Deare IOM Friends,
Before reading further, please be warned some of this information may be difficult to read. However, I will also share some positive ministry updates. If you want to skip to the ministry update, please scroll down to the “Ukraine Ministry Update” heading below.
This week, we were able to have a zoom conference with Pastor Anatoli. As you may remember, he had been hospitalized after suffering a mild stroke. He is out of the hospital but remains under doctor care because he is at high risk for having more blood clots. His doctor has strongly advised for him to cease his work, but Pastor Anatoli presses on. He told us he felt he had to “ask God’s forgiveness for being out of the ministry these last two weeks.” His phone rings non-stop with people pleading for help, and there are few people willing to do what Pastor Anatoli has been called to do.
Before being hospitalized, he told us that his military company had entered an area previously occupied by Russian forces. On the road driving into Bucha, he counted 300 bodies in and along the street, many of whom were women and children. Each body had to be identified, placed in a body bag, and buried. He had to take a picture of each victim and attach the picture to the outside of the body bag. Then, he had to counsel and comfort many of the deceased’s family members.
While we have included images Pastor Anatoli sent us in this email, there are others we cannot print. They are just too difficult to look at. Some of our staff said they were unable to sleep aft