4/11/2022 – The joy of restored worship in Kyiv

From Pastor Ivan: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” Ps. 133:1. It is difficult to put in words the joy of meeting with brothers and sisters at a church service in the midst of a wartime. Ever since the beginning of the full scale war, our capital city has been subject to strict martial law regulations. The Kyiv region was one of the first to be attacked. Immediately the life and ministry of the church were completely redefined and reformed. Although many members of the church had to evacuate to a safe place, part of the church remained in Kyiv. We continue to distribute humanitarian aid, deliver food and medicine to those in need.

Some members of our congregation took up arms and went to the territorial defense battalions. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our collective worship services, because our meeting place, due to its proximity to the Government block, could become a target for rockets or bombs. For the past several Sundays, we were limited to online sermons and devotion at home. We looked forward to our daily evening prayer meetings, when we met online every evening for prayer and fellowship.

All of us felt very acute need of a live, face to face, collective worship service on the Lord’s day. The disturbing news from the front line, stress and anxiety only contributed to this longing. Finally, this past Sunday, April 10, we managed to get together for the worship service in the building of the ERSU Seminary.

Notwithstanding the wartime, our joy knew no bounds. We savoured every moment of this divine service. We sang our well-known Christian hymns, fervently prayed for the needs of the church and our long-suffering country, soaked up the readings of God’s Word and meditated on the words of the sermon. Despite the fact that we were few, God’s presence in this service was so special and more tangible than ever. The Lord spoke to the heart of each of us through His Word and evoked a response in the depths of every soul.

After the benediction, we, completely neglecting and forgetting the Covid restrictions, hugged, talked with each other and enjoyed the refreshments. We just didn’t want to leave. Everyone understood that live, face to face worship service just has no alternative in our earthly life. When we finally parted, encouraged and spiritually strengthened, we realised that we were already looking forward to our next worship service to our Lord in the assembly of brothers and sisters.

6 responses to “4/11/2022 – The joy of restored worship in Kyiv”

  1. so wonderful to see you all together!
    Thank you so much for these pictures.

    Great to see the faces we are praying for here in Pennsylvania, even though we don’t know names. The Lord does!

    Thank you dear brothers and sisters!

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  2. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20 ESV

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

    “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part… If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.”
    1 Corinthians 12:24-26 The Message

    Dear brothers and sisters in Kyiv,
    It gives me great joy (to the point of tears) to hear of your love for our Lord! You glorify him in your heartfelt worship of him and love for one another! There in Lyiv, under such duress, you edify the Body of Christ across the globe! May God continue to pour out his rich blessings upon you as you follow him moment by moment.

    “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said,
    To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

    Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
    Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

    When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
    For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

    When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

    E’en down to old age all My people shall prove
    My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
    And then, when grey hairs shall their temples adorn,
    Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

    The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
    I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!”

    lyrics of How Firm a Foundation with reference to Isaiah 46:4 and Job 23:10

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  3. God bless you all in your faithfulness to Him!!! Absolutely nothing can substitute for corporate worship! We here in America, as of today, still have the great privilege to gather, in person, for worship….and yet, many, if not the majority, of worship gatherings are greatly lacking in attendance. And then we see our brothers and sisters in Ukraine….how ashamed we should be. May our priorities be closely examined. Our hearts grieve for your people and country….our fervent prayers continue….and we rejoice in God and His Church that not even the very gates of Hell will overcome! May He do a mighty work for your good and His glory!

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  4. Praise God! Thank you for sharing this! Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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