Every day, the situation in Ukraine changes. But the Rock of Ages doesn’t change. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. So thank you for your prayers for Vlad, his team, and the people in Ukraine and Russia who are suffering from this war.
Russian edition of The Divine Exchange published
Yesterday, 21 April, Vlad shared the exciting news that in spite of the circumstances, he was able to publish a new edition of the book "The Divine Exchange / How to Apply the Blood of Jesus" in Russian. He received the first copies yesterday – see the picture.
Vlad’s publisher Vyacheslav was able to print 3,000 copies and thus this book is now available in both languages again - in Russian and Ukrainian - for distribution inside of Ukraine. About two weeks ago,the Procter-and-Gamble plant near Kyiv, with which they co-worked, was completely destroyed by shelling. But Vyacheslav did not lose heart and searched for any remnants of paper in the surviving warehouses to print new books.
Proclamation cards and books
50 thousand Proclamation cards in Ukrainian and Russian have been printed and are being distributed through local churches in several Eastern European countries and in Ukraine. Please pray that each card reaches the right person and that it becomes a source of hope and encouragement.
EE-outreach workers in Poland, Slovakia, and Romania are connected with churches that are involved with help to Ukrainian refugees within their borders, and transport of humanitarian aid to Ukraine: They will print Derek’s books in Ukrainian and Russian locally and include these resources in relief packs.
Food distribution and outreach in Ukraine
Inside Ukraine, Derek’s resources are distributed through trusted partners and included in relief packs. One of these partners is Vadim. Vadim is the leader of ‘House of Mercy’, a rehab centre in Lyiy, Ukraine.
Vlad has known him since 1995 when he was a chaplain in a strict security prison and met Vadim in the prison church. Vadim was in jail two times for drug dealing. After his release, he started a rehab centre At first he simply took people right in at his home. Then he started building a rehabilitation centre by buying several old houses in the countryside.
Now, in this wartime, Vadim is using these houses to offer a place for displaced Ukrainians. They have already taken about 100 people to the centre. Most of the rehabilitators had feasible jobs in different settlements but with the outbreak of the war, they were left without work. Now they are actively helping in transporting food and humanitarian aid towards the military zone and taking people out of there.
Vadim and his team prepare delicious food and deliver it to areas of the city that have suffered from shelling. Since chaotic artillery and rocket attacks continue from the territory of Russia, the infrastructure of the city is mainly destroyed and many people cannot cook hot food for themselves and have not eaten anything boiled for two weeks already. Vadim’s people go from house to house every day, where people live in the basements of multi-story buildings. Some people are still hiding in the basements of houses and in metro stations. Many of them are either elderly or needy, who could not or did not want to leave the city.
Vadim’s team also travels through subway stations where people also hide and live. They deliver fresh borscht (national Ukrainian soup) and other hot meals to people who have sometimes not had anything warm to eat for days or weeks. They also preach the Gospel and hand out encouraging Christian materials. The video gives you an impression of this ministry.
Bringing food to the front line
Vadim has two vans with trailers to carry food from Western Ukraine almost to the very front line in the east. The food stocks there are largely exhausted. Moreover, many refugees have come to Vadim’s area, and food is needed there locally too. In the past few days, large parties of refugees from Mariupol and the Donetsk region have arrived. For this reason, resources must be carried from Western Ukraine.
Their last trip was from Lviv to the city of Margarets - next to the nuclear power plant captured by Russia – a journey of about 1000 km! In order to make the way back and forth for two vans with trailers (that's about 5 tons of cargo), fuel is needed for 30,000 hryvnias (or 1,000 euros). However, this is the only effective way to deliver food now. Big trucks can't go where they go. So thank you for your help. I believe it is an effective way to donate.
Prayer and Fasting
In wars, there are not only visible forces at work, like tanks and rockets but also invisible forces of darkness. Therefore, Vlad sent 11 letters to his President, to the Head and members of our Parliament, and to the Ukrainian government, asking and encouraging them for the appointment of a Day for Prayer and fasting for our country. With these letters, he enclosed a copy of Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting and The Divine Exchange.
Help displaced Ukrainians
Vlad and his church continue to help care for the refugees in their town. The population of their town is about 40 thousand, but now has officially 8 thousand refugees registered - in reality,
there are more. There are already about 11 million people in Ukraine who have left their homes. This is more than a quarter of the country's population.
The church offers help with the accommodation and feeding of as many refugees as possible. Currently, they feed over 150 refugees each day. In addition, they support local volunteers who work full-time with refugees - cooking, housing, food preparation, and transport issues. Many of them lost their jobs because local businesses stopped, but they did not leave the town and serve others.
Easter Gifts for soldiers on the frontline
Last weekend, Ukraine celebrated Easter together with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The volunteer team to support the army, with which Vlad’s wife Lydia cooperates, has prepared gifts for the soldiers on the front lines. Together with fresh pastries - buns with plums - we have given them Ukrainian copies of The Divine Exchange, as well as a Gideon Brethren New Testament.
Despite the war, Vlad is gradually sending books around Ukraine and he continues to work on the editing of books. Last week he sent the text of ‘Declaring God’s Word’ to a brother in Western Ukraine for voice-overing. He is planning, God willing, to make daily proclamations on the Ukrainian YouTube channel starting January 1 next year.