Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2001-2014

This will be the last post on this blog as we are no longer "the Footes in Ukraine".  We have moved back to the U.S. and are in the process of readjusting to a new life.

I'll leave this blog up, but move it back to the free hosting at blogspot for anyone who is interested in what we were doing in Ukraine all these years.

Thanks for reading and being a part of our time in Ukraine!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Publishing books to help soldiers with PTSD

Last year we funded the printing of a book called Bridges to Healing to try to help people suffering from PTSD from the Maidan revolution and the war in Eastern Ukraine.  Through publishing that book we got in touch with some people in Kyiv who work with Ukraine For Christ to serve chaplains.  Through them we found out that Bridges to Healing book was a small part of a larger series of books to help soldiers and their families find healing from PTSD.  Ukraine For Christ wanted to publish this series in Russian and Ukrainian and so we offered to help them.  
Over the spring months In Lumine helped coordinate the layout and proofreading of a comprehensive manual and I designed the covers.  We printed 300 copies of Combat Healing Training Manual and When War Comes Home along with companion leaders’ guides for a conference that was held in June.  Chaplains, representatives of churches, psychologists, counselors, and representatives of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense gathered to start to work out a plan to help soldiers and their families with the effects of PTSD.  

After the conference I got this e-mail about how the conference went:  
When we started passing out,  When War Comes Home, to over a hundred or so, there was a gasp, as the reality of help for so many suffering families started sinking in. I am buried with requests for more copies, especially for those currently working in military hospitals and with women support groups. I gave one lady 50 copies for a women's retreat in just a couple of weeks. Her goal is to raise up as many women leaders as possible to start support groups for military wives and widows and mothers who have lost a son. 
Just before one evening talk, we played an audio of two families who had lost someone in the war. The widow was asked what got you through this time? She answered "all you have is your faith. Nothing else would help me." This was contrasted with a second, very difficult to listen to interview of a mother and father who lost their son. They are unbelievers, had no help, no answers, and were so angry and in such despair, I had to cut most of it. Then our authors gave a talk about how to gently take a family or widow through the process of grief. 
There were 9 large sessions and 16 individual workshops and everything was recorded to make it available online at our www.Kapelan.help site. 
The picture is of our authors, Chris and Rahnella Adsit, with young military phycologists who were there all three days.  Ruslan, our colonel in charge of the chaplaincy program with the Ministry of Defense, spoke at the end, and there were some difficult questions from the chaplains. There is a lot of change coming with the military getting their act together in creating a program that until now has been a volunteer movement.  Pray that the materials will help give these volunteers the tools to keep this movement alive for the sake of hundreds of thousands of returning vets and their families. 


We are honored to be a part of helping families throughout Ukraine find healing in Christ and are looking forward to helping publish these books in Ukrainian and hopefully help with a series of books for children whose parents are suffering from PTSD and other effects of war.  

Pryluky trip


The church that we helped to plant in the city of Pryluky* celebrated its 15 year anniversary in June. Liese and I drove out to celebrate with them.  

We hadn’t visited Pryluky since before I started developing adrenal fatigue and it was really great to see our friends.  We drove out a day early and had a BBQ with the Fatkin family and stayed the night with them. 

BBQ at the Fatkins'.  When BBQing with Crazy Max, sometimes an air compressor is needed. 

Sunday was a special anniversary service and brought back so many memories of our 3 years in Pryluky.  People that were kids in Sunday school are now part of the worship team, young people who helped us build playgrounds and host children’s festivals now have children of their own.  In everything we saw the grace of God as he has saved these people and is changing their lives and keeping them in his grace.  

Sunday service in Calvary Chapel Pryluky


Our Russian teacher, Tatiana Ivanovna.  I've said it before, she's a national treasure.  
*We used to spell it Priluki, but that is the transliteration from Russian.  Transliterated from Ukrainian it's spelled Pryluky.  Like Kagarlyk/Kaharlyk and Kiev/Kyiv: you get it.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Day of Prayer for Orphans 2014


Tomorrow our church will be joining with other churches throughout Ukraine to pray for orphans.  

