Here is a photo of our great granddaughter

PRAISE Here is a photo of our great granddaughter Melody Joy with her adoring 3-year old big brother. How precious is a little life. We rejoice with our whole family. It makes me think of the godly generations that came before this child. For the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5 And Oleg and Ellie Khomenko have started their life together, joined in holy matrimony by Daniel before God and His church. It was a joyous and God-honoring celebration. And Abe held another workshop with after the festivities that we were so privileged to participate in. He always comes home with many stories of people seeing Jesus active in their lives in different ways. But…we have to be looking for Him. And always testimonies of people coming to accept Christ into their lives. Abe has prepared a small card with a prayer on it taking people step by step from turning their backs on satan and their previous lifestyle and accepting new life in Christ to walk in His ways. One of our men was on the road and saw a soldier who was hitchhiking. He drove past and then he felt he should really go back so he did. He asked where he was going and actually took him to his village. The man was limping and only has one eye but has been called to go back to the front. As the conversation was gently turned to the spiritual, the soldier said that he had some relatives who were Baptists. Our man read through the prayer on the card with him and the soldier said, “Can I pray this prayer--now?” And he not only prayed but asked if he could have more of those cards to share with other soldiers, which he was gladly given! Praise God!   PRAYER One church that has begun to operate as a Center of Hope has had a prayer meeting for Ukraine every day since January. It is a congregation of about 60 people, but every day people show up to pray. The pastor uses the prayer materials that Abe has shared in the workshops. Not just “shared” but used to have times of prayer during the workshops. Pray for faithful believers to both pray and share the Good News that we have for people. One man is a pastor in an area in the east that is increasingly under attack. He already had to leave his church further east as the Russians advanced. He was asked to take this present church. It was bombed and 30 people had taken shelter in the basement. They did escape with their lives, but they had to rent another building, and he has also put up a tent to hold services in on the other side of the city (Izyum). He has about 100 people attending and is doing all kinds of outreach. Now the owner of the building wants to raise the rent completely beyond reason. And, in the midst of it, Russia continues attacking because it sits on a crossroads of a major highway that would give access to critical areas. Pray that the Russians would be repelled. Pray that this group can have a good place to meet, whether God allows them to continue at the present building or provides another place. The reports on the front are fearsome. The Russians are using mines now that have been nicknamed “leaves” because they are very small and they are spreading them everywhere—and they are lethal if stepped on. They are also using chemical warfare. As I write this the air sirens are going. I’m sitting outside. I hear them very little inside the house. A constant reminder. I listened to a video on prayer and they talked about “lament” being part of prayer. We know about praise, confession, thanksgiving, petition, intercession. But—lament. Crying out to God about the injustices, the evil, the difficulties. That has freed my spirit to lift up my laments to the Lord. It is not complaining, but there is so much sorrow. Evil is so black. So senseless. And death and destruction. A quote from desiringgod.org: “Laments turn toward God when sorrow tempts you to run from him.” Food for thought, dear friends. It comforts me

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I realized after I sent

I realized after I sent the prayer update last week that I had not made any personal mentions, and this is a landmark week for us and our family! Our granddaughter, Vienna, graduated on Monday in Oklahoma! (Daughter of Sam and Melissa) A few hours ago our first great granddaughter was born in Australia! (Second great grandchild—Grandchild of Dan and Priscilla—Their son Jesse and wife Daniella for those who keep records! LOL) And on Friday our granddaughter Elizabeth will be joined in holy matrimony with Oleg here in Ukraine! (Daughter of Dan and Priscilla) Presently I am in their town for celebrations. Abe was here and will return again tomorrow night after the present workshop. Our two granddaughters who live in Australia have come for the wedding as well as Daniel’s parents. Yes, I imagine there will be a couple more pictures to follow. This is definitely a week of new beginnings for our family!   TESTIMONIES I talked to Abe this morning and he said there were some wonderful testimonies. A couple of them were from ladies who come with their husbands. One wife did not come with her husband for a long time, but with everything happening she finally said – I need to go myself and see about this. Since she started coming she has brought 3 ladies to the Lord and they are ready for baptism Another lady has been coming with her husband for a year and said she has learned so much and is doing things she never did before—especially with her hands: reaching out and touching someone, lifting up her hands as she prays for someone. She feels so blessed by what she has learned how new ways of ministering to people. Just a couple things to give you a feel for the joy. That is the atmosphere at the workshops—one of joy! WAR Russia continues to bombard Ukraine, while Ukraine has run out of munitions. Abe’s translator, Andrei, thinks they may have to evacuate. He lives very close to the Russian border and their city and area is under heavy bombardment now and they have lost electricity. His wife is in early stages of Alzheimer’s. Please pray for wisdom for them and a place to go. Dan and Priscilla are receiving more refugees in their town. And so…joy and sorrow. But God writes the final chapter! Praise be to Him!!!

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Well, Abe had a double header

Well, Abe had a double header a couple of weeks ago and came home energized by all of God’s good works. It was demanding to run workshops back to back, but was a very good time. Always filled with testimonies and with prayer. Those are the mainstays of every workshop. Because (1) people need to hear real stories of what God is doing. And (2) we cannot do anything without God’s power, strength and wisdom. And so, some of our people even have creatively set up points of contact in their cities offering “Prayer for Peace”     Some of them even have opportunity to pray with soldiers as they reach out. They pray for God to bring them “people of peace” whose hearts are open to Him. And God is!   PRAYER More workshops coming up. Next week from May 13-15, and the following week May 20-22. Thank you for bathing these times in prayer.     These people are also lifting up holy hands to the Lord Jesus to bring a great harvest for the Kingdom of Heaven in Ukraine! Here are a few verses for your meditation: 1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands…Leviticus 9:22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them,Exodus 17:11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.Psalm 63:4 So I will bless You as long as I live;I will lift up my hands in Your name. Psalm 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.Lamentations 3:41 We lift up our heart and handsToward God in heaven; May the Lord encourage your heart as you pray for the salvation of souls, for the nurturing of these souls to thrive in the Kingdom of God, and for the Lord’s faithful workers in the harvest.

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PRAISE in pictures

PRAISE in pictures taken from all the ministry that is happening across the country. Explaining the Gospel in a nursing home—both mother and daughter received Christ.   Bible study held weekly in a correctional institute.     Outdoor Bible studies already!     Needy children receiving love at a Center of Hope (the blue and yellow sign in the background reads “Welcome to the Center of Hope)   Children learning to read and study the Bible!     And seekers Bible studies. Finding out the Bible speaks now, to them.     Young and old—studying the Bible. Men and women—studying the Bible. Girls and boys—studying the Bible. The Words of Life! Just a small taste of some of the ministry going on! PRAYER Pray for more Centers of Hope to open. They are opening in different forms and ways, but the key is to reach out into the community—not to sit in a church building and wait! Another sign is going up for a Center of Hope. Praise the Lord! Pray for Abe and Vera. This week is very intense with two workshops back to back starting tonight (Monday) and finishing up Friday afternoon. Casting vision. Casting vision. Pray they will catch it! And here is a letter: The Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches of Ukraine makes efforts to protect Ukraine by appealing to the Speaker of the US Congress Mike Johnson and members of the House of Representatives.  "On behalf of the Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches, which represents more than 8,000 churches and reaches nearly 2 million believers, we ask for your action and prayer," the letter to Speaker Johnson said. The letter was signed by the heads of 15 Protestant denominations of Ukraine. "As you know, on the night of April 10-11, another brutal Russian missile attack on Ukraine took place, a number of regions were attacked, and one of Ukraine's largest power plants was completely destroyed. In addition, there was another merciless attack on the outskirts of Odessa, in addition to drones, 9 Iskander ballistic missiles were launched. As a result of rocket fire in Odesa, 5 civilians died, among them another minister of the Protestant church, Vitaly Taranenko, who became another victim of Russian terrorism. We call on our brother in faith, Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, as well as all Christian congressmen to protect Ukrainian churches and our entire people from genocide. We ask you to vote for the allocation of an aid package for Ukraine and extend to us now the hand of support that we so need. Nowadays, every day of delay brings new and new victims, our churches are destroyed, believers and ministers are killed and tortured, every day of delay hits the churches," explains Anatoliy Kozachok, the acting Chairman of the Council. (The attack on the power plant that is referred to, and that was totally destroyed, is not far from Dan and Priscilla.) Pray that Ukraine can continue to be a country with religious freedom. I understand right now that an aid bill has passed the House and will move on to the Senate and the President. And you can pray for that passing if you feel led. But the issue that has been from the beginning is that this is a spiritual battle. Russia is an oppressive country. Whether more money and more weapons help—I do not know. But on the basis of an issue of spiritual freedom—yes, every Christian needs to do what they can regardless of what country they live in. And from my perspective nothing will happen unless God does it. And thus—we pray on! If you feel helpless—do not. We serve a Mighty God with the power to change the events in the world. And our part is to ask.  

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Time marches on and circumstances sometimes limit

Time marches on and circumstances sometimes limit my ability to get more frequent updates out—but the Kingdom of Heaven marches on also! Praise His name! PRAISE Yes, Abe and Vera were pressed to their limits this month with all the meetings and all the follow up. But they both found their ways to victory even in the stresses! So important! They set the tone for the workshops and the people who come. And these people are already tired and burdened. So they need to see the path of victory in their leaders. At the last workshop Abe called me in the morning and said that 25 people had been led to the Lord in the past 3 weeks. By the time he returned home the next day all of the statistics had come in and 62 people had been saved! There were 81 people in attendance at the workshop! This is all personal evangelism. Not altar calls or street services but talking to individuals and asking for a commitment. The most recent event was this past Tuesday when Abe again had a meeting with leaders, chairmen of committees in the Baptist Union. He was feeling uncertain about his contribution but went ahead and shared as the Spirit had led, and the response was overwhelming. People are just ready! It is like after two years of war, stripped of hope, surrounded by suffering, they have opened their hearts and minds to God’s Spirit and are full of fire! They are ready for action! And as you know, Abe is certainly a man of action! So much ministry goes on. In the midst of so much hurt. Just a few pictures: Seeker Bible studies: Children’s ministries: Even designing t-shirts with the theme: God is with me! 5 teenagers got saved in this youth group! (This month!) And a last picture we leave with you: baptism. The goal—new citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven!   PRAYER Do continue to hold Vera up in prayer. One of her brothers died this week. A sister-in-law died earlier this month. These things lay heavy on her heart and she does not have the option to go and participate. All of her family is in Crimea. And so, she grieves alone. Pray for her comfort. April will again be very busy with the first workshop Apr 2-3. In all Abe will have five meetings in April which means he will be a lot on the road even though they are only in Kyiv. It is a 4-5 hour drive one way depending on road conditions. And then the preparation for it all. He can only do so much in the strength of the Lord, and your prayers contribute to that. So—pray on! Easter will soon be here. Our church here has been doing a series gearing up to Easter, but one sermon was so impactful to me. The pastor went through several scriptures where Jesus was telling His disciples about the suffering ahead (which they did not comprehend) but He always ended with “and after three days be raised again” which the disciples were totally baffled by. But…how great the Hope of Easter, especially in a country that has been suffering war for 2 years. The battle on the front is very intense, relentless. They are training men for only 2 or 3 weeks and sending them off to the heat of the battle. But there are good solid believers among those soldiers who are sharing the Good News. There is a fresh influx of refugees from the east as the danger increases. Dan and Priscilla and their church are trying to provide for some of them. And in the midst of war their church is growing. People are finding Christ. It isn’t about death because—there is Resurrection! In the suffering, in the fear, there is Hope. We have a Risen Lord. He is not dead!!

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I (Diane) decided to go in for a medical check last week

PRAISE I (Diane) decided to go in for a medical check last week to Kyiv as resources are better there. I ended up being there the whole week! Saw several specialists and spent an overnight in a cardiac hospital for testing. The overall report is that I have excellent health. Yeah, a bit wear and tear from the years rolling by, but everything important is functioning well. Does not answer why I have been lacking energy the past few months, but, I can live with that knowing that there are no pending issues! Praise the Lord! I just love the testimonies we have coming in from the level one workshop which is focused on especially on evangelism at this point, which means contacting people on the street. Michael: On Friday, my wife forgot her wallet in the store, on Saturday they called that they had found it and wanted to return it. When I met the saleswoman, I thanked her by giving her candy and told her that we were Christians. We went to the car, but I felt that I had not done everything. So I took the Prayer Pamphlet and went back to the store. I briefly gave my testimony: how God healed me from cerebral palsy as a child. That is why I am serving Him now. She started to cry. It turned out that her child, Anna-Maria, is not developing well. Taking her hand, I prayed to Jesus, thanked him for making me an example of Righteousness! And this reveals why the story with the wallet happened! I prayed for Anna-Maria, for her life and development, for mother Kateryna! May the Lord show His mercy to them, as He showed to me! Amen! PS: Please pray that the glory of the Lord will fill their hearts! That they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Amen. Anna: I want to share a testimony: It so happened that this time I was going back home by train from the workshop. My lady beside me was Natalya, a woman who was going to Germany to earn money. She needed medicine (I had just such) - and I shared it. Then I testified to her, she listened very attentively, and kept repeating that she could not believe that she met a person on the way who told about God🙏 And I kept thanking God for giving me such an opportunity - to share the Gospel with one more person... At the end, I prayed (placing my hand on her), she was very happy about it, asked me to send her a link to the online Gospel, so that she could listen to the Word of God, there, in Germany🙏 We continue our correspondence 😌 Vacil: Returning from the session on the train, God sent a girl Tanya whom we told about Jesus Christ using John 3:16. We testified what the Lord has done for each of us. Upon arrival, our car was nearby, and we offered to take her home. When we brought her home, my wife offered to pray and the girl agreed. And they prayed peacefully. We trust God. We thank God for everything. Amen. Many more testimonies and pictures people send of their ministries. What rejoices our hearts the most is how excited these people are about learning practical steps in connecting with people and leading them into the presence of Jesus. The spiritual need is so great. How will they hear? Thank you, Lord for these people who are “going”. PRAYER March is another heavy month. Abe has workshops the next two weeks (March 5&6, 12&13) and on the third week he has to go into Kyiv again for a leadership meeting (March 19). I have asked many times for prayer for safe travels and for wisdom and strength. Do pray for those things. But please hold Abe and Vera up very faithfully to the Lord. This task is huge. There are many people to minister to. Many people to counsel. Then praying and figuring out where extra help is needed. It is just on and on. Both of them are feeling drug out with the load. This schedule will go on until June so there are several months ahead. Pray that they both, in their individual ways, will find how to walk strongly through this time. That they would feel the Lord truly undergirding them. That they would receive fresh insights from the Lord. And that at the end of each day they would be able to lay the burden down, knowing that God is sufficient. I know for Abe the burden lays so heavily on his heart about people being lost and not having heard the Gospel. A burden we should all have. But he dreams about it even. They are soldiers on the frontlines—but the frontlines of heavenly battles. And you could say that Abe and Vera are “generals” leading the troops forward. Ukraine is falling back from their frontlines because they are lacking ammunition, among other things. In the Kingdom of God we need to press forward and gain territory for our Mighty King! And He is all-powerful! Pray that He would release His power in Ukraine.        

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