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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

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.

Our needs … of course we have needs. We have lost our home, our car, and all our clothing and possessions. However, we have many faithful friends in the US helping us. But we still have needs too. If you want to support us or help us in some way personally, you can contribute by sending a check to Teaching Resources International, PO Box 1025, Cabot, AR 72023. Put #1000-Ehrhard in the memo. Or you can give through PayPal from our Website at https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=6V78KANJJCEDG. But the needs below are much more crucial than ours. These organizations are providing direct support and ministering the gospel to people in Ukraine. All those listed are our dear friends and colleagues in Ukraine. Thank you for helping them!

Andriy Kolbovsky, Without Excuse Endeavor. Andriy is our neighbor. He has been involved in helping with orphans in Ukraine since 2003. He is currently in Ukraine transporting refugees and also transporting supplies and humanitarian aid. Please pray for him and his wife, Alla, and their two children. They are close friends and servants of the gospel. Here is a link about his work. http://woee.org/partners/?fbclid=IwAR0R8WJONTqwQibSTe4sf0-aoRuUmpP8kVBGv8tZhAcyzxyJwGAGPonIVTg

Here is a link to help with finances http://give.woee.org/GeneralFundFreeway

Sergey and Galya Pevnev.  Sergey and Galya have been serving with Campus Ministries in Ukraine since 2007. We met them while we were helping with English Outreaches at the University in Kyiv. After the war began in 2014, there were no campus ministries in Eastern Ukraine. Sergey and Galya decided to go to Khariv and begin a student ministry there in 2016. Before the war, they were involved in evangelism, discipleship and having home meetings to reach out to young mothers. 

When the war began in 2022, they were still serving in Kharkiv, which was just 30 km from the Russian border. The night before the invasion, they woke up at 2 am hearing explosions. They took their family and fled south into Hungry. While there, they ministered to the large influx of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war zone. 

If you would like to give to help their ministry or to help their family, you can do so through the Campus Crusade website using the link provided.

Aleksei and Lena Khodakovsky … Losha and Lena have been our friends for many years and we worked together with them in reaching university students in Kyiv. Before the war, they were involved in leading the campus ministry at Shevchenko University in Kyiv. They did evangelistic outreaches and did personal discipleship and led small groups.

When the war began, they became involved in helping people in the occupied areas and in helping them rebuild after the Russians left. They have made many trips to Poland to get supplies and bring them to the front lines in the East. They also made many trips to the front lines to bring medical supplies to hospitals and other supplies to the soldiers. Losha also went behind lines to bring people out from the occupied areas. One person he helped told him, “The measure of love is determined by the measure of sacrifice.” Losha and Lena continue to serve with joy, sharing the love of Christ and the gospel in Ukraine. If you want to help them with their ministries in Ukraine, you can use PayPal at lena.khodakivska20@gmail.com 

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. The entire seminary has been converted into a “refugee camp with mattresses covering the floors and many volunteers helping to cook and feed refugees as they come through. Please help them so they have the resources to help others.

https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/UPF/UkraineEmergencyFund

Oleksii and Natalia Gaiduchenko … Oleksii and Natalia were teaching English and leading a new church plant at the beginning of the war. Both Oleksii and Natalia are graduates of our seminary with Masters degrees in Biblical Counseling. They have been our friends for many years and were part of the same church before starting a new church in Kyiv. Since the war began, they have continued to lead their church and have also increased their efforts to help with various humanitarian supplies.  

During the war, they have been greatly involved in humanitarian efforts bringing medicines and food to refugees as well as making trips to bring supplies to those in occupied villages. Their church has been helping to provide school supplies for refugees who have moved to Kyiv after their homes were destroyed. 

If you would like to help them meet the needs of refugees while they share the gospel, you can send donations through PayPal to Gaiduchenko.olexii@gmail.com.

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

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 great. If you want 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 your donation through PayPal. The email for PayPal is: bochkofamily@gmail.com

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

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.

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

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