Independence and Home
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<<First Name>>, please pray for Ukraine!

These are some of my thoughts as we approach half a year of war. Follow my Facebook for more frequent updates. You can also find this same post there with more photos.

Independence and Home

This week on August 24th we will celebrate Ukraine’s Independence Day. This marks 31 years since Ukraine declared its independence from the crumbling Soviet Union. But it’s clear that Putin and far too many in Russia have yet to accept this reality.

The 24th will also mark another important day this year: 6 full months since Ukraine was woken up by bombs—half a year of war. God forbid this becomes a war that gets counted in years! We are forced to declare and fight for our independence yet again from the rotting corpse of the zombie Soviet Union/Russian empire that the Kremlin keeps trying to revive.

Back at the beginning of summer on Pentecost we celebrated God’s work of salvation during the war with a number of baptisms. On Pentecost in 2021, we had set a prayer goal to see 15 people come to faith over the next year through our church. It seemed a nearly unattainable goal until the war started and God surpassed it!

So this Pentecost, knowing God does more than we can ask or think, we decided to set a new, bigger goal: 25 new believers before Pentecost 2023. Since the flow of new refugees has slowed and those here in Svitlovodsk are now more long-term, it still seemed like an ambitious number—but clearly not for God.

In rather spontaneous fashion, in June our church decided to run youth camps this summer for refugee kids in our city (and our own kids as well). Word to the wise: I do not recommend planning a youth camp only a month out from running it! But God gave us much grace and the need is now. We ended up doing two week-long shifts, one for the older kids (15+) and one for the younger kids (10-14) (pictured above).

The theme of the camp was “Jesus is my Home”. The talks in the mornings and evenings all revolved around this idea. For those who’ve been forced to flee their homes, their longing for home is acute. We spent the week looking at what home means, how in reality there is no home on this earth that can fully meet our longing, and how Christ left His “home” in order to give us a perfect, eternal home. You can see a lot of pictures of all the fun they had here.

Out of the 36 kids in attendance (a handful of those were kids already from our church), 21 kids made professions of faith in Christ! And it’s not that they simply had an “emotional moment” at camp and then disappeared (as sometimes happens with Christian youth camps). Most of these kids have continued coming to our church. Some of them are even attending our Friday night Bible fellowship group which is geared for adults—but these kids are hungry and have started reading the Bible! Please be praying for Yura, Ilya, Katya (pictured below after receiving their new Bibles), Sonya, Radion, Damir and many others to be rooted deeply in the Gospel!

And this means that God has already mostly answered our prayer for 25 new believers by next Pentecost—in less than two months! Maybe we should’ve picked a higher number! :) This makes the total that have come to faith through our church since the war started over 40! God continues to encourage our hearts with so many coming to know Christ in the midst of pain and tragedy—but it’s still difficult.

People I knew personally have laid down their lives defending Ukraine over the last weeks. Thankfully, they were believers and I have the confidence that we will meet again—but the pain for their families is very real. Pray for God’s comfort for millions of Ukrainians who are suffering, that He would meet them in their need.

As the noise around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant gets louder and Russian fascist troops continue their dangerous games, we realize that is it only God’s mercy that keeps us. We’ve had to learn what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency—something my wife already lived through once in Ukraine with Chernobyl in 1986. The Russian terrorist-state disregards any and all human life, including that of its own citizens who would also be severely impacted by such a catastrophe. Pray for a peaceful and safe resolution to this situation with the Nuclear power plant and for a swift victory for Ukraine in the war.

As we approach this anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and half a year of war, we continue to pray the Psalms. Would you make the verses of Psalm 94 below your prayer for us today as well?

We are grateful for the continued generosity of many of you that are partnering with us to serve refugees, kids and adults alike. You can make a donation to help us continue serving using the button below.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Psalm 94:16-23

Donate to help us serve refugees here
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“Horizon Ministries”

Leave the memo line on the check blank with a separate note enclosed: “for the Morrisons”.  

Send to:

    Horizon Ministries
    7702 Indian Lake rd.
    Indianapolis, IN 46236

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