pray about the war, praying for victory, for peace and safety, for protection for those in the military, for refugees, for families that are separated because of the war. Most everyone has an app on his phone which signals an alert any time that Russian-launched missiles are detected. It was really interesting to be in Bible class when suddenly 25 telephones all began to chirrup loudly. People immediately looked at their phones and then shut them off. The missile was headed for a different part of the country.
The wave of refugees through that part of the country has abated considerably since the beginning of the war, although one pastor reported that they had hosted 15 refugees in the past week, giving them warm showers, hot meals, a place to sleep and a place to do laundry. They stay for a day or two and then travel on to other destinations.
Our time there was rich, a gratifying and rewarding experience as we met Christians living in truly out of the way places. But we were also blessed to have several people who drove all the way from Kyiv to spend a few days with us. There were long lines of cars at the border crossings, and unbelievably long lines of 18-wheelers waiting to cross. The last time we crossed the border into Poland we had to wait about 6 hours in the car. This time, however, we had a driver who took us up to the border. We got out and walked across to meet someone else on the other side. This took us only 10 minutes to cover the 200 yards and go through the check-points of the two countries.
We will be in the U.S. until August when we will go to Brazil for a month of teaching there. In June and July I will be doing pulpit fill. When we left Ukraine 15 months ago we had no idea as to what we would be doing. We are so grateful for the wonderful opportunities the Lord has been giving us. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support.
All by grace,