An update from our regional director in Ukraine;
Christmas and New Year Greetings from Ukraine!
Thank you so much for praying for and giving to our ministry. The Lord has abundantly blessed our family and the people of Ukraine through the Church! We are so grateful to be a part of this wonderful Body of Christ!
During the Christmas and New Year Season, which lasts mid December to mid January in Ukraine, we have been and will continue to conduct Christmas outreaches in our community in Mukachevo as well as frontline cities such as Kherson and Mikolaev.
We have attached pictures from two Mukachevo outreaches: to children of fallen soldiers and our feeding center celebration. It is truly exciting to see church members stepping up and using their talents for God's glory. Kiril Ivanikov preached a Gospel message while his brother Sergei accompanied music on the guitar. Their aunt Tanya organized the event complete with refreshments. All of this with no centralized electricity. Every family received the gift of a clear Gospel presentation, presents for their children, and a food bag (flour, oil, rice, macaroni, buckwheat, barley, meat, sugar, oatmeal, tea, cookies, and juice.) Lord willing, we will have 3 or 4 more outreaches in Mukachevo in the coming weeks.
Our friends from Odesa took Bibles and food bags (similar to what we gave away in Mukachevo) to the Kherson region. Kostya and Sergei both preached the Gospel message and encouraged the local brethren to keep on doing good in the midst of war. With the funds you sent us, they have restocked their vans with 100 more food bags and will be traveling to Mikaliev region this week to preach a Christmas Gospel message and help the villages that are without power, heating, or stable employment opportunities in that area.
Last week, we were able to take several camping power stations into Mukachevo. They are big enough to run an apartment's heat pump as well as other household appliances. They recharge quickly during the several hours that the city electricity is turned on. Generators are not options for many families living in apartments and are extremely expensive to run on a regular basis. These small power stations seem to be an ideal solution for keeping people warm and safe during the winter months. If you would like to help us purchase these units, please let us know.
After New Year, we will be taking a new evacuation 4x4 into Ukraine as well as Vitamin C and power stations. We covet your prayers for safety on the road and while we are in Ukraine. We hope that your Christmas was joyous and peaceful. We covet your prayers and continued support!
Oleg, Lori, Abigail, and Simon Enskyy
You can help the ministry for Ukraine by donating below, or if you wish to help Oleg and family, you can donate via this link.
We are so grateful for your loving support over the past 5 months. The Lord has used you in a significant way to encourage our family and further our church's war time ministry. We never thought we would be living through war or be making the on the dime decisions we have had to make over the last months. We appreciate and truly feel the prayers that have gone up to the Lord on our behalf. Our greatest desire is for this war to end and for spiritual revival to spring up all over the world as people marvel at God's Grace to Ukraine in victory!
Last week, Abigail and I served in a camp for teenage, Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic. This was a wonderful but tiring time for the both of us. It was an answer to prayer for our daughter to be able to focus more on others and serve them rather than dwell on her own woes. We thank you for your continued prayers for Abigail in this matter.
Oleg continues to minister to both our people in Mukachevo as well as refugees here in Budapest. The war time fellowship in Budapest is going well. Refugees are hungry for fellowship in an informal setting. Right now, we are meeting in the fellowship hall of a local church for a meal, prayer, and Bible Study. Please pray for us as we advertise this meeting and for the Lord to bless our efforts to help our fellow Ukrainians feel loved, cared for, and wanted. Living in exile is so very lonely.
Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Mukachevo continues to receive refugees, feed/house them, and help them find more permanent accommodations for the future. We continue to raise money to evacuate those stuck in hot zones and transport them to safety. Our refugees in residence raised over 16,000 UAH ($450) making and selling crafts from past year's leftover camp materials. They were so excited to have something purposeful to do and help with the war effort themselves. Please pray for our church volunteers to have much wisdom as they serve this very vulnerable group of people. Pray for the seeds of the Gospel to grow in their hearts and produce fruit!
We covet your prayers for victory in Ukraine on Ukrainian terms and for the bitter seeds of hate not to find fertile ground in Ukrainian hearts. Please also pray for our family to adjust to all the changes that continually come our way. Pray for us to cast our cares only on the Lord as our souls grieve for what is happening in and to our beloved Ukraine.
