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Church Libraries are Spiritual Pharmacies

Feb. 6, 2017

In Ukraine, Belarus, and the Czech Republic, church libraries are like spiritual pharmacies.  Church librarians are trained to be spiritual pharmacists, and the shelves of church libraries are stocked with Christian literature and media resources or spiritual medicine. 

Larisa, from the Cherkassy Region in central Ukraine, wrote about what happened in her life when she went to one of these READ-assisted spiritual pharmacies in her small town:

I am 38, divorced, mother of 2 teenage daughters.  There was a time when I was at a very low point in my life. My marriage had just ended. I felt that nobody cared and I was a failure. I blamed my former husband in all my problems. I was very depressed.

One day I met a Christian lady. She was very caring. She gave me a book about marriage and the family. Reading that book, I found answers to many of my questions, such as: “Why am I living?” “What is real happiness?” “How can I have a real Christian family?”

I can’t imagine what my family would look like today, if I didn’t find help in such books as “Exhaustive Answers, “How to Deal with Anger of a Child,” “Face to Face,” “How to Become a Hero to Your Children,” and “Five Ways to A Child’s Heart.” 

My wages are very low, so I just cannot afford such wonderful books. I am so grateful to the Baptist Church for allowing me to read the books from their library.  Folks, I am so grateful to you. If at least one book helps to lead a lost sheep out of darkness, it’s worthwhile doing!

Your donation to READ will help stock the shelves with Christian literature resources in 18 new church libraries/spiritual pharmacies being established this year in Ukraine and the Czech Republic.  One book costs approximately $5.00 and our goal is to stock the shelves in each of these spiritual pharmacies with 300 books. 

 A spiritual pharmacy can provide a wealth of spiritual resources to share with hungry seekers like Larisa.  As Larisa said, “If at least one book helps to lead a lost sheep out of darkness, it’s worthwhile doing!”  

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Ukraine's War Boils in Freezing Temperatures

Feb. 5, 2017

UKRAINE’S WAR BOILS

Tragically, within 24 hours of President Donald Trump’s first phone conversation with the Russian Federation’s President Putin, war has exploded once again in Eastern Ukraine.  While there has been continuous low-grade fighting during the Minsk “Peace Treaty”, Ukraine has not seen this kind of might thrown against it since the war began in 2014.

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You may not be hearing the news about Ukraine because Russia’s attacks in Syria are a great distraction.  But war in now boiling once again in Eastern Ukraine.  In the city of Avdiivka, 12,000 residents are at risk, including more than 2,500 children, because water, electricity, and heating supplies were all targeted for destruction.  In the below freezing temperatures, this is disastrous.  Propaganda is rampant and rabid against Ukraine.  Daytime is eerily quiet, by many accounts, but as soon as dusk comes, the shelling begins.  Even OSCE observers can no longer keep count of the thousands of violations of the Minsk agreements.  Read more about this crisis at this UNICEF website.

THE CHURCH MUST BE THE CHURCH

The Ukrainian Church is called to be on the front lines physically and spiritually.  One of the many ways the Ukrainian Church has responded to this latest crisis is by setting up “heating tents” and providing hot food for the residents of Avdiivka, located not far the line demarking Donetsk and the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” backed by Russian separatists.

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The American Church is called on to be on the front lines on our knees.  Or by sending our resources or workers.  God can show the American Church how it can respond.  But, above all, it must pray!

PRAY FOR UKRAINE

The decisions made in Washington DC and Moscow have a real impact in Ukraine and around the world.

PRAY for wisdom for President Trump and his new administration.

PRAY for the peace of Ukraine.

PRAY for divine intervention.

PRAY for the rescue of widows, children, orphans, and those with special needs.

PRAY for the efforts of commanders, soldiers, and volunteers.

PRAY for the response of God’s people.

PRAY for the salvation of many souls. 

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I am confident that God is in control of all nations and their leaders.  He has His plans and purposes that will be fulfilled.  This latest war has not caught our Sovereign God off guard or surprised Him.  He told us that there would be wars and rumors of war, and that these would be the beginning of the pangs of birth, then Jesus would return.  So, we hope in God and pray to Him as Ukraine’s war boils.

Bill Arvan

The above article was written with some excerpts and photos taken from a recent newsletter from a missionary colleague in Ukraine, our sister-in-Christ, Renee Flory.

2017 Matching Grant

Dec. 23, 2016

Your Gift Has Been Doubled!

A very generous supporter of READ Ministries offered a matching grant of $35,000 if we could raise the same amount of money prior to March 31, 2017.  We are happy to announce the challenge has been met!  Your gifts and this grant will allow us to boldy step into 2017 by providing resources for church leadership training in Central Asia, resources for Muslim Evangelism and resources for ministry to people with special needs and at the same time, supply the needs of our on-going programs.  Thank you for your generous support in Taking Truth to Tough Places!

 

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." Hebrews 6:10


Advanced Technology Spreads Ancient Truths

Aug. 2, 2016

On September 30, 1952, our United States Postal Service issued a 3-cent stamp commemorating the 500th anniversary of the printing of the first book with movable type.  Johann Gutenberg (c.1397-1468) invented the moveable-type press and printed his version of the Bible with 42 lines per page in 1452.  In the providence of God, this advanced printing technology paved the way for a publishing priest whose ideas and publications would dramatically change the world forever. 

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The Protestant Reformation was ignited when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517. It is impossible to overestimate the role of Gutenberg’s cutting-edge technology to the spread of Luther’s reformation-call to return to the ancient truth.  Dr. Barry Waugh in his two-part article on the Importance of the Printing Press for the Protestant Reformation on the website of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals has observed, Martin Luther embraced printing technology and efficiently used it for the distribution of his writings, but most importantly for his readers, the printing press provided the German Bible so that all could read the Word of God.

The need for people to read the Word of God in their own language is greater than ever before.  In many countries of the former Soviet Union, the Russian language is beginning to fade as the theological language of choice, and at the same time there is a growing demand for the Bible and other Christian literature written in indigenous heart-languages. 

For example, in one of the restricted-access Central Asian republics where READ supports the theological education of church leaders, there is a new training track being offered in the native language.  The need for literature resources to support this training will not be met by traditional, expensive publishing technologies.  But digital libraries and print-on-demand printing systems can provide low-cost, locally produced materials for this new generation of reader and church leader. 

This spreading of ancient truths through advanced technology is a passion of READ Ministries and the theme of our two upcoming Fall Fundraising Events.  READ embraces this new technology and seeks to efficiently use it for the distribution of God’s Truth so all can read the Word of God.  I believe that in God’s providence, new technology can do for God’s truth what Gutenberg’s did 500 years ago!

Please plan to attend one of our Fall Events on September 29th in Saint Cloud, MN or October 6th in Saint Paul, MN.

Bill Arvan