I will be preaching about what the bible has to say about how Christians are to care for orphans.  You can read my notes here


Here are some statistics about the situation of orphans in Ukraine: 

  • Each year 10,000 children with living parents become part of the orphan system in Ukraine.  Their parents are unable to care for them and they become “social orphans” in that they live in orphanages and grow up without a family around them. 
  • In 2013 there were 104,000 children in the orphanage system in Ukraine who have parents but those parents are not able to take care of them. 
  • 24,000 children in Ukraine are awaiting adoption.  90% of them are older children and children with special needs. 
  •  250,000 children in Ukraine have suffered abuse at home and many of these children end up in orphanages.  
  • Living in an orphanage in Ukraine means that there is a 1 in 6 chance that you will be dead before you are 30.  1 out of every six children who graduate from an orphanage are dead by the time they are 30. 
  • 70% of boys end up in prison after they are 18.  
  • 60% of girls turn to prostitution in order to survive.  
  • For those that do not go to prison or commit suicide most will live in poverty because because of poor education in all areas of life.  

Please join with us tomorrow as we pray for orphans in Ukraine. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Wars and Refugees

The last couple of weeks in Ukraine have been calm compared to the beginning of September when the Russian army invaded Ukraine to reinforce the rebels.  Below is an infographic that I found on the KyivPost that shows the changes in the war zone since June. You can see the progress that the Ukrainian army made throughout the summer and then when the Russian army began to fight for the rebels.  When it was clear that Russia wasn't just arming the rebels but actually fighting for them the Ukrainian government moved pretty quickly to sign a ceasefire that would stop the Russian army from advancing.  The ceasefire has held in some parts of the east, but both Ukraine and NATO claim that the rebels haven't stopped fighting in the area around Donetsk and some other cities.  There has been fighting every few days in the city of Donetsk as in spite of the ceasefire agreement the rebels are trying to take the airport that the Ukrainian army has held for months.  



It seems like the Western world has collectively told Ukraine that they are going to have to fight this battle on their own.  Because of that many people are trying to figure out what's next.  The feeling is that too many people have died in this war for it to become a "frozen conflict" or to give up the fight and let the rebels keep the regions they control.  It seems like everyone is just waiting for the fighting to start again but with the threat of the Russian army it is also hard to imagine sending more and more troops knowing they won't return. 

Ukraine faces more problems than war.  The economy is on the brink of collapse due to the economic policies of the former government, the war effort, Russia using trade relations to put pressure on Ukraine, and systemic corruption that is hindering reform and western aid.  

Over the next couple of months we will see if Ukraine's government can take the steps needed to clear out corruption at the highest levels and enact meaningful reforms that will open up financial aid from the West.  If the government can't do that the whole country in in danger of collapsing.

Our church

Even though there is less fighting and the war zone is smaller than it was a month ago, it is still too early for most refugees to return home.  Much of the infrastructure has been destroyed in cities in the east and so even if the fighting ended today and the rebels laid down their arms and the Russians went back to Russia, there would still be no city water, no electricity, no open schools, basically nothing to return to.  

Those from Luhansk that had been staying at our church for the last few months have moved on to more permanent housing.  There is a family of 6 from the Donetsk area right now.  Their plan is to stay until the 1st of October and then most likely move to a bigger city nearby where they can find work and an apartment.  They like Kaharlyk, but it is hard to find steady work in Kaharlyk and even more difficult to find housing.   

Ruslan, Natasha and their kids

Thanks to generous donations from people all over the world our church has been able to not only offer refugees a place to stay but also to help them with the cost of living.  We've also been helping families of soldiers in our region, there are around 130 men from our region fighting.  Several of them have died in the war so some people from our church have been visiting their families.  

Our church has raised money to take supplies to the front line.  We've sent food, medical supplies, bibles, tracts, and kevlar helmets.  

