December 2022 Australia, Iran, UK, Ukraine
Sister Rose Stone in Sydney has produced some really nice cards advertising the Bible Companion app, let us know if you'd like any: IRAN
Our online meetings this week resulted in the baptisms of ABBAS and AMIN. Meanwhile we continue hearing frightening stories from those baptized online in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue hunting Christians and checking peoples' phones to see if they have things like our Bible Companion
app on them- do pray for them: UKRAINE
The situation for some of our brothers and sisters there is really dire given the lack of electricity, extra heavy bombardment especially of energy sources and heating infrastructure. Some who have fled occupied areas are now living in previously derelict wooden village buildings, and are desperate for firewood- but it's very hard to get firewood. Brother Max's mum for example now needs 24/7 care and has moved in with a relative who can better provide that care, but firewood is needed. Sister Vera and her family likewise, and so many others, especially in the Kherson region. The cost of firewood is significant- and much of it is only freshly cut softwood which doesn't give much heat and produces lots of smoke as it's still "wet". Temperatures are well below zero. To get up even to +12 in a room... just needs a lot of energy. Wind turbines and solar panels are hugely expensive and would need major investment to produce anything like the required energy. Petrol / diesel generators are best but these are heavy, expensive and hard to obtain and get delivered- although if anyone has one, in the UK at least, please let us know. There is petrol and diesel available.
Here's the kind of cost of firewood- 2283 Ukrainian Hryvna / cubic meter, that's 50 GB Pounds. Without delivery which is a lot extra. Even a small house well insulated would need at least 10 cubic meters, and many of the homes aren't well insulated and have inefficient chimneys that don't draw well.
There are regular reports of people in the Kherson region absolutely desperate for firewood, going into the forests looking for it- and being killed by mines. The area was heavily mined before the Russians withdrew from Kherson. But people are desperate for any firewood, so as not to freeze to death. These are screenshots from Google Translated Ukrainian news sites this week, at least 8 people were killed by mines whilst searching for firewood:
We have sent a few thousand pounds of assistance this week to Ukraine. We are open to your donations to assist further. Please donate to Carelinks through the usual channels. We also have trips planned there this Winter and appreciate your prayers for them. The need is truly great and acute this Winter:
In addition to these issues, we're in touch with some who are in Kherson, from where the Russian forces retreated recently and are now just the other side of the river, which isn't very wide, and are shelling the city at random around the clock. Quite apart from the shortages of energy and food there.
The Gospel continues to bring forth fruit in the UK. Pleased this week to baptize AVIA in Leeds and then JOHN in London.
Video at https://youtu.be/JhNritLEO2w
Many thanks to brother Tim Anderson from USA and Mark Hawkins from Australia to making it a truly global gathering with words of encouragement from around the world. John faithfully attends our Saturday morning Zoom meetings and it has been an absolute joy to see him responding to the word over the past months. It was lovely to have them both online at this Saturday's breaking of bread online.
We've now secured rental on The Venue in central Croydon, and will start lunchtime church there on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with a meal at 12:30 and church at 13:00. Overall we'll provide a "warm space" from 11 - 2 PM. You can read about it at
There's no kitchen there so we will have to buy in all the food. Currently we're looking at ordering true London pie and mash and bringing along salad... from the famous pie and mash shop a stone's throw away ["liquor" in Cockney English means thick parsley gravy, by the way!]:
Crowds of people pass the door all the time, and it's next to the tram stop on George Street- and about 10 minutes walk from East Croydon station. With loads of buses stopping nearby. But we need workers, of all kinds:
- To just be in the hall and serve hot drinks
- To coordinate and lay out the food and clean up afterwards
- To hand out fliers outside
- To give talks
- To chat with the interested people, about life, about the weather, above all about the Gospel.
This would suite about anyone... we can probably arrange accommodation with local brothers and sisters if you're coming from overseas or long distance within the UK. What with "Church in a Pub" on Sundays, that'd be 4 days work each week. If you're from overseas that'll give you 3 days r & r in London each week, although you could also use that time doing Bible studies at home with people or meeting up with folks for coffee, helping the asylum seekers, doing fliers etc.
So do get in touch if you or anyone you know have time for this. And please all do pray for it.
We've printed a few thousand fliers and business cards [thanks again to sis Rose Stone for the layout], and our folks at "Croydon church in a pub" will Lord willing soon be distributing them. If you live, holiday or work in London... do come and get involved! As you can see from the fliers, we're hoping to have the Tuesday sessions focused on Ukrainian refugees and other Russian speakers; and Wednesdays on Persian speakers and asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan. Do direct any you know to us. And do pray for our efforts.
- For the huge problem of providing warmth and heating in Ukraine
- For those under bombardment in Kherson
- For those under persecution from the Taliban
- That some will come forward to work at The Venue in Croydon UK
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks