Take a trip with us to Khmelnytsky in this update.
Our partner Volodya (Vova) Bogomaz (and his wife, Oksana) stay very busy doing the Lord's work in their church, for Khmelnytskyi Regional Bible College, and for the Baptist Union in their region. Because they send their updates quarterly, they are full of detail, sharing updates in every aspect of their ministry.
First and foremost, Vova gives glory to God for all things.
Greetings, brothers and sisters. It's been a busy summer, and I want to tell you about it. The Lord is wonderful, and we can always rely on Him. He will make everything even better as we think and expect. Therefore, through my letter, I want to communicate with you, my friends, and glorify God, who is truly worthy of all our praise.
Camp "Proem" in Poland. The opportunity to participate in a Christian camp in Poland was offered to teenagers and students of the Teen Academy. A group of 20 teenagers was formed. Ruslan Storozhenko, a brother from our church, was to be responsible for this camp. But within a few weeks, he suddenly fell ill, and our participation in the camp was in jeopardy. Therefore, I agreed to accompany the teenagers to this camp and took responsibility for it.
God blessed us in a special way in the camp. We met wonderful people, and we maintain relationships with them even after the camp. During the camp, there were wonderful meetings and discussions of Bible topics, and most importantly, six teenagers from our group were converted to the Lord.
Sports Festival. At the end of June, our church held a "SportFest" at the level of our town of Yarmolyntsy. The goal of the event is to give children and youth a chance to get a reboot. War, constant air alarms, stress, difficult winter, this is the reality in which we live. With God's help, we created an opportunity for people to rest their bodies and strengthen their spirits in trust and dependence on the Almighty Lord God. We had a children's program in the morning, and in the evening, everyone came - young and old, whole families. We reached over a thousand people and received positive feedback from the Yarmolynetsy society. The local newspaper published a lengthy article about the various services of the local church.
Women's camp. At the beginning of July, my family and I helped at a women's camp. These are women and children from various places in the Khmelnytskyi region, as church members, immigrants, and everyone. I preached and delivered food, and my wife Oksana led topics and was responsible for one of the groups. It was such a wonderful regional evangelistic project.
Youth camp and "Family Weekend" on the Dniester River. In mid-July, we held these programs, as we do yearly, on the Dniester River. This year, many new participants carefully watched us. We sowed the Word; we hope that in due time, it will sprout for salvation.
Children's day camp at the church. In August, we held another camp for younger and middle-aged children on the premises of the House of Prayer in Yarmolyntsy. About 80 children and their parents came. We have many rooms in the House of Prayer, but this year, everything was filled. It was a joy to watch the children and the team, who were united by interesting activities and discussions of Bible stories.
The situation in the local church. At the end of August, we had a baptism, and two people were baptized. These are two refugees whom we have accepted and served in the past. They needed not only food and shelter but also spiritual guidance. Last year, they repented and now joyfully accepted baptism, declaring their faith in front of everyone.
Also, in the summer, a few more people turned to Jesus Christ in a prayer of repentance during services of hearing the Gospel.
Serving refugees. We continue to meet with refugees on Wednesdays. About 50 people attend our meetings, where they can share their joys or difficulties, their pain, and the opportunities they have learned about; we read the Word of God, sing, and pray. Now, there is a very good atmosphere at such meetings; they are not afraid or closed off, but they communicate and ask important questions.
Also, one family of refugees permanently lives in the House of Prayer, and they often come to us with the need for temporary shelter. We help them find a place to live permanently.
Bible College. Even though several students were mobilized into the army, some left Ukraine, some became pregnant, and now have physical problems, studies continue.
Last year, with the local church's ministry development, we experienced some inconveniences and a lack of free space. I am raising the issue in our region about the need for a separate building in the city of Khmelnytskyi for the Bible College and other educational programs. We have to sell a building on the edge of the region, and we need to find and buy a new building in the regional center.
Service in the churches of the Khmelnytskyi region. It has already been five years since I was chosen to serve as our region's first assistant regional presbyter. Re-elections were supposed to be held in the fall, but due to the war, they were postponed indefinitely.
I visit the region's churches to participate in ordinations and holidays and resolve conflicts and problems.
At the beginning of September, because the responsible brother minister of Solobkivtsi was mobilized into the army, I also temporarily took responsibility for this church. I want to help them resume service and find someone to continue serving there.
Family. In the summer, our whole family went on vacation to Vienna, Austria. Our friends Matt and Liz invited us to their apartment when they went on holiday themselves. It was a long way to Austria but a great time. We walked around the city, visited museums, and the children saw big ships that were going down the river. We are grateful to God and friends for this particular time of rest.
In September, the children happily went to school in Yarmolyntsy. Because last year the school did not work here and they traveled far to the village, it was very tiring.
My wife Oksana, as one of the teachers of the Teen Academy, was instructed to take the course "The profession was created for me" and then teach it to teenagers. This course is conducted in Romania using the English language. There will be four training sessions, and she has to attend them in person. This is an impetus for her and me to learn English, which is often necessary. Therefore, now we as a family devote time to this as well.
Our eldest son, Mykhail, serves in the army, and our daughter, Sofia, continues her studies at the university.
We thank God for:
- The opportunity to hold all these camps and summer programs, thanks to His help and security that He provided - For the baptism and repentance that were, that His time of grace continues - For the vacation in Austria that we had for our family - For strength and health that God sends - For the brothers and sisters who pray and support our ministry
Please pray for:
- The end of the war and peace in Ukraine. We expect autumn and winter to be even more difficult than last year. May God protect the soldiers, civilians, and critical infrastructure that the Russians are constantly shelling. - Development of ministry in the local church: children's "Tomorrow Club,” sports club for youth, family group, ministry with refugees, ministry with old people, Bible study groups, team development. Now, there is a question of mobilizing several brothers from the team into the army - so that God blesses the solution of all issues and shows His will. - May the Lord bless the church in the village of Solobkivci, give unity and inspiration for ministry, and send a brother who would continue ministry there. - For premises for the Regional Office and the Bible College. And for the sale of premises in the village of Makiv and the purchase of a new one in the city of Khmelnytskyi. For students, teachers, and the entire educational process. - May God give me spiritual and physical strength and protect me and my family from evil.