Updates from Ukraine

 

The situation in Ukraine is very serious. We will do our best to keep you updated as we receive reports from our outreach director, Vlad. Please keep Vlad and his family, as well as so many innocent Ukrainian citizens, in prayer.
 


Update 23/6/22

Dear friends,

In a recent email, Vlad wrote,

War is when... a young mother who comes to church to get diapers for her child cannot write her name on the list because her hands are shaking.

War is when... on an offer to take food for mom, a young dad with a three-year-old child in his arms and another baby by his hand answers that she was killed and he buried her a week ago.

War is when...  a 65-year-old hobbled man comes to eat. The concrete slab of his house in Mariupol fell during the bombing and clutch his leg. When he moved it aside, trying to free himself and get his family out of the rubble, a hernia popped out. We suggested that he undergo an operation, but the analysis showed that his heart would not survive the operation and he would die.

War is when... a volunteer notices a car in the parking lot for three days, the windows of which are covered with perspiration. Then he dire to knock and finds a mother there with two small children wearing overalls over their naked bodies. She was with a child just in the children's hospital, which was bombed. She miraculously escaped from there by car, but could not find accommodation and so they slept in the car for three days. We were able to find her a home.

War is when... a pregnant woman in the last months of her pregnancy (a refugee from Irpin and Bucha, who survived the Russian occupation, but lost her home) and with a problem in the ligaments of her legs every day goes to eat with her 12-year-old son for more than a kilometer and, when asked to give her food with her son, she replies that it’s good for me to go to church every day and I’m ready to come here while I can.

Today, Vlad wrote an email with some shocking news and I would like to add it to his list: 

War is when... beloved sons and grandsons die. 

This is what he wrote:

Thank you very much for your prayers! We also pray for you and the all Derek Prince Ministry! The Lord not only controls everything, but He has already overcome and allows us to triumph in Christ in all situations!

The war will no doubt be won by Ukraine. The question is at what cost. Yesterday we buried our sister's son. He was killed in Severodonetsk. He was 37 years old. He once attended our Sunday school, but his unbelieving father forbade him and he was not a member of the church. However, we pray for all our soldiers, especially those who have heard of God and have been familiar with the Word of God!

Your continued prayers are appreciated.
 

Update 4/5/22

Vlad says, “We are really grateful for your prayers, help, and concern! As for the front, pray with us. Last weekend 9 cruise missiles hit Kremenchuk - a city 20 km from us. One of the largest oil refineries is located there. Also, on the Orthodox Easter holiday, the Russians shelled Odessa. Last night, all of Ukraine was subjected to especially massive missile strikes. Now, there is a climax of the Russian attack in the east of the country. Apparently, these days are key. There are a lot of prayers all over Ukraine in all the news, in many videos of people and soldiers. May the Lord raise in power!

Right now, we have a lot of Mariupol refugees in our region. And in recent days, a wave has come from the south. The stories they share are horrific. A couple of weeks ago, the water conduit to Mykolaiv was meaningly shot by tanks - the city is sitting without water, they have transported it by city with vehicle water carriers. The Russian army aims to sow fear and panic among the civilian population. The town executive committee sends people to our church.

Last week, the Ukrainian government had a meeting with representatives of the UN. They want to make our region a supporting base and reception center for refugees. We expect the next influx of refugees from the south of Ukraine. Interestingly enough, they prefer to deal more with volunteers and churches than with the authorities. Apparently, because of the prevention of corruption and inefficiency. So I consider it a wise strategy to have contact with living active agents.”

Providing– physical and spiritual - food

Thousands of DPM cards with a prayer of repentance are given to people in Kharkiv, as well as copies of The Divine Exchange to people who are showing deeper interest. In Kharkiv, about 10,000 people remain on the subway as the northeastern areas continue to be shelled. Vlad is awaiting the delivery of proclamation cards printed in Poland soon and will send them to his co-servants throughout Ukraine who are engaged in practical service to people.

In his previous update, Vlad shared about Vadim, who is running a rehab center in Ukraine. Vadim and his team are partnering with us in distributing relief goods. Last week, Brano and DPM Poland outreach worker Marek (man standing on the right) met Vadim’s assistant in Poland. Together, they bought groceries by the local wholesaler and loaded Vadim’s van to take the goods to Lviv (West Ukraine).

In about two weeks a 20t truck will deliver more cargo to Lviv and Vlad will organize someone to pick approx. 5000-6000kg groceries there. Vlad´s place will serve as a distribution hub for further distribution into the east part of the Ukraine.