There is a crew of guys fixing up our church's basement into living quarters.  They have finished the bathrooms and washrooms and are now finishing up the bedrooms.  They are also working on purchasing and installing a furnace that can run on biomass (wood, woodpellets, etc) instead of natural gas because natural gas prices are to be at least doubling and it will cost our church around $750+ each month to heat the whole building this winter.  Usually we just heat it on days we have church services but with the possibility of people living there all winter we thought it best to install a more economical option.  

Please keep praying for Ukraine.  
I haven't been writing prayer updates as often because the situation isn't as volatile as it was a month ago.  But the war is still going on, people are still dying, refugees are still trying to get out of the war zone, and all of this is happening as the Ukrainian government tries to hold an election and enact reforms that are not popular with the oligarchs.  

• Pray for an end to the war, not just a ceasefire. 
• Pray for those who are ministering to soldiers and the families of soldiers.
• Pray for the refugees throughout Ukraine and Russia who have seen their homes destroyed. 
• Pray for our church that we would be able to serve more refugees.  



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ways to be praying for Ukraine

Over the last couple weeks I've been posting on facebook practical ways to be praying for Ukraine.   I thought I would post some of them here for people who are interested in praying for Ukraine during this time. 

A building in Donetsk damaged by the fighting.  Source: wikipedia

 • With the news of Russian reinforcements many citizens are trying to find a way to keep their families safe. Pray that God would show them his grace by providing safe passage from the war zone. 

 • Pray for the Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting Russian forces. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their provision as supply lines are in shambles and the ones that work the best are civilian operated. Pray for their families. 

 • Many families have been split apart as wives and children have fled war torn areas and husbands have stayed behind to look after their homes. Rima and her young daughter are staying at our church while her husband stayed behind in Luhansk. Pray for them and families like theirs. 

 • Thousands of kids are be going to a new school, in a new city where they are living as refugees. Pray for them as they start the school year in the midst of upheaval. Pray for the fathers who are fighting in a war and not able to see their kids go to their first day of school. Pray for the mothers who have lost a husband in the war and are alone now as their kids are in school. Pray that the war will end soon. 

• It is starting to settle in that the war is now against Russia, and that it could be long and bloody. Pray that God would calm people's fears and that people would find peace in Christ. Pray for refugees who are realizing they may not be able to go home anytime soon.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Refuge from the Front

Here is an update on ways our church has been involved in supporting refugees as well as local soldiers.

Over the last couple of weeks our church finished remodeling rooms in the basement into a shower/washroom and more bathrooms.  






While we were in Chernihiv we met a man who had been living in Donetsk until recently. He said that his pastor in Donetsk was working to try to help families find refuge.  Our church got in touch with the pastor in Donetsk and a few days later we were able to welcome a family of six to our church.  

Right now our church is housing 3 families from Luhansk and the family from Donetsk.  Some of them have found jobs or have money to live on and others our church is helping financially.  For all of them our church is a temporary place, but with the way the war has gone over the last month it has been hard for them to imagine that they won't be returning home soon.  Up until last week it looked like Ukraine was going to push the Russian led separatists out of Donetsk and Luhansk.  Now with Russia's open invasion they may not be returning anytime soon and we are trying to help them find work and possibly more permanent housing. 

Our church has been sending medical supplies to wounded soldiers in hospitals in Kyiv and aid to soldiers from the Kaharlyk region that are deployed in Southeastern Ukraine.  We have been working with those in our city who have organized civilian supply lines, mainly food and toiletries.  This week Wayne purchased a couple of kevlar helmets and flak jackets to send with the supplies. Ukrainian soldiers have minimal equipment and the helmets and jackets could save lives. We are praying about how we as a church can be a support to the nearby families of these soldiers.  

Please pray that God would help us to see how we can serve those who are fleeing the war as well as those who are deployed to defend their country.  


Sunday, July 20, 2014

History and Architecture


This week Liese and decided take advantage of the one day she didn't have a migraine and go visit a place we'd never been on the outskirts of Kyiv: the monastery and cathedral of St. Panteleimon



Everyone told us there was a really cool park in the area but it didn't seem that cool so we drove a mile in the other direction to the architectural museum at Pyrohiv where we spent the afternoon wandering around the 370 acres of the museum.  The museum is of buildings that have been relocated from all over Ukraine, many of them a couple hundred years old.  The park is set up with houses, sheds, windmills, and churches grouped according to the region of Ukraine from where they were taken so you can have a glimpse into what a village in that area looked like 100-200 years ago. 

