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“Unchanging ….” (June 2022 Update) 

It is hard to determine which of God’s attributes is the most important. In reality, they are all essential. We cannot pick and choose one over the other. To remove even one of His attributes would be to lessen God – and therefore, He would no longer be God! 

But, if I had to choose one attribute that is most essential and at the same time, most comforting, I would choose the attribute of “immutability.” Because if God changes, then we can never have confidence in anything. That’s why God says in Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” If God would ever change, we could never have confidence in Him or in His promises. That’s why immutability is so important as we consider the attributes of God. 

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The people of Ukraine have always amazed me. After my first trip to Ukraine in 1996, I told friends that I was amazed that the believers did so much with so little (while we Americans seem have so much and do so little)! In 2014, I witnessed first-hand, the resiliency of the Ukrainian people. From November 2013 until the end of February 2014, thousands of people stood day and night in below freezing temperatures to protest their corrupt pro-Russian government. The more the government sent troops to beat the people, the more people came out in the streets to protest. It was amazing to see. After the protests, when Russia took Crimea and then attacked in Donetsk and Lugansk, the Ukrainian people responded by volunteering to fight (since Ukraine had no army then) and wealthy men in Ukraine paid the volunteers to fight. Every grocery store collected money and food to help feed the soldiers. This group of volunteers held off the pro-Russian forces over the last 9 years while Ukraine formed a standing army. 

Even more impressive were the actions of believers. Christians throughout Ukraine responded immediately with many becoming chaplains to share the gospel with soldiers and others beginning to help with humanitarian efforts. People opened their homes to refugees and helped them to be resettled in Kyiv and as far away as L’viv. This was during a time that the Ukrainian currency fell from 8:1 to 24:1 (triple loss) and inflation rose to over more than double. Still Ukrainians kept giving and sharing and caring for others. Most of all, during this time, believers rallied together to form new churches and new outreaches to refugees so that the gospel would continue to go forth. This has continued and even increased in the face of the current Russian invasion. 

All of this reminded me of the ending of the Book of Acts: “Now Paul stayed two full years in his own rented lodging and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching things about the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” Likewise, in spite of all these difficulties, the gospel in Ukraine continues to be spread – unhindered. 

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“Blinded Eyes….” (April 2022 Update) 

Truth represents the greatest danger to evil. If truth is seen, evil wilts away. This is why dictatorships and communist nations block internet services and totally control TV and radio media so people cannot hear the truth. Truth destroys falsehood. This is why Satan hates the Word of God so much. In “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” Luther says of Satan, “one little word will fell him.” What “word” was Luther talking about? That “word’ is the Word of God. Luther was under constant attack and had reason to fear for his life. But his confidence was that the Word of God could not be defeated.  

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How did the people of Israel pray when they were unjustly oppressed by foreign enemies? They often turned to the imprecatory psalms to express their anger and to cry out to God to help.  The imprecatory psalms tend to be one of the most misunderstood writings in the Old Testament. An imprecatory psalm is one where God’s suffering people cry out to God to intervene and bring His justice to a situation. Some examples of these imprecations might include Psalms 5, 6, 35, 69, and 109, all of which are cited in the New Testament. Imprecatory psalms are those in which the author imprecates; that is, he calls down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on his enemies.  

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Help for Ukraine

The destruction in Ukraine is unbelievable. There are nearly 1 million refugees and many, many more trapped in cities or involved in defending cities. They need PRAYER but they also need FINANCES to provide food, medical resources and fuel for buses to evacuate people.

Here are some trusted groups that you can give to help the people of Ukraine. There are so many needs and many organizations are helping. Just be sure you know the persons involved or the organization before giving. There are many scams. I’ll try to keep adding some more as I can.

Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (UBTS) continues to help hundreds of refugees who are streaming West to L’viv to escape the front lines of the Russian invasion. The number of people and the needs they have grow greater every day. Please help them so they have the resources to help others. https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/UPF/UkraineEmergencyFund

Here is another way to donate to UBTS and this weblink also includes some excellent video updates about the ministry being done there. https://upfmissions.org/ubts/ubts-response-to-crisis-in-ukraine/

Andriy Kolbovsky, Without Excuse Endeavor. Andriy is our neighbor. He has been involved in helping with orphans in Ukraine since 2003. Andriy Kolbovsky. His family is in the states for now, but they are planning to return in August. Andriy stayed to help with evacuations, humanitarian needs and driving through wars zones to help people. He is now travelling to bring supplies to villagers hard hit by the war. Even before the war, he worked with a ministry called “Without Excuse Endeavor: Freeway” that worked with orphans in Ukraine. Right now, he said the greatest need they have is for gas money because he spends all day every day travelling back and forth to bring supplies to the villages. And gas prices are soaring. You can help by sending a donation to their website and mention his name (Here is a link to help with finances http://give.woee.org/GeneralFundFreeway), or you can send it to Teaching Resources (designate it as Missions: Andriy). We will get the money to him directly.

