Dear brothers and sisters! Greetings in the name of Christ!
The pandemic of COVID -19 has turned the world upside down. People are reassessing their view of life. Many people ask where is God in this situation. Why He allows so many deaths of innocent people? Well, the questions continue, and it is hard to answer all of them, especially when your loved one dies. It is time to meditate on why God allowed such a pandemic and what He wants us to think about. “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46-10). In the Russian Bible, this version of this Psalm says: “Stop, and know that I am God.” The word “Stop” is very strong. It is applied when something has a significant speed. When we drive or ride in a car with significant speed, we hardly notice what is happening around us, and very often, important things are not noticeable. In our lives, people often forget what is important. God, faith, family, love, care for soul… People are too busy to pay attention to these things. And what now? We are locked in our houses, stay with our families, think about our souls, and grieve with our friends who lost their loved ones in this pandemic. Everything has a price. During World War Two, it took many lives for humankind to learn a lesson of love, grace, and compassion. I am sure theologians will tell us more about the spiritual meaning of this pandemic 2020. As time goes, God’s plan shall be more apparent to us. But now we are trying to be together, support one another, and glorify God as before.
Updates from the Country of Belarus
Belarus is the country that does not have a quarantine. President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said that the pandemic is in the heads of people. Therefore, officially we do not have it. The information is not precise, though people continue to die. We are country number five in the world now for the ill people. We had a parade on the victory day in May and are getting ready to have a big music festival, “Slavyansky Bazar in Vitebsk,” in the middle of July. People are not happy with the president’s policy.
The country had a presidential election in August. The president resists and puts strong opponents to jail. The authorities create provocations and behave unjustly. It is clear that the present president will not give up his power willingly. He is going to fight and use the police.
People are tired of tyranny and dictatorship. The campaign went under a moto “Kill the cockroach” because people think that Lukashenka looks like one! The symbol of the protest is a slipper (a weapon to kill the cockroach). The analytics said it was an excellent chance to change the political system in Belarus. People have been very active. However, this has caused bloodshed August and may continue because the only way the regime can be changed is via mass meetings and protests, some opposition leaders say, which are forbidden under the present Belarus law. The current system of counting votes is highly corrupt. Please pray for peace, justice, and the freedom of belief in Belarus.
We, as a mission, continue serving God and building the Kingdom of God in Belarus. We are very grateful for your ongoing support and faithfulness. We continue to build God’s kingdom at this challenging time of the pandemic and the political unrest. Many of our project we have described in our Facebook BLMF page. Those of you who have not joined our Facebook page are welcomed to do so. Since the page is a closed one, please send your request to join the community, and we shall gladly do so.
Help Milana To Live
We have joined a project called “Help Milana to live.” Milana was born with Spinal Muscles Atrophy (type 1). This is characterized by the fact that a child stops moving her arms and legs and then has difficulty swallowing and breathing. Milana is two months old now and needs expensive treatment. Four injections of a medicine called Spinrasa. The cost of treatment first stage is USD 480,000. We helped to plan and organize a charity market to collect the money. The charity market was for two days in Vitebsk. We had the opportunity to talk about God and distribute a book called “Invisible Friend” by Kari Vinie, a Christian book for children that tells a story of Jesus.
One of BLMF’s ministry branches is music ministry! The idea is to talk about God and spiritual things through music. Belarus, as you may know, is a strict country with the current president. Religious laws are stringent, and it is forbidden to preach the Gospel openly. In the situation where the Gospel cannot be spoken, it can be sung! During the pandemic, we continue producing music content at our recording studio, G.Records. People are staying at home and watching TV and internet content more. We have started a project in the Russian language called “Bible by music.” The idea is to record Bible texts amidst music. The music is created to meet the spirit of the Bible verses, so it is an entirely new compilation of music. The first one is called “In the beginning,” based on Genesis 1:1-11.
The Bible text that is read in Russian inside the song can be replaced by any other language! Please pray for this new project and the music ministry to continue!
As a mission, we are looking for opportunities to reveal the love of Jesus to Belarus people at this difficult time. We have taken part in the projects to support the local doctors, supplied with the necessary medicine, masks, and special PPE. Also, we are taking part in a food drive for the doctors since they are so busy that they do not have time to buy and prepare food. We understand that we cannot visit the Children’s house for handicapped children in Vitebsk center often because of the pandemic; however, we continue with much precaution with the humanitarian aid project. Please give thanks to God with us for such opportunities!
The renovation project in Mazolovo village. We own a building in Mazolovo village that we use at present as a warehouse for the books. It is our distribution center for the literature ministry. The facade of the building became shabby, and we had to renovate it. In addition to that, the recent storm broke some windows. Please pray for the necessary funds to be available to complete the renovation.
Dear brothers and sisters! We give thanks to God for you at this difficult time. Our faith in Jesus unites us, and the united people are always very strong! Please stay healthy and know that you have brothers and sisters in Belarus praying and giving thanks for you! We are in the winning team. God is strong! Be blessed!
Pastor Valery Hryhoryk is an NALC Global Worker serving with SON Network in Belarus. To learn more or partner in ministry, please visit: https://thenalc.org/partners/valery-hryhoryk/