Dear Pastors and Friends,
Greetings from the Slobodians! We are glad to update you on how God is using the prayers and support you invest in this ministry. Praise God for how He answers prayer and blesses these efforts. For example, our brethren in Belarus have reaped a harvest of souls through evangelistic meetings they recently conducted despite some of the key participants being involved in a serious car accident. However, they are being subjected to recent pressure from the authorities that have been raising issues concerning their legal status. Please pray for wisdom for Nikolai and his brother Valerie as they deal with this situation. Pray as well for the baptismal service for 8 of these new converts which provides yet another opportunity to preach the Gospel to the lost.
Thank-you for praying for Amy, Steve and I as we participated in Ukrainian summer camps in July. The first camp was in Bilogorodka, Ukraine and was held on the grounds of the church being built. Even though the building is not complete, it was ready enough for this event. The neighborhood was canvassed and many invitations were printed and handed out. None of us had any idea of what to expect. Praise God that 80 children and youth attended, most from walking distance from this new church! Many parents attended the closing ceremony and expressed gratefulness for the camp and listened attentively to the Gospel that was presented. This turned out to be a very good advertisement for the new church in this growing community.
The other camp was a youth camp conducted by the church in Ternopil, Ukraine that was held in the Carpathian Mountains. What a beautiful setting for the 40 city teenagers who attended mostly from un-churched homes. Praise God many made salvation decisions, which was one of the goals of this camp. Another goal was that this effort would open the doors to reaching the parents and other family members of the youth who attended. God answered this prayer as well as a good number of the parents of these youth have signed up to attend the churches family camp which is coming up soon. Please pray that whole families would be saved and added to the church.
In Desna, Ukraine our church planter Igor Fomichov received a phone call from a couple that had just received one of the handouts church members were distributing for their upcoming camp. The wife recognized Igor’s name on the flyer since years ago (before Igor was saved) they were part of his drug-dealing crowd. She had heard Igor had gotten religion, dramatically changed and was even a pastor! As it turns out their lives were so ruined by drugs that several drug & alcohol re-hab centers could not help them as they narrowly survived one overdose after another. They had given up and were sitting at their kitchen table discussing how to end their lives when they received the flyer and made the phone call. They begged Igor to meet with them right away. That resulted in them eagerly receiving the Gospel and turning to Christ! Praise God! Please pray for this couple, Lena and Lyova as they are now attending church and rebuilding their lives for the glory of God.
Please pray for our brethren in Russia as they must deal with the new anti-religious legislation that has been put into law there. They tell us that it is too early to know exactly how these new statutes will affect them but it is a real possibility that Christians there may once again have to decide between obeying God or Caesar. We plan to meet with them once the effects of this legislation become clearer. May God keep blessing each of you!