On The Verge Of War

The threat of war looms large over Ukraine at this hour as the Russian army positions itself to invade the country. This month, HeartCry missionary, Vatalii Rusnak reports of the fear and distress that the Ukrainian people are experiencing presently. Although many citizens are in a state of panic, Vitalii says that there is a greater openness to the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Many of our church members who were working abroad came home for the winter holidays. We have had a better church attendance which was a joy for the church. We had a prayer week at the beginning of this year and gathered to ask the Lord to have mercy on us, our families, the church and, especially, our country. Many of our church members have non-Christian family members. We have prayed for their repentance.

Another thing that makes us afraid is the Russian army that is being concentrated at the Ukrainian border. People are panicking and have many questions. The old people know what it means to grow up without a father having faced many hardships because of the war. I visited many old people and they shared with me in tears about the war and its painful consequences. We keep praying, asking the Lord for wisdom for our leaders and that He will stop Putin. Because of this situation, people are more open and thoughtful than before. This is a good time for sowing the seed of the Word. We celebrated Christmas on January 6th and went caroling to people that wouldn’t have received us otherwise. We went caroling to 30 families and gave them calendars and gospel tracts. We give thanks to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to share the good news of the Lord’s birth.

I would like to share with you about Vanea. He used to have Christian relatives. Although he doesn’t believe in anything, while I was sharing with him, he confessed he felt emotional. He believes that all this is just a legend, a nice legend. I tried to explain to him that the Lord’s incarnation took place in history and there are solid proofs of this. He was quite sarcastic in the beginning, but then took a New Testament that I gave him as he said he was curious to read it. He said he had never read the Bible. The young people that were with me were surprised to see that still there are people who don’t believe in God. We understood once again that we need to sow the seed of the Word even among those who call themselves Christians but are far away from the Scripture, the source of life, being caught up in rituals.

We had guests at church and prayed that the Lord would have mercy on them. We studied with the church several Bible passages that speak about the Lord’s incarnation. I preached from the gospels and the epistles about the great work of God through Christ’s incarnation. I also spoke to the young people and to the children, trying to help them understand what God has done for us.

As I wrote in my previous report, I spent more time counseling people this month. This is the most difficult thing for me in ministry. I pray that the council I give would be anchored in the Scripture and serves as a remedy.

We managed to help several poor families this month. There are several Rroma families in our village that have many children. They’re not educated and don’t want to work. We feel sorry for their children and try to help them every year with school supplies, clothes and sweets. We also help families that have disabled children or parents. The Lord gave us the necessary resources for this ministry and we have managed to help over ten families. I also shared the gospel with those that were open. A little girl told me she had read the book I had given her last year and she would like some more books to read to her little brothers who can’t read yet. We pray that this project would bring glory to God. We have all these people on our prayer list and are praying for their repentance. May the Lord have mercy on these children!

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