By Dimitiy Grishchuk
The beginning of the year was cold and frosty, but full of wonderful opportunities to serve God and His children. I do not stop wondering at how many new opportunities God gives to those who seek and those who pray about it. There have been meetings with new people, Bible study, repentance and baptisms, Christian winter camps and many other things that God gave us as an answer to your prayers and our seeking.
Our team conducted a two-day children’s camp in Stanytsia Luhanska (pre-war zone). It is special when we visit the children there. Every time we introduce ourselves as Christians from Kiev, people are always surprised at how somebody from this far away remembers them or knows about their problems. This time, apart from meetings with children, we helped two families buy firewood for the winter, and delivered several packages with medication to disabled people.
A woman named Natalia has lost her husband and children. She is also shell-shocked due to a shell burst in her house. She managed to hide in a corridor when she heard the blast. The truckful of firewood we bought for her will last her half a winter. “God will provide,” she stuttered hopefully as an answer to our unsaid question.
The children here have forgotten about war during these two days at the camp. They’ve forgotten about types of weapons; about the calibers of shots and blasts. They found out that God loves them and, of course, He prepared gifts for them! Do you remember how it is written in the Book of Revelation about Pergamum? There Satan lives. In the orphanage, we feel a heavy weight both physically and spiritually. There we see torn souls, stained minds, shattered childhoods, honor that is sold and drunk away. Also, there are lice. But, where there are bullets, there are also lice. And although a part of our team has already gone through this illness, we continue with prayer, with the Word, and with hugs. The little prisoners of sin and death had three amazing Christmas days. Three days of prayers, Bible study, games, fun, songs, and pure goofing around.
Does one need to be afraid of lice to talk about God’s love to a boy named Zyno? His parents attended a church here. His father is a preacher in one of the many denominations. The parents eventually divorced. Now, his father does not pay him any attention, although he continues to preach and lives not far from his son.
Later, his mother began a relationship with a man who often beat Zyno, which led him to the street and then to the orphanage. The boy is familiar with the church, but disappointed in Christians. It is not an easy task for us to give him a new confidence in believers. But with your prayers and support, we will overcome this also!
Five boys from the orphanage have been attending the Kiev community gatherings for a month now. We take them to the church in advance, prepare them a home-cooked lunch, and we play, pray, and say a short sermon. Then, they join the adult church. It is interesting to see their joy and enthusiasm as they sing Christian hymns with everyone, and as they watch the church partaking in communion. At the end of each gathering, the church blesses our young guests in prayer.
We communicate with youth and teenagers weekly through the ministries of Sokoly clubs, Molotalk English club, street outreaches, and individual meetings. The love to God through the love to the country, to society, to family and to yourself —that is the motto and the main theme of our ministry.