God has stirred our hearts here at CF for many places around the world. For the past year, we have been particularly stirred toward Ukraine. Our first response was to take up an offering. Additionally, the CF elders felt we should seek out the personal connections with local pastors. That lead us to Pastor Sergei in Uzhhorod (western Ukraine) and to Pastor Maxim in Dnipro (further eastern Ukraine). We have invested much of the nearly $40K given into these two churches and ministries connected to them (more on that to come).
At the end of 2022, I felt these relationships offered an opportunity for a team from CF to travel to Ukraine. Our goal would be to come alongside these pastors and their churches (and the work of God through them) as they minister amidst a war. The need is great: thousands of refugees have fled far eastern Ukraine during the sustained year-long invasion by Russia.
Over 30 people responded when we invited the CF community to participate with the Ukraine Missions Team. We had 19 people commit to the trip. I am honored to lead this team with many moving parts and leaders!
- Construction Team
- Uzhhorod Ministry Team
- Dnipro Ministry Team
While we will travel to Ukraine together, we will be split into 3 separate serving locations:
- Donnie Limper will head up the Construction Team
- Phil Douce will head up the Uzhhorod Ministry
- I (Michael Acock) will head our Dnipro Team
Some of you may know that my wife, Jill, and I were missionaries from 1994-97 in Dnipro, Ukraine. This will be my first visit to Ukraine in 26 years. I am both excited and saddened for what I will get see.
We look forward to connecting with people amidst their year-long struggle to minister in the midst of war.
I invite your prayers for:
- Planning and preparation for each team
- Our families who have blessed our going yet carry the reality of us entering the instability of a country at war.
- Each of us to be aware of the presence of God in new and fresh ways as we come alongside brothers and sisters who have served many and be faithful to share the gospel and many come into the Kingdom of God in this past year.
God has impressed me to read the following verse as a message from our Ukraine brothers and sisters.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[b] of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Our invitation at CF in found in verse 11 – “you also must help us by prayer.” Pray for the church in Ukraine, that the body of Christ will testify to the deliverance of our great God for them through the prayers of many.