Update from Ukraine: May 19, 2022
Rev. Roger Neumann serves as the WELS liaison to Ukraine. He has been able to maintain regular contact with the leadership from the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC) and is providing regular updates about how our brothers and sisters in the ULC are doing. WELS has decided to share Neumann’s updates. Please keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers.
May 15, 2022
Pastor Yuri Tytski(Holy Trinity, Bereznehuvate) is now in Ternopil with his family and he is helping Pastor Taras Kokovski at St. John/St. James in Ternopil. There has been some recent news about possible opportunities for mission work among Ukrainian refugees in Latvia. That would certainly be wonderful. God is good. In a way this news reminded me of the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The war in Ukraine has disrupted worship services in many places, but it hasn’t stopped the Lord’s work. The church, empowered by God, marches on. Our greatest joy and times of peace are found during those times that we are serving our Lord. Thank you for these opportunities dear Lord.
An update, Hanna and Maryna from Mariupol, have been picked up by our German brothers and taken back to Zwickau. They are safe where they are now. Thanks be to God! The German brothers brought along with them, a large amount of aid for the people which is very much appreciated. We thank the many, many people, and countries who provide help in Ukraine’s time of need.
Thank you Lord for the blessed fellowship of believers, who give of themselves to help others in their time of need. Lord, continue to bless and keep the people of Ukraine.
May 16, 2022
Yesterday was a day of rejoicing in Kharkiv, not because the war is over, but because for the first time since the war began, back in February, they were able to meet for worship in the place they rent for services. Pastor Khaustov commented, “there was no electricity, and it was a cloudy day, so it was nearly impossible to read from the books.” They did however have battery operated equipment for filming the service.
Prior to the war, we were helping All Saints Lutheran, in Kharkiv, to purchase a building that would be their own. They would have renovated the building to be used for worship and there were additional rooms for Sunday school classes. If that building is still standing, it’s our prayer that it can still be purchased.
Services were also held in Kiev yesterday, Bishop commented that some people came back for the first time since the beginning of the war.
May 17, 2022
I mentioned a couple days ago that people from the German Church were coming to pick up the two ladies from Mariupol, Hanna and Maryna. Pastor Somin drove them to the meeting place and the brothers from Germany met them and brought with them many donations of food, baby supplies, and medicine.
Bishop Horpynchuk wrote this letter of thanks to Pres. Michael Herbst of the ELFK:
“Dear Brother, thank you for the help we received from the ELFK that was brought by Petro Rudzik from Zwickau and by Pastor Serhiy Somin from Volodymyr. The help from Zwickau was delivered to the hospital in the eastern Ukraine. The help delivered by Pastor Somin was divided into three parts: canned food – for the military, children items for our sisters in pro-life as they deal with many refugees with babies, and the third part with food will go to the southern Ukraine, including German congregations. Thank you very much! Special thank you for the Varta power bank!”
He also added, “We thank the Lord for such caring brothers. We also thank the Lord for brothers from Finland and Sweden. We also thank the Lord for all our American brothers and sisters.”
It’s so encouraging to see and hear about the love and concern, by so many, for the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Christian love only speaks one language, and it is shown in one’s actions. The love of Jesus does compel us. And other people’s lives are touched and blessed by this.
May 18, 2022
Because people fled their towns and cities when it was winter, they have no spring and summer clothing. Clothes are purchased for people. Clothes are purchased at thrift stores or second hand stores, because many people fled with few personal items, or nothing more than what they were wearing or could fit into a small box. There are many who are in need of clothing and shoes, etc.
In case you are wondering, or desiring to send them care packages, it’s not easy to send packages. The cost for postage is high, and the delivery isn’t always convenient. Giving money to purchase things there, in Ukraine, is much more practical.
WELS World Missions provided this map to show where major Ukrainian cities are located and, more specifically, where the Ukrainian Lutheran Church has congregations.