Alexei and Lena Khodakovsky. Alexei and Lena are friends from Campus Ministry. They primarily do evangelism with university students. But during the war, they are helping with humanitarian needs. They are providing supplies for the soldiers and also resources for people to rebuild their homes and lives in Ukraine. Right now, they are helping some families with shovels, seeds, and roofing materials. They are also trying to raise funds to provide a tractor for some key families (believers) who can use that equipment to help other families and be a witness for Christ. If you want to help them with funds for these supplies, you can give directly through their PayPal account (lena.khodakivska20@gmail.com – ELENA HODAKOVSKAIA; this would not be tax-deductible) or send your gift through TRI designated as Missions: Khodakovsky.

Sergei and Natalia Tereschenko. Sergei and Natalia are both working for Kyiv Theological Seminary. Sergei is continuing to work helping to put together translations, IT and online class help. Natalia is a professor teaching in the Christian Education Department. Natalia has been co-teaching the Research and Writing class with me since 2012. Both Sergei and Natalia are former students of mine. They lived near the airport and had to evacuate with their children. They are currently living in Romania but they are still working for the seminary doing translations and other work online. They do not have a regular income because of the war. They could use your help. Some friends have set up a fundraising account for them with a non-profit ministry in the US. You can make a tax-deductible donation at this page: https://allegrosolutions.org/donate/ please use the account designation code so that the funds can go to help them personally: FriendsOfKTS.SNT.

Maksym Sliazin, former student and pastor is helping refugees to get to Poland and helping them in Poland. Here is the information to help them with finances. PayPal account: maksymsliazin@gmail.com

Bank account details: Santander Bank Polska PL 11 1090 1098 0000 0001 3219 6409 SWIFT code: WBKPPLPP Maksym Sliazin  80-180 Podleckiego 3/15

Yuri Rusyn and Zhdenevo Christian Camp in Transcarpatia. Yuri is a former student and he runs a small camp in the mountains. They have converted the camp into a place for housing refugees. They are providing food and housing there. If you want to help them in this ministry, here is their information. Privat Bank via Rusyn, Bohdana #4149-4991-4640-2415.

Calvary Chapel has been ministering in Ukraine, Hungary and Poland for decades. Many churches have been planted, and many missionaries have been sent. My friends, David and Katya Sneead are working with them. The CGN Relief Fund will send support to those in Ukraine/Eastern Europe. Visit http://ow.ly/GY7s50I9zOT #ukraine #prayer #support

YWAM Slavic Ministries We have friends in YWAM that are posting good updates and providing opportunities to help with humanitariam and refugee efforts. Here is their website for both information and donations. https://www.ywamslavicministries.org/

Irpin Bible Church One of the pastors is our friend (and former student) and current Director of Youth Ministries at KTS. This church is in the city where some of the most fierce fighting has taken place as Russia has tried to secure the Gostomel Airfield. The humanitarian needs are many. If you wan to help the church, here is a place to donate. https://mygiving.secure.force.com/GXDonateNow?id=a0U0H00000ZQGMcUAP&fbclid=IwAR3NiGIaEhYRrrkyVRRUqlK-oAjqM6IOikKWcajokX8q-W1KtCHvRkoZNVE

Sergey and Natasha Bochko. This is our pastor and his wife. They have 3 small children too. They have evacuated to Romania for now and they are helping with refugees there. Here is their information. You can send you donation through PayPal. The email for PayPal is: bochkofamily@gmail.com. You could also send through this ebank account: BOCHKO SERHIY, BANCA TRANSILVANIA S.A., SWIFT/BIC code “BTRLRO22”, Calea Dorobatilor 30-36, Postal code: 400117 City: Cluj-Napoca IBAN-USD: RO54BTRLUSDCRT0639456001.

Artur Nadiv – student and former missionary to China. He is now working with relief efforts, especially in Kyiv. Here are some ways to help him minister to others. Bank transfer or via Wise.com: The account of the recipient – 26209898213740, Establishment of a bank – PrivatBank, MFI Bank – 305299, Recipient of payment – NADIIEV ARTUR, IBAN – UA293052990000026209898213740, The account of the recipient – 26209898213740, Card сurrency – UAH, USREOU code of the recipient – 3230809539, Payment description – Deposit funds into the account NADIIEV ARTUR. Via PayPal — paypal.me/mkfiddler, include a note that it’s for “Ukrainian Outreach” or for “Artur Nadiiev” (these are my trusted friends, and they know how to make transfers to me). He keeps track of all the donations and expenses and can provide a Google Docs spreadsheet upon request.

SEND International Many of our professors and other missionaries to Ukraine are working with SEND. Here is where you can contribute. https://send.org/?fbclid=IwAR2Q0xpiwyVhu61QVwGgqMn017Q95ObGyyOM7EWEJydJ8Dk4UxtdMlkeVzg

Samaritan’s Purse https://www.facebook.com/1642864607/posts/10224202275478249/

Mission Euraisa https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158545642713456&id=751978455