March 2022 CONGO, IRAN, TURKEY, UKRAINE
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
Again, most of our work, day and night, has been in connection with Ukraine. But response continues to the Gospel elsewhere, every time due to the Bible Companion app
We were very happy to baptize GHISLAINE this week after much messaging in French.
A group of us gathered to witness the baptism of SARDAR in Iran; we were from Australia, Canada, UK and the USA [many thanks to brother Arash for translating]. He had displayed a wonderful commitment to the Lord Jesus; he had copied out and memorized all four Gospels. There is a tradition that the Gospel of Mark was memorized by early Christian converts in the first century, and we see this same kind of commitment now in the 21st century. Sardar's Christ-centredness was really wonderful to behold- an example to us all.
A group from South Africa, Canada, USA and UK were able to witness the very sincere testimony and baptism of SINA , with brother Arash from Birmingham UK translating for us. Again we were all touched by his sincerity and total conversion to the things and cause of the Lord Jesus:
We have now launched the "Bible Companion" app in Ukrainian, and this and the Russian app are being downloaded and used by hundreds of people every day in Ukraine and surrounding countries. Please pray for blessing upon it. We are being assisted in producing more of the audio files by our refugee brethren and it is a way of them doing something concrete and spiritual in response to the funds being sent to them. You can download it and give it a 5 star rating, if you use Android-
, or for iOS / Apple
The Ukrainian app will be so useful in fulfilling our policy of having all our welfare work as a back up to our essential task of preaching the Gospel.
As you can see from the news below, there is much to pray for. We're deeply appreciative of all your prayers and support at this dark hour. Donations can probably most easily be made by running your card at
Brother Steve Gretton is accounting for these donations made through that link and you can get a receipt from him if you wish, but there is no tax break available on this link unless you are a UK tax payer. We are clearly going to be supporting people long term and not just short term.
Messages continue flooding in day and night. Good news is that some of our brothers and sisters who have made it over the Ukrainian border are safe, Samuel and Svitlana settled in France, and currently none are homeless. But it has become apparent that the huge goodwill extended to Ukrainian refugees in Europe isn't going to continue at the rate it was last week- the sheer numbers of refugees, now approaching 3 million with millions more coming, has totally clogged transport and accommodation in Poland. In a Europe ravaged by Covid expenditure and a relatively recent influx of millions of refugees from the Middle East, it's hard to imagine that all these millions can be put on immediate social welfare support and given state housing.
Sister Tanya fled from near the hellhole of Zaporozhe with her daughter and three grandchildren. Their trains were delayed, stopped and cancelled multiple times. She sent a message that they are now stranded amidst huge crowds on a railway station. The crowds are huge. Standing up in huge crowds for hours on end is only for the fit and healthy. She says that the grandchildren are unable to stand any more, and she is herself in her 70s with health issues. Sister Lena Ch. likewise says that she and her child, who has health issues, have no chance of getting on the evacuation trains because of the huge crowds. The lines of people into the stations are huge. On the platforms, there is a lining system up to 4 rows deep. Older people are having strokes and heart attacks. Tanya is now very far from home, and is stuck in the huge crowds. With three young children ages 8,10 and 12. Do pray for her.
Sister Svetlana describes how she and her children got over the border and were sent to sleep in a disused factory building. Volunteers had donated mattresses and so they were relieved to sleep there free from fear of bombs and shelling. But... the sheer pressure of numbers is such that the accommodation is only available for 3 days. Then they have to move on. But to where?
The people so willing to have Ukrainians are now realizing that this isn't for three days but for a long time. And Poland is now swamped with over 2 million refugees suddenly appearing in their country. Transport and accommodation are now saturated, and there are likely a few million more refugees to arrive over the next weeks.
Another sister describes how she grabbed her savings from under her bed as she left- 12,000 Ukrainian Grivna, in cash. But in Poland, she finds no exchange point or bank exchanges Ukrainian Grivna, and the Grivna has of course lost its value.
Brother Samuel and his wife and child, whom we helped over the border last week, have had a long, difficult journey through Czech and Germany and are now safely in France:
Sister Anna, her sister in law and their three young children are in Germany but have just been sent to live in a volunteer's property, but they write asking for money to buy food whilst the German authorities decide what to do with them. The sheer scale of the sudden influx means that Governments currently have no definite policy of care for Ukrainians in terms of social welfare.
These are the kinds of messages we are receiving around the clock. We are sending funds and trying to provide what other help we can. But we do ask for your prayers in the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of recent times, affecting multiple millions of people.
THOSE STILL IN UKRAINE
Unfortunately most of our brothers and sisters are in some of the worst hot spots of the war. Our most elderly and vulnerable ones are in fact in areas currently encircled and lacking even food and water.
Those in the Kherson area report they are totally encircled and cannot get to shops to get food. One elderly sister was due a bypass operation but that isn't going to happen. Another has a very sick grandchild and no access to medicine or a doctor. Another reports that young Russian soldiers regularly knock at her door and ask for food, tea and vodka. Sister Nana in Melitopol [a hotspot] is in regular contact. Here she is with her husband brother Sergej at a Bible school in happier times:
As sister Tanya Kulik wrote from Poltava, "I look at the photos of the old Bible Schools and I cry".
Our elderly sister Lena is in the heart of Kiev but in good spirits.
In Kharkiv our brothers and sisters are in a terrible situation, although Marina has managed to get out to Poland. Sister Lena has gone blind and her son brother Alexei is looking after her. We sent funds, but Alexei asked us not to send by Western Union as to get to the agent means going through areas under constant shelling. We managed to send to his bank account and he can withdraw it on his card. Men aged 18-60 aren't allowed to leave Ukraine. With shelling and bombing going on, we were able to talk on video:
On the far right of the photo below you can see sister Lena at a Bible School some years back. The girl with the long plaited hair, sister Anna, is now in Germany with her child and her nieces. Her mother sister Tanya [with a shawl in the photo] has had a stroke and remains in Ukraine.
We are very concerned for sister Vera in Sumy, a city surrounded by Russian forces and from where evacuations have been difficult because of the corridors being shelled. We were in touch with her but connection was poor and intermittent. She said they are completely surrounded by Russian forces and running out of food. She went to the evacuation point but the places were all given to the international students at the university, and then the shelling started. We are currently out of contact with her. Here's a pic we found of her [on the left] from an old Bible School in Kiev, with her late husband.
Brother Igor from near Kiev sent us photos of a Russian drone and unexploded bomb which landed in his yard- he and his family spend most of their time in a cellar for shelter
Sister Lena just told Cindy that she and her child [who has health issues] can no way get on the evacuation trains, the crowds are so huge.So she is remaining where she is near the conflict zone and trusting in the Lord:
- Pray for Ukraine
- For those who've got out in their uncertain futures and trauma for what and those they left behind
- For our wisdom in helping
- For every one of those who sent the messages and all the others
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks