The spring at Kyiv is kind of funny this year. The days are chilly outside, while the nights sometimes are pretty hot because of air raid alerts and cruise missile strikes. Nevertheless, we all are fine, and the work of the Lord goes on. May His name be praised!
As you know, the Reliable Foundations apologetics online club is our headline project of the year. The sessions are continuing in a hybrid format. Whoever is able to come (even from other cities) actually attends them (see the pictures attached). Others watch and ask questions online. Those who are not able to connect watch the recorded session on our YouTube channel afterwards. We have completed several Does God Exists? sessions, made other ones on the Genesis Flood and on the Constructive Skepticism – a biblical approach “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1Th.5:21) instead of the atheistic agenda. The next sessions are going to be devoted to the veracity of the Scripture. Please pray for this project!
First, the pandemic and now the war have affected our strategy a lot. Now we do most of the work online and through social media channels. Users from 124 countries have accessed our official website scienceandapologetics.org, since the last year (see the map attached). May the Lord be praised!
The main focus of our ministry is preparing God’s people for works of service according to the 2 Tim.2:2 approach with the use of apologetics as an effective tool for evangelism. Nevertheless, we always strive for a strategic understanding of the needs the Body of Christ faces or is about to face.
The congregations in the country have shrunk twice currently. Many men went to fight, many women left as IDPs and refugees. Sometimes children must do the work their fathers were doing before (see the picture attached). At the same time, those from their homes (both at the front lines and in exile) have very limited access to ABFs, schools, libraries and other opportunities to study the Bible. To meet that need, we created two websites (one in Ukrainian, https://ukr.bibleapol.study/ and another in Russian, https://bibleapol.study/,) exclusively for the Bible study resources – overviews of the biblical books, lessons on the Christian doctrine, group study materials, commentaries etc. The content is regularly created and uploaded. Please keep this project in your prayers as well.
We have electricity almost all the time now, and our publishing work has returned to normal (see the picture attached). The war, however, has impacted this area of the ministry in three ways.
Firstly, since many are not able to handle hardcopies, we immediately upload the digital copies of all our new books to the online library (https://equalibra.org/ru/publisher/science-and-apologetics/). We also give priority to the books that provide comfort and encouragement to people in their suffering.
Also, while feedback is not common in our low-trust post-totalitarian culture, we receive some from time to time anyway. Below is a comment got recently from a random medical worker we shared a copy with: “I want to thank you for the book “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.” I got a lot from it and revised my attitude to some life issues after reading it. I was encouraged 100% May GOD Himself bless your family with abundant blessings for your God-given talent, wisdom and perseverance.”
Finally, we became more focused on producing books in Ukrainian. Before the war, our first language of choice was Russian because practically anyone in former Soviet Union countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, etc.) can read it. After Russia’s invasion, however, the use of the language triggers many Ukrainians (those who stay in the country, IDPs, and refugees), and the message of comfort for them should definitely be in Ukrainian. Here, for instance, is the feedback from the lady who is translating the same book “Peace in the Midst of the Storm” into Ukrainian as well as serving IDPs and the soldiers’ families: “The book is great and very relevant. I am sure that after the publication in Ukrainian, it should be read with the families of the fallen heroes.” Please pray for the Lord’s guidance in that important aspect of our ministry.
By God’s grace and beyond all our expectations, we had the first retreat at our new facilities! Two of our teammates were enrolled on the army and got to the same unit alongside with a couple of other leaders of the churches. Their unit was relocated to the Kyiv area for the rotation after a couple of months at the hottest battle zone. They managed to get a leave warrant on the same day, and we had a wonderful time of prayers and praises. Please remember these brothers in your prayers.
This event brought other strategic needs to our attention. Many believers are fighting alongside people who do not know Jesus. Foxholes, bunkers, and barracks are becoming mission fields where the Good News can be shared. We are looking for somebody who could come to Kyiv (it is relatively safe here) and run a few days of training according to the 2 Timothy 2:2 approach for the church leaders the basic principles of the grass root chaplaincy, to be there passed on to others. Please pray for the Lord to send a proper person(s) for this.
On the other hand, many veterans are going to return from the war – believers and nonbelievers -wounded and/or experiencing PTSD. Our churches never dealt with such problems, and I am concerned most of them are not ready for that. We definitely have to arrange training on these issues as well. Please pray with us to find proper coaches for this.
The great blessing for Olga and me was a trip to Europe and the UK, visiting our friends, children, teammates, mentors, board members, etc., scattered there by the war (see the pictures attached). That was amazing mutual encouragement in the Lord! That allowed us to see many texts in the Scripture in a very special way like, for instance: “To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Poland and Germany, Britain and Netherland, Baltic countries and even across the ocean, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood…” Please join our prayers for those who had to leave their homes and those through whom the Lord shares His love to them in foreign lands.
Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, for the protection of our fellow workers wherever they are, and for the Lord’s guidance to us in this time of uncertainty. Please continue to pray for our teammates who defend our land. May the Lord protect them!
Please pray for Ukraine, for the Lord’s intervention in the midst of troubles, and for many people in other countries who care and help. Please pray for the lives of soldiers and civilians and the peace in our country! Most of all, please pray for the Lord’s guidance for us in these difficult times.