August 2022 Ghana, North America, Ukraine, UK
AFGHANISTAN and IRAN
Despite being on many very long bus journeys in Ukraine and being in hotels and places where air raid sirens were wailing much of the time- we were blessed with an unusual number of online baptisms as a result of the Persian Bible
app. HOSSEIN in Iran, and then various other individuals and a large extended family who effectively are an ecclesia now, in Afghanistan: MOHAMMAD, ABDULSATAR, BIBI, SHAKILA, ABDULKHALIQ, HAKIMA, SOHAILA, BASGOL and ESMATULLAH; and then another married couple, ABDULLAH and RAZIA. This is just incredible response, and has involved many hours of chatting online and studying using the Persian Bible
app. Quite amazing- but of course they all need our prayers in the seemingly impossible situation for Christians in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
We have daily meetings with our contacts. There's such huge interest. We get many messages like this: GHANA
Thanks to brother Mark's follow up online, we were happy to online baptize HARRIET in Ghana, married to a Muslim with 5 children, but very determined to be a true Christian.
SERENITY baptized herself this week after going through our material online. She's in touch with brother Jim Barton and hopefully will attend his online breaking of bread meetings.
We spent this week in the Kharkiv area of eastern Ukraine. The situation is really very difficult, although the main western news channels appear to have ceased giving much news about specific military operations. The air raid sirens wail many times each day and night. For folks living here all the time, the traumatic stress is huge. And everyone gets constant text messages about the raids.
Thank you for all your prayers and messages of support here in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Baptized sister Lena about 25 years ago and her son Alexei about 20 years ago. And we have stuck together down the years of Ukraine Bible Schools and all the things that make up fellowship as a spiritual family. Alexei is a good brother, proud to call him "my brother". He has been called up to fight but told them that he wouldn't shoot anyone and would be praying for his own people and also his enemies and encouraging others to. And told them he has to look after his blind mother. And they despised him and told him to leave the call up office. They've not called him back. Lena is now almost blind... her and Alexei lived 42 years in a flat in a tower block in northern Kharkov, and Alexei went to school in the school about 200 meters away from their block. It has largely been flattened in the bombing. The childrens' coats and school bags can still be seen hanging there. Alexei showed us the ruins. But in between the sirens and bombardment- there were four "hits" today in the area- we were able to baptize VOVA and SASHA in the river nearby. There is so much interest in the Gospel in Ukraine. So many are being forced by the situation to look to their maker. Thousands using the Bible Companion app. The nervous stress of the sirens, bombardments etc. is awful. Hard for anyone to get a night's sleep. No wonder all the Ukrainians we've met who've left Ukraine say that one good thing is being able to live without sirens. We're providing help and appreciate your prayers for all here. Video of the baptisms and the school at
and also of how people are so used to the constant sirens and bombardment that they just walk around town as usual when the sirens go off. You can't live under a rock, and only a direct hit will scribble you. But living like that creates huge nervous stress. All Ukrainian refugees you meet all mention how thankful they are to live life without the sirens.
In an earlier Carelink message we asked for prayers for NINA in north eastern Ukraine who so wanted to be baptized. Her house was hit and burnt down, as it was next to a barracks, and all her belongings including documents were burnt. She just has a photocopy of some of them. Her lower leg is badly damaged and she probably needs to use crutches for the rest of her life. She is currently living with many other bombed out folks in the sports hall of a school. Some video of her and the situation in the sports hall at
It's pretty tragic. People of all ages, some injured, children with just a teddy bear separated from parents. So it was a real joy to baptize her. We have given major support for her . She is the picture of cheerfulness, with a Bible next to her very narrow mattress on the floor in the sports hall. And despite her disability she had gone out and collected plums for me, decorated a bar of soap for our children with Ukrainian colours as a present. Very humbling. You can see it all on the video. Thanks to the Lord's work and accepting it, she is the picture of joy despite a very hard and tragic life. This is fruit of the Ukrainian Bible Companion app and advertising it throughout Ukraine. There are many others seriously responding to the Gospel. Please do pray for her. As you see her going up and down steps, very adept with her crutches, remember this is Summer. Ice and snow make that kind of thing so much more hazardous in Winter. But what a triumph for the Gospel and work of our Lord Jesus.
Church in a pub goes from strength to strength, very touching to be reminded by so many attenders of their prayers for the mission in Ukraine. This Sunday God willing 7th August we plan a baptism, do come along if you're in London. The whole thing is growing by people sharing our activities on Facebook and inviting their friends. Clearly local folks in south London really like this idea... and are responding. This is typical of what you can see on our Facebook page- people sharing the meetings with others and inviting them along:
- For those recently baptized (17 this week; despite not numbering Israel, that is amazing response to the true Gospel)
- For our work in Latvia in the coming weeks , Lord willing
- For our brethren and contacts in Ukraine we are unable to get to at this point
- For the vulnerable, sick, elderly and those without family support in Ukraine
- For all those under persecution and in difficult material situations in Afghanistan
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks