Our Kiev branch leader, Anatoli Emma, reports, “When a contact named Irina came to faith, she asked us to reach out to her Jewish kindergarten teacher, Diana. It’s been more than 10 years since I began visiting Diana. Whenever I visited, Diana’s husband (also Jewish) would leave the room. Their daughter Veronica stayed, though she always appeared indifferent. But Diana was so caught up in our discussions that when I would leave, she often walked out with me to continue our conversation for as long as possible.
“Diana and I had many, many gospel conversations. She even prayed with me to receive the Lord, but though I frequently invited her to visit a church just down the street from her, she always refused. I decided to give her time and space to reflect, without depending on me to bring her attention to spiritual matters. We continued to invite her to events that we organize with the local Messianic congregations, but I didn’t visit her for nearly a year.
“While I paused my personal ministry to Diana, the Holy Spirit did not pause His! Praise God, He is always working!
“Recently I asked my wife Olga (who is also my colleague!) to call and visit Diana and, to our amazement, Diana had begun attending the church down the street on her own! Soon after, she was baptized. Her daughter Veronica has become open, and now Olga visits with her and her children.”
Also from Kiev, Victoria Negrimovskaya reports, “The first time I called Sonya, she asked me not to call again, as her grandchildren were ‘religious’ and would not approve. I didn’t call her for some time, but I prayed. When autumn came, I called Sonya to wish her a happy and healthy Jewish New Year. God softened her heart, and like a true Jewish mom, she began talking to me about her family. Then she agreed to meet with our intern, Sasha, and me. We had a wonderful visit with Sonya and her daughter Alla, both of whom were very open. Before leaving, we gave them the New Testament.
“After a while, we couldn’t meet any longer because of the pandemic. But in December, I called Sonya again. ‘Today is the anniversary of my husband’s death,’ Sonya said after the first words of greeting. ‘And I really miss him.’
“Despite her sadness, she was thankful to God for giving her such a husband and family. When I invited her to repent and receive forgiveness through Jesus, she was quick to respond. ‘Yes!’ she said, ‘I am a sinner!’ We prayed with her to receive Jesus into her heart. Praise God for His love and mercy! Please pray for salvation for Sonya’s family.”
Thank you so much for your partnership which reaches all around the world. Even if you never get a chance to visit Kiev, you have Jewish brothers and sisters there who are grateful to you for helping them to know Jesus.
Your Partners in Kiev
Anatoli Emma (also known as Tolik) leads a robust missionary team.
Olga Emma, Tolik’s wife, loves serving people “heart to heart,” particularly single mothers.
Victoria Negrimovskaya is great at street outreach (in non-COVID times), and many people give her their contact information to hear more.
Eduard Granovsky is particularly gifted in ministry to intellectuals and helps with our social media.
Sasha Vronskaya is an intern who is learning to engage Jewish people with the gospel on the streets and in one-on-one visits.
Vladimir Lech has a key role in reaching Jewish people online through our website and social networks.
Alex Karpenko is a gifted web designer and takes part in strategizing how to reach Ukrainian Jewish people online.
Zhanna Yegorova has excellent accounting and administrative skills and helps keep the branch running smoothly.
Challenges and how our team is meeting them:
- Without a centralized area of Jewish population, people are scattered throughout the city. Our team travels all around the city, but also reaches people online.
- Many Jewish people who grew up during the Soviet regime are uncertain about what it means to be Jewish, and many children of mixed marriages are also uncertain about their Jewish identity. We invite people to Jewish holiday events to affirm their identity in ways that also help them recognize Jesus, the Jewish Messiah.
- Many who receive aid from Jewish agencies are afraid to associate with us because they might lose the financial relief. We try to help financially to alleviate that fear and meet physical as well as spiritual needs.
Thank you again, for partnering with us in Kiev!