Ukraine, Uncategorized

Day 306 of the war in Ukraine

Olive Branch Ukraine Update

My dear friends, my prayer partners, I thank you for the fact that sometimes through such letters I can turn to you to maintain this friendly and prayerful connection of ours.

I thank you for that and I thank our God. I am writing to you this is my personal news update, an update on the news of “Olive Branch” in Ukraine and “The Way of Truth” church, and I wish you a great day!

Today is the 306th day of the war on the land of Ukraine. It seems that time has stopped here in Ukraine. The Russian enemy continues to try to destroy critical infrastructure facilities of Ukraine with cruise missiles and Iranian drones. Our people continue to heroically eliminate the consequences of destruction, and our anti-aircraft forces try to shoot down as many of these flying enemy objects as possible. Our troops continue to repulse the influx of mobilized Russians near Donetsk and Luhansk, our other troops are pushing the enemy out of the Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

I continue to believe that by the grace of God and with your support, we will together defeat this Russian demonic enemy. The chaplains we train and support have a huge and important part to play and serve in this process.

Now is not a very convenient time to plan any “Olive Branch” events in Ukraine. But our team is trying to plan with prayer to the Father and I have hope that these plans will come true by the grace of God.
Thus, I, as the director of the Pastoral – Chaplain Leadership program, planned the following educational programs at the KТS:

According to the KTS curriculum, there are the following date options:
20-24.03.23 – CL102 Chaplain service in hospitals and clinics, instructor Mykola.
06-10.03.23 – CL105 Chaplaincy in Penitentiary Institutions.
03-07.04.23 – CL109 Expository sermon in chaplain service, instructor Igor.
01-05.05.23 – CL110 Chaplain Biblical Counseling, instructor David, translator Gena.
15-19.05.23 – CL107 Civil Security Program, instructor Jeff, translator Gena.

Thank God, now in Ukraine most Protestant churches have switched to the Gregorian calendar and we celebrate the same as you do in the USA. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Greek Catholic Church created a commission to reform the Julian calendar and switch to church holidays according to the Gregorian calendar. Many local churches of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine continue to come under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Yesterday, our church “The Way of Truth” celebrated Christmas. I congratulate you on the Christmas of Christ from myself and Marina, from the “Olive Branch” in Ukraine and from the “Way of Truth” church.

My dear friends and partners, thanks to you, your prayer and your help, I, our church and “Olive branch” in Ukraine have the opportunity to continue working in wartime. Thank you very much to God.

Mykola, the senior hospital chaplain in the city of Cherkasy, together with the chaplain team, serves all those who need it in the hospital. There are also wounded soldiers in the hospital. The hospital has given the chaplains another, larger, separate space for their office, which they will need to renovate.

Women’s ministry leader Zhanna also does a lot of work to support homeless people. She visits the wounded with her husband and continues to coordinate women’s clubs in different regions of Ukraine that serve women independently. Zhanna and Sergiy visited the children of territorial defense, who also lost their homes (30 children). Without light, with lanterns, but it was fun. 200 people (wounded and medical personnel) were visited in the Kyiv hospital (for physical strengthening – fruits, nuts, sweets, for warmth – socks). And to pray for their healing and the victory of Ukraine, they gave a spiritual gift “Prayers of a Ukrainian”.

Marina and I were able to take 51 children’s gifts to the military town of Semipolka in the car you helped me buy. Every year, our church learns to donate gifts for children from military families. Our 40 church members each brought one gift and added another from Olive Branch donations. The women and children of the military town thought that this year they would not have a holiday or presents. There were no men there, because they are all in the war zone. Thanks to us coming to them, they had a good Christmas and thanked us. I thank you also, for this is your part of the donation.

The second week in the evening, I teach for two hours to civilian church groups about chaplaincy, because people from the churches ask how they can be useful to the military.

Thanks to the financial assistance provided through the Olive Branch, the “Way of Truth” church was able to pay the rent, because due to the war, the financial donation was not enough to fully cover the rent. Thank you. May God bless the generous hand.

Thank you very much to you and all the employees of the Olive branch for your great support of Ukrainians during the military trials. God sees what you sincerely do, God sees your sacrificial heart, therefore it is written that our Creator will accordingly do good for you, that is, for those who helped others in difficult times. May the Lord return everything abundantly to you and give thanks as only He can.I wish that we have in the soul a peace from God.

Valentyn Korenevych,
Colonel (retired)

President of the Public organization “Olive Branch”
Program director of “Pastors-Chaplains Leadership” of the Kiev Theological Seminary
+38 097 9638406
This letter was translated by an electronic translator, so I apologize in advance for any errors that you may have noticed.

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