Monday, April 7, 2014

Blessed Ministry in Moldova and Ukraine Continues Amid Crisis and Threat of War

Teens at the transition home in Western Moldova
As instability in Ukraine/Moldova region continues, Natasha ministers in the region to women-victims of human trafficking and children with Autism and developmental delay and their families. Natasha and Vicki will arrive back in Canada on April 10th.

MOLDOVA. Just yesterday, I received a message from Olga, a mother of two autistic boys from Moldova. She writes, “I have been so blessed by meeting Natasha. I
Vitali presenting sewing machines at
the transition home in Moldova
was really amazed of how she can stay so positive and faces Autism with courage. She brought to moms like me a message that there is hope. Thank you for the tablet that Turlac Mission provided for my boys, and for the food basket.”

The young women in transition home in Western Moldova already began training in sewing by using brand new sewing machines provided by our ministry. As I spoke with Natasha, she was very excited to see the girls so enthusiastic about learning a new trade. We place much effort in anti-trafficking preventive ministry, since thousands of women from Moldova have been trafficked to Europe and Middle East for prostitution and slave labor.

Natasha in conversation with moms of autistic children
UKRAINE. Because of annexation of Crimea by Russia in March, no former Soviet republic now feels safe, Moldova included. The Eastern part of Moldova is populated by many ethnic Russians that in recent years have been granted Russian citizenship. The fear of many in Moldova is that Russia will attempt to annex the Transnistrian region of the country. People are worried and are in distress.

Natasha speaks at the conference on Autism in Moldova
Just yesterday, in the city of Donetsk, in Western Ukraine, a pro-Russian mob seized the regional administrative building and proclaimed “The Donetsk Republic.” Friends from Ukraine report that these efforts have been supported by Russia. as more than 40,000 Russian troops are gathered at the Eastern border with Ukraine, some analysts predict annexation of Eastern regions of Ukraine by Russia, supposedly “because of request of Russians living in Ukraine.”

One of the Ukrainian national missionaries that we support, Slava, a Christian counsellor, says, “I have received so many phone calls in recent days. People are in distress. Many are shocked at the prospect of the war breaking out. Dozens report severe depression, unusual levels of anxiety and even aggression. People lost their jobs and savings due to economic crisis.”

Alexander, a national missionary in Odessa whom we support, teaches at a theological seminary. His work is vital because he teachers pastors from all over Ukraine who come for module seminars. They scatter all over the country and offer a message of comfort and hope to people in distress.

CENTRAL ASIA. The situation in the “Stans” is of much concern. Believers report that police raided homes of believers. Again, they received beatings, and all of their belongings were searched. We are stepping up our efforts in providing Christians with copies of Scriptures in their own language since many copies of the Bible are confiscated by police every day. We thank God for Christians in Central Asia, and their faithfulness to Christ.

Thank you so much, dear friends, for supporting the work of the Gospel in the former Soviet Union. Your prayers and donations make sure that the work in the region goes on.

You can support our ministry through our partners at World Wide Word. Donate on-line.