In August of 2022, I met with a close friend, Tom Greene, who has been involved in Fire Bible distribution around the world. The Fire Bible organization had just approved the reprint of 15,000 Ukrainian Fire Bibles. Through Tom’s connections, they agreed to sell us 1,000. The Bibles were printed in Italy and shipped to Romania. We paid Ukrainian men to drive to Romania and bring them to us in Ukraine. You may be asking, “What is a Fire Bible?” It is a complete study Bible and is said by some to be the most widely distributed study Bible in the world. It originally had a different name. Several years ago, a Russian pastor got it and as he read it, he stopped and said, “This Book is ‘fire’.”Some years ago, it was translated into Ukrainian. The Ukrainian Bible Society told us the Fire Bible has not been in stock in Ukraine since August 2018. They said that right now the demand for a Bible in the Ukrainian language with a relevant translation is high and growing, especially a study Bible in their native language. The shipment of Fire Bibles in the Ukrainian language is a response to this demand. You may wonder why this is so important. In the midst of this year-long war, one great thing that has happened is many people have turned to God. Churches are reporting great numbers of people coming to faith in Christ. Churches are opening their doors to those displaced by the war, giving aid and refuge while sharing the Gospel. Pastors are begging for Ukrainian language materials. The Bibles are being used by pastors, Bible school students, and believers across Ukraine.
Words of Thanks from Pastors
Pastor Valery Alymov, of the Ark Church in Kyiv, said, “We need to switch to our native, Ukrainian language in all the ministries we do, including our personal walk with God. After speaking Russian for most of my life, 55+ years, I need a good tool in my native language. Now I have it thanks to Awaking Hope Ministries and Jim and Pam King.”
Pastor Rostyslav Kudin of Dawn of Life Church in Khmelnytsky said, “The Fire Bible is a very valuable resource. I used to have one in Russian for a long time and I found some true treasures on its pages for my spiritual walk and ministry. I am happy to have one in my native language now.”
Tom Greene unexpectedly passed to his eternal reward on January 19. He was one of the finest and most humble men we’ve ever known. Only eternity can measure how many people will be in heaven because of Tom. He was a generous man who gave of himself and spent his life engaging people to financially support various Kingdom endeavors around the world, including the Fire Bible. He lived his life for God’s kingdom and his family. A famous quote of his was, “I will be the beggar so our missionary heroes don’t have to be.” Tom’s life celebration service was on January 23rd. Our Ukrainian administrator said the Fire Bibles were being loaded on the truck that day in Romania, possibly at the very time his life was being celebrated.
STATUS OF HOUSE OF JOY AND THE CITY OF KAHOVKA
The city of Kahovka, Ukraine, the hometown of House of Joy, remains under the occupation of Russian troops. The children are hidden in safe homes. We have an accounting of them and the staff regularly checks in with the host families. This is safer for them instead of living in the facility. We are deeply appreciative of all who have inquired and sent messages of prayer support. We are certainly grateful for the financial support. We are able to get funds to our director who distributes the needed funds. None of us who live outside of Kherson state can get to the orphanage as it is behind the Russian army’s defense line. The team within the city is able to stay in contact
with us through our Administrator, Yulia Nikishenko, in Kiev. Please pray for those who are trapped there with no way to leave. Many would like to evacuate but cannot. This includes the parents of Yulia. Please pray for them. Their names are Luda and Valodya. They have been friends for many, many years and we would like to see them, as well as many others, be able to move to a place of greater safety and provision. Needed medicines are extremely difficult for them to access. Moving forward, decisions have to be made on a day-by-day basis. We pray for God’s wisdom concerning any actions to take. The war has carried on far too long, now over one year.
We leave for Israel on March 7th. We appreciate your prayers. Please especially pray for a Women’s Conference Pam will be hosting for churches in Israel while we are there.