The Pastor’s Piece
March 6, 2022
The last few days we’ve had some excitement here at good ole’ Martintown Community Church (MCC) in Martintown Wisconsin. The eyes of the world have been on Russia and the Ukraine. For some deranged reason, Vladimir Putin decided he needed to invade Ukraine and attempt to start World War III. I’ve chronicled below, a string of letters I sent out to our Congregation this past week. (It’s a sensitive situation over there, and with social media being a global phenomenon, I’ve changed the name of the pastor involved to prevent him from harassment or worse).
March 1, 2022 2:18 p.m.
Dear Martintown Family,
As you are aware, there is a serious conflict going on in the Ukraine. The Ukrainians are fleeing the country en masse. Romania is a bordering country. Our friend from Romania, Pastor Jake has spoken at MCC several times in the past and preached and even sang with our worship in his native Romanian tongue while we sang in English. That is always a moving experience. We (MCC) support his ministry in Romania. Some in our congregation have traveled to Romania on mission trips and have served alongside him. Pastor Jake’s church is located about one hour from the Ukrainian border. He is in a position to help the refugees. I have been in communication with him this morning. His ministry includes a summer camp which they are opening up to the Ukrainians now.
Several of our MCC faithfuls have asked me if they could give to the Ukrainian cause through our church. The answer is yes. Every dollar you give goes directly to the cause of helping Ukrainian refugees arrive at Jake’s church. (Previously, we set up a bank account so we could wire money directly to Romania for instant access for these types of emergencies).
Pastor Jake is a humble pastor with a heart for evangelism. The saving grace of Jesus Christ will be shared with these new residents. The life and love of Jesus Christ will be modeled through Pastor Jake and his wife. With this in mind and hearing of the immediate and urgent need from Pastor Jake this morning, I contacted our Board of Elders and they gave approval to offer to help them financially through MCC. Following is his response to our offer:
“I am overcome with tears at your offer. Someone I know called today and asked if I could find shelter for 70 kids from an orphanage near to Kyiv (in the Ukraine). I told them to come to our camp, but I told him: “I have no money to buy food or anything else.” Now, God has started to meet that need before I had even announced it!”
Our God is amazing! Right now (today, Tuesday) they are working on finding a way to transport the kids.
The mission’s camp is a summer camp – but it is winter there now, just like here. At this moment, Jake is working on making the buildings winter proof so the children and their sponsors will have a home. One of the things he is doing today is installing an additional water heater to meet the need, as the camp is only about 40 people user friendly.
This is just one more way that God’s Spirit has moved in our hearts and in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in the Lord in distant lands, to coordinate events and open doors and give us the opportunity to respond with obedient hearts to His call. Praise God!
Pray for the Ukrainian people.
Serving our risen Lord who knows all things.
With joy and gladness,
March 2, 2002 8:45 a.m.
Update from Pastor Jake at 6:45 a.m. today: “Hello! The kids now are 1 hour away from the Romanian border. Their town was heavily bombed last evening, they got out in the nick of time. Regarding the money: we have an account officially and we’ll keep record of each penny. I will let you know how things develop. The timing of your gift is PERFECT. GOD TIMING.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 9:45 p.m.
Dear Martintown family,
The latest from Pastor Jake in Romania,
“The children have arrived from the Ukraine. They had to walk across the border and a bus picked them up on our side. They are coming but slow. Here we are ready. Today the church ladies came to prepare the house. The mayor arranged for some big garbage containers, and he promised to help however he can. Tomorrow he will bring workers and clean up around the property. My wife’s coworkers came and brought new quilts because we didn’t have enough. My brother-in-law came and fixed some lights. A man from church came to fix up beds. We had an army here. God’s people at work!”
From Pastor Kevin,
Ok – this is amazing – our God!! We are in awe. As a result of your generosity, those 70 orphans have full tummies and warm beds to sleep in tonight. Praise God!!
The eyes of the world are focused on Russia and the Ukraine. God has made it possible for us to get involved from half a world away. Please pray for these children. Also pray for the people in Jake’s church who are serving all these kids. There is a language barrier involved as the languages are nothing similar. Thank you for praying.
Thank you for your overwhelming support in kindness and generosity and prayers.
(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin)