Child: Luke Thomas
Child: Joel Thomas
Child: Andrew Thomas
Mission Field: Ukraine
Home Church: Faith Baptist Church
Our Missionary for 5 years
April 3, 2021
Dear Praying Friends,
We are experiencing in Europe what is called the “third wave,” a new mutated form of COVID. Our doctor in Kyiv writes, “The pandemic is at a fever hot pitch right now in Ukraine, and Kyiv is a hotbed. The medical community understands that it’s a very serious situation with most hospital beds full in Kyiv right now.” Today Ukraine recorded its highest number of cases ever, 20,000, with that number expected to double in one to two weeks. If this occurs, what will the hospitals be like then? We are still able to meet at Living Hope Baptist Church of Kyiv, but with increased restrictions. These restrictions, if violated, and should an attendant become sick, die, or experience other “serious consequences” can bring a prison sentence of up to eight years plus a fine. Pray with us for wisdom as we navigate these difficult and tempestuous waters and for the pandemic to be thwarted. Pray for the threat of death to cause souls to consider their eternal destinies.
Next week’s SBI Advanced session has been cancelled due to the pandemic. This is the third session in a row that our graduate program has suffered. SBI, our undergraduate program, has fared a little better holding two of its last four sessions. Pray for our upcoming session May 10-14 and that we’ll be able to meet as planned. Also pray as Ukraine faces not only a pandemic from within, but another plague from without. Russia is once again amassing both troops and military arms on Ukraine’s eastern and Crimean borders. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently made threatening statements toward Ukraine. Ukraine, NATO, and western countries believe that Russia wants to help “prop up the Separatists” in the war in Eastern Ukraine in an area called Donbass. This war has continued since 2014, killing an estimated 14,000.
Julie and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very blessed and joyous Easter Sunday. Here in Ukraine, our churches follow the eastern calendar, which makes our celebration on May 2. However, every day is a day to celebrate the greatest distinguishing factor of Christ’s accomplishment on Calvary, which boldly declares the victory He offers over death from an empty tomb. We are comforted by this during the turbulent days in which we live. Andrew Murray captures this thought when he writes, “The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry . . .He’s risen!”
For the glory of Christ in Ukraine and the regions beyond,
Derek and Julie