Ukraine Update #9: The Lord is the strength of his people

Nov 1, 2022 | Ukraine | 0 comments

Ukraine Update #9: The Lord is the strength of his people

Kevin Reilly on behalf of Edik and Liana – Ukraine

Psalm 28 was the focus of our prayer meeting this morning – we continue to meet twice weekly to pray for an end to the war in Ukraine. It’s a psalm of two halves and within these nine verses we are drawn into the intensity of David’s reality but then quickly into the heights of his joy and hope in the Lord. It’s a psalm written for our day.

For many of us, we are more accustomed to approaching God with prayer and thanks giving, and then laying our requests before the Lord. But not David. Not here. I call upon you Lord…be not deaf to me…do not drag me off with the wicked…tear them down and build them up no more! (Ps 28:1-5). There’s faith of course, but it’s a dirty and earthy faith. David’s petitions are laced with the reality of the effect of enemies encroaching upon his life.

But then in the final four verses, it’s as though we have come into an alternative prayer meeting!

Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Ps 28:6-9)

Messages from Edik and Liana are always a mix of reality and hope – though if pressed, I would say that hope and joy outweigh the sense of horror, so apparent in David’s opening salvo. Edik and Liana both attribute the hope and peace that they feel, to the ongoing prayers of so many of us who refuse to accept that the news reports of horror stories should have the final word.

As in the psalm, stories of those being dragged off with the wicked with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbours while evil is in their hearts (v3) may dominate our screens, but the blessedness of our God and his capacity to be a refuge for his anointed (the church), to save his people and to bless his heritage (the church again:) has the final word.

It is always a privilege to share Edik and Liana’s news. The intensity of their reality (and that of their nation) is very real as you will see; but in conversation with them, it is never the final word – there is such peace and joy and hope.

We are privileged to call them friends, and as a core team in the LHC (Onno Weststrate, Gert Hijkoop, David King, Emma and myself) we will be with these guys in Ukraine from Wednesday 29/11 to Monday 05/12). Can’t wait! Or (as Edik would put it) β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™

October’s updates, prayer requests and info from Edik, below…

An urgent message from Edik, asking for prayer on 20/10 – we brought this to our morning prayer meeting on 21/10

Edik Writes: Dear friends! I ask for prayerful help. Today, in our church building, which we own in Yenakiyevo DPR (this is in the Russian-occupied zone since 2014 ). Russian soldiers came with weapons and in uniform. They examined our church building and said that the issue of ownership of the building would be decided by the City Executive Committee – Putin has introduced “martial law” in this region. Dear family, I ask for prayer support so that God averts their eyes and desires and that the fear of God fills the hearts and minds of these people so that we and our church family in Yenakiyevo remain the legal owners of our building (see pic below).

Thank you Family!!!β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

Edik’s Encouraging update regarding the building on 26/10

Edik writes: Hi Dear Kevin. I apologise for not replying sooner as I was waiting for information (about the church building in Yenakiyevo )

The military came three more times to our church building. One guy was very cruel and he brought the authorities and they went into the hall where our church services are held. They talked for a long time and (from what we understand) the officer in charge rejected the proposals of the “cruel guy” to settle the soldiers into our church building. Then another β€œkind” officer called and came and tactfully asked if they could use the large hall of the church just for two days and for only one hour each day to present some awards to his servicemen – this will happen today and tomorrow.

Thank you very much for your prayer support. It is very important for us. There are Russians who fear God and there are those who do not and consider our churches to be sects. We keep praying that God will take these people away from us and that the fear of the Lord will cause them not to touch our church building and to look for solutions elsewhere. β€οΈπŸ™πŸ™‚

And in the midst of crisis events such as the one described above, the good works and mercy ministry of Edik, Liana and the church in Uzhgorod continues.

Edik Writes: Below I am sending a photo of the stove that we bought for the church in Berehove. We replaced the old, home-made stove (made from a metal barrel) with a good one, with good efficiency. β€οΈπŸ™πŸ™‚

Edik’s latest message (sent 31/10) is shared below

Edik Writes: Hello dear Emma. I am very sorry that I was not able to write an answer earlier today. I was busy all day and in the evening there was a service in a neighbouring village. Thank God everything was calm with us and nothing (missiles) arrived in Transcarpathia during these days. But rolling blackouts have begun in Transcarpathia and here in Uzhgorod too. For example, tomorrow at 9:00 there will be a power outage in our area of ​​the city for 6 hours, and we have a schedule of power outages for several days in order to ration the energy.

Edik’s monthly summary In October:

  • we paid $150 each for 15 refugee families to stay in a hotel.
  • we also made weekly “living” payments to 33 people averaging $100 per month each.
  • we purchased (and plan to distribute) $1,500 worth of food parcels for approximately 50 families this week.
  • we have also provided financial assistance to three churches of $500 each.
  • we also bought the solid fuel stove for a church in Berehove for $300 with delivery.
  • we also held a picnic for church members and refugees who attend the church – $200
  • the rent for the church hall was $500 and rent and utilities for the apartment are $400.

Thank you so much for your service and your love for us!!! May God bless you all with abundance of His grace!!!β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™


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