Sincerely in Christ,
Oleg, Lori, Abigail, and Simon Enskyy
Here is a quick update so you can see what our refugee kids and remaining TAL kids have been doing the past few weeks. Our staff collected up remaining craft supplies from past years and the kids made bracelets, drawings, hair clips, etc using patriotic themes. We got permission from the city council to set up a tent on Mukachevo's central square to auction them off to earn money for our soldiers! Some of the refugee mothers baked cookies to auction off as well! It has been a great encouragement for everyone to do their part in helping to save Ukraine!
Thank you for helping us minister to Ukraine!
Greetings from Ukraine and Budapest!
This week russia continued to bomb civilian infrastructure all over Ukraine. Children were maimed and killed, houses and schools destroyed, and farmers targeted as they harvested their crops. 150 days of terror. Many of the Ukrainians we talk to say they are numb and the endless newsreels of destruction have ceased to affect them. We covet your prayers for Ukrainian victory on Ukrainian terms. We covet your prayers for a mighty spiritual awakening in Ukraine!
We enjoyed fellowship with the refugees living at the church dormitory this week. Many of these families have lost everything and are in the process of restoring their documents so that they can try to rebuild their lives. Depression, fear, and a sense of helplessness can be heard in their stories. We are trying to lovingly share the HOPE that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can give. Please pray for the seeds we plant on a daily basis to give root and bring forth the fruit of salvation! We are preparing to participate in a city wide fundraising event to help the Ukrainian army and the kids have been hard at work making patriotic souvenirs for the fair!
Please continue to pray for the building take over situation. We have a court date in mid August. Our lawyer seems confident that we will win, but warns that they will appeal. Pray for the Lord's will and protection of our building. There are no other temporary housing options available in our city. Funding is a problem everywhere and many temporary refuges have had to close. We thank you for your continued support for our war ministries. Your prayers and financial support are saving lives and offering refuge to many desperate families.
Oleg, Lori, Abigail, and Simon Enskyy
Dear Prayer warriors,
99 days of war.......We are weary as the rest of the world is weary of this war. The destruction and havoc that russia has wrought in Ukraine is truly horrific. We continue to cry out to our Sovereign God to end this war as quickly as possible while remembering that He allowed this to happen and can use it for Kingdom purposes.
The remaining in-country members of Holy Trinity Baptist Church have really stepped up to bat in caring for their fellow countrymen in need. They feed, counsel, clean up after, house, and fellowship with weary refugees on a daily basis. Yesterday was "Child Protection Day" in Ukraine and they held a special outreach for refugee children. Please pray for these children to remember that the Lord cares for them and wants to have a personal relationship with each of them.
Please also pray for Anna, one of our refugees from Kharkiv. She delivered her baby two days ago. Her home was destroyed by the russians and now has 2 small children to care for. Pray for our church to minister to her and show the Love of Christ to her in a special way.
We praise the Lord for allowing our church to qualify for reduced electricity tariffs. Our bill was cut to almost nothing this month, less than $100. This has been one of our biggest expenses as we heat and cook with electricity. This will allow our relief funds to be extended much longer.
We praise the Lord that Oleg has had no more trouble crossing the border to visit our family. He is needed at church and with the refugees but just as much with his family. The Lord has shown real mercy to us in allowing him to travel back and forth. Many families do not have this option.
Thank you for continuing to support our family and relief ministry. We covet your continued prayers, financial support, and encouragement!
Greetings praying friends!
Today is the beginning of 85 days of war. It is still so hard to wrap our minds around this horrible statement. We never dreamed that war would be a part of our lives, ministry, or everyday vocabulary. We were overwhelmed by the emotions and problems it heaved upon us until we came to a place that we could truly rest in God's care and provision for TODAY. "Give us this day our daily bread, Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough cares of its own, Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you" have been passages of Scripture that have carried us through. We do not know what tomorrow will bring but we rest in the fact that He has carried us thus far and will continue to do so!
