May 2022 Bulgaria, Iran, Ukraine, UK
We strongly recommend you download the "Bible Companion
" app, from where you can access Carelinks
messages, daily Bible readings, Bible Basics
, commentary on every verse of the Bible and audio exhortations on every chapter of the Bible.
For Android / Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carelinks.bc
and on the App Store for Apple / iOS at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bible-companion/id1475914490
You can break bread live online as follows:
Saturday mornings 09:00 a.m.UK time; on Zoom
Meeting ID: 669 740 1754 Passcode: XPb9Sz.
Sundays at 3:00 PM New Zealand time. That's 1 PM in Sydney Australia; 10 PM in New York, USA on Saturday evening [run by Br John Aldersley in New Zealand] on
Meeting ID: 879 3424 5299 Passcode: 411793
Sundays at 10am North American Eastern Time [3 PM UK GMT time, 11 PM Sydney Australia time]. Run by Br Jim Barton in Canada.
Meeting ID: 912 375 8179 . Also, Bible class on Wednesdays at 7 PM North American Eastern Time
We made a brief visit to Bulgaria this week to meet sister Natalya from Ukraine. She fled to Bulgaria with her heavily autistic son, who was being sent crazy by the constant air raid sirens and explosions where they were. He has no passport and was allowed in to Bulgaria. But now Bulgaria have changed their policy, like many countries they are wanting to avoid the costs which come with being open to Ukrainian refugees, and now they aren't allowing any child to leave the country if they have no passport. So our sister is stuck there even though she has a job offer in Switzerland and would be willing to return to Ukraine and try to relocate to western Ukraine where things are a bit quieter than where she was. Further, where she is on the Black Sea coast there are many Russians who live there and own property there- there's strong pro-Russian sentiment, with Russian flags flying in some places, and very aggressive attitudes towards Ukrainian refugees. She's offered herself as a child minder, basic English teacher and other things... but no takers. Instead she as a Ukrainian is blamed for the doubling of fuel and energy costs in Bulgaria... She was greatly helped by a Bulgarian woman called GINKA who has let her live in her late parents' flat. Natalya and her son were on the beach praying about where they were going to live, when Ginka just walked up to them and asked if they were from Ukraine. Ginka herself has been searching for God and relationship with the Lord Jesus, and was delighted to be guided by Natalya to the Lord Jesus; and so we were able to baptize her at the flat. Here you can see sister Ginka on the far left; she and sis. Natalya both have Russian NEV Bibles, and Natalya is holding Bible Basics in Ukrainian:
This week we had the baptisms of ISMAIL, MORTEZE, KEYVAN and MOHAMMAD online in Iran, none of them connected with each other, and all fruit of the Bible app and advertising it. Marcus was present at one of the baptism services and gave one of the prayers, reflecting that he had been baptized in the Clapham ecclesia 71 years ago:
We mentioned last week that when sister Clare was baptized in a bathtub in Croydon, she streamed the baptism live to others. One very enthusiastic viewer was another app user, GREG, who is confined to an insitution in Crawley [about 30 minutes drive from Croydon]. We were able to visit him there and baptize him- after he had done all the studies of Bible Basics on the app. Apart from rare visits from his mother, Greg hadn't had a visitor for 16 years. He is simply so happy to have some spiritual family. He uses WhatsApp and social media and would love folks to text chat with, and visits- let us know if you are able to assist.
We also spent a profitable afternoon passing out New Testaments in New Addington, an area with a major drug problem and drug deals going on openly. But in our "Free Bibles" jackets we were strangely accepted by the dealers and related folks, and we had people coming up and asking for the Bibles. We didn't video it or take photos because that would've raised hackles amongst some of those people. There are constant reports of stabbings and drug related violence there, see
, but this is just the kind of area that needs the Lord Jesus.
We're so thankful to God that finally, sister Tanya, her daughter sister Svetlana and her three children arrived safely at Luton Airport UK late last night, to be met by sister Cilla and family, their sponsors with whom they'll live Lord willing. So much work, with God's blessing upon it, and do keep praying for them and the others still in the system and on the way, Lord willing.
Video at https://youtu.be/7_3okRwZdj8
It was great to see how Cilla had built up a strong relationship with the sponsored family by daily messages with the help of Google Translate; she'd also found a large amount of supportive resources in her area for Ukrainian refugees. This is all a vital part of being a sponsor. So our sisters are in the UK, tired and with exhausted children, but safe, although having lost everything back home. They look forward to being part of sister Cilla's house church meeting. We thank God for it all working out so far. On the video you can hear the discussion about a very tall Russian speaking man who 'appeared' and ensured the family were OK throughout the journey, and who then walked off once they had met up with us in the Arrivals area. Sister Tatyana feels he was an Angel or a man used by an Angel. He was young, tall and thin... Duncan observed, rather like other such 'Angelic' appearances he had experienced in difficult situations. You can hear and see all this in the video.
Brother Igor, the brother left behind when we evacuated his wife and neice, sent this photo of their small ecclesia this Sunday. They meet in a village some way from him, and there is no petrol for sale around him. So he was thinking he couldn't attend as he had no petrol in his car for the journey. But then he recalled that when we tried to fit the kids and baggage into the car, we had to leave him with our two canisters of emergency petrol. He used them to get to the meeting.
We continue in contact with many of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, and continue giving significant funds to them and their families.
- For those recently baptized
- For the Ukrainians arriving in the UK and those on the way
- Thanksgiving that we have been able to help so many out of Ukraine
- For the Lord's work in the Croydon, UK area
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks