I was going to send out an update on our recent ministry trip to Israel, Albania, and Germany, but I have a wonderful story to tell you about something that happened in this past week. May I share it with you? The ministry trip update will come next week!
Last week I was contacted by two pastor friends in Wisconsin. Each of them reached out to me not realizing that the other was also doing so. They both contacted me to introduce me to the same person – Carl Gaede – and his ministry – Tutapona International. I checked out their website, and Carl sent me information about their work. They have worked with adults and children from war torn areas of the Middle East and Africa suffering with Post-Traumatic stress. In addition to providing care themselves, they focus on training locals to continue the care-giving. By God’s grace they’ve had great results. When I got the two emails, on Monday and Wednesday of the same week, I thought, "This is a great contact to keep for future use."
Two days later - last Friday - I was on a ZOOM call with one of my main connections in Ukraine, Ivan Kunderenko. We talked for more than an hour about various developments and continuing needs in the Ternopil Oblast. Near the end of the call, he began sharing with me the deep trauma that many of the displaced people they are assisting are experiencing. Some described leaving their city in a caravan of 4 vehicles, trying to make their way to safety with neighbors, when suddenly the car in front of them exploded, showering their car with debris, and then the car behind them was hit by a missile. Their friends were killed instantly. But then Ivan said, "But Bob, they told me this story with zero emotion. It was like they were describing a trip to the market." They were obviously suffering from severe trauma.
Ivan then told me that the regional pastors he works with are not equipped to help such need. They have no training and no experience. He was praying for some way to support and train them for this unique part of ministry. I Immediately shared the contact information I had received regarding Carl and Tutapona International. Within a few hours they were sending emails back and forth, and met via ZOOM.
Then yesterday (May 5), I was on a Zoom call with Carl, Ivan and 20 pastors from the Ternopil region, planning a 3-day training workshop that will help to equip those pastors to minister to the traumatized people coming to them! God is so good!
Pray for this essential training – and continue to send support to the Ukraine Relief Fund. Money from the Fund has gone to these specific churches to assist with housing, clothing, feeding and caring for the displaced who come their way.
To give a first time gift, or to give again, click the link below: