A Spring Update From Yarmolyntsi Baptist Church, Khmelnitsky
June 16, 2023 - We received a detailed spring update from our dear brother, Vova Bogomaz, Director of Khmelnytsky Regional Bible College and Pastor of Yarmolyntsi Baptist Meeting with The Lord Church. Brother Vova paints a descriptive picture of how each day is consumed with adjusting and managing ministry and life with refugees due to the ongoing war. We are thankful for his faithfulness to God's calling on his life that many would come to have faith in Jesus.
Greetings, brothers and sisters,
Spring has passed, and a full-scale war has been going on in Ukraine for a year now. By God's grace, we are alive and have everything we need for our lives.
In April, there was heavy shelling of the city of Khmelnytskyi, which is 30 km from us. Ammunition explosions damaged hundreds of houses, including our familiar believers. A week after that heavy shelling of Khmelnytskyi, my wife and I woke up around 4:00 a.m. from air defense explosions a few kilometers away; it was scary. And we are far from the front. The capital Kyiv and other cities are shelled almost every day. Recently, the Russians blew up the Kakhovskaya HPP, which flooded dozens of settlements, preventing the evacuation of people from there. Now there is information about their plans to blow up the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. We pray and hope for God's mercy; we ask you to support us in prayer.
Along with the war, God gives ample opportunities to serve people and to preach the Gospel. It is not possible to describe all activities in the spring in one letter.
Festive Easter Evangelism.
During the holidays, we held two events in Yarmolyntsy for local children and refugee families. I am also very happy for the family of Pastor Yury from the small church in the village of Maidan Morozivskyi. Yuriy and his wife Inna work as teachers in a secondary school, where everyone knows that he is a pastor. They serve very zealously in their village and other villages. I went to help them in the village of Mitsivtsi, where we held a holiday for children at the school and kindergarten, talked about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and distributed gifts.
Service with refugees.
On Wednesdays, in the house of prayer, we meet with displaced people. Most of them are women with children, old people, and large families. We read the Bible, and we have discussions. At the last meeting, while consistently reading the Gospel from Matthew, they read that Christ teaches to love one's enemies. There was an active discussion about how to forgive those who took everything from them and destroyed their lives. For them, this topic is very difficult and painful; only God can help them understand all this.
We help people with products, hygiene products, clothes, and shoes.
Yesterday, at the prayer meeting, Olga prayed out loud for the first time and asked God to forgive her sins. This woman and her family have been living in the house of prayer for a year. Gradually God's Word worked on her heart. We pray for repentance for her loved ones.
Trip to Kharkiv region.
In April, the military from Yarmolinets approached us with a request to help civilians who remain in the war zone in the Kharkiv direction. We loaded the minibus with food packages and took them to the people. In those villages, there was no opportunity to collect people, and together with representatives of local authorities, we delivered products to houses where people still live. There is so much pain and suffering, but we brought people help and reminded them of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Activities for Children's Day.
Children's Day is celebrated in Ukraine on June 1. The authorities were making their festival and invited us to help them. At the beginning of the holiday, I and two other representatives of the churches were called forward, and we prayed, and then the national anthem of Ukraine sounded, and the holiday began. This is the first time they have done so. At that event, we organized many locations: trampolines, popcorn, cotton candy, various games, distributed Christian literature, and talked with children and adults.
In the morning on the same day, we held another event in the house of prayer: where doctors examined people and gave glasses to those in need, people watched pictures of Gospel stories and, listened to the exposition of the Gospel, received food aid.
There is no time to write about evangelization in the village of Khodorivtsi, the ordination of brothers for service, and various meetings for spiritual edification.
Preparation for winter.
Summer is here, and we want to make the most of it. We have already prepared 6 trucks of firewood, and we plan to purchase 4 more trucks. About 10 cords of firewood were used last winter since people live in the house of prayer constantly, so we need more firewood.
The premises are being converted for new needs in order to have a place to store and distribute humanitarian aid. Therefore, there is a lot of such household work.
In the spring, my wife Oksana and I had health problems. My wife and I were treated at different times in the hospital for exacerbation of pancreatitis. We feel better now.
A few weeks ago, our eldest son Mykhailo was mobilized, and he is currently undergoing training.
June 18-24 Camp in Poland for the Youth Academy
June 28 - July 1 Sports Festival in Yarmolyntsi, at the city stadium. We expect more than 500 participants.
July 2-6 Women's camp on the Dniester River
We are planning a vacation for our family in Austria on July 8-14.
July 16-21 youth camp on the Dniester River
July 21-23 Evangelization event "Family Weekend.”
August 14-19 children's day camp in Yarmolyntsy.
We thank God for:
By His grace to Ukraine and to us in particular
For open doors for service and preaching of the Gospel
For a team of brothers and sisters with whom we can serve the Lord together
That the Word of God is alive and active, touches human hearts, calls them to repentance.
I thank God for my wife; in August, it will be 20 years since we are one family.
Please Pray for:
For peace in Ukraine.
God's protection so that there are no accidents at the nuclear plant or the use of nuclear weapons.
May the Lord give physical and spiritual strength to accomplish what He wants
For the health of our team member Ruslan, he was diagnosed with a thrombus that blocks blood flow near the lungs. That the Lord would help to understand what caused this disease and give healing.
That the Lord would bless the implementation of the planned events, protect against evil, and the Glory of His Kingdom would be spread for the salvation of many people through faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.