Greetings dear friends,
Thank you for your faithfulness in bringing this little Georgian church before God’s throne. We wanted to update you on what God is doing here and share some specific prayer requests.
Church Building: On September 12th we officially broke ground on the very first Bible-based church in Zugdidi. We are taking this step of faith even though we are still far from meeting our financial goal. The reason it’s important that we start this building project now is that construction prices are increasing daily and the funds we have now may not have as much purchasing power later. We fully trust that God will provide, as He always does through the church body.
Our Ministries: God is growing his church! And by His grace, we have been going strong with the ministries that we started since we first arrived in August 2019. We have been blessed to take in many desperate and broken Ukrainian and now Russian refugees (due to military mobilization) but as you can imagine, we can no longer fit comfortably in Demna’s living room. Which makes the church building all the more urgent.
On Sunday evenings, you’ll find us running our kids club and Bible study for adults in the little village of Dzvari.
God has been at work in our Wednesday women’s fellowship and Bible study. As well as the church Bible study and prayer on Thursdays when we gather to pray for the needs of our small but mighty congregation.
In between these various ministries, we continue to build relationships, visit families, share meals together, and facilitate two other small groups in different regions where we hope our book study would grow into a deeper hunger for God’s word.
Russian-Ukrainian War: As tragic as this war is, we take comfort in a God who holds all things in his hands and nothing can thwart His plan. We have been so privileged to minister to many Ukrainian refugees; assisting them with documents, and housing, providing food, coordinating their routes, and arranging temporary living arrangements.
In August, the huge influx of Ukrainian refugees began to settle down only to be replaced with an even greater wave of Russian refugees, due to the mandatory military mobilization that was announced last month. Thousands upon thousands of Russians are fleeing and because Georgia shares a border with Russia, it is geographically a prime shelter for these desperate refugees.
It is saddening to see these Russian refugees being viewed as enemies to the entire world with no aid offered to them. When something does become available, the price exponentially multiplies, in an effort to exploit these broken and hurting people.
All four families ministering here in Zugdidi have opened their homes to refugees, sometimes up to 4 different families at a time. We do our best to help them settle in more suitable housing as soon as possible with the resources available to us. Our phones have been bombarded with phone calls from fearful Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarussians – all seeking help and direction to some sort of support.
Admittedly, this is challenging, overwhelming, and physically demanding. And yet we are thankful for this God-ordained opportunity to connect with Christians coming from these countries and consider ways we can link arms to support the Slavic community here in Georgia. So that in result, fellowship groups outside our main church such as in Kobuleti, Batumi, and Kutaisi, would form and start, this would open up yet another avenue for refugees to hear the word of God.
Prayer requests: In the midst of this crazy, busy, stressful, and often fearful time, we desire most importantly to seek the face of our Savior. We are needy of God’s wisdom as we make decisions to invest time, effort, and resources in a way that would expand the kingdom of God. We covet prayers for guidance and physical strength so we can minister to these refugees as well as the people of Georgia. Our heart’s desire is to serve and love them well for the glory of God.
Please pray that we would be able to connect Slavic Christians together and form fellowship groups throughout Georgia. The harvest is great and God would provide more Christians to Georgia to minister and serve unsaved people.
Pray that God would stir the hearts of these Slavic missionary families, who served in Ukraine and Russia, and now that they left those countries they would consider coming here and continuing their mission to the Slavic community here in Georgia. We need more light, more Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, God-loving missionaries.
Please pray for our Zugdidi church. That these saints would be strengthened in their walk and faith in God. That they would love Christ above all and their fear of men would be overflowed by an appropriate fear of a loving and righteous God.
We would also love prayers for provision. Pray that we would have the resources needed to help refugees. The government doesn’t offer much help, the country has a very poor economy, and solid jobs are scarce. As a result, Georgia is more of a temporary crutch before these refugees move on to another country with a promising future. Still, we desire to be faithful to these souls that God brings to our care.
Lastly, we covet your prayers for the church building. Pray that God in His great mercy provides the resources that we need in order to complete this much-needed building. This need has become more apparent in the last few months.
Most importantly, may we come together to pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Our God is good. He has a purpose that is far greater than our lives here. He is on the throne. He saves. He gives. It is all about Him. He has, and is, and always will be faithful.
Thank you for coming alongside us on this mission to make much of Christ.
Much love from our home to yours.
David & Inna Donchenko and David Jr., Joshua, and Emma