April 2022 SPECIAL APPEAL, Ukraine

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  Meeting ID: 912 375 8179 . Also, Bible class on Wednesdays at 7 PM North American Eastern Time

It's not often that we come seriously cap in hand, but the time has come. Brother Duncan writes:

"Over the last few years we have built up a significant number of contacts in the Croydon / South London area. Additionally, south London is full of migrants and refugees, and we are in contact with significant numbers of them from all over the world, from Afghanistan to the Ukraine. They keep asking where we meet... and clearly there is potential and need to have a spiritual home for them all, where they can come for food, clothing, fellowship with others and above all, the teaching of the Bible which they clearly seek.
 You will be aware that for very many years we ran such a centre in Riga, Latvia- resulting not only in hundreds of baptisms, but in so many radically transformed lives. So much good was done. "The need is the call". That is our credo.
 And the need and possibility is now with us to replicate what was done in Riga here in Croydon / south London. We'd immediately like to open a Russian speaking church and a help point / centre for Ukrainian refugees, for starters.

We have been searching for nearly a year for a suitable premises- because for this work, you need a solid meeting place that is on transport lines. We are up against many problems- high prices of commercial property as against its value, getting somewhere with the right use class [zoning] for what we want to do, which is still in an area where there's good transport, the strong economic revival in London with the end of Covid regulations, and related to that the demand by most landlords that you sign up for a 5 year no break commitment in leasing anywhere. So the only alternative appears to be to buy somewhere with the right use class [zoning] which is near transport... and that's expensive.

An excellent suitable property, a former church hall, has now come on the market and we have been praying daily for some weeks to raise the funds to buy it, with the sole aim of glorifying our Father and His Son in the way we did for many years in Riga. My wider family and I have worked out what we can put forward or borrow towards getting it, but, we're far short- of a significant sum.

After a lot of prayer on our knees, we've taken a deep breath and are writing to you. Not asking for anyone to put themselves into financial difficulty... but, if you have significant spare funds and feel led to donate, well, please contact me on freebibles2000@gmail.com or by phone +447481122558 . Running costs going forward can be comfortably met by Carelinks but the hall purchase is well beyond them. We were in a similar situation years ago when getting the hall in Latvia and the work and glory achieved for the Lord Jesus was in the end priceless, no human price tag could ever have been put on it. I believe every penny is a wise spiritual investment and I personally am willing to put all I have on the line for this again, and I invite you to think of supporting. I've taken some experienced brethren to have a look around it and we're all convinced it would be an ideal place.

So, not sparing my blushes and awkwardness, I am motivated by "the need is the call" and I put this to you- for your prayers and, if you can, your support. No need to donate anything at this point, I'm going to see what all up can be promised and we'll see if it's a goer. I'm at peace over it- if the funds don't come, that was God's overruling hand. We just seek to be workers together with Him to His glory in the lives and hearts of ordinary people here in South London... and those people are these days folks from all over the world".

We continue in contact with so many of our brothers and sisters both in Ukraine and those amongst the 4 million who have fled over the border, nearly all to unstable and uncertain situations. The brothers and sisters in the UK who have kindly accepted sponsoring our sisters and their children have had to fill up very long forms and the process for those without passports is not impossible but very very difficult and time consuming. Please pray for us in all that.

We had the hard news this week that the husband of sister Anastasia ["Nastya"] in Ukraine was killed at the front. They have 2 children of 3 and 6. She is 24 and her husband was 26. The corpse has been recovered and was delivered to them by the military, they will be able to do some kind of a burial although they have been under bombardment where they are. She and her aunty sister Ira, whose husband brother Igor can't leave Ukraine as no males can from 18-60, really want to get out. They are traumatized of course. They want to come as soon as they bury their husband / daddy. Many in this wider family were baptized by us over the years apart from the husband who was killed. They are super people and always were at the Bible Schools, etc. Do pray for them. We are planning to go in to Ukraine to evacuate them. A kind brother and sister in UK have offered to accomodate the family, and we've already started the paperwork. We have an interview booked for the family at the UK Visa Centre for Ukrainians in Warsaw, Poland, in about 3 weeks from now Lord willing. It's just getting them from where they are in Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland. We ask for your prayers in our efforts.
Looking back at old photos, there's one from the 2016 Kiev Bible School of the family group [excluding the husband who was killed] , that was the memorable school when Bro Terry Athanasiadis, together with his Sister wife Sofia, came over and ministered to us from Adelaide, Australia. Happier days, when even 6 years ago we all looked so much younger:
We've also heard from a long baptized brother and sister in the Donbas, far eastern Ukraine, under Russian control since 2014. Things are pretty bad there. We offered to send help but they say sending any funds to them would attract attention as there's constant fear of being labelled an agent of the West and anyway their banking system is under sanction... sanctions only really hurt ordinary folks, that's the thing with sanctions. They strongly hold our doctrines and say they are soon to baptize two women. They say the economic situation is desperate. It's bad enough now in motherland Russia let alone in Russian occupied Donbas.

The situation for Russian people isn't good at all in the occupied Donbas, and also in Russia itself. The sanctions are crippling and there are empty shelves in so many shops:

   - For sister Nastya and her children and family
   - For God's blessing but overruling hand on our plan for our plans for a hall in Croydon
   - For wisdom and blessing as we seek to evacuate our dear ones from Ukraine
   - For our planned trip to evacuate our dear ones
   - For wisdom in dealing with all these issues

With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks