Sunday, 13 March 2022 03:53

March 12, 2022 News Update

12 March 2022

Dear Friends,

The war is escalating and we are helpless to have any effect on that. But we can pray, we can encourage our people there and we can try to support them.

I received a letter from Vasya Munko, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Lviv. He is housing refugees from Kiev and other places, providing a somewhat permanent dwelling for some and for many others he is providing a hot shower, meals, a place to sleep overnight, and transportation to the border. In some cases he has bought them tickets to get into Poland. He is using this as an opportunity to evangelize the lost and to teach the Word of God to those who are saved.

He also has contact with Luda, one of our dear sisters in Christ from our church in Kiev. He wrote:

On Thursday, Luda Ugrimova called me. She is now not far from Lviv, in a village. I brought her some food and things that she asked to buy. I am very happy for her. Ten other women and children live with her. Luda is doing a good job. She has organized a Bible study for them, tells them the gospel, and prays with them.... Thank God for her.

I just received a telephone call from Oleg, pastor of Word of God Church in Kiev. He has been living in our house in a village outside of Kiev, where it has been relatively safe. There are about a dozen people with him in the house. He just got word from Ukrainian security forces that the village must be evacuated because they expect Russian tanks and troops in the next day or two. This is very close to the city of Brovary which has been much in the news the past few days. Brovary is about 15 miles to the east of Kiev.

It is midnight there now and they cannot go out at night. So at first light they will pack everyone up and go into the city of Kiev. This will be a dangerous trip. They will take shelter in the Bible college and a nearby apartment. As you know, Kiev has been the target of many missiles and bombs and is being encircled by the Russians. The bombing is indiscriminate, falling on civilian structures, including apartment buildings, hospitals and churches. So, in reality there are no safe places. Imagine if you had to evacuate your home with the possibility of never returning. You can take with you only basic necessities. What will you take? Everything else may be gone forever.

But the eternal God is our refuge, our fortress, our pavilion, our hiding place. We take shelter under His wings. Please be in much prayer for our loved ones in Kiev and the other places in Ukraine that are in grave danger.

Many have asked about making donations to help the people there. At this time we are able to wire funds to a few trusted Christians there who will distribute it to those in need or use the funds to buy food, medicine and other necessities. If you choose to help in this way, attach a note to your check stating that it is for Ukraine relief. Or go to our website and use the PayPal option.

In the everlasting arms of our eternal God,

Jim

Friday, 11 March 2022 22:42

March 11, 2022 News Update

11 March 2022

Dear Friends,

The war in Ukraine continues with Russia increasing its attack against many cities, targeting them with long-range cruise and ballistic missile. They are targeting airports and power generating stations, but the missiles seem to lack accuracy and frequently hit civilians. Their activity around Kyiv is escalating. Now the Russians are targeting cities in western Ukraine which had been quite safe until now. Many who had fled from Kyiv and other cities in the east had taken refuge in those cities.

I just received a note from Denis Shamrov, one of our students in Word of God College. Denis is perhaps the best student I have ever had. He is smart and he is diligent. He has an intense desire to learn the Word of God, and he is also a very effective communicator. He and his wife, Alvina, and their son Luka have fled to Poland. They are Belarussian citizens. He does not want to return to Belarus because it is likely that he would be drafted into the army and then required to fight against Ukraine. Here is the note he sent this morning:

Mr Myers. We are grateful for the help you have given us. May God richly bless you for this. Thank you for giving us so much in these two years. For teaching us how to trust God and rely on Him in everything. It helps us a lot at this time. Thank you for giving me assignments to memorize Bible verses. These verses give us strength in difficult times because we remember them. Please pray that the Lord will help us to legally obtain documents here, since we do not want to return to Belarus. Military mobilization is possible there. And there, many justify Russia, and we are against it. so if you refuse, you may face a prison. Therefore, it is dangerous for us to return to Belarus now. And we want to formalize our citizenship where possible. Pray that we will have the opportunity to serve God where we are. We love you, we pray for you. We are very happy that you are safe. Greetings from Alvina and Luka.

Denis Family Photo 3 22

Pray for Denis and his family now without a home, living in a foreign country. He needs to get legal status in that country (or some other country) so that he can find work and settle into a normal lifestyle. We have been able to establish contact with him and send him financial aid. He is a fine young man and I am confident that he will be a great servant of the Lord. I am eager to see how the Lord will use him.

By grace alone,

Jim

Friday, 11 March 2022 01:01

March 10, 2022 News Update

10 March 2022

Dear Friends,

Phyllis and I are now in Houston, Texas, where we attended the annual pastors conference hosted by Chafer Theological Seminary. Pastor Robby Dean and I spoke about the Lord’s provision for our extraction from Ukraine just after the beginning of the war there. If you are interested in watching it, you can find it here:

https://deanbible.org/presentations/message/09-en-pneumati-and-spirit-baptism-1-corinthians-12-13

I just spoke with Oleg, Pastor of Word of God Church in Kiev. He and his siblings and their children (12 people) are hunkered down in our house in a village about 20 miles from the city center. Russian troops passed through the village a couple of nights ago, but there was no shooting and no destruction. Our house has concrete walls and the safest place is in the hallway where there are no windows. So, in spite of having sufficient beds for everyone, they are sleeping on the floor in the hallway.

Right now they have water and electricity and Internet connections and sufficient food supplies. We are so thankful that the Lord has spared them and that they still have the utilities. Oleg reports that there is no activity in the village right now, but they hear artillery fire around the clock. There may be lulls for an hour or so, but then it begins again.

Just a few miles away on a major highway leading into Kiev Russian troops were advancing toward the city when they met Ukrainian forces who killed the commander and routed the enemy which fled in retreat. It appears that the Russians are very surprised not only at the will of the Ukrainians to resist but also of their ability to defend themselves. The Russian army far outweighs the Ukrainians, and by sheer force could crush Ukraine, but it could prove to be a very costly victory. I am proud of the bravery of the Ukrainian military and also of the political leaders who have shown great resolve in this time of crisis.

Our greatest concern is for our loved ones there, believers in Jesus, Bible college students and staff, church members, and friends. To this point the Lord has protected them all, and none has suffered loss of property that we know of. This, too, is the Lord’s mercy.

But of greater importance is the spiritual aspect. Word of God Church meets twice daily, online, for prayer. This is a wonderful time when each can share news of their current situations and their needs. Uniting in prayer is such an encouragement, knowing that others are standing with you and praying for you and urging each other to be strong in faith. We also continue to have online worship services and Bible studies three times a week. The Word of God is powerful, and it is doing its work in the lives of those who know it, believe it, and do it.

Pray for Ukraine. Pray for the Christians there, that God might be glorified in a mighty way through His children as they tell unbelievers of salvation through Jesus Christ and encourage other believers with the exceedingly great and precious promises from God.

Jim

Friday, 11 March 2022 00:52

March 9, 2022 News Update

Several of you have asked Jim about the promises that He has his students memorize.

Many of them are included in this Catena of Promises.

You, too, should memorize them and hide His Word in your heart.

Tuesday, 08 March 2022 06:44

March 8, 2022 News Update

8 March 2022

The war in Ukraine continues. It is more horrible than you can imagine. Cities that have no military value are being bombed for no discernible reason. Civilians are being offered safe passage by the Russians along certain corridors. When people have tried to flee along those routes they are met with gunfire or they discover that land mines have been planted along the road. But the Ukrainian people have great resolve and are bravely standing their ground and fighting back.

I have a few more names that I would ask you to pray for – people in danger zones:

  • Roman Ovcharenko, pastor in Kiev, who continues to minister to those of his congregation who have not been able to flee.
  • Sasha and Ira Kudlaev. Both are Bible college graduates, who have ministry to youth.
  • Kostya and Katya Grinuk. Bible college graduates, Bible teachers. They live just a few doors away from Sasha and Ira.
  • Oksana Senko – staff member with CRU – great evangelist.
  • Oleg Lozinski and his extended family living in our house reports hearing frequent blasts from tanks and artillery and occasional small arms fire.
  • Jim Dumas – American who works with children has now entered Poland and is safe.

The following is a short note from one of our pastors. He is the father of four children.

