Dear Friends and Partners,
Our church in Kyiv met today for a Sunday worship service in person. Only those who live within walking distance could come and during the service three times there were warnings about air raids, but nobody hurried to shelter. We felt the safest together, praying to God and praising Him.
When we first discussed the idea of gathering church in person my vote was against it, but I admit I was wrong. It was such an encouragement for all those who gathered!
During the time of prayer, our praise and prayer requests were very different from the ones we had two weeks ago.
- We praised God for His protection, for water, electricity, heat that members of our church still have;
- We thanked God for protecting our Sasha and her unborn baby and we rejoiced at the news that Sasha’s baby is going to have a cousin born in November. Nikita’s brother and his wife just announced that they are expecting! We thank God for this gift of life! Please, God, watch over these new lives!
- We praised God for the courage He gives our defenders and for giving Ukraine strength all these days to stand against evil forces of Russian troops;
- We prayed specifically by name for friends and relatives who are missing;
- We prayed for friends, relatives, members of our church and all other men and women who are now part of the army and territorial defense units standing between us and the enemy;
- We thanked God for restaurants and stores that are making hot meals for our defenders;
- We prayed for God’s protection for hospitals, especially central Children’s Hospital in Kyiv where there are kids fighting for their lives with very serious diseases. Now there is even more threat to their lives – the hospital was shelled a few days ago;
- We prayed for the emotional state of people who are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, scared;
- We prayed for the safety of those who are on the roads trying to evacuate;
- We prayed for hearts of Ukrainians not to harden with hate. We are very angry with the enemy, we are frustrated with the response of Russian churches to the war. Many of our friends in Russia are either justifying the aggression or repeat KGB propaganda slogans about “one people/one language” and “it’s not our doing, it’s our governments” or even better “it’s Americans who started this war”;
- We prayed that God would strike the enemies who came to destroy our country and our lives.
In this war there are many fronts – there is the front where the army is fighting, there is a front where volunteers provide great support for the army and civilians, there is a political and diplomatic front, there is humanitarian aid front of supporting basic needs of especially vulnerable people, but there is also a spiritual front where forces of light and darkness are fighting as well. We are grateful to all the friends who are supporting us on these different fronts in different ways!
Our church youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChZTOG-qSs1hArVAq4K7yag. Since the start of 2022, my Russian-speaking husband who is one of the pastors of our church switched to preaching in Ukrainian. It’s not easy, but language is also our weapon! When Putin comes to “protect” Russian speakers, we want to forget the Russian language and speak only Ukrainian! ~Maia
Please share these updates with others. Thank you for your continued prayers.