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Ukraine Has Some Relief (We Hope!) (June Update)

The situation in Ukraine appears to be improving, at least for now.  The presidential elections were a success and the new president won by a landslide – signs that Ukraine is more united as a country than many believed.  Russian troops, although still close, have moved back from the border and, in spite of requests by the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, Putin has decided not to intervene in Ukraine.  These are all good signs.2014 KTS Graduation

But there are still many difficulties ahead.  Right now, Ukraine is waging a war with the heavily-armed pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine.  There has been some progress in restoring order and preventing them from further take-overs but it has cost many lives (mostly Russian soldiers who are supposedly NOT in Ukraine).  But the toll on the people has been great also.  People are afraid to go into the streets and definitely afraid to say anything positive about Ukraine.  The separatists routinely abduct, beat and even kill anyone who voices any opposition.  They are currently holding over 80 people hostage (including many journalists and international observers).  Many believers are holding open prayer meeting on the squares and they have been persecuted and beaten by the separatists for doing so.  We know so pastors who have had to live the area because of threats to their lives and to their families! Continue Reading »

More Conflict in Ukraine … and maybe Tear for Ukrainemore to come! (May Update)

The situation in Ukraine has become much more intense the few last weeks and should continue to worsen over the next 3 weeks.  The reason is that we have national elections scheduled for May 25th and Russia has made it clear that they don’t want these elections to take place.  Additionally, the next week should be our toughest challenge.  Pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine have already set May 11th as the date when they will vote to separate from Ukraine.  Russia has acknowledged this date and will try to create more violence to create a reason for Russian “peacekeepers” to enter Ukraine and “protect” the May 11th elections.  The past few days have been increasingly violent with over 40 killed in Odessa and unnumbered more in Eastern Ukraine.

Right now, Ukraine is trying to remove the heavily armed forces occupying government buildings in 10 cities in Eastern Ukraine.  Ukraine has set troops to fight against these terrorists who are armed with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.  In response, Ukraine has sent its army to remove these men (clearly they are Russian operatives in Ukraine, just like in Crimea).  Russia has demanded that Ukraine remove its troops from Eastern Ukraine while they are increasing their troops on the borders of Ukraine and threatening to invade to “protect” the people of Ukraine from the “Fascists” in Kyiv!

Please keep praying for Ukraine!  The situation here is becoming very serious and we expect the next week will be some of the worst violence as we move toward the elections. Continue Reading »

All Quiet on the Western Front … For Now! (April Update)

Things have been relatively quiet here in Ukraine for the past couple of weeks.  Russia has toned down the intensity ofPray for Ukraine its propaganda about Ukraine but it has not given up its threat to invade Ukraine.  Russian troops are still masse d on Ukraine’s border ready for attack.  Their tanks can reach Kyiv in 2 hours.  Russia claims that it is merely conducting military exercises but military observers say these troops are not practicing anything but just waiting in battle positions.  Who knows what Russia will do next!  Ukraine has made clear that this time they will defend Ukraine with all means necessary if Russia invades.  But Russian forces on the border alone are more than double all of Ukraine’s forces.  And, so far, NATO, the US and Europe have all said they will not intervene militarily if Russia invades.

Pray for Ukraine …

There are many things to be praying for Ukraine in the coming month. Continue Reading »

Pray for UkraineWe Know Not What to Do … Our Eyes are on You! (April Update)

Amazing things have happened in Ukraine since our last update – both good and bad!  To begin with, the revolution in Ukraine made an amazing, maybe even miraculous, turn around the day after we sent out our last update.  Then I told you about the brave Ukrainians who had been surrounded by the government forces and seemed to be on the verge of being overrun at any moment.  The government had closed the metro and all roads coming into Kiev and had placed sandbags and military vehicles and machine guns at the roadblocks.  More and more Special Forces were being brought into Kiev coming off buses with automatic weapons and with the permission to use them.  The protesters were surrounded on three sides by the government forces.  Things seemed pretty hopeless for the anti-government forces. Continue Reading »

The Crisis Deepens (March 2014 Update)

The Crisis in Ukraine began at the end of November 2013.  When the Olympics began, the government here began a series of Pray for Ukrainenegotiations that defused the situation slightly.  But they refused to keep their commitment to return to the Constitution of 2004 and protesters marched toward parliament to protest.  No one knows who started the conflict but the government quickly escalated the violence using even guns against unarmed crowds.  Since then, they have blocked entrances into the city, shut down the metro and called up the military.  This has sparked more protests and take-overs in the Western cities (at least 9 regional capitals have been captured by the opposition with massive numbers of people) which are also sending help to the protesters in Kiev.  The situation could quickly descend into civil war. A number have been killed (most by being shot by government forces) and thousands injured.  The government forces have tried repeatedly to break through the protesters lines but so far have not succeeded. Continue Reading »

The Crisis in Ukraine (February 2014 Update)

The Crisis in Ukraine began at the end of November 2013.  Then the president suddenly changed his mind and dropped our Tear for Ukraineagreement to enter the European Union and began to pursue money from Russia (Russia had been pressuring Ukraine by long delays from Ukrainian exports at the borders).  Thousands of people came to protest this decision and the government responded with harsh violence against unarmed protesters.  This brought more people into the streets – nearly 1 million for one protest.  People stayed in the main square protesting around the clock for the entire month of December in below freezing temperatures! Continue Reading »

Love for Christ and Obedience

A. W. Pink

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

In this instance, we shall depart from our customary method of expounding the different clauses of a verse in the order in which they occur; instead, we shall treat this verse more or less topically.  That in it which is of such vital importance is the final clause, where the Savior promised to manifest Himself to the obedient believer.  Now there is nothing the real Christian desires so much as a personal manifestation of the Lord Jesus.  In comparison with this, all other blessings are quite secondary.

In order to simplify, let us ask and attempt to answer three questions: How does the Savior now “manifest” Himself?  What are the effects of such manifestation?  What are the conditions which I have to meet? Continue Reading »

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