From Pastor Ivan Bespalov: It has been almost six months since our country lives in a state of war with Russian Federation.
Even though Kyiv has not had any shelling for several months now, we are still very concerned about the intense battles which rage in the east and south of our country. We continue see the influx of refugees to our capital city from those parts of the country. Almost every day we hear air raid sirens which mean a warning that any city or town across the country could be hit by a missile.
Our church in Kyiv continues her ministry in this new reality which is drastically different from the prewar peaceful time.
Every week we have a prayer meeting where we lift up every our soldier, especially the ones who are from our congregation or the ones we know personally by name, before the Lord in our prayers. In our prayers, we look to Jesus to fortify them at the frontline and us here in Kyiv. In the course of these six months the Lord showed us that our prayer in the most powerful weapon in this war of attrition. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)
This past Sunday our young ruling elder and the seminary student Sxxxx H. preached his first sermon. The war time has a unique way of making our seminary students and young preachers grow and mature quickly. Sxxxx also leads a weekly Bible study on book of Job to find answers to the challenges of the day.
Although our Sunday worship services, Bible Studies, and prayer meetings are the highlights of the week, the mercy ministry has also become a significant part of the church life. It proved to be a great means to spread the Gospel and reach out for the lost.
We’ve made a contact with the troops in the front line. As we learnt that they were short on food supply, we managed to organise a shipment of food to them.
We also organise door to door food deliveries to the needy people in Kyiv. Our church members eagerly do it as a very practical way to show our love to our neighbours, and a way to serve the Lord (Matt. 25:40).
Today, the mayor of Kyiv warned us that we should expect shortages of heating and electricity this winter.
Yes, it is a challenge, but also an opportunity for our church to collect the warm cloves and blankets for the the needy and refugees to brace for the cold Ukrainian winter.
As we prepare for winter, we are certain that the Lord is our shelter and He will protect us in the days to come.
For we know: “4. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6. Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalms 91:4-7).