Holy Trinity is continuing to accept and care for war refugees. Everyday new people arrive and others leave on their way to more permanent living arrangements. Working with refugees is trying and emotional. Please keep the church volunteers and all the people working to care for refugees in your prayers. Pray for them to be able to deal with their own grief, pain and worries properly as they give so much to others.
We have several praises to share. 1, One of our biggest new expenses caring for refugees is the electric bill. In Ukraine, non residential property has an extremely high tariff for electricity. We heat and cook with electricity. We were able to collect all the necessary documentation to apply for and be approved for a new government program that drastically reduced our electric bill. This program will last until one month after Marshall Law ends at the end of the war. This is a huge answer to prayer. It will allow our relief fund to stretch even further! 2, Ukraine is experiencing a huge fuel crisis. The lack of gas/diesel fuel due to Russia bombing refineries all of the country has caused huge lines, extreme prices, and rationing at the gas pump. We were able to sign a contract with a national fuel chain to purchase fuel in advance with a coupon system and given priority to not wait in 4/5 hour lines. This will enable our church to continue to transport humanitarian aid to partner churches in areas with little food, water, etc as well as servicing the needs of “our” refugees in Mukachevo. 3, We received another big load of food, cleaning supplies, Bibles and, beds from EveryNationEducation this week and the men who brought the aid stayed on for Sunday worship. They were a real encouragement to our people and their testimonies were powerful. Most of our refugees in residence are unchurched but attend worship on Sundays. 4, We have several new volunteers from the community who come on a daily basis to help.
The Lord is building a team of displaced Ukraine/Russia missionaries in Budapest to start a war time ministry with the 400,000 refugees in Budapest. Please pray for this ministry to be a tool for Kingdom advancement! As our participation in this ministry advances, we will keep you updated.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Ukraine, for our family and, for supporting our relief efforts financially. You are providing life changing and life sustaining support for vulnerable and scared war refugees who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their Savior. You are helping us Shine His Light brightly in Mukachevo and all over Ukraine.
We want to share with you an update from the Enskyys, who are on the ground in Ukraine, so you can continue to pray for them and see how the funds that you have donated are being used.
Another week of war has raged on. Time seems to stand still and fly by at the same time. Thank you for praying for our family and ministry. We praise the Lord for your support and encouragement.
This week in partnership with the ministries of Operation Renewed Hope, European Initiative, and Every Nation Education our church received several shipments of humanitarian aid; Bibles (a really nice key chain with a Ukrainian Bible QR code), food, cleaning supplies, and other necessities for keeping our temporary shelter for refugees open and running well. Our staff and refugees were so excited to see these trucks coming to our door and unloaded them with enthusiasm. I cannot underscore what an encouragement this help is to not only our refugees but our church staff as well. As war decimates the already weak Ukrainian economy, food prices rise as salaries are cut in order to send all funds to the army. Everyone is reeling from this horrible, unjust war. Knowing that our brothers and sisters in Christ really care and are helping brings smiles to tired, downtrodden faces.
Right now, our region is experiencing a lull of "incoming" refugees. Last week we were feeding 50 to 80 people a day. We are using this reprieve to better organise the center and deep clean. As the battle for Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson ramp up, we expect the next wave of fleeing refugees soon. No one wants to leave their home and most stay as long as possible, some too long and are in need of evacuation. We are partnering with Oleg's seminary brothers in central Ukraine who are evacuating people in these kinds of situations, helping them with food and fuel for their vans.
Thank you for continuing to support our ministry financially. Your funds go to keep our building warm, clean and offering physical and spiritual shelter to those fleeing active war zones. Please pray for the literature, Bibles and spiritual counsel offered to these vulnerable people to be taken in the spirit it has been given. Pray for the seeds of the Gospel to find fertile, prepared heart soil!
Please continue to pray for peace and revival in Ukraine, safety and health for our family, and wisdom to make quick decisions as war makes for very fluid and unexpected situations.
When someone is hurting, I mean really hurting, to the point of despair and the feeling of no hope; the greatest gift you can give is a sincere acknowledgment that they have not been abandoned or forgotten. Hunger pains go deep, but not nearly as deep as hopeless pain. Hopelessness says no one knows, or even worse, they know but don’t care.
So much has happened in the last week, so we will give you a few bullet points and some more detail below.
Also, I need to make a correction. In my haste to prepare the email last week, I wrote that our facility was on the East side of the country, it is on the West side of Ukraine.
Understand this: Ukraine is the birthplace of the Russian Orthodox Church. As a result, baptists are considered cultists, and priests tell the people not to attend Baptist churches. However, Oleg and Lori’s ministry has done much to remove that stigma.
Before the invasion of Ukraine was imminent, we contacted our people there, Oleg and Lori Enskaya, to see how we could help. Oleg’s English is weak, so we always deal with Lori, an American whose burden took her to Ukraine years ago as a single woman to serve the Lord. She met and married Oleg and was immediately dropped by her mission board because they do not believe in supporting non-Americans as missionaries. Because of this unbiblical policy, they rightly determined that since Lori was now married to a Ukrainian church planter, her support would benefit him. We learned of her plight through Pastor Gene Carpenter at Palmetto Land Baptist in Summerville, SC, and have served as their “mission board” ever since, even though we are technically not a mission board.
You have read many articles about their work, including their Bible Institute, Touch a Life feeding center, and their soccer and ping pong teams for Toch a Life kids who play across the country. They are often on television and share their faith with the politicians and people.
Before the crisis became a reality, they determined to remain in Ukraine rather than abandon their calling and people. Then, during the night, Oleg was awakened with severe pain in his abdomen. They went to the hospital and were told to leave immediately for Budapest, Hungary. Living in the SW corner of Ukraine, in Mukachevo, Budapest, is only a three-hour drive. When they arrived at the hospital there, Oleg was treated, and fortunately, the Ukrainian doctors had misdiagnosed his condition. He was treated and kept in the hospital for several days. It was during that time that Russia invaded. Logically, they wondered if the Lord had allowed this to get them out of the country. They immediately found an apartment to rent and began to make plans to serve the refugees that would spill over.
But Oleg could not remain in peace and safety as his nation was attacked. So, leaving Lori and the kids behind to care for refugees, he returned to Ukraine to do whatever he could, convinced that his actions to return would have a profound impact on his future ministry. And so, he did.
We have received many calls and emails wanting to know if we have people there and how to help them. For days we have asked Lori how we could help, but she could only and honestly reply that she did not know. Then, this morning I received this word from her.
“Right now, we can get food. We have about 50 refugees and our TAL kids to feed. We need food, extra money for heating, electricity, and more pots and pans/cups/ kitchen supplies. Oleg is going to try to get money from his Ukrainian card tomorrow. If he can, I will send it there. If not, I will go to the border and get it to him.”
So, there you have it. Our Touch a Life ministry is still open, their Holy Trinity Baptist Church is still open, but there is a need for food, utensils, and supplies. As time goes on, the need will remain until and even after this is over. But as you can see, Oleg will remain also. So, how much do we need to raise for them? Your guess is as good as mine. Even Lori and Oleg have no idea. It is apparent that the longer the crisis lasts, the greater the need will grow.
Though a need for food, water, clothing exists, the greater need is for the people of Ukraine to know not only does America stand with them, but specifically, the Christians in America do so as well.
There is no need for us to give daily updates on the war, as you can see it on television. But know that our people and their converts are there and will withstand all that is thrown at them. Will we lose hard-won territory for the gospel? Probably so, but the testimony of what we do now and how we helped in their time of need will go a long way to regain that territory and reach throughout the entire nation with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
If you want to help, knowing we don’t honestly know the extent of their need, then donate below. We will either deposit it directly into his account or send it to Lori, and she will meet Oleg/TAL Staff at the border and give them cash.
PS I tried to get Lori to talk about their personal needs, but she wouldn’t. I know they have a budget and bills in Ukraine that must be met (rent, utilities. etc.), and now they have it in Hungary as well. She told me simply that their family now has a $2,000 monthly deficit. If you wish to help them personally, you can also donate online here by selecting "Representative" and then "Oleg & Lori Enskaya". And then there is food, blankets, water, medicines, bandages, splints, and the great need of prayer.