Another vital contact is Anatoly Gavrilyuk, a respected pastor in Ukraine, who also is the head of the Council of Churches of Ukraine and a long-standing personal friend of Vlad. His church takes an active part in the evacuation of people from the frontline zone. They also take care of about 20 settlements in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions by delivering food and medicine and preach the Gospel. They were overjoyed at the opportunity to receive proclamation cards and books from DPM to distribute. Watch their video on YouTube here

DPM has also sponsored 1.500kg on three pallets to a local rehabilitation center called “Good Samaritan” which daily takes care for around 150 people.

The hiding place

Vlad continues, “Since the beginning of the war, I've downloaded Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place" audiobook on my mobile phone and listen to it from time to time. Derek often spoke highly of Sister Corrie. The book is so encouraging and relevant to me now. A calm story about ordinary Christians and their faithfulness in everyday life to God as a path of faith.

These days I remember Derek Prince's testimony of his army days in the deserts of Africa. Indeed, war is not a series of heroic deeds, rather it is a monotonous routine work every day. I remember the words of a World War II veteran. He said that it was not those who ran fast and shot accurately that survived, but those who dug and dug and dug the ground. The troops were often relocated to a new place and ordered to dig in, and then shift further and ordered to dig in again - so the trenches could only come in handy for the fifth or sixth time, but those who dug in obedience ultimately remained alive and won. This is similar to our Christian life - we have "to dig" in every place all the time. This is not a series of victorious feats, rather it looks like a routine.

May the Lord help us all to be not too overstressed and not too slobbish, and faithfully follow our path for the Lord and to serve Him! The war continues, and we continue to pray and ask you to keep praying with us. Thank you and all our donations. May the Lord's blessing rest on your countries and peoples.”

 

Update 22/4/22

Dear friends,

Every day, the situation in Ukraine changes. But the Rock of Ages doesn’t change. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. So thank you for your prayers for Vlad, his team, and the people in Ukraine and Russia who are suffering from this war. Vlad has shared several videos and photos about the relief work that's being done currently, which we've put into a public video: 

Russian edition of The Divine Exchange published 

Yesterday, 21 April, Vlad shared the exciting news that in spite of the circumstances, he was able to publish a new edition of the book "The Divine Exchange / How to Apply the Blood of Jesus" in Russian. He received the first copies yesterday – see the picture.

Vlad’s publisher Vyacheslav was able to print 3,000 copies and thus this book is now available in both languages again - in Russian and Ukrainian - for distribution inside of Ukraine. You may remember from a previous update that the Procter-and-Gamble plant near Kyiv, with which they co-worked, was completely destroyed by shelling. But Vyacheslav did not lose heart and searched for any remnants of paper in the surviving warehouses to print new books.

Proclamation cards and books

50 thousand Proclamation cards in Ukrainian and Russian have been printed and are being distributed through local churches in several Eastern European countries and in Ukraine. Please pray that each card reaches the right person and that it becomes a source of hope and encouragement.

EE-outreach workers in Poland, Slovakia, and Romania are connected with churches that are involved with help to Ukrainian refugees within their borders, and transport of humanitarian aid to Ukraine: They will print Derek’s books in Ukrainian and Russian locally and include these resources in relief packs.

Food distribution and outreach in Ukraine 

Inside Ukraine, Derek’s resources are distributed through trusted partners and included in relief packs. One of these partners is Vadim. Vadim is the leader of ‘House of Mercy’, a rehab centre in Lyiy, Ukraine.

Vlad has known him since 1995, when he was a chaplain in a strict security prison and met Vadim in the prison church. Vadim was in jail two times for drug dealing. After his release, he started a rehab centre At first he simply took people right in at his home. Then he started building a rehabilitation centre by buying several old houses in the countryside.

Now, in this war time, Vadim is using these houses to offer a place for displaced Ukrainians. They have already taken about 100 people to the centre. Most of the rehabilitators had feasible jobs in different settlements but with the outbreak of the war, they were left without work. Now they are actively helping in transporting food and humanitarian aid towards the military zone and taking people out of there. 

Vadim and his team prepare delicious food and deliver it to areas of the city that have suffered from shelling. Since chaotic artillery and rocket attacks continue from the territory of Russia, the infrastructure of the city is mainly destroyed and many people cannot cook hot food for themselves and have not eaten anything boiled for two weeks already. Vadim’s people go from house to house every day, where people live in the basements of multi-story buildings. Some people are still hiding in the basements of houses and in metro stations. Many of them are either elderly or needy, who could not or did not want to leave the city.

