Pentecost in a War Zone
View this email in your browser
Once Was Blind
View this email in your browser

<<First Name>>, please pray for Ukraine!

These are some of my thoughts after 140 full days of war. Follow my Facebook for more frequent updates. You can also find this same post there with more photos.

Three Times Saved

Yesterday marked 140 days of war. We are all exhausted—physically, emotionally. I remember in the early weeks of the war when we thought that surely this couldn’t last past May. Now we are deep into the summer and all prognoses are that it’s unlikely the war will end before winter, though there are some hopeful analyses that things will hit a turning point in Ukraine’s favor in August. But the death and destruction has not stopped. 

I’ve had a new round of opportunities recently to tell the story of our ministry here during the war. The pervasive question I’m asked is: why do you stay? The answer is: stories like Vanya’s. Vanya (short for Ivan) is, ironically, not a refugee. He is from Svitlovodsk. Yet the war has led not only refugees to our church, but many locals as well.

Vanya also happens to be the neighbor of one of our church members. The mother of the family from our church invited Vanya to come to our Bible fellowship on a Friday evening in early June. He was immediately engaged and had a lot of questions, not even slightly shy to speak in front of a room of 25 adults (he's only 16).

Vanya is one of those very rare young people who had a serious devotion to the Eastern Orthodox church. This has to do with the fact that he ended up in the hospital for a very long time in childhood due to a serious accident and extensive burns. While there, a priest visited him and prayed for him and this started something in Vanya’s heart. Vanya began to recognize that God had saved his life and it was no coincidence.

After our fellowship time, I took Vanya aside to continue the conversation. It turned out he had already read the entire Bible through (!) and had a lot of right understanding. But the one piece he was missing is the piece that is usually missing in Eastern Orthodox churches: grace.

I went on to tell Vanya the good news that the things he feels condemned for and ashamed of are not up to him to make better, but that they were fully paid for on the cross. He could rest in the fact that his salvation was already accomplished. When I asked Vanya if he wanted to receive that good gift, with a big grin on his face he jumped at the chance and prayed to receive the grace of the Gospel. Vanya was now saved by the grace of God not just physically, but now spiritually (pictured below left).

Vanya joined in our new believers’ discussion group for those who have recently come to faith and remained in the city. He can’t always make the groups though because, while he lives here with his mom, he studies at the college in our neighboring big city of Kremenchug.

Now, if you’ve been following the news about Ukraine, you may recognize the name of that city. A couple weeks ago on June 27, the demonic, terrorist-state of Russia launched rockets at a crowded mall there called Amstor (pictured above). Over 20 were killed and over 60 wounded. Everyone in our city knows this mall well. I had personally been grocery shopping there just a few days before the rocket strike. It’s only a 20 min. drive from our house. (Sadly, this is not a unique type of occurrence. They just made a similar strike on Vinnytsya this morning.)

When I saw Vanya at church a couple days after the bombing, he told me of how God had saved him a third time. He and his friends were on their way to that very mall after class. They got as close as the other side of the street when, for some inexplicable reason, they changed their mind and decided to head the other direction. Two minutes later the rockets struck.

The blast waves rocked the area and Vanya and his friends lunged for the nearest cover they saw, not knowing what would come crashing down. Thankfully, none of them were injured, nor were any of our church members or anyone that they know personally. Obviously they were shaken, but Vanya was once again convinced that God has a purpose for him here. I wholeheartedly agreed.

This latest strike was very emotionally difficult for people in our church, and our family. We all realized how easily it could’ve happened when we were there, since we regularly shopped there. It was odd to see the groceries still in my fridge from a place that had been completely destroyed and that I’ll never go to again.

But what gives us confidence in the midst of this is the same conclusion Vanya made: God must still have a purpose for us. We believe that. We are here on this earth as long as He sees fit for His purpose. And when that purpose is completed—who wants to stick around?

Nevertheless, it is a stark reminder. It is a reminder that the war is very real still, despite the fact you may see less of it in western news nowadays. It is a reminder to keep giving as the needs are not going away, but only growing. It is a reminder to keep praying. You can find some prayer requests and the giving button below:

- Pray for God to crush the demonic forces inspiring Russia's destruction of Ukraine. Pray for Him to be glorified in answering the cries of His people for justice and in pouring His righteous judgment upon the Kremlin and all those who support it.

- Pray for protection for the Ukrainian soldiers defending our home from this onslaught of evil. Pray in particular for the young men from our church, or relatives of church members that have been drafted to fight: Kostya (pictured below right receiving a care package from our church), Zhenya, and Kostya. Pray that the hundreds that are being killed every day would put their trust in Christ for ultimate victory while they still breathe.

- Pray for strength and stamina for all of us. 4.5 months of war has certainly made many of us exhausted. Pray for us to find refreshment in Christ and encouragement in His purpose for us in this time. 

- Pray for comfort, protection and the opportunity for safe evacuation from the hell that is Russian-occupied territory. We were praying for a couple close friends of a church member and they were able to get out last week. Pray that many would.

Donate to help us serve refugees here
If you would prefer to donate via check, please make it out to:

“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

All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of your donation goes to us! 
Copyright © 2022 Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Copyright © 2022 Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp