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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 »

The Fight of Faith

A. W. Pink

There are some who teach that those Christians who engage in spiritual fighting are living below their privileges. They insist that God is willing to do all our fighting for us.  Their pet slogan is, “Let go, and let God.”  They say that the Christian should turn the battle over to Christ.  There is a half truth in this, yet only a half truth, and carried to extremes it becomes error.  The half truth is that the child of God has no inherent strength of his own: says Christ to His disciples, “Without me, ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).  Yet this does not mean that we are to be merely passive, or that the ideal state in this life is simply to be galvanized automations.  There is also a positive, an active, aggressive side to the Christian life, which calls for the putting forth of our utmost endeavors, the use of every faculty, a personal and intelligent co-operation with Christ. Continue Reading »

Our Christmas treeThis is my first Christmas to be spent in Ukraine and certainly many things are very different here.  First of all, the Christmas season really does not begin until January 1st so very few have decorations or trees up yet.  We do!  Katya has done an excellent job of decorating our home like an American Christmas!  It’s beautiful!  Second, Christmas here is much simpler than in the US.  Usually, everyone gets just one small gift for Christmas.  Katya and I had purchased a few gifts and put them under our little tree. One Ukrainian friend was visiting and was amazed at ALL the presents under the tree!  Katya said she could not bring herself to tell about all the presents we have in America under our tree!  Needless to say, Christmas in Ukraine is much simpler (as maybe it should be). Finally, Christmas is not really until January 6/7 (St. Nicholas Day) because we live in an Orthodox country.  But many believers still celebrate Christmas on December 25th like we do.  But Christmas Day is a work day here so any celebrations are only in the evening after work. Continue Reading »

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