Ukraine-update.

March 10, 2022

Dear Brothers,

Please accept my apology for including too many details in the Ukraine update that I sent earlier today. Our purpose is not to provide a news report.

It is sufficient to say that the fighting in Ukraine is intensifying, that the saints are in increasing danger and are still moving or trying to move to safe places, that some of the brothers on both sides are forced to fight in the military and endure the dangers and trauma of war, and that gospel and ministry materials are being prepared to distribute in whatever way is possible both within Ukraine and to the refugees who are now in Europe. It should also be noted that the saints who are refugees consist mainly of sisters and their children; the husbands are not allowed to leave the country. These refugees will need ongoing care in the countries to which they have fled, and the saints and the churches in those countries will need the Lord’s grace and wisdom, plus the financial support of the Body, to meet the needs of the refugees. The saints who remain in Ukraine, including the co-workers and the full-time serving ones, will need our prayer and may also need our financial assistance.

Portions of the ministry that are helpful in directing our prayer are chapter 139, “World Wars and the Church,” in The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Set 2, vol. 45; and chapter 17 in Lessons on Prayer. Please pray for the ruling of the heavens over the entire situation so that the saints will be preserved, Satan’s kingdom will suffer loss, and God’s economy will advance in the spreading of the gospel and the building up of the Body.

It is possible for the saints to give through LME for Ukraine. For those in the USA, the preferred way is for the saints to give to their respective local churches and for the churches to forward an aggregate gift to LME.

The saints and the churches can also give directly to LME. The need in Ukraine is considered by LME to be a “special need.” Instructions for sending a check through postal mail and for sending gifts by wire transfer can be found at lme.org/offerings.html. Instructions for giving online through ACH transfer or through the PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) can be found at lme.org/e-offerings.html. Giving through ACH transfer and the PPGF will minimize processing fees for large gifts. Instructions for giving through regular PayPal or by a debit or credit card can be found at lme.org/e-offerings-other.html. Please ask the saints to carefully follow all instructions given on the above web pages and designate their gift for “Ukraine.”

Please share this revised update with the leading ones in your region and encourage them to ask the saints to pray.

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March 10, 2022

Dear Brothers,

This is a brief summary of the things happening in Ukraine related to the saints:

  1. More and more atrocities and grievous things are happening to the saints. The saints in Mariopol are trapped under carpet bombing. There was a period of time where they were trying to negotiate their evacuation, but the Russians will only allow them to evacuate to Russia. The saints don't want to do that. The whole city is under severe bombardment. No distinguishing between civilians or anything. They reported to us a large bomb from an airplane destroyed the children's hospital completely. The same thing in happening in Bucha Butcher and in Irpin. 

  2. Eventually, some of the saints did evacuate going to the West. But this is a very dangerous route. Most of the saints are going south on the Odessa highway and not to the West because of the danger.

  3. One brother on the front lines reported that they are in fierce fighting. He barely escaped death. The trauma that our brothers are experiencing is unimaginable! May the Lord cover their minds and their souls in this terrible satanic chaos.

  4. A number of the brothers are experiencing pressure to fight in the military. Please pray for their preservation.

  5. Gospel and ministry materials are being prepared and made available in the Ukrainian language for distribution inside Ukraine and to the Ukrainian refugees in Europe. Please pray for the running of the white horse.

  6. The Ukrainian army came to the meeting hall in Kiev today and asked the saints to evacuate the hall. The electricity will be turned off. A heavy artillery battle is expected to begin near the hall. Now all the saints have evacuated to a house in the south of Kiev.

Brothers, please ask all the saints in the churches where you serve to pray for these matters as well as for all the Lord’s interests in Ukraine, Russia, and Europe.

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March 7, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

The current conflict in Ukraine has created many grievous and painful situations, too numerous to relate. The Ukrainian saints are suffering, many traumatized by the great danger resulting from war. We provide the update below in order that we could all pray and stand together with these members of Christ’s Body who are standing for His kingdom on earth.

There are still ten saints remaining in the city of Mariupol, with whom we have lost contact for the last three days. There is no water, no electricity, and no medicine in this city. The apartment buildings where the saints live are being utterly destroyed. 

Tonight as the city of Mykolaiv fell under the rain of rockets, we wept together with the saints on the phone. 

Some of our brothers on the front line are able to rest only by laying under the sky on the open ground, since living under any kind of covering invites an attack. The brothers are cold, and their bodies are failing. Our brother Oleg's kidneys are starting to give him trouble. There are no medicines. 

The city of Chernigov, where we have a meeting hall which also serves as a Rhema warehouse for Russian Recovery Versions, is surrounded by opposing forces. Years of ministry translation work into the Ukrainian language is also stored there on computer hard drives. 

The capital, Kyiv, is being rocked by huge explosions. There are still about 20 praying saints in the meeting hall.  Many of the other Kyiv saints remain in their apartments in various districts of the city. One family and several saints are in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, which has seen intense fighting. They have been living in the basement of a central apartment building with 60 other people, mainly women and children. One couple, Sasha and Anya, both FTTM (Full Time Training in Moscow) graduates, preached the gospel to everyone who is with them in the basement, and everyone called upon the name of the Lord! Anya has her guitar and has been singing with the children. 

This past Lord's Day, March 6, the saints in Ukraine had a corporate Lord’s table meeting by Zoom. It was attended by over 400 saints throughout the country. As we were singing and praising, we could still hear the sound of explosions through the microphones of some of the saints in battle-torn areas. During the sharing time, a number of brothers testified about our oneness and our victory in the Lord. Although some saints are finding it difficult not to direct their blame on persons, the atmosphere was changed when one simple brother, entering into God’s view, expressed a heart to bring the gospel to young soldiers on the street, regardless of which side of the conflict they found themselves on. 

May the Lord help and train us all to ascend with Him, to pray from the position of His ascension, having His view and thought related to the current situation (see Lessons on Prayer, p. 197). May the Lord be merciful to us all.

The serving ones in Ukraine

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Update #2 

Dear brothers and sisters,

In Revelation 1:9: the apostle John referred to himself as “your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus.”

The saints in Ukraine continue to experience much tribulation. They are constantly traumatized by automatic gunfire and explosions. The daily news reports of air raids and the approach of armored columns of heavy artillery give rise to much fear and anxiety. However, whenever the saints gather to exercise their spirit to pray, to sing, and to praise the Lord, they testify that they are immediately supplied with the Lord’s inward grace, comfort, and peace, which nullify the fears and the sense of anxiety. They are experiencing the peace of God guarding their hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7). Peace is prevailing. 

Perhaps there has never been another time in history when the Lord has gained a group of people who understand His interests and are able to ascend above the physical realm of countries and nationalities and touch the unseen spiritual realm, where the real battle is taking place. Their prayers are powerful and effective. 

We were sent the following prayer from a sister, which is a very good example of praying according to God’s interests: 

“Triune God, release today, while it is today, Your prayers on the earth in your beloved saints, wherever they are. You alone are the mercy and the grace for the prayer. We declare by faith that You are maturing Your Bride in these hours. Thank You that we can join You and the churches...Lord, we agree and ask for Your outpoured renewing to keep and hold our prayers in Your economy. Thank You for the prayers coming from the saints to guide us into all the reality to bind what You have bound and loose what You have loosed. Gain the living in and with Yourself as the Divine Trinity.” 

There are a number of brothers on the field of battle. Last night they messaged that they are very cold. One brother is an officer on the front line. He has not slept in a week but testified to us that he is empowered and strengthened by the Lord and can sense the support and covering of the prayers of the saints. He testified that not only he but even the unbelievers in his brigade realize that something is supporting them and guarding them. This is the Lord’s care and supply for the saints. 

The Chinese-speaking saints were able to cross the Polish border yesterday, and they are now in Warsaw. Many saints will be crossing tomorrow. The brothers and the churches in Poland and Slovakia are meeting the saints and taking care of all their needs.

The serving ones in Ukraine

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Update #1

Dear brothers and sisters! Due to the current political situation, we encourage all the saints and the churches, especially at this time, first of all to make petitions (1 Tim. 2:1-4), being one with the interceding Christ in prayer for His interests, for the churches and for the life and health of the saints firstly in the territories covered by the military conflict.

Especially at such a time, it is important for us to remember that whatever the outward environment, the heavens do rule (Dan. 4:26). The Lord is on the throne, and He is the Head of all things to the church for the fulfillment of God's purpose.

“In 4:26 Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your kingdom will be assured to you after you have come to know that the heavens do rule.’ It is the heavens that rule, not Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus or Alexander the Great or illness or turmoil or rebellion. The earth is under the rule of a heavenly administration. The heavens rule for us, and Christ is for us. Furthermore, we are under God's heavenly rule for Christ. The purpose of the heavenly ruling is to complete God's elect so that Christ may be preeminent, that He may be the first—the centrality—and everything—the universality.

Because the heavens rule, Christ is with us in all our situations. When we are sick, He is with us. When we are in turmoil, He is with us. I can testify that we can enjoy His presence in the midst of turmoil and rebellion.” (Life-Study of Daniel, ch. 12)

Dear saints, the universe is under God's administration, in which God intends to make Christ preeminent, and for the accomplishment of God's intention, we, His people, must give Him our full coordination and cooperation, first of all in our prayers.