Vadim’s team also travels through subway stations where people also hide and live. They deliver fresh borscht (national Ukrainian soup) and other hot meals to people who have sometimes not had anything warm to eat for days or weeks. They also preach the Gospel and hand out encouraging Christian materials. The video gives you an impression of this ministry.

Bringing food to the front line

Vadim has two vans with trailers to carry food from Western Ukraine almost to the very front line in the east. The food stocks there are largely exhausted. Moreover, many refugees have come to Vadim’s area, and food is needed there locally too. In the past few days, large parties of refugees from Mariupol and the Donetsk region have arrived. For this reason, resources must be carried from Western Ukraine.

Their last trip was from Lviv to the city of Margarets - next to the nuclear power plant captured by Russia – a journey of about 1000 km! In order to make the way back and forth for two vans with trailers (that's about 5 tons of cargo), fuel is needed for 30,000 hryvnias (or 1,000 euros). However, this is the only effective way to deliver food now. Big trucks can't go where they go. So thank you for your help. I believe it is an effective way to donate. 

Prayer and Fasting

In wars, there are not only visible forces at work, like tanks and rockets, but also invisible forces of darkness. Therefore, Vlad sent 11 letters to his President, to the Head and members of our Parliament, and to the Ukrainian government, asking and encouraging them for the appointment of a Day for Prayer and fasting for our country. With these letters he enclosed a copy of Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting and The Divine Exchange.

Help displaced Ukrainians

Vlad and his church continue to help care for the refugees in their town. The population of their town is about 40 thousand, but now has officially 8 thousand refugees registered - in reality, there are more. There are already about 11 million people in Ukraine who have left their homes. This is more than a quarter of the country's population. The church offers help with the accommodation and feeding of as many refugees as possible. Currently, they feed over 150 refugees each day. In addition, they support local volunteers who work full-time with refugees - cooking, housing, food preparation, and transport issues. Many of them lost their jobs because local businesses stopped, but they did not leave the town and serve others.

Easter Gifts for soldiers on the frontline

Last weekend, Ukraine celebrated Easter together with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The volunteer team to support the army, with which Vlad’s wife Lydia cooperates, has prepared gifts for the soldiers on the front lines. Together with fresh pastries - buns with plums - we have given them Ukrainian copies of The Divine Exchange, as well as a Gideon Brethren New Testament.

New projects

Despite the war, Vlad is gradually sending books around Ukraine and he continues to work on the editing of books. Last week he sent the text of ‘Declaring God’s Word’ to a brother in Western Ukraine for voice-overing. He is planning, God willing, to make daily proclamations on the Ukrainian YouTube channel starting January 1 next year.

Thank you for all your support! 

 

Update 5/4/22

Dear friends,

The Russian war against Ukraine continues but Vlad testifies that despite the war and suffering, the spiritual condition of the Ukrainian people is very good. Vlad says, “This war convinced me (before, I just believed) that prayers do matter. So thank you for your prayers!”

Vlad also shared that rocket attacks have increased and they have up to five air raid alerts daily. Last weekend, three Russian jets bombed an oil base 20km from his town. Throughout all this, Vlad continues his efforts to share Derek’s materials as a source of hope. He has redesigned the books Extravagant Love and The Divine Exchange, to make them better fit for distribution, and he also developed new proclamation cards with relevant topics.

Vlad: “Last Monday, I called our printer. He told me that the Procter-and-Gamble plant near Kyiv, with which he co-worked, was completely destroyed by shelling. But he does not lose heart. He is ready to search for any remnants of paper in the surviving warehouses and to print new books. I like his spirit!”

The printer used to bring the books to Vlad himself in his van, but now he gifted his van to the Ukrainian army to defend Kyiv. It is being used and even shot through with bullets several times. So now, as soon as the books are printed, they will now be delivered by courier mail.

Meanwhile, the first batch of Ukrainian and Russian proclamation cards have been delivered to our Eastern European offices in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. These cards will be used for distribution in Ukraine together with humanitarian aid which will be taken by van to the local churches on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Thank you for your continued prayer.

 

Update 23/3/22

Thank God! We are fine! And instead of 3-4 air raid sirens per day, we now have 1-2 alarms. There are still many refugees in our area.

We continue to host a family that fled from their home in Kramatorsk - Lyudmila (67), Konstantin (50), Anna (45), Roman (27). Thank God they got out of there in time because this city has been under heavy shelling in recent days. The militaries are even talking about the shelling of Kramatorsk with banned phosphorus munitions.

Anna and her mother Lyudmila go every day to help volunteers make camouflage coverings for the Ukrainian army.

In the pictures, they are with us at our house and after the Sunday service beside our church building.

 

Meanwhile, we continue to fulfil our ministry. I am finishing the second edition of "365 Days Declaring God’s Word.” Our editor Julia, who stayed with her husband in Kremenchuk (not far from us), recently finished editing the book "Be perfect! But how?" and she will continue with the 365-Days Devotional.

Our church has already received 5 cargos from our brothers from Poland and 1 cargo from Germany.  Thank God that they were sold medicines worth 3,000 euros for 1,000 euros - German pharmacies came out to help them.

Coming Sunday I will be preaching in the church about the topic: this is not your war - but His. I can recall the sermon of Valery Solin (the first director of the DPM for the CIS) when I was a just new convert. He turned to an example of Joshua - 5:13-15, which says:

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?  And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Joshua was besieging an enemy fortress and he saw the situation as a confrontation between two forces. So, he naturally asked the stranger: “Which side are you on?”

But the stranger replied: “No, it's not me on your side, but you can be on my side, so take off your shoes because this is holy ground.”

I recently saw a picture on the DPM FB page where it says this and it hit me. May we always see the Lord and sanctify ourselves for Him - this war is His.

All God's blessings to you!

Vlad
 

Update 8/3/22

Today after lunch a family of 4 people from Kramatorsk will come to our house. These are two adults (my age), old woman and a young man who is discharged from the army service because of a hand injury. We already accepted this family as refugees in 2014, when the war in Donbass began and their city was captured by pro-Russian militants. They stayed in our area for about three or four months and then returned home after deliberation of their home. That time we preached the gospel to them and they read Derek Prince and became Christians.

During these 8 years we have maintained contact with them. And so yesterday they asked to come to us, since their city had already been fired upon by Russian artillery and rockets twice. These are quite poor people. At first, they will definitely live with us until we manage to find them housing, which is very unlikely.

Yesterday, our designer Natasha told me the sad news - our mutual friend Sergey was killed - one brother from Kyiv - he signed up for the civilian territorial defense. He is my age - born in 1969. So the war continues!


Update 8/3/22

We don't feel compelled to go yet, and as I said earlier, we can't leave Lydia's father here. He is 93 years old and is unlikely to survive the trip. The road to the west today is very difficult. We stay and we pray. We have already received in our home people who passed through our town in transit and are now preparing to receive those who will not be able to travel further. As a rule, the weakest go last. 

Our local church works to help refugees. My wife Lydia went out yesterday to make camouflage nets with other female volunteers. Today she is going too. We are good with products. We have a lot of our own potatoes from our garden and canned cucumbers and tomatoes. We bake bread ourselves and even before the war we bought three 50 kg bags of flour. 

Thank God, yesterday the truck from Poland, which I wrote about, was able to reach us. They brought emergency medicines, food and basic necessities for refuges. At the end of the week my son Simon has to drive a truck from the church in Karlsruhe, which he attends. His boss has paid for the rent of this truck, and the German brothers are collecting the cargo.

I believe that the Christians of Ukraine at this time must not accept the spirit of the victim and stand in victory in the Lord Jesus! In time my spiritual infancy we had a good brochure «No Longer A Victim!" And I am glad that most of the brothers who surround me are like that!

May the Lord bless you!
Your's in Christ,
Vlad


Update 6/3/22

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

Today we were at a church service. We took communion. We worshiped God and prayed to Him for the protection of Ukraine, for our soldiers, for refugees, orphans and widows, for babies who were born during these 10 days under shelling, - as far as we know, about 400 children were born in Kyiv alone without the possibility of evacuation. After that, in the middle of the sermon, an air raid alarm went off and the pastor said, "Don't be afraid, you are in the safest place - in God’s house!" Then it turned out that people did not turn off their mobile applications, where they let you know about the air danger.

We proclaimed Psalm 33:12:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
    all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
    who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
    no warrior escapes by his great strength. 
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
    despite all its great strength it cannot save. 
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 
to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine. 
We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield. 
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name. 
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

We also prayed for the people of Russia. It was said Jonah did not want to preach to Nineveh, because it was a very cruel people who brought a lot of grief and pain to the Jews. But our calling is to pray and bless even enemies and preach the gospel to all people.

We accept and serve refugees. Today our church was filled with our brother refugees from Kharkiv (a huge city of 1.5 population), which is now being shelled by the Russian military without any system and without a sane goal - just destruction. Those people who could reach the Kharkiv railway station yesterday were leaving on overcrowded trains. They stand all the way across Ukraine in Lviv without the opportunity to go to the toilet. 

The city of Mariupol - a seaport - is surrounded and left without gas, water and electricity. The Russian side seemingly agreed to a humanitarian corridor for people to leave, but then the shelling began again. Already 1.2 million refugees have left the country in a western direction. Much to the regret of the Russian propagandists, the people do not go out with flowers to the tanks of the "liberators" and do not run to "brotherly" Russia. 

As for me and my family, we continue our modest work here. I don't have an organization, I don't even sit on the front bench in the church - I only translate and print Derek Prince's books. My role in the local church is that I am an elder. Our local church helps refugees and I participate in this to the best of my ability. 

Two days ago, my own sister Julia with two of their children fled to Poland from Zhytomyr (a city west of Kyiv) from shelling. This city is under constant bombardment today. Her husband (a deacon in a Baptist church) urged her to leave the city, but she said she was waiting for a sign from God to call them and offer to meet and settle in Poland. After a short time, my son Dmitry called them from Poland and offered help and promised to arrange it. So today they are safe. Glory to the Lord - He will protect his people!

Thank you for your prayers!

May God bless you!

Vlad
 

Email Update from Vlad 26/2/2022

I would like to thank the DPM and all the brothers who provide amazing prayer support to the Ukrainian people. Only on Derek Prince's FB page, many thousands of brothers from all over the world express their prayerful support. We are receiving testimonies from our soldiers that they are experiencing unusual inner encouragement. God bless you all very much! 
 
We have a lot of refugees in our town and our area - they are settled in schools and educational institutions. Residents of our city collected food and clothes for the refugees several days in advance, but what will happen in a few days is unknown. Sunday, I preached at our church service about trusting in the Lord. After the sermon, there was a very modest marriage celebration- - even without the festive clothes of the bride and groom. They were engaged before the war and were supposed to get married in May, but decided to do it right now. We just don’t know what will happen.  

I also spoke to the deacon of our church, who also heads the regional aid headquarters in our town and district. They do a lot of work with refugees and territorial defense assistance. They feed and keep many refugees warm and take care of accommodation problems. Almost all institutions and factories of the city have stopped and many people are working for defense and helping refugees. The year 2014 is repeating when we received many refugees from the war in the east. Today again, the roads are full of refugees and the country is close to a transport collapse.

Meanwhile, the Polish people truly have opened their hearts and their homes to refugees from Ukraine. Poles line up near the Polish-Ukrainian border to take the refugees home and share their house or apartment with them, mainly Ukrainian women, children and elderly people, as the (young) men stay behind to fight.

We thank the Lord for all the organisations that are delivering humanitarian aid goods and financial support. We don’t know what the future holds. Within two or three days, the moment of truth should come and the key phase in the war will be decided. 

But for sure, the most important thing has already been done - thanks for your prayer and moral support!

Blessings!

Vlad
 

Email Update from Vlad 22/2/2022

Dear friends,
Yesterday morning I wanted to write a request for prayer to you and to all my friends from the DPM. But I did not do it for some reason. So Ukrainian Christians across the country are praying for this situation - they bowed down even on open-air and on central squares of our cities and towns.

A month ago, I received a Scripture, which I shared in a sermon in our church. “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright — but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness…» (Habbakum 2:4). In Russian translation it sounds like this: «...an arrogant soul cannot calm down (found out try peace), but a righteous person should be live by his faith».

We know the second half of the verse very well, but often forget that the words "the righteous shall live by his faith" were God's promise to live to the prophet in the face of imminent war and rude occupation.

I know some facts about Ukraine - It has the highest percentage of evangelical Christians in the former USSR and in continental Europe. The largest concentration of evangelical churches in Eastern Europe. Great religious freedom. A lot of missionaries left Ukraine to serve in different countries. So I know for sure - God’s eye on Ukraine. 

An interesting fact is that since the beginning of the year, the request for our books has increased dramatically. Praise God for the teachings of Derek Prince. In times of crisis, God's people need a solid foundation to lean on, and our ministry is more than ever relevant.

May God be praised in Ukraine and in His Church and in our ministry here!
Thank you once more! And all blessings to you!

Vlad


 

War in Ukraine: A personal note of thanks from Vlad (Derek Prince Ministries in Ukraine)


 

Pray for Ukraine (Derek Prince Ministries Ukraine)