December 2022 Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan, Ukraine, UK
This week we had the amazing experience of baptizing the nine members of an extended family in Afghanistan. We had some from the pub church online for it and they were deeply moved, never having seen anything like it: HASSAN, AHMAD, ROQIA, ZOHAIR, NARGIS, MAISAM, MARIAM, SOMAIA, SHAMSULLAH PAKISTAN
MOSTAFA was baptized in Pakistan, originally from Afghanistan, and having fled the Taliban regime. Again we had some from pub church present. SOUTH SUDAN
We had a full house online for the baptism of JOHN in South Sudan, with more wanting to join in the meeting, but what with network problems, we can only fit 6 screens on a WhatsApp video group: UKRAINE
Pleased to say that the 500$ spent on firewood for a dear elderly refugee brother and sister in rural Ukraine has indeed bought them a load of firewood. They are elated to have some heat. As explained last Carelink, the wrecking of Ukraine's power grid means that many people in rural areas have very little or no electricity and are cold. This has created a huge demand for firewood... and demand is far greater than supply. This is why this load of firewood cost around 5 times more than it would have done pre-war. But the situation is still not satisfactory. This wood is fresh, wet softwood- almost certainly just from trees that have been quietly cut down here and there. It will not burn well, won't give much heat, and will create a lot of smoke. It also still needs to be chopped up into pieces that can be fed into their burner. Firewood is not any old tree or wood... it must be "cut and dried" to be effective. And this isn't exactly "cut and dried". The house where they are living is wooden and was previously derelict- the chimney doesn't draw well. They have no heating boiler, so it's not that it's heating water which then circulates through a central heating system. It's just going to radiate heat from their fireplace. Which is in the middle of a very large room. So we are prayerfully and earnestly thinking how we can help out in a more appropriate way, although we'll keep providing firewood as far as we can. Wind turbines, solar panels etc. are all very well but they are expensive, take some effort to install, and you need a lot of them to warm anywhere from say -20 to + 20 Centigrade. Simply needs a lot of energy, from somewhere. Short daylight hours and the need to have energy at night more than in the day time... all combine to a problematic situation. As whatever energy is produced at times of daylight or wind must be stored for later usage. On the other hand, sister Nana and brother Alexei are overjoyed at having some warmth for now, and Nana was delighted to find one of the logs had grown in the shape of a love heart.
You can see some file photos of us with them by their fire about 2 months ago:
There's a video of the firewood arriving at https://youtu.be/73hXrT_5wgY
and sister Nana wept for joy:
Again we so appreciate all the support.
More firewood needs also appeared for 80 year old sis Vera. She escaped from an occupied area and is now living in a previously derelict wooden house in a village in a Ukrainian held area. She also asks for prayers for her sick 82 year old husband whom she left behind under occupation and she's not been able to establish contact for some time. As you can see from her latest message, she too needs firewood and in a separate message says that she also needs an axe to cut what wood she is able to scavenge. We're working out how best to support:
We've been sending funds to our contact Denis in Kherson to help fund provision of basic food and children's vitamins and other things for the huge number of needy people there in this bitter Winter. He is running a welfare organization there, seeking to help the many desperate people. He is a believer himself and moving towards baptism, and he says there's understandably a lot of interest in forging relationship with God after all that's happened there. Denis assures us that the funds sent were spent directly on the provisions in the photos, and it's not hard to believe that.
We plan another visit to Ukraine over the New Year period, Lord willing. Do pray for our wisdom, and please do donate if you can.
We are planning on renting "The Venue" in central Croydon for lunchtime church meetings during the weekdays, providing food and a warm space for our contacts. We've been down there preaching already to the crowds passing the door. You can see the video at
Brother Spiro preached well and we had his Gospel music playing, sister Gemma came from Clapham with the baby in the pram, put on the "Free Bibles" vest and did a great job handing out New Testaments, and two other sisters turned up a bit later. A great time. If we can hire The Venue we think we will have no problem getting a large lunchtime church going, with His blessing. Although there's no kitchen there and we are researching how to buy in food.
Then during the week we visited our group of Persian speaking brethren in central London, who run a fruit & veg shop . They witness to so many of their clients. One of them was DALIR and we baptized him in the back rooms of their shop.
- For those recently baptized
- For the huge problem of providing firewood and energy sources to those cold in Ukraine and elsewhere
- For the group developing in liberated Kherson, Ukraine
- For those under serious persecution from Islamic extremism
- For blessing on our plans to rent a venue for our meetings in Croydon
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks