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Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I are safe in our home. 

It is getting more real for the people of our city. The numbness is being awakened to the reality of war.

Friday, March 4, 2022, the Russian army began their approach on our city. We heard the first blasts at 11 AM. It is now 12:30 PM. Within that short time, we heard more blast than any time previous. Now there is silence. We hope that means that our men are holding control of the city.

For me, my body is reacting more than my mind. It is more difficult for me to have only communication activity to do. My language communication is limited, so that leaves me out of the loop on a number of levels. On the other hand, it is better for me not to have to process all of what I hear, and not to have to deal with emotion about what I hear.

It is better that I focus on hearing the voice of God, being aware of His presence, and focus on the spiritual warfare.

In my heart, I want to take up arms and stand side by side with my Ukrainian brothers and sisters, but without the language my concern is that I would not recognize the enemy. As I watch from a distance, I am encouraged to see how our Davids are battling Goliath.

One thing that is happening with Sveta uplifting. She has a “ministry of conversation”. Many people are calling her on the phone. As she listens, God’s spirit fills her with compassion and words of healing and calm.

Sveta has the heartbeat of this city. So she is able to help many people find what they need. Today, our Christmas fundraiser family is in need of diapers. Sveta found two sources of help and sent her the link.

Some people are rattled because of the war. Some are afraid of the unknown. And some have big fear that they will return to living under the soviet control. If only all of the EU, and America and Canada… understood, could feel the hopelessness that these people feel, and remember, then they would not be so slow to act against these war crimes of the Russian government.

In 2003, I live with a wonderful family for the months. I was new to Ukraine, and understood nothing about the post soviet life. At one point, the husband, a Russian Christian who was a strong Christian believer, said to me, “Mark, we must plant as many Christian churches in Ukraine, as fast as we can, before Russia controls us again.” I thought, “Who is your God.” I had no clue that he was not talking about faith, he was talking about the mentality of the Russian government. He was talking of a mentality of domination of nations. He grew up under soviet rule. He was denied higher education because he was a Christian. Think about that!

As for Sveta and I, there is a shock, a numbness. We find our strength in the Power of Jesus Christ Who lives within us.

Thank you for your prayers!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

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