Now more than ever, it is important for us to realize that we are “fellow citizens with the saints and the members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19); that is, we are all citizens of God’s kingdom, regardless of our location and residence. And in this light, it is extremely important for us to avoid any politically motivated discussions, and even more so disputes, and instead — turn our eyes away to our King of kings on the throne in order to coordinate with Him in this situation and cooperate with Him in prayer, personal and corporate, taking the heavenly position.

Speaking about the importance of the heavenly position in prayer, Brother Lee gave the following testimony: “When I was a boy, I studied in a Christian school. That was during World War I. I heard some smart ones asking the pastor, ‘There are Christians in Germany, and there are also Christians in Great Britain, yet the two countries are implacable enemies. We heard that the Christians in Germany are praying for the victory of Germany and that the Christians in Great Britain are praying for the victory of Great Britain. Will you please tell us which side’s prayer will be answered by God?’ Today, brothers and sisters, I would like to ask you the same question. How would you answer?...Later, after I was saved, this question often came back to me. Gradually, I became clear about it. God would not listen to the Christians in Germany, or Great Britain, as they prayed on the position of their respective country. Neither Great Britain nor Germany is the position of prayer. Whoever prays by standing either on the position of Great Britain or Germany will never has his prayer answered by God. There is only one position for prayer—that is the heavenly position. You must pray in the heavenly sphere.” (Lessons on Prayer, ch. 17)

Today, the Lord really needs the prayers of the Body, uttered in the heavenly sphere, in the position of ascension, which will be able to conquer the destructive satanic chaos and carry out the constructive divine economy — to end this age, to return the Lord, and to bring in God’s kingdom to earth.

Grace to you all

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we face one of the most historic events in recent human history, we’d like to first remind the saints of the apostle Paul’s prayers for us in the book of Ephesians -- that the Lord would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation and that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened to know the hope of our calling and the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. We are reminded that this hope and this power exist in another realm, another world, in the divine and mystical realm. Surely these days, we need to ask the Lord to transfer us out of the physical, natural realm, full of human anxiety, opinion, and thought and to open our minds to see the real things taking place in the unseen realm. It is imperative, as we approach the time of the Lord’s coming, that the saints realize who the Lord is, where He is, and who we are as a result of our union with Him in the one spirit. There is an urgent need for a number of saints to transcend the natural realm and, in full union with the Lord, with His feeling, His thought, His insight, to “pray in prayer” that the authority of His kingdom would be exercised in the present conflict. May the Lord help us all.

 

The pre-Covid statistics for the saints and churches in Ukraine was approximately 50 churches and 1500 saints. It is impossible to iterate the many dire situations that the saints find themselves in today throughout Ukraine, but from what we know, the saints are suffering greatly. In the area around Kyiv, where the largest church of about 200 saints is located, some of the saints are remaining in their homes, about 40 saints are in the meeting hall, and another 40 saints in a nearby village, 10 km outside of Kyiv, in a compound owned by one of the brothers. Yesterday quite a few saints were able to travel to cities in west Ukraine, many of which are now also under the duress of war. A good number of the saints have gathered at our conference center in west Ukraine, in a small village which we thought would be spared from fighting but, as of today, this area is also threatened.

 

The president of Ukraine last night declared a “General Mobilization,” meaning that all men between the ages of 18 and 60 can be conscripted at any moment. The government is also arming the general population. In Kyiv, they distributed 10,000 automatic weapons with ammunition to the general population. Now it is difficult for any of the young brothers to flee because they could be conscripted at checkpoints. No males are being allowed out of the country. The lines at the Polish border extend for many kilometers, however all men in the qualifying age group are turned back, allowing only women and children into Poland. Some saints are trying to send some of the sisters, mothers and children, as well as the Chinese speaking saints who have been living and studying in Ukraine, to the Polish border. This trip will have risks, as a field of battle is developing between them and the Polish border. May the Lord give us the prayers we need to pray for the protection of these saints and their travel.

 

Many Ukrainian cities where the saints are are under attack, such as Kyiv, Borvary, Odeca, Mykolaiv, Mariupol, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Enegodar, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Poltava, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chuguev, Sumy, and Kharkiv, as well as localities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Under steady bombardment, many of the saints are unable to rest due to shelling and the explosions that often rock their residences. To sleep in such conditions is impossible and can result in much psychological trauma to the saints. In addition, logistics everywhere are becoming more and more difficult as gas, food, and funds become increasingly inaccessible. Pray that the Lord would surround the saints with His protection, that the souls and minds of the saints would be covered and guarded from the threats of the evil one, that the Lord would provide them with their daily necessities, and that they could realize and directly experience the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls.