Lutsk, Ukraine "Before the Russian Invasion"


Spring 2022
Written by Timothy and Rhoda Sloan - Ukraine
sloanukraine@hotmail.co.uk

John 9:1-3, "That the works of God should be made manifest in him v38". I am sure that the parents of the boy born blind and the boy himself had asked many a question WHY? Why us, why me? They had no doubt tried to reason things out in their minds! At birth, they experienced anxiety depression, possibly blaming themselves or each other! This event was life-changing - they were already poor, and how would they cope! Others judged them thinking that the blindness was the result of sin!

Maybe you are passing through a difficult experience. You have only questions and no answers. "Why is it" is what you ask yourself first thing in the morning and last thing at night. In the story, the answer is in v38. The young boy not only received his sight physically but spiritually. You and I may have to wait for eternity before the WHY is revealed. God has a plan, He has a purpose, and it will be revealed in the coming day!

The Ukrainians are presently asking a lot of "whys." Why does Mr. Putin want to start a war, take our land, destroy our economy, and disrupt our lives? As believers living in the land, we can only cast ourselves upon our God, knowing that He is in full control and He makes no mistakes.

Russia Some Western powers would like to continue talking to Mr. Putin as if he is a democrat. He invaded Ukraine in February 2014, and 8 years of talking has achieved little. Democracy means compromise, and that is not how Mr. Putin leads. He sees only winning or losing, and losing is not part of his vocabulary. Sanctions have not worked in the past. Though sanctions may hurt some Russians, Mr. Putin cannot be held accountable for any misery they cause simply because there is little accountability in Mr. Putin's Russia!

Lutsk Living in Lutsk, Rhoda and I are aware of the terrible consequences of war. While the military aspect is hardly likely to affect us here, the effects of war in the land certainly will. The economy will collapse, communication will stop as the internet will be closed down, and things like electricity, gas, and petrol will be hard to come by. We are taking precautions. Last week we bought in 12 tons of wood pellets to keep our wood-chip pellet boiler at the Gospel hall working. Of course, we need electricity to operate the boiler, so we are trying to buy a generator and some small gas-burning stoves. Should we need to live at the hall with the other believers, we will have a little heat, some electricity, and basic foods. Why would we need to move out of our apartment? We live on the four-floor of an old USSR-built 14-floor apartment block. The secret police use the whole of the 14th floor as central headquarters, and the roof of our building is covered in listening equipment - masts and what looks like numerous satellite dishes. An ideal target to be taken out!! We have an airport in Lutsk which serves only the military! Beside the airport is a factory that services military jet engines, and all of this is less than a mile from us! Another target!! We have no intention of leaving Lutsk should war break out. God has called us to be here, and we cannot just get up and leave the Lutsk believers and the orphan children. A shepherd of God's people is not to be a shepherd only in good times but to be with His sheep when the lion or bear attacks.

Calendars 2022! Our billboard near the Gospel Hall wishing everyone a Happy New Year and offering a free New Testament and free calendars!

This billboard has proved invaluable. It is amazing the number of people who stop at the hall weekly asking for a New Testament, free calendars, or inquiring if their child/children can attend Sunday school. We keep busy in Lutsk, and throughout late December and early January, we distributed approx. Thirty-six thousand calendars, door to door and on the streets. We printed 44,000 calendars and sent approx. 8,000 to Ivano Frankivsk, where the believers there are active in the Gospel. The photos below show some of the assembly believers in Lutsk and young people getting ready to leave in freezing snowy weather. God has promised that His word will not return unto Him void.

Covid.

Omicron is hitting Ukraine hard, and it is incredible the number of people who are affected. The assembly meetings will not change. Though we are probably entering a red zone this week in Lutsk. For nearly two years of this Covid pandemic, we have continued to remember the Lord just as He asked us to do with the bread and the cup. Many have come in off the street during these years, and we have had no idea who they have been in contact with. We have made no difference and greeted them as we would always have done. In the last two years, some in the assembly have had Covid. Three were in hospital on ventilators (all 3 had serious underlying health issues), but God preserved them all. Numbers last Lord's day at the Gospel meeting were smaller due to Covid and really heavy snow, but we still enjoyed a good number with us. Do pray that God will bless in salvation in Lutsk during 2022.

Orphanage renovations 2022

The renovations to the orphanage will continue until we open sometime in 2022, God willing! Real progress is being made despite some difficulties. Building materials have rocketed in price, and many materials are difficult to source. We are doing all that we can humanly speaking to keep the builders supplied as it is our goal to finish as soon as possible.

Spring 2022
Written by Timothy and Rhoda Sloan - Ukraine
sloanukraine@hotmail.co.uk