Alvord, Bruce and Aimee
Serving in Ukraine
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Bruce was raised in a Mormon family in southern California. He was saved after a Christian won his mother to Christ, and she in turn shared the true gospel with him. Bruce graduated from USC and the Master's Seminary, and met Aimee, the love of his life, at Trader Joe's market. They have been serving the Lord in Ukraine since 1992 and have been blessed with three cute kids.
Bruce's main ministry is mentoring pastors at Irpin Biblical Seminary; he also serves in their church as a teacher, elder and discipler. Aimee is a worker at home who is concentrating on raising the children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. She also enjoys using her spiritual gift in their church.
Hello from Bruce and Aimee in Kiev!
We are happy to have some good news to report. First, our church finally has a roof covering it's entirety. Not only that, but the Ukrainian Christian company from whom we ordered all the first floor windows decided to give them to us for free!
Second, our congregation just baptized seven people. Since it's rare for a church to have a baptismal, Ukrainians usually go to the river or lake. Although the water isn't quite as toasty as they'd like, the upshot is that it draws a crowd of curious onlookers. People who come to swim or fish often end up listening to the testimonies.
A couple of the men who were baptized had been heavily involved in crime and spent considerable time in Ukrainian prisons. One of them owned a chemical company and sold some of his wares to high-ranking politicians, knowing that they were going to use them to make illegal drugs. He confessed his sin and remorse for providing massive amounts of harmful narcotics and expressed great joy that he had been forgiven.
If you follow the news, you are aware that Ukrainian rebels (backed by Russia) are trying to break away and create a new country. A couple of days ago I talked with one of my students who lives in rebel territory. He told me about the constant explosions, and that bombs had struck a field near their church but thankfully missed it. Many people have fled the area and the once-crowded streets are deserted. Most private businesses have closed down, and work is extremely hard to find. He said that rebels told one cement factory to stop paying their taxes to the Kiev government and start paying the money to them. The factory leaders said they would do so if the rebels opened a bank account which would make it official how the funds were spent. The separatists refused and demanded the money in cash.
In September the Kiev government stopped paying pensions in the seceding areas, apparently because they suspect the money may be diverted from the intended recipients to rebel causes. This leaves many elderly people in the east in a very difficult position. Thankfully believers are gathering food and distributing it to those who are trapped in their apartments because the electricity is off. (No electricity means the elevators don't work, and many retirees are no longer able to negotiate the stairs.) Our own upstairs neighbor died of a heart attack on the stairs when our elevator was out of order for nine months. She lived on the ninth floor; we live on the eighth.
At my (Bruce's) last appointment, the lady who has cut my hair for the past fifteen years expressed great fear of the Russians invading Kiev. She said she would have no options and no idea what to do. The uncertainty of the times helped me get a foot into an otherwise closed door. For the first time ever, she didn’t change the subject as soon as I started talking about spiritual things. She listened to all I had to say, and admitted that she is a sinner but not ready to take the next step.
If you have a minute to add your voice to the Christians praying for the Kingdom here, we'd be grateful.
How thankful we are for your concern for us; without it we would probably be teaching our kids to ski in southern California (didn't see that coming, did you?). May the Lord bless you for your kindness, loyalty, and generosity. There is one amazing person who has not only supported us from the very beginning, but also harassed his church into supporting us, and sent at least 20 care packages over the years (heavy ones!). He probably wouldn't want to be named (you'll know him in heaven - the guy staggering around under a gigantic crown), but he is tangible evidence to us of the Lord's power to work in hearts.
Anticipating That Day when the Lord sets everything right.
P.S. If the Lord lays it on your heart to give a little extra in November or December that would be a big help; our giving for this year is a little down. Thank you for all who sacrifice so we can serve the Lord in Ukraine.