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News from Nikopol and Novomoscosk...

by Pastor Jerry Theckston


We had a great dinner at the end of the day this past Sunday, May 19th! These are many of my friends from a decade or more that wanted to put on a dinner for us before we left the intense bombing zone of Nikopol! 

Rolfe was preaching in Novomoscosk and pastor Stepan Bokoch and I preached sermons in three different churches on this day!

The man at the bottom of the picture is a great friend of mine! He was the #2 leader in the Ukrainian National Baptist Union. We didn’t start off too well!  He found out I wasn’t a Baptist and I thought he was pretty narrow!  But we talked and found out we were both born in 1948 (just before the flood)! But his birthday is two months after mine, so since I am the older brother, I told him he has to listen to me!

We haven’t seen each other for quite a while and he has a lot of health problems now, and the War has only made things worse!  But we just held each other, laughed, told stories and at the end he said, “You make me want to live again!”

Anna, in the green coat, was my translator this past Sunday! She started out very nervous but did an excellent job! She has an amazing story! She has spent 16 years in China working on her doctorate in ancient Chinese language and culture! In this picture she is closing our meeting, as people were leaving, by reciting the Lord’s Prayer, in Chinese! Until she would translate my words in the Service, that’s what people thought I was doing!

Today, May 20th, we had the privilege of spending the morning with about 60 wounded soldiers. Yesterday while I was in Nikopol with our host Stepan Bokoch, preaching, his daughters put together about 65 packages for these dear men!

We delivered these little gifts of fruit, socks, toothpaste and brush etc., and just spent time finding out their situation, telling them about the love of Christ and praying for them as we had the chance.  To start with, they were pretty hard and cautious, but I believe everyone we talked to opened up and expressed sincere gratitude! Everyone I spoke with wanted prayer!  Most of them have a long road back, but if they meet our loving Savior, even this experience will turn into a blessing!

The last picture is of some more soldiers in the military hospital!  They are really good guys and even though the beds and facilities are pretty basic the staff and technology have really been upgraded!


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