Sometimes it is very difficult to pray in the evenings with my daughter, Sasha. She is only five years old and it is difficult to answer her questions - why were we attacked? how long will the war last? You see, at her age, she (and many other children) should not know what war is. But she knows .... and every evening she reminds me that we should not forget to pray for our soldiers, so that God protects them, gives them courage in the fight against our enemies. And she also prays for the enemies, so that God would give fear to their hearts so that they would not have the strength to fight with us and that they would surrender themselves into captivity .... As I see, God answers her prayers ...

Thanks to all of you who are warriors in the spiritual conflict, who enter into this warfare with the secret weapons of intercessory prayer. Do not cease in your efforts. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call.

All by grace,

Jim

Tuesday, 08 March 2022 06:09

March 7, 2022 News Update

7 March 2022

Dear Friends,

The conflict continues in Ukraine. They need our prayers and our support. I just spoke with Oleg, pastor of Word of God Church. Everything is quiet in his village right now and they have utilities and food. However, in Irpin, the city just to the north of Kiev, there is much destruction. There are no utilities (gas, water, electricity, heat) and now there is no internet or telephone connectivity. In addition to that the Russian soldiers there are murdering civilians on the streets. The people were promised safe passage along a particular route. When they went there to escape from the city they were killed.

The people that we have known and ministered to in Irpin have all left the city (so far as we know). But there are many people there who cannot leave and they face tremendous problems. Not only is there the danger of indiscriminate shelling of buildings, they have no heat, and it is winter time there, and no water and food is becoming scarce.

The report is that the food supply in Kiev is still plentiful, but it is a city of almost 4 million people, and that requires a constant influx of goods. Even though the Russians have targeted communication and utility sites in the city, they have not been successful in knocking them out.

I just received the following letter from Vasya in Lviv, with two photos provided below. Vasya (nickname from Vasili) is one of our early graduates from the Bible college. He has become an outstanding pastor and Bible teacher.

Hello Jim.

Thank you very much for your prayers. We really need them now in a special way. It's not an easy time, but you're right, it's a good opportunity to serve people, share the gospel with them.

We have now provided our church for refugees. We are able to accommodate 24 people there. We also provide them with food, volunteers also help us in this, they constantly bring provisions. And of course we can share the gospel with people who stay there.

Also, 8 people live permanently in our house now. They will stay with us until the end of the war.... Many people just stay with us to spend the night and go on to Poland. Of course, we help them, provide transport, help with the purchase of tickets....

Only yesterday I was able to bring my uncle, Victor, to us. He remained in Irpin to the last, lived under shelling and served his unbelieving neighbors....he helped evacuate families... At night he patrolled his yard with his neighbors and also shared the gospel with them. One of these neighbors took him out in his car. Victor did not know how this neighbor took the gospel.... but when, during a telephone conversation, Victor said that the neighbor helped him get out, this neighbor corrected Victor and said: "not a neighbor, but a brother in Christ."

Victor asked to thank you, Jim (and I also join in his gratitude), and other teachers of the Bible College. Because it is thanks to you, your time invested in our training and education, that we can stay here to serve people no matter what. It is your sound Bible teaching that has shaped our character, our trust in God and confidence in the better future that God has prepared for us - whether in life or death....

One young couple with a small child, from our church, was able to leave for Poland just before the enemy invaded our territory. As soon as they were in Poland, in a small town called Rabka (near Krakow), they started talking to local authorities and businessmen. In this way they were able to organize a refuge for 500 Ukrainians. There they are provided with housing, food, medicine, if necessary, help to find a job, learn Polish, etc.

In this, too, there is your merit Jim, yours and other teachers. You taught me, I passed on your teaching to others... Now this young couple (Sasha and Yulia) serve in their place, and I in mine.

Thank you for preparing us for these difficult times, your work was not in vain.

Vasya Munko

Pray for the Christians in Ukraine that they will utilize the Word of God which they have been taught and that through their faith God will be glorified and others will be strengthened. Pray that God will work through these believers to lead many others to faith in Christ. Pray for the safety and deliverance of these people. Pray for the brave Ukrainian military who are standing firm against great opposition. Pray for President Zelensky and his administration to have wisdom and courage.

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Jim

 Vasyas Home

Vasya’s home, providing a place to sleep for refugees.

 

Refugee Towels

Imagine doing laundry for so many people and providing clean towels so they can shower.

Monday, 07 March 2022 02:41

March 6, 2022 News Update

6 March 2022

Dear Friends,

Word of God Church met online this morning with a large audience — more than we usually have in attendance. The Word continues to go out, the gospel is being preached, and the saints are being edified. Pray for Oleg and the other faithful men of God who are standing firm in the faith and focusing on serving God Most High.

More of our people are leaving for the west as they have opportunity to escape the ongoing destruction which is taking place not only in the large cities, but also in smaller towns. Some people have no ability or possibility to travel and must remain in place. Please pray for those who cannot travel, for those who a traveling dangerous roads, and for those who have already fled.

Those who have been able to get to other countries are now faced with great problems, where to go, where to live, where to work? Refugee camps are being set up, but these tend to be dreadful places and are only stopgap measures. But God has made provision for His children. May He be glorified in them and through them.

Pray for the peace of Ukraine. Pray for the glory of God.

Jim

Sunday, 06 March 2022 00:56

March 5, 2022 News Update

5 March 2022

Dear Friends,

We are heartsick as we watch the continuing destruction in Ukraine. We have no control over these events, but we do know that God has a plan and that He can work all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Of course we pray for peace, for safety, for the deliverance of our loved ones, for an end to this horrible display of the depraved and sinful nature of man. But we know from Scripture and from history that wars may last a long time. In the midst of those wars many may be turned to the Lord. Please pray that the faith of believers who are enduring this suffering may be strengthened and that their ministries will be increased. A pastor of mine from long ago used to say, "Suffering is an intensified opportunity to glorify the Lord."

One of the frequent themes of my teaching has been to focus on bringing glory to God in every circumstance of life. We have not been called to comfort or ease, we have not been called to success and prosperity, but we have been called to faithfulness so that we might fulfill our purpose of glorifying the Lord.

Kostya and Katya Grinyuk are a young couple, graduates of Word of God Bible College. They live not far from Kiev, and thus are in a very dangerous place right now. I just had to share with you a note that she just sent out. You can see the focus of their lives.

“We need spiritual and physical strength. Pray to God for us, that He would help us to grow in the knowledge of Him, that He would give us the strength to love and serve those who are near and each other. We talked for a long time to God about our plans and chose His life for ourselves. May God now renew us and, in His mercy, use us to the fullest for His Glory. Pray that our souls will yearn to please Him and seek Him. That His Word for us is above all. That Kostya has wisdom for studying and teaching of the Bible, that I can teach the Word to women and children. May God take whatever He wants and give whatever He wants to us. Please pray that we will desire to be pleasing to God as never before, and that the fruit of the Spirit will pulsate in us. So that God gives us the strength to accept and go through everything that He allows, with gratitude and in humility.
~Katya

Please continue to pray for this couple and all the others whose names you have seen. God has a purpose for them right now, right where they are. "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty ...."

Jim

Saturday, 05 March 2022 17:59

March 4, 2022 News Update

4 March 2022

Dear Friends,

Here is a list of our loved ones in Ukraine, students, church members and graduates. I have indicated whether or not they are in a danger zone (DZ) as of the time of writing. The situation may change rapidly. Some of these names may seem strange to you, but are common in Ukraine. Even though you do not know these people, God knows, and He will recognize them as you lift them up in prayer.

Lozinskiy-- Oleg, Natasha. Oleg is pastor of our church in Kiev (Word of God Church). He is doing a marvelous job of shepherding the flock during this time. They have many people living in their house right now since they live in a small village about 20 miles from the city center. However, I have been told that a contingent of Ukrainian military are in the vicinity, so there is the possibility of some action. DZ

Lozinskiy-- Vova, Natasha. Vova is brother of Oleg and lives in the same village. DZ

Kizhnyak-- Sergei, Oksana, Vlad, Svyeta. Sergei and family are staying with Oleg at this time. Sergei is a Bible college graduate who teaches a weekly Bible class for the church. DZ

Pinkovskaya-- Natasha, Dasha (special needs daughter, needs medicine). Natasha is Oleg’s sister and is living with him in the village at this time. DZ

Voznuk – Victoria, Maxim, Analiza. This family is also at Oleg’s in the village. DZ

Rekeda-- Natasha, Vitalii – Baryshivka. This is a city close to Kiev. They have had some fighting there. Vitalii is a deacon at the church. DZ

Kravchenko, Vova and Marina. Marina is a college graduate and was the college secretary for several years. They are with the Rekeda family in Baryshivka. DZ

Luda Ugrimova – Irpin. Irpin is a city immediately to the north of Kiev. It has suffered great damage because of shelling. Four bridges that connect it with Kiev have been destroyed to prevent travel to Kiev. Luda is a wonderful evangelist and servant of God. DZ

Sasha and Katya Slavinski – Irpin. Sasha and his bride of just a few months live in Irpin. He is a current student at the Bible college. DZ

Katya Dmitrishin -- western Ukraine. Katya has gone to her parents’ home close to the western border.

Sasha and Irina Stetsenko – Sasha is a deacon in the church and Irina is the bookkeeper for the church and the college. They have evacuated to Poland.

Sasha Vladimirov -- Sasha was one of our early college graduates. He has been a faithful member of the church since its founding. I do not have information as to his whereabouts.

Artak and family – Artak is a Bible college student who came from Armenia to study with us. He and his wife and five children have gotten out of Ukraine, but not back to Armenia.

Ivan – is a current student at the college who has gone to his home in Lviv

Shamrov-- Denys, Alvina, Luke. Denys is a current student at the college. He is from Belarus and was therefore able to leave Ukraine. He and his family were able to get into Poland

Nina Grigolyia – Nina was one of our early Bible college graduates and has a real knack for languages. She teaches both Greek and Hebrew at the college. She was able to go to Poland

Smolyar-- Igor and Yulia and Timothy, Sophia, Daniel – Yulia and younger ones have gone to Poland. Igor and Daniel (about 18 years old) cannot leave Ukraine. Igor is a Bible college graduate and pastors a church in Zhitomir. There has been bombing in that city. DZ

Savchuk -- Lyosha and Alphia and children. Lyosha, a Bible college graduate, is pastor in Chernigiv, a city a couple of hours north of Kiev. His family has gone to Poland. He is in a danger zone.

Petrenko--Sasha and Ira and children. Sasha is a Bible college graduate who has planted a church in Goncharovsk, small town north of Kiev. At this time the town has not been threatened.

Savchenko -- Zhenya and Vika and children. Sasha was our first Bible college graduate. He is an outstanding Bible teacher and pastor of a church in Baryshivka. – Vika and children have gone to Austria. Zhenya is in a danger zone

Antipenko -- Sergei and Olga and baby. Sergei and Olga are both graduates of the Bible college and work with Lyosha Savchuk in the church. They have gone to small town in western Ukraine where it is quiet at this time.

Lidia – faithful woman from the church has gone to Lviv on the Polish border whcre she is saying with Vasiliy and Larissa Chaplayev, who are college graduates.

Anna Maximova , single woman has gone to Poland

Anna – single woman. I don’t know where she is at this time.

Shakraiuk-- Olesia, Vitya, Katya and baby and Roman have gone to western Ukraine where it is quiet at this time. Olesia often works as my interpreter.

Ivan and Kristina – have gone to western Ukraine

Valentina Yakovlina. Old and infirm widow is unable to leave. She remains in Kiev with granddaughter. DZ

Grinyuk-- Kostya and Katya. They are both graduates of the Bible college. They live in a town just south of Kiev. DZ

Oksana Senko – Oksana is an evangelist who has been with CRU for many years. She is in Irpin. DZ

Munko – Viktor, Luda and four children. He is a Bible college graduate and Luda teaches biblical counseling with Coram Deo. Viktor is a Bible teacher at Irpin Bible Church. The church is housing many people in the basement. Viktor and Oksana Senko are able to evangelize and minister to these people. DZ

Munko – Vasily, Marina and four children. He is a Bible college graduate and pastor of Grace Bible Church in Lviv. The Lord provided him with a large house last year and he is now housing many people who have gone to Lviv before crossing the border to Poland.

Jim Dumas. Jim is an American who has lived in Kiev for many years with a ministry to orphans. He is trying to get into Poland.

Anatoly – Bible college graduate. Works in a church southwest of Kiev. He is a veteran of the Ukrainian military, and even though he is over 50 he has put on his military gear and gone back into the army to defend his country. DZ

Families are being split up. Because of martial law in Ukraine, no males between the ages of 16 and 60 are permitted to leave the country. Many wives and their children are fleeing to safety. Please pray for these families.

For those who are in danger zones, pray not only for protection from enemy attacks, but pray also that they will have sufficient food, water, medicine, electricity, heat and fuel for vehicles. Pray also that they do not suffer damage and loss.

Give thanks for those who have been able to get out.

Give thanks for those who are willing to share what they have as expressions of love and grace.

Pray that each one will have a testimony to all who have contact with them, that their faith will grow strong and that they will glorify God in the midst of this conflict.

Pray for the Ukrainian military. Victory is not based on the size of the army.

Pray for president Zelensky and his advisers.

Pray for the spread of the gospel and the strengthening of believers.

Jim

Wednesday, 02 March 2022 17:57

March 1, 2022 News Update from Jim

1 March 2022

Dear Friends,

Attached below are photos I have just received from Oleg, pastor of our church in Kiev. The war is real. Please pray for our people. Pray for Ukraine. Pray for the brave men and women who are willing to risk everything to secure freedom for the loved ones and homeland. Salute! you brave souls. May God protect you and bless you.

We have just boarded our plane for our flight to Houston. When we arrived in Bucharest we had to get a covid test to be able to check into the hotel. We had to get another one this morning when we arrived at the airport to be able to board the plane. Face masks are still compulsory on the airplanes for the entire flight. (Sigh!) But I think of the thousands of people at the borders who would love to put on a mask if it meant that they could get out of Ukraine. How can I complain?

We do not have any updates from the people I mentioned in the previous letters, but I do have a some names I would like you to add to your prayer list. Vanya, a young man who is one our Bible college students, is staying with the Armenian family. His home is in western Ukraine, but has chosen to stay in Kiev. Kostya, with his wife and 9 year old son, are living in a basement of their apartment building which has received damage from the shelling.

Know that we are overflowing with gratitude for the lovingkindness and multitude of the Lord’s tender mercies. We also have seen such love from Christians along the way. When we were finally able to cross the border into Romania we were taken to the home of some Christians some distance from the airport. They prepared a marvelous Romanian breakfast for us. While they certainly are not on the same page with us theologically, they are without doubt fellow members of the family of God. They also took in a missionary family from Ukraine with five children, and will house them for the indefinite future. They didn’t know this family but saw fellow Christians in need and opened their hearts in love. How wonderful to see this love in action.

We also had opportunity along the way to minister to others. There was a young man named Kevin who boarded the bus with us in Kiev. His parents were Catholic, but he didn’t really have any kind of religious training while growing up and he never had any interest in knowing anything about Christianity. But from the very start of our journey he kept on being exposed to the concept of grace. The organization that extracted us wanted $250 from each of us. Kevin only had a credit card and crypto currency, neither of which would the driver accept – cash only in Euros or Yankee greenbacks. Out of nowhere came an offer of grace to him as someone offered to pay. Later we offered to give him a ride with us from the border to Bucharest – about a seven hour drive. Again, he is astounded by grace. On the way we stopped at the home of those Christians who gave us breakfast. He simply cannot comprehend why people would welcome strangers into their home and treat them with such love. We took him all the way to the airport so he could get on his way home. He is totally baffled by all of this. We explained the concept of grace – and he was quite aware of the concept, having seen it in action. He knew for certain that he had done nothing to earn or deserve the favor being shown to him. We will follow up on him. Please pray that Kevin will be willing to accept the grace of God that was provided for him at the cross.

We have no way of knowing how long the conflict in Ukraine might last. Our prayer is that it will be short lived. It may, however, be of long duration. So, we will be seeking opportunities to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in other places. Pray for us that the Lord will open for us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, that we may make it manifest as we ought to speak.

Only by grace

Jim

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