Carelinks | Ukraine
It was a great inspiration to have over Bro Jon and Sisters Deb and Cardia Cwiecek from the Erith UK ecclesia - they showed an amazing commitment, maturity and zeal for the Lord’s work whilst in Latvia and Ukraine.
Sister Deb relates the story:
“We met Artem in a snowy bus station and, after having a quick bite to eat, we took a taxi to a Sauna where they had a big enough pool for his 6ft3 frame. The one we visited was plush but rather dangerous as the shallow end of the pool was about 8ft deep and cold! Thankfully Jon, Duncan and Artem can swim and are all around 6ft or over but this test showed us again how desperate Artem was to be baptised.
God’s hand was clearly at work in our lives today as we were not sure he would take the arduous 6 hour journey to meet us, he must have thought the same thing! Artem must have a fairly deep conviction of the truth to make such an effort. He seems sincere about his new journey despite his family disowning him. Although born in the Ukraine, he lived in Israel (Nazareth and Jerusalem) as a Jew with the rest of his Jewish family until he started to read the New Testament and found a love for Jesus. His family rejected him when he left the synagogue and he felt persecuted by family and friends so he decided to move back to Ukraine where he is currently unemployed due to the economic unrest. He stumbled upon the Carelinks websites when scouring the internet for answers. He found what we were teaching was closest to what he reads in the Bible. Duncan, Maxim and Artem exchanged messages and Artem completed the entire Bible Basics course before he asked to be baptised.
In Kiev and Odessa, we have seen many off duty soldiers grouped in the train stations and streets. It does seem a country at unease so we ask for prayers of safe keeping for our brothers and sisters here. We spent a whole day distributing about 2500 leaflets. We took a tram, just any tram, and waited until it reached an area with high rise blocks. And then we walked to another such area that we saw on the horizon. Most of the blocks were locked but we got quite good at following old people as they approached the blocks, and slipped in with them. Inside we found racks of many letter boxes and we were spurred on by the thought that each leaflet might be the difference between eternal life and eternal death for these people in their rather sad lives. So many times we found the locked doors opening for us. God was really with us. We must have walked around 20 miles that day. As Paul says in Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. This slightly mad journey full of waiting in ‘cheap and cheerful’ cafes, blizzards, hotel rooms and dodgy saunas has taught me to be more aware of God working in my life and to trust in Him as He has certainly provided for us”.
Sis Deb Cwiecek
Our new Bro Artem, centre, with Sisters Cardia and Deb and Bre Jon and Duncan