Dear prayer partners, supporters, and friends,
As many of you know by now, we have arrived back in the states for our scheduled time of home service from March through August of this year. We have already given a report to our home church (Cornerstone Baptist of Roseville, MI) and will be busy over the next four months visiting our supporting churches as well as speaking in some churches who have expressed an interest in the Gospel to the Russian-speaking world. While we are very happy to be reconnecting with family and friends, our hearts remain in Kiev where the drama between Ukraine and Russia continues. Russia has already annexed the southern (and strategic) peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine. As you listen to news coverage from Ukraine, there is much speculation and fear that Russia's intentions could go well beyond Crimea, perhaps even reshaping the boundaries of Eastern Europe in order to restore Russia's former hegemony enjoyed during Soviet times.
But even as the world watches and waits, there are other stories unfolding - stories that remind us that the conflict is not simply between Russia and Ukraine or even East vs.West. The real conflict is between between the Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God. This conflict is as old as Genesis 3 and will one day conclude when King Jesus returns (as John describes in the Book of the Revelation). Meanwhile, the victory over the ultimate enemy (sin and death) has already been won by Christ through His cross work and resurrection. And His story continues to echo through the lives of those who have experienced His life transforming power. One such example can be found in an amazing story of a man who was brutally abused by pro-government security forces who thought they were silencing a protester, but who in fact provided an opportunity for an eloquent and powerful witness for the Gospel. Read about it and be amazed in the link below. Then, keep praying that God would give believers (like Mykhailo) an ever increasing understanding of His grace so that they can display His power and love to those who live in darkness.
Because of His amazing grace and unfailing love,
Jerry and Kellie Benge
P.S. This account was written by the wife of a local Baptist pastor here in Kiev for CNN's i-Report.