Betty and I, along with our mission team, began assisting people in the Ukraine right after the explosion at Chernobyl. The year was 1986 and the nuclear fallout was severe. Some of our team members were reluctant to eat the food because of possible contamination. One of our best friends, Kirie James, got a deadly strain of hepatitis while holding one of the precious little children that had been orphaned. Her attempt to share God’s love with a child nearly cost her life. Still, she continues to reach out to others in love.
In the first year that our missionary partners, Jim and Sandy McCann, were ministering in the Ukraine, they lost their baby boy Joshua. Their hearts were broken and they considered returning to their homeland, but God led them to stay and minister to the Ukrainian children. And indeed they have. The “Joshua House” was established as a home for orphaned children. A Bible school has now turned out generations of ministers impacting Europe and beyond.
When the riots recently broke out, the McCanns immediately wrote and asked us to pray for the safety of the school and children’s home. Pray we did – but we also sent additional financial support. The following is the letter we received from this love-filled, totally-committed-to-Christ couple. It is a letter to you, our supporters, and all who pray for those in the Ukraine.
Before going back to the Ukraine, we just wanted to write you, and thank you, with all of our hearts, for helping us at this very crucial time in Ukraine’s history. After all these months of the revolution, violence, and great times of uncertainty; it is so encouraging to have the Body of Christ stand up behind you, and say, “You’re not alone. You don’t have to face this by yourselves. We will stand with you.”
It is times like these, and when there’s great adversity that what Jesus said about His disciples truly stands out – namely, “They will know you’re my disciples, by your love for one another.” That truth crosses all denominational barriers, and bears out the true heart of God, for all time. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay one’s life down for another …” That is what you have done for us, and our children, by making our cause your cause; because, it really is God’s cause.
So, by the help that you have given to us, and by the grace of God in our lives, we will go and seek to honor and glorify our Father’s name among the broken-hearted, the poor, and abandoned children in Ukraine. It is such a privilege and an honor for us, to even know people like all of you. We know you’re reaching out to so many all around the world. And so, it is a great blessing for us, from the Lord that you have time to stop and look at our situation. Life is funny, isn’t it? When we were young, we had no idea that we would one day be doing what we are now doing, and facing the circumstances that we are now facing. But, like you guys, when God pours out His grace on your life, to do something; if you’ll just go with it, He will make it the journey of a lifetime!
Thank you for your continued prayers and generous giving to us and the work that the Lord has called us to do, in the Ukraine! Thank you for the tenderness, compassion, and true humility of Christ’s heart that we see in each one of you. May our Father’s face shine upon you. And may you find more and more grace to finish your race, as you focus your gaze on Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s love & service,
Jim & Sandy
God’s love through people like you makes support of missionaries like Jim and Sandy possible. They are typical of the amazing mission and relief workers the supporters of LIFE Outreach International make possible. Thank you for standing with us. We give all praise and glory to God!