 









Friday, July 18, 2014

Chaos and Terror in Eastern Ukraine

Yesterday a passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine.  All evidence looks like the Russian armed mercenaries shot it down because they thought it was a Ukrainian transport plane.  This blog has a pretty good timeline of events that show what happened.  The NYT put together some maps that show where everything happened.  

With the state of confusion and chaos in eastern Ukraine I am not surprised that this happened but I am very sad that it has come to this.  Too many lives have been lost in this war.  Both sides have had hundreds of casualties.  

Meanwhile in the cities that were freed from the terrorists/separatists people are trying to not only rebuild their lives but find their family members who were taken hostage during the occupation.  Many of those who were "arrested" by the terrorists/separatists where simply executed and their bodies are being found in various places.  I've been reading on facebook about several churches whose pastors and deacons were killed.  

For the last several months the Ukrainian government has been calling its military offensive an Anti Terror Operation (ATO) and now that news is coming out of what these so called separatists have been doing, it is fitting to call them terrorists.  When they took control of Sloviansk and other cities and villages they took people hostage so that the army couldn't shell their positions, they didn't allow people to leave the city, they stole cars and money from local businesses and churches, and basically kept the people in fear so that no one would question them. 


Now the field of battle is smaller as Ukraine is retaking territory but the terrorists/separatists are better armed as Russia has done nothing to stop the flow of arms, mercenaries, and supplies accros the border.  The cities of Luhansk and Donetsk are going to be the next battle fields.  

We have a few families from Luhansk staying at our church right now.  They left their apartments in the city when armed militants took over a college dormitory across the street from their apartment building.    


Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and for those caught in this war. 

Pray Psalms 82:4: "Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

Pray Psalms 7:9: "Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Project: Receiving Refugees

Here is what our church is doing to help refugees in Ukraine and how you can help. 

What is happening:
Since the annexation of Crimea in early March and the violence in the eastern regions more than 150,000 people have been displaced.  Many of them have left everything and fled because the separatists/mercenaries have used apartment buildings, schools, and churches for cover in their attacks against the Ukrainian army.  Many protestant church buildings have been taken over by the separatists and their resources have been confiscated. It is simply not safe to stay.

What we are doing: 
Calvary Chapel Kaharlyk is now housing 14 people from 4 families who are refugees from the war in Eastern Ukraine.  Our goal is to provide short-term housing for people fleeing the war so that they can get on their feet and find a more permanent place to live.  We are focusing on helping our Christian brothers and sisters who are fleeing not only war conditions but persecution from the separatists.  

The guest rooms in our church building can accommodate 6 people and they are now full.  We have the space to house more people but it means purchasing beds, an electric stove, and other kitchen amenities, adding toilets, showers, and a wash room/laundry facility, and clearing out some of the rooms in our church to make them into living quarters.  

Our church has decided we want to use the large building that God has provided for us to provide housing for as many people as possible.  We have already started installing more toilets and showers and we will continue that work as well as begin to prepare rooms to be used as living quarters for refugees who are coming to us.

How you can help: 
What we need right now is financial help to purchase the supplies to equip our building to house 15-30 more people.  We need between $2,500-$3,500.  

Ways to give:
• You can donate online directly to Danny and Liese via their home church CalvarySLO: click here
(Please write us and let us know so that we know what the money is for)

• You can donate through Operation Mobilization, the missions organization Pastor Wayne works with: click here
(Please include comment like “for work with refugees.”)  


Please pray about helping our church make a difference in this time.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ukraine's humanitarian crisis

Last Friday the President of Ukraine issued a unilateral ceasefire as the first step in implementing a plan for peace in Ukraine.  As negotiations and talks proceeded through the weekend many of the separatist/mercenary fighters in eastern Ukraine joined the ceasefire as Putin backed the peace plan and Russia’s parliament revoked its declaration of war against Ukraine (veiled as “authorization for military force in Ukraine”).  But many of the Russian leaders of the separatists said they would not join the ceasefire and they continued attacking Ukrainian positions culminating in the downing of a Ukrainian helicopter on Wednesday, which killed 9 and brings the death toll since April to almost 500.

One of the big reasons for a unilateral ceasefire was to allow for the opening of channels for humanitarian aide to those caught in the war zone.  Thousands of people have been trying to flee from the embattled cities in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (states) because the cities have been cut off from supplies by the separatists which has stopped the flow of food and fuel into these places.  Grocery stores are empty, business are shut down, water has been shut off in some places, all because the separatists have taken over the city and cut it off from the rest of Ukraine.  

This has created a humanitarian crisis in many places and refugees are fleeing as they are able, but many are prevented from leaving as the trains and buses are not running and fuel is hard to come by for transportation.  

Our church has decided that we would like for our facility/building to be of use to refugees. So last week we began to contact organizations who are helping people flee the war.  Right now we have four women staying in the guest rooms in our church and a family of 7 staying with a family from our church. 

Refugees from Sloviansk arrive at our church


With the shooting down of the Ukrainian helicopter yesterday it is looking like the next steps of the President’s peace plan will not be implemented.  That means that possibly tens of thousands of people will be trying to leave the besieged eastern cities in the next couple of days and weeks as the Ukrainian army cracks down on the insurgency. 

We are looking at how we can outfit the space we have to house more refugees at our church, possibly by fixing up some rooms to turn into dorms and putting in another bathroom and shower room. 

Please pray for peace in Ukraine.  
Pray for those who are stuck in the war zones.  
Pray for those who have fled their homes for safety.  
Pray for churches throughout Ukraine who are taking the lead to receive refugees.  
Pray for more churches to join the work.  
Pray for our church that God would provide for those who have come to us.  

Pray that God would lead us and give us wisdom in how to continue to minister. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chernihiv

We are in Chernihiv for a couple weeks to fill in at Christian Bible Church while the McNamee family is away on furlough. 

I’m teaching the Sunday morning and mid-week bible studies and doing some work with In Lumine Media.

Hanging out after the mid-week bible study

It's been several years since we've stayed in Chernihiv for several days and it is encouraging to see the ways the church has grown and to get to know the new folks who attend. 

Chernihiv is a large city in comparison to Kaharlyk and boasts many beautiful parks and cafes. We've been taking advantage of the city life while we can.




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Latest sermon notes

I haven't posted my sermon notes in a few weeks so here are the latest three:

Exodus 22-23

Exodus 24



Matthew 3:1-12

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Sermon Notes

I've posted my sermon notes online here:

Here is the part I liked the best:

When things go wrong in our lives and we wonder how God could let these things happen to us the only way we can reconcile a loving God and the suffering we go through is to look at Jesus and see that he took it all upon himself to redeem us. 
We read chapters like this and we wonder why God would allow his people to act in this way to each other.  Why does he not protect them in his great power?  Why does he let protestors in Donetsk get beat up, why would God allow snipers to shoot people, why God would allow this country to have so much chaos when has so many Christians praying for it, why God would allow us to get cancer, why God would allow our father’s to get Alzheimer’s, why is life the way it is?
The only way that anything makes any sense is when we look at Jesus and see that it is precisely because this world can be so bad that he came and died.  God loved the world and so he sent his only son.  God saw that the world was broken, that humankind was broken, that life without Him would only get worse and worse and so he sent his Son so that whoever would believe on him would not perish. 
I read this chapter and I see that our biggest need isn’t that our neighbor would pay us when his ox kills our ox.  Our biggest need isn’t for justice.   Those are real needs, and this chapter shows  us that God cares about them. Our biggest need is that we wouldn’t perish, because without a savior we are hopeless. 
Let us not lose hope because we have this to anchor our souls : Jesus has paid it all and will make all things right.