January 2024 New Zealand, North America, Ukraine, UK
AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
Miri and Phil Worsnop do an amazing work with the immigrant community around them in Ipswich QLD and this has resulted in various baptisms, including brother John Chol who is also very zealous in reaching out to others, especially those from the South Sudanese community in QLD. A group of them from QLD flew over to New Zealand to spend some days together with John & Janet Aldersley in Wanganui, New Zealand, where they had a kind of home Bible School together. This resulted in the baptisms of sisters ADEGOG and RENEE. We're so delighted to see all the massive efforts going on in Ipswich coming to this fruit! Especially in the conversion of younger people in this corrupt generation. NORTH AMERICA
A worldwide group of us were able to gather in the Zoom room to witness the baptism of MEGAN. She's housebound but with a strong love of the Lord Jesus and desire to be connected with Him in spirit and truth, having quit Catholicism.
Thanks all for your prayers whilst we were in Ukraine. It really is a very hard situation for so many, with the war showing no sign of ending, increased call up of men to fight, heavy losses and the total collapse of the economy. We really felt so encouraged by the clear faith of those we visited, and their refusal to be fazed and distracted by what's going on around them. We also were able to not only break bread and fellowship with our brothers and sisters but also to baptize VLADIMIR, PIOTR and ANDREJ.
So many times we felt your prayers. Once our phone beep beeped with an air raid alert and also a support message from brother Greg:
After a difficult journey into Ukraine, waiting in the middle of the night in the driving snow and freezing cold in a huge line at the border, we went to the bombed out home of sister Ludmila. We had stood outside that building just last year when visiting our sister. It was a direct hit. Their third floor flat was the worst damaged of the entire [very large] block. Everything was incinerated in intense heat. Absolutely everything- their furniture, and their documents. They currently have no proof of anything.
We then went to the hospital where sister Ludmila and her husband Vladimir have been in intensive care with burns to their lungs and bodies. We met their daughter in law, sister Natalya, whom we baptized a while ago. And what true Christian joy it was to meet again albeit in these tragic circumstances. We prayed so often together whilst with each other:
They are traumatized, but sister Ludmila explained the miracle that happened. She was sleeping in one room and her husband in another. She got up at night to go the toilet, and whilst in the toilet, there was the direct hit. Had she not been in the toilet, she would have been killed immediately. In a moment, the flat was full of smoke and intense heat. She passed out and was dragged to safety by the emergency services. Her husband Vladimir didn't pass out and so is the more traumatised. His clothes caught on fire and he has severe burns. As he was pulled from the building with his clothes on fire, he suffered a stroke.
Currently he has lost most of his sight and some hearing. Ludmila's sight is returning to as it was. But Ukraine is in a very bad way and the health service totally stretched. Nearly 10 million people, mainly women [as men of from 18 to 55 can't leave Ukraine] have left- and the health service was mainly staffed by women. The hospitals are full of war wounded. The "intensive care" unit had 6 people at a time in it. Parents of wounded soldiers are advised to pay for private care for their sons; and the many wounded who need prosthetic limbs are told that anything prosthetic must be paid for privately. People are discharged from hospital as soon as possible. Staffing is very limited.
Once Ludmila and Vladimir were out of intensive care they were put in a ward where Ludmila has to tend for Vladimir. We watched Ludmila change her husband's dressings and herself teach him how to do things again now he is blind. Here she is changing his dressings as you can see here:
The hospital have told them that they must leave hospital this week. The Government "help" has been to say that they will rebuild the apartment block- eventually. And with such a lack of labour that's not going to be for years. But the block should really be condemned and demolished as it has been so badly damaged- there are structural cracks. But that would require yet more $ from somewhere as the apartments were privately owned. "So where shall we go to live?". The answer to this traumatized, weak couple in their 70s, the husband being in a very bad state, is that they can go and sleep in a school sports hall, on the floor, with 60 other people. On previous trips we visited such accommodation and took footage of it. This is not an option. Their daughter has made a special appeal and we prayerfully await the outcome of this. But it may very well be that we will need to assist in renting them somewhere for the long term. We're exploring various options along with the family. Here is a case of a totally sincere sister, baptized around 25 years ago by us and a faithful attender at our gatherings down those years, who has been bombed out of her home and placed in an impossible situation in her 70s. We stand ready to majorly assist and will let you know how things work out. The immediate need is for prayers for wisdom. Short term financial support has been provided.
You can see a video of all this
Please share it around so others can support- certainly by prayer, possibly also on the ground and with donations for the Ukraine work. Here are some photos of all concerned in the hospital [note the draft excluder they had to place around the hospital windows- it's been -10 at night and the hospitals are really in a bad state of repair]; also a picture of sister Ludmila as she was a few years ago at a Bible weekend
Nina is one of many who have been sent to live in a dilapidated, abandoned wooden house in the Ukrainian countryside. Previously she was sleeping on a school sports hall floor with about 70 others. She has badly deformed legs from a botched operation and can only walk with crutches. Life is so hard for her in Winter, having to rely on alcoholic neighbours to go to the village shop and get her food, and hobbling on her crutches on black ice to the outside, hole in a ground toilet. And as usual, the struggle to keep warm and get firewood is huge.
When we were there last Summer we did try to insulate her home better and this has paid off. We also brought her firewood and road salt to sprinkle on her steps and the path from her front door to the outdoor toilet. She was so very appreciative. Salt melts snow and ice by a chemical reaction [down to about -12 C] and it had already started working by the time we left.
We also met with those in the village we had baptized before. Sister Vita was in a bad way. She had fallen on the black ice and broken her arm and was unable to get transport to the town where there's a hospital so that her arm could be set. Her clothes were damp and she was shivering, as you can see in the video. We left funds for Nina to get her to hospital and get that arm set in plaster.
It's a really miserable existence in those largely abandoned villages far from anywhere. Sister Nina is just amazing, telling everyone in the village about the Gospel and distributing literature. There are few original inhabitants left there, many have left and abandoned their homes, those who live there have been moved there by the Government. Many are refugees from the Russian occupied areas. It's all so depressive but really the light of the Gospel is being spread there. There is no church of any description for a long way, so the people are relatively open to Nina's wonderful preaching. You can see a video of her hobbling on her crutches to preach to a neighbour, and her deep gratitude for the
help given- https://youtu.be/1uCZt8TBAP0
As we drove for hours along icy, slippery tracks and roads in central Ukraine we also had a chat about what motivations should be for doing missionary and charitable work. For any interested we recorded some of it
Meanwhile thanks to the huge efforts of dear brother Daniel Aldersley, the work continued at Croydon Church in a Pub and the meetings at The Venue in Croydon. A huge thanks to Daniel for running things, feeding, teaching- and also baptizing our friend ANDREAS, son of sister Corinne:
We also had the online baptism of WAYNE in northern UK.
- For those recently baptized
- For housing for sister Ludmila and brother Vladimir
- For the many many needs of our dear ones in Ukraine
- For those on crutches or with broken limbs living in icy conditions with outside, hole in the ground toilets
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks