March 2022 Iran, UK, Ukraine Poland
We strongly recommend you download the "Bible Companion
" app, from where you can access Carelinks
messages, daily Bible readings, Bible Basics
, commentary on every verse of the Bible and audio exhortations on every chapter of the Bible. For Android / Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carelinks.bc
and on the App Store for Apple / iOS at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bible-companion/id1475914490
You can break bread live online as follows:
Saturday mornings 09:00 a.m.UK time; on Zoom
Meeting ID: 669 740 1754 Passcode: XPb9Sz.
Sundays at 3:00 PM New Zealand time. That's 1 PM in Sydney Australia; 10 PM in New York, USA on Saturday evening [run by Br John Aldersley in New Zealand] on
Meeting ID: 879 3424 5299 Passcode: 411793
Sundays at 10am North American Eastern Time [3 PM UK GMT time, 11 PM Sydney Australia time]. Run by Br Jim Barton in Canada.
Meeting ID: 912 375 8179 . Also, Bible class on Wednesdays at 7 PM North American Eastern Time
Our New Zealand brethren have set up another virtual tour, this time of Masada, and it is a way of fundraising for our work. God willing the date is Sunday 3rd April 7pm New Zealand Time. The program is at www.carelinks.net/files/masada.pdf
The Farsi Bible Companion app continues to be well used by the large number of Persian speaking people who are looking seriously at Christianity worldwide. It is now about the most downloaded Bible app used by Persian speakers worldwide.
We baptized online SHAYAN and then later his mother HOURI .Then there was Sister FERESHTEH, a nurse whose 21 year old son died in tragic circumstances. She tried so hard to find and buy a Bible in Iran, eventually succeeding- but then found our app, which she uses very often. She was so very happy to be baptized. We had not only Mark but also Lisa and Stacey in attendance for this one as she does know English.
Then there was SHAHAB, brother in the flesh of another brother we baptized online. Again thanks to brother Arash for his presence and assistance with translation.
Finally as we go to press we were able to baptize AMIRREZA, a very serious middle aged man who had slowly and carefully come to decide for the Lord Jesus. So many of these people had been secret Christians for many years but had not found the opportunity to be baptized. We thank God for the technology which allows us to now do this online:
As mentioned in the last Carelink, we were able to visit sister Tanya, her daughter Svetlana and the three children in Poland. And also to gather together with them and Max and Vika who live about 100 km. away. What a wonderful time of true fellowship it was. The highlight was the baptism of Svetlana; she says it took the war and the traumas of the journey to bring her to the Lord Jesus in spirit and truth. They have been given a flat to live in for 6 months which is totally unfurnished but they get no food support from the Government. So we are looking after them, and have set them up to be sponsored by a brother and sister in UK to come to live in the UK.
The whole process is very difficult because like many of our folk, they don't have passports only local Ukrainian ID, as they have never travelled outside Ukraine. This means the sponsorship process is not automatic nor immediate; they have to fill up many forms and physically present themselvs at a UK Visa Processing Centre before getting the documents required to travel to UK. It was absolutely great to see brother Max again, with whom we have worked for so many years, although of course our meeting was in difficult circumstances. But do pray for his mother sister Ludmila, who is now bedridden with advanced Alzheimers, and his sister Lena who is staying behind to care for her. They are very near the front. We spoke with them by video whilst all together. We marvelled at how God's hand has brought us all together, and led Svetlana to baptism, much to the joy of her mum sister Tanya whom we baptized many years ago. So do pray for them all, especially the children as they face another upheaval to another foreign land... asking if they can take their teddies and felt tip pens to England, which kind people in Poland gave them and which they became very attached to.
There's a video of the happy baptism at
Meanwhile in Ukraine, those left there report awful things. We continue in hourly contact with brothers and sisters throughout Ukraine. We have many in the occupied or contested areas. Sister Vera continues to send us messages every day to tell us that she prays all the time and is still alive. Like several others, she cannot access much needed heart medication, the chemist in the town is closed and there are Russian soldiers patrolling all the time. Her area is totally encircled and she has no chance to get out.
A sister whose husband is in the military fears that if and when her town falls to the Russians, she will be taken away to Russia- as has apparently happened to several thousand people in Russian occupied areas. Apparently those whose husbands were known to be in the military were especially targeted. And getting text messages from him... and occasional calls from him from the front to the children... this is real war. With all that goes with it. Several elderly sisters continue to message us daily, simply saying they are still alive... in an absolutely terrible situation and feeling the effect of not having their medications any more. Of course we ask for your prayers and everyone is truly grateful for your support.
One of the many downsides of spending a lot of time cooped up with many other people in cellars and bomb shelters is that Covid spreads. Sister Nina is in a town encircled by Russian forces and is struggling with Covid as are others. Let's pray for them. Covid vaccination rates in Ukraine were very low even before the war started.
We have still failed to find any property that has the right use class willing to rent to us for just one year. So many former church halls have been bought up and the site used for residential property. Planners in London are eager to create more residential spaces, but not allow existing properties to be converted to the kind of usage we need. About the only alternative is to buy a property which is or was a church hall- but they are few. Our vision is to do in London what we did for so many years in Riga. But one needs a stable base in order to create a spiritual home for folks. So pray with us about that vision. We have so many contacts and London is filling with refugees and migrants. Plenty of scope for a Russian speaking church as well as humanitarian outreach to the Ukrainians. This week we were able to baptize AMIR in central London, he's been in the UK for 18 years, and brother Mansoor baptized in 2017 was able to be with us:
- For those recently baptized
- For wisdom about getting a meeting place in London
- For wisdom about how to help those in Ukraine
- For our elderly sisters in occupied Ukraine who have run out of medication and / or have Covid
- For Sisters Tanya and Svetlana and the little children as they try to get documents to come to the UK
- For our brothers and sisters who have got out of Ukraine but now have a precarious existence in Poland, Hungary, France and Germany