From Clay Quarterman, former MTW missionary (retired): In 2011, the Evangelism Explosion Training Center in Irpen was destroyed by fire. The Reformed seminary sometimes met there in the 1990s. The center was rebuilt after the fire, but now it has been in great danger of destruction from the Russian troops. This is not only from the fighting, but from the wanton, senseless destruction by the Russians, even when no Ukrainian troops were present. Here is a story just received from our long-time friend Nxxxx, who fled the center with his wife on March 6th. But it is a story of FAITH:
“March 6th I woke up at 5 a.m. with a clear thought: we must leave our home today and there is a way to do it. I did not know how or where we would go, but I believe God was talking to me.
“I found that I must walk quickly to Romanovka village, two miles from Irpen toward Kiev, then cross a bombed bridge over Irpen River where buses would be waiting to take people to Kiev central railway station and then by trains to Western part of Ukraine. We had just 15-20 minutes to get ready to leave our home and run 2.5 miles while bombs were falling around. Both of us are not young anymore. My wife cannot even walk fast, and I just had hernia surgery… It is just by the mercy of our God. You know, our Lord works through people. He sent to us some people to help.
“We crossed the Irpen River, under a bombed bridge and got on to the bus, which took us to Kiev railway station. The evacuation train was packed. People were sitting on the floor, standing in passageways, but we were able to get seats.
“For seven hours I was sitting and thinking… So many different people were around, with different lives, but now it looked like we all got one life and had one purpose – just to escape from bombs and missiles. All other things became very unimportant, and our previous life was gone.
“This war between Ukraine and Russia is not just a local war. It will strongly influence many, many countries around the world. Every war comes to an end eventually. This war also will finish at some point. Afterward, the world won’t be the same. But my constant prayer and hope is that many, many people in a changed world would know God and follow Him! This is the real purpose for any human being on the Earth.
“We do not know if our home is still ok or if it was already bombed. I have found several pictures on the Internet with buildings that are very near our house, about 60-90 yards, that were victims of the war.
“But this is how God reminds us, that all our treasures are on Heaven, not on the Earth! But here in the west of Ukraine, we are getting all we need for now. God provides!
“Frankly speaking, some days after escaping, I was spiritually and emotionally depressed. I thought, how will we survive, having lost everything? No joyful retirement, just a time of uncertainty… But now I am recovering, and God’s words “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away…” are moving from my head to my heart!
“Our world is full of horrible sins! But right now, as Christians we can do several main things: appeal to the Lord, share the Gospel and help people physically. In Eurasia we have new opportunities to share the Gospel. People in many countries of Europe and Asia are becoming much more sensitive to the Good News, because Russia’s deep crisis influences them.
“So keep praying. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!”