Dear friends, as you know I have a lot of connections into Ukraine and I am constantly amazed at the wonderful work the Holy Spirit is carrying out in that wonderful country. One person he is using in a tremendously powerful way is my friend and brother in Christ, Valera Pedchenko.
Valera is the director of the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in Rivne, Ukraine. The centre is for men who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. It is run as a Christian centre and the men who come in are taught the word of God through Bible study and they participate in regular worship also. The men are taught skills such as gardening and construction to help them find employment when they leave the centre after six months of treatment. The men then go to a halfway home for three months where Valera continues to care for them and help them to grow spiritually.
Valera is a former drug addict. He was addicted to drugs for twelve years and then he came to know Christ and has since been clean (also twelve years). He is married to a wonderful woman of God and they have a son. Unfortunately, Valera has health consequences due to his former lifestyle. Suffering from both Hepatitis B and D, he needs medication which he is unable to afford. Would you be willing to help? 600 US dollars a year would pay for his treatment. Please feel free to contact me for further details if you wish to help.
It has been a wonderful few days in both Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. A team of six from Garstang FMC and myself went to Ukraine to minister with our team there.
We were able to speak twice to a number of people bereaved by the conflict with Russia. This is a great honour but also very emotional. We also spoke to the men at our drug rehabilitation centre. I personally was blessed to be able to dedicate the youngest son (David) of Misha and Lena Petrochenko to the Lord. Pastor John Sainsbury from Garstang gave a wonderful message on Sunday at church and his testimony on Friday resonated with many of the men at the centre.
Currently eight men at in the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre and another two are in the next step program. The entire program lasts nine months and overall has had great success in helping to men come to Christ and beat their addictions.
Please continue to pray for our leaders, Misha, Lena, Valera and Natasha. They are incredible leaders, committed and gifted and the Lord us using them in a mighty way!
If you want to know more about how you can support the work in Ukraine just drop me a note!
I have a busy travel schedule over the coming months. From May 9th – 15th I will be in the United Kingdom. I will be attending the UK and Ireland Free Methodist Annual conference and on Sunday May 12th I will be speaking at the Garstang Free Methodist Church at 7pm. Why not join us if you are in the area?
May 30th to June 3rd I will be in Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. I will be continuing to help develop a relationship between the Garstang Free Methodist Church and the ongoing work in Rivne. Several members from Garstang will go on this trip to Rivne and connect with our team serving there. Personally, I will speak at a group for women who have lost their husbands/sons to the ongoing conflict with Russia. Please pray for wisdom and gentleness as I present the Good News to so many grieving women.
From June 7th to 18th I will be in Alexandria, Louisiana. I will speak on two Sundays (June 9th and 16th at church services – I am waiting on the names of the churches). I will also speak five to six times as the missions speaker at the Gulf Coast Family Camp. If you are in the Louisiana area, please feel free to contact me and perhaps we can arrange a meeting!
I will then return to Hungary as we hold our annual vacation Bible school at the orphanage in Győr from July 1st to 5th. We have a team of five people coming from Decatour, Illinois to serve alongside us.
July 14th to 29th I will again be in America. I will be at the Free Methodist General conference in Orlando, Florida from the 14th to the 19th where I am available to meet with people. If you are attending this conference then please write me a message and lets meet for a coffee or a meal together. On July 21st I will speak twice. At 0930 I will speak at Compass Church in Bend, Oregon and in the afternoon at 5pm, I will speak in Lebanon, Oregon at Ignite Hope Church. On the 24th of July I will travel to Missoula, Montana where I will spend a couple of days serving with a local church helping in an impoverished area. After that I will travel to East Wenatchee, Washington State, where I will speak on Sunday July 28th at the Eastmont Community Church.
If you are near any of these churches, I would love to have you visit and hear a little about what God is doing in Hungary, across Europe and in our lives.
You may be asking why travel so much? Well, we recently lost a lot of support. Without adequate support it is very difficult to reach the lost. Travelling and speaking at c hurches is one way of raising support. However, more importantly, we need prayer partners. People who pray for this ministry and for us.
I had a wonderful weekend in Garstang, Lancanshire in England. I went to visit the Garstang Free Methodist church and talk a little about the wonderful ministry currently going on in Rivne, Ukraine. Garstang sent a team in June of 2017 and together we worked with soldiers and their families. You may remember that these soldiers were/are suffering from PTSD and the Garstang team specifically worked with their children in a type of vacation Bible school format.
Former missionary to Ukraine, Pete Blundell, has done an incredible job of informing the Garstang church of this important ministry and is the driving force behind this wonderful connection between Garstang, UK and Rivne, Ukraine. I did speak about the camp this past summer and I also spent a lot if time speaking about our drug rehabilitation centre in Rivne. I look forward to this partnership growing and many coming to know Christ as their Saviour through this exciting work.
Personally I enjoyed fish and chips, scones, long conversations with friends old and new and some rather beautiful landscape! I hope I get to return again in the not too distant future.
The last ten days have been so busy! I want to catch you up on some of what we have been doing.
Last week, Zsuzsi and I were in Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. I spoke on the subject of the persecuted Church in Kiev at the Ukrainian education center and then in Rivne I was blessed to visit a Christian rehab center for men recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. This centre is lead by a former drug addict who gave his life to Christ 12 years ago. Currently, seven men are in the center, there stories are very sad but they are learning to love and trust Christ! I was able to share my testimony with them and enjoyed meeting them. If you feel led to support this ministry, these men and the center need financial aid to help pay for food, bills, rent and medical care. Feel free to contact me if you want to help.
The last few days I served in Rivne, Ukraine. I spent time with our Ukrainian leaders, Misha and Lena Petrochenko and their two beautiful kids. The Petrochenko family are involved in several ministries and I was delighted to be able to spend time with them.
I visited and preached in a large home church group, with about 40 people in attendance. Several are refugees from the Donetsk region and have been displaced by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. I am currently planning a medical and humanitarian aid trip to the war zone next year. I am in need of a dentist and a doctor to serve and medicine. Please contact me if you are interested in helping. Whilst there I will assist by providing Bibles, counseling and praying with those caught in the conflict. I will also serve as a psychiatric nurse and work with those suffering stress related illnesses.
Do you know/recognise this worship song? Check the video to hear a small part of the song.
Ukrainian food is just great! Misha and Lena never stopped feeding me 😀 One of my favourites was this traditional salad!
Please continue to pray for the Petrochenko family, their ministry and that the conflict would come to a peaceful end.
My travels take me far from home at the moment! The next four weeks see me very busy indeed!
I am just back from a quick two day visit to Romania. I spent time talking with missionaries and local leaders and I hope I was able to encourage them. The work amongst some of the poorest in Europe is never ending… Yesterday I was in the poorest area in Arad, Romania. So many socio-economic problems and so few people trying to make a difference. Malnourished children, unclean water, lack of medication to name just a few of he problems. I am grateful for my friends the Ball family, Viz de Copil, local councillor and believer Laura Andres and the Oaza group which all provide help for these kids. If you want to help, contact me please!!!
Soon I travel to Rivne in Ukraine, to spend time with church leaders, teach and encourage them in the ministry they are leading, including reaching out to families who have lost loved ones because of the war with Russia.
Soon after that I travel to Cergy, France, which is very near to Paris. There I will encourage leaders, help them with training for ministry and learn more about their service to the Lord.
I am very open to speak in your church or Bible study group on the subject of the persecuted church, as I mentioned in my previous post. Feel free to contact me and we can discuss doing this either in person or by Skype.
Sadly I will not be in Ireland in the foreseeable future. I miss my mother’s cooking!
Please pray that believers in these countries would be blessed!
The past few days I have been in Kiev, making contacts with individuals, churches and mission organisations. Overall it has been very successful and eye-opening. Originally I was going to meet with ministry workers in Rivne but due to their current health problems they asked me to come another time. Therefore I used the time to develop new relationships in Kiev.
Kiev is a city rich in history, much of it very recent history.
I don’t wish to comment on politics but I do ask that you pray for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. They have suffered terribly and they need Christ.
Ukraine is a country rich in religious tradition but statistics put the number of true believers at less than 2% of the population.
I did met several wonderful believers though!
Vitaly is the director of the Ukrainian Education Centre. This library/Christian resource centre is used for Bible studies, English classes, discipleship etc. Please pray for Vitaly as he leads this ministry!
Vika (Viktoria) is a young believer. She is currently studying in seminary and has a passion to work with children. Please pray for her as she seeks God’s leading in her life and as she faces some tough challenges.
I made several other good connections and am grateful to all those who took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me!
I, (Gerry) am currently in Kiev on a trip exploring possibilities of developing partnerships here to see Kingdom expansion.
Originally I was going to Rivne to visit Free Methodists there, encourage and teach them. Sadly they family are unwell and therefore I am using my time in Kiev to visit churches, pastors and look at what Christian materials they have available (in Russian and Ukrainian) for our leaders.
So far I have four meetings set up and appreciate your prayers that these would go well and be a blessing to all involved.