May 26-28, Steve Eckert, Bill Arvan, and board members Dave Melin and Volodymyr Degtyaryov attended a Ukrainian Ministry Leaders Conference at the Baptist Theological Seminary campus in Warsaw, Poland. Initially, 30-50 ministry leaders were expected to attend. God sent close to 100 (1/3 of them women). Praise God. READ Ministries covered the extra cost incurred by the abundance in attendance. This generosity was met with much appreciation. This conference was planned to allow encouragement amongst the ministry leaders, pray for all that God would do, and form a plan on bringing Polish and Ukrainian pastors together to be prepared for the changes brought on by the war in Ukraine and the needs of the refugees as they move through the different phases of being displaced and the traumas they have endured. On the third morning, a pastor from Kyiv (displaced and now serving his congregation (in person and virtually) from a church in Cologne, Germany) shared a challenging message about waiting upon the Lord. He pointed out that maybe things never will be the same again. He encouraged and reminded the men and women of God's sovereignty and prayerfully consider the future for believers in Poland. There are many current refugees and those who have been in Poland since the 2014 conflict and those there to help grow the church in Poland - which is primarily Roman Catholic; only a fraction of a percent are evangelical). The team also benefited from being with these brothers and sisters from Poland and Ukraine during break-time or meals that offered time for one-on-one conversations. A significant moment happened when three ladies, all from Ukraine yet all strangers until they became refugees, joined Bill and Steve at their lunch table. In introducing themselves and explaining READ Ministries, Bill told them - that's why they were there - to help encourage the spiritual journey of these pastors. One of these young ladies expressed that it is hard to accept and embrace what is before them, but it is comforting knowing they are not alone and there are friends to pray and support and walk with them. She shared this with emotion and tears. We thank God for our travel team's meaningful time in Warsaw at the conference. Pray with us that many were encouraged and for their obedience in waiting on the Lord to allow His plan to be known. Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Isaiah 30:18 - Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 12:2-3 - Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He also has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation.
Psalm 62:8 - Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge."