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March 4, 2022 10:00 am
Stu guests hosts on the Steve Noble Show and gets a different perspective on the Russia-Ukraine crisis from Erick Mock, Vice President of Ministry Operations for the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) - an organization working with pastors, seminaries, and churches on the ground in former Soviet nations.
Hello this is Matt slick from a match look like podcast road from the Christian faith and lay out our foundational truth of God's word through Trojan Truth Network Ponderosa starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it. Sure it but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network what's going on in the Ukraine. So many people are asking that question.
There is what you see on the big screen on the TV and there's what's actually happening. Maybe not being reported. While you're in for a treat today on truth.I'm Stu Epperson, your host and I'm interviewing Eric Mark with the Slavic Gospel Association. They are working with pastors on the ground.
Seminaries churches all kinds of folks they been in Ukraine for many years and they of also serve the Lord in Russia as well. Erickson to give you a perspective you might just not hear in other places plus easy to tell us how we can pray for the Ukraine right now and all the folks that are under attack in all of our brothers and sisters in Christ across Russia and across Eastern Europe. So stay tuned. Be encouraged and thank you to all of our prayer warriors to pray for this program and thanking all of our amazing affiliates AFR and Wilkins in the life FM of the folks that carry truth.stay tuned be encourage and join us right now for truth talk Stu Epperson tire size is in Freire's and thought is heartbroken over the Ukraine. At least, many people in the world. I know the West is in many people are upset that our government is allowed this to happen or is not done more than just slap the hand of the president of Russia Vladimir Putin, who was invaded Ukraine in could get really really bad were trying to find out exactly what's happening in to help us navigate through. That is a man whose really plug in a ministry that all they do is work with these amazing pastors.
He Slavic pastors. These churches, these church plant orphans, missionaries, and his name is Eric Maki's literal busy guy with all of this activity gone Eric our heart is broken heart is with you. Thank you for all you do with the Slavic Gospel Association and you are tell us a little bit about that give our listeners will you a perspective of SGA and then how you were thrust into a 24 hours of having to report in let the rest of us know what's going on absolutely truthful bit of background in the field thinking the front and before you get into the conflict gestures been around 1934 and so we've been working with the faithful Bible preaching Bible teaching churches since benefactors that the wall went down. We started supporting them, supporting the national who know their people bet they know their community. God is reading them up to be the response in the point of need them in such a time as this.
And so, in 2014 when Ukrainians offer their independence. SGA was able to work with these churches, especially in eastern Ukraine to develop a network of churches that boldly supported missionaries to take the gospel out to work with orphan children, but to take Aiden to the beast and now in the middle of this horrendous conflict just brutal conflict. We found that that the ones that are stuck enough of the faithful church and be faithful pastors and faithful missionaries were running into the battle that you are taking and who are ministering to people literally walking down the street where their burnt out tanks and burned out vehicles where I remember walking down a dusty road with them just in a sleepy little village that now even I heard minutes ago friend of one of our directors.
There was a 19-year-old running to the store to get some medicine for his mom and a bomb dropped on the pharmacy until he's gone and just the brutality that were expedient and at the same time just the amazing work of God through his yet. Eric Tellis, this is a big question. I don't want to beg the obvious here a lot of healers asking why.
Why is this going on Howdy reply to that well in the death of what art I struggle with answering the question why it quite difficult. I think the we have to understand the history, the relationship between Ukraine and Russia goes back centuries. You always back to 988 A.D. where you have with the center universe was the center of the print Vladimir and then you go forward and even under the Bolshevik revolution that they would be a claim on the Russian side of shaping the nation of Ukraine on the Ukrainian side they have that they were brutally oppressed and then after the years of communism, where Ukraine had emerged as its own independent country. There is a sense of which some would like a restoration of the geopolitical boundaries of the former Soviet Union and so it is not overtly that Ukraine has done anything per se, but their desire to be an independent country and part of the Western world and they are the kind of the buffer between Russia and the Western world and just the confluence of all that is resulted in this horrendous response and battle for the people.
So yeah and in could get a whole lot worse. I mean, there's that look like they're let off the gas pedal at all. Putin. The tanks are across miles and miles come in and there's bombs being dropped. Eric Mark is with the Slavic Gospel Association who has a tell us about your presence there.
Eric tell us about your relationship with this country of Ukraine tells Ukraine were watching a country can bombs were hearing all these stories seeing blood images on the TV. Hearing nothing of the radio would give us some insight, which is just take us there while you know I gotta tell you, for my wife and I we I'm a missionary with us.
So we go over there to serve the churches. It's a beautiful country. An amazing group of people, faithful brothers and sister who proclaim the gospel to minister to those in need and are really my dear friend it is miles and miles of sunflowers. It is of people who just are unique in that culture was a great history dating back to World War II.
Years of communism without fighting for their independence and so I think in the midst of all this, there is a duty so that I wanted to you about the faithful believers.
There these are tried and tested and true believers regretfully out a lot of times in the Western world. Our faith is a time faith that is very rarely tested, but they know what it means to follow after Christ and the views of communism.
It would cost you your life to follow after Christ.
And so now here in the middle of these dark days of your listeners. You do know that in the midst of this, there are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ can see only opportunity in the middle of the time of grief and suffering. Basically an opportunity to be stalwart witnesses, the gospel and they are the ones in villages on.
I'm getting tons of pictures, there the villages that are surrounded by troops to tanks coming down the lane and they're the ones that are still going door-to-door, comforting people taking food aid to people and we had SGA are getting behind them and that's the nature of SGA. It's not about us were small, physically small organization in the sense from a staff point of view, a very large organization of them serving these churches a network of thousand churches in Ukraine 2265 churches that we work with, so we don't need to spend the Americans only need to get behind the one that God has raised up for such a time as others churches there. They love Jesus. There brothers and sisters in Christ and they are under fire right now and this is one of the complexities of starting my wife about this earlier today, I will believer the Lord Jesus Christ I'm a citizen of United States of America. I look and see this this war going on over there. It's not my war. But there's a very real sense, Eric, Mark, that they're attacking my family fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. How is a believer to respond in terms of a heart terms of prayer, prayers of obvious, but essential response within this is what I like talking on the other side. The break, how do we give we give to his evening getting to them forcing you to be flattered by the Russians. How we pray for Russia. The, the ones that are assaulting Ukraine right now.
Eric mock with the Slavic Gospel Association was back buildings, depots, hospitals are being bombed. Homes, villages, Ukraine is under fire and we are talking to Amanda. God is on fire for Jesus's name is Eric mock he is with the Slavic Gospel Association. I go way back with the Provost family Bob Provost Rob Provost, they've been involved in this ministry for years. Eric dear godly friends and mentors of me and my family and there's just something Eric about these believers in Ukraine and I will, I think, is summarized in this either tweet or maim on histogram. I saw were someone said were all talking about praying for Ukraine and we should but how about the, the real believers who were on fire for the Lord in Ukraine and places like communist China and Russia praying for us that will awake up here in the West. Eric why is the faith of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ. Such a rebuke to those of us in the West to have become a bit apathetic in our faith.
We have so much yet. We just are kinda sitting on our Blessed assurance a bit through. I think I got a mention of class time. It's about evidence basically tested and true faith, living in our country, regretfully, of faith and become a great thing. It's become very human centered rather than Christ centered when you have to fight for your fate when people die for their faith. It's true, it's invaluable. In fact, when were talking about the churches in Ukraine. I had a pastor was actually up in the Chernobyl region.
He still there you counting tanks as they go through the street and he told me once I put my arm around him. I said how are you and he smiled at me for why would you ask me with this silly question. It doesn't matter how I am. The question is what can we do for Christ today and so I think in the middle of this Ukrainian show us what it means that only not just the Ukrainian believers you have Russian believers in Ukraine. You have Ukrainian Russian believers in Russia different ethnicities but one common family, whether it's in Russia, Belarus, causing scanner, the other countries of the former Soviet Union had to fight for the state and they would tell you they pray for us because they think it's harder to be a believer in America than it is for them because in America the peacetime state and we don't know what it's like to fight for our faith and to be passionate for our face. So much so that if the tank is coming down the street you're more concerned about the salvation of the tank driver then your own personal safety while it's Eric mock with the Slavic Gospel Association Eric contextualize this whole war for us to talk a little bit about the geopolitical tensions that existed since the Ukraine split office of the other nations from what was known as the Soviet bloc.
The Soviet Union now. The Russians are trying to come in and take it back and that, sadly, the pollutants talking points are beings doubted and parroted by the clueless left of America saying well.
This is there rightful place anyway in America should not intervene and I don't know that it was really calling per se for America to intervene the same time.
This is a democracy.
One of the biggest if most thriving fruitful democracies with free capital free speech in the Soviet bloc nations in that's in the Slavic states that are so strategic right up against Europe you got right next door pull and you got these other countries Germany all through their so Ukraine falls. What's next so we contextualize Eric. The implications of this should should Russia have its way, and should the West just kind of stand down and intercourse Boones talking about nuclear is you thought that were that were that that scary word out there and so what what about this a were worse all going well from from prospective and where I I'm not gonna contribute to the readers mind other than being aware of what you stated in his speeches is the resistance of wanting to reform the Soviet Republic you not not necessarily under communist rule but to reform, that which was held in the path but at the same time. What we see in Ukraine something very similar to the roots and the foundation of our own country, a desire for people to be debt Democratic. We ruled a desire the people to be an independent nation.
Sometimes that clouded under because there is corruption in the government I think we have to understand, again, there is a difference between the people and the government and in the case of of the Russian people. There is prudent in his vision, and then there's this vast number of 350 different people groups in Russia who desperately I do not want to that are struggling and so the people in Ukraine are a mix of Russian and and and Ukrainian ethnicity Polish and Romanian American others. All the different people groups and the same thing. If you Russian actually the same thing in Belarus and so on. A people level that it is horrific because you have almost something akin to the Civil War where you have people that know each other fighting against each other and it is regretfully a government government structure fighting against another government structure and what was seen in Ukraine is they are scarcely a passion for their own independent and so they they are standing there standing to be an independent people not to be governed or are socialized or recaptured and I think there's a lot of implications to Washington's eye know. I liken it to watching a mugging in the subway and everyone gets their cell phones out the picture rather than actually stopping the mug and so I think it's a difficult thing and I am not a professor and expert in this, but I can tell you from the people that are there on all sides of the borders there broken hearted to see this. It really makes very little sense when the big question is what can we do ask that of our special guest Eric mock with the Slavic Gospel Association. They have all kinds of people. He was just there. Walking these these quaint villages ministering in building and the pastors were planting churches. The gospel is awake and alive and moving through the nation of Ukraine.
Eric's ministry is a part of it.
I'm Stu Epperson and for my good buddy Steve Noble guest hosting for him today in the hot seat as we talk about this war. Who would've ever thought you we plan on me gusto's receipt. We talk about a war war is real. What happens in war.
What comes out of war with who you really are in a matter of wartime really really shows and were seeing it right in front of her eyes, especially with modern media beers, tick-tock videos in a graphic of bodies being bloodied, dead corpses all over the streets. Ukraine is being bombed attack mortared everything like that you want to call with a question about this battle.
If you want to call express some concerns you have the toll-free numbers 866-34-TRUTH 866-348-7884 to call the program to ask the question to make a comment.
Maybe you know someone connected to a ministry in Ukraine and I have it.
We I've interviewed on truth talk pastors from Ukraine of interviewed ministries from your craters if there's an amazing Ukrainian seminary. I'm getting updates from for my buddy Scott read and Dennis Lennon Gary Mitchell bunch of guys that Travis daughter that went over there to support and to building the Christians there and now they are aghast in their up all night praying for their brothers and sisters who are being much afflicted as the bombs are dropping Eric so many agencies in the billions of dollars can be raised for the Ukraine.
Through this we know we don't know if pennies of those billions will ever get to them. How do you help us navigate through get being generous.
So if you want to do something, but they don't want money to go to the waster to go right in the end of pollutants coffers will my preliminary briefly explain what we do it as. That may put a lot of that caressed what we focus on inserting the national church and and there is been a capacity to do that. It's been in place for quite some time.
So prior to the war. I we were helping support 104 national missionaries, we are helping reach across the land of the Soviet and former Soviet Union.
We were helping reach a little under 13,000 orphan children factored Christmas will be churches reach over 50,000 kids with the true meaning of Christmas and so prior to this beginning we have been in a position where we have been supporting the national's mother would we didn't have to evacuate Americans.
We don't have to worry about that. What we do is we actually stepped into the fray by getting behind the people to God is raised up our organization.
Offensive defense is a niche were very careful not to enable the churches to dependency on us but to help them toward independent self-sufficiency.
Help them in difficult times. He was they couldn't do without and it is great to see how variable the first churches glorious thing about learn about all kinds of people that you are family with in Christ that you will be spending eternity with you had no idea these test noisy stories.
These prayer warriors. These Bible stories while during the break I been bombarded with text and emails from listeners. One of our wonderful friends and partners, Johnny says, ask, ask Eric mock who's with us right now with the Slavic Gospel Association ask him the greatest difference between what we see on TV and what's actually going on. Ukraine is Russia is invading Ukraine is becoming a bloodied mess.
Eric what about that question. What about that are worth seeing and hearing a lot of things on the media.
What's the difference without a what's actually happening on the ground as you're getting real live Intel directly from pastors and leaders in Ukraine will report to a first what you're seeing on the on the lifestream is fairly accurate item bombarded with pictures of destroyed Russian tanks of vehicles of bodies. The rules of blood you see the cars but this is what you don't see on TV to the faithful believers who are rushing into their people you want to the faithful believers that are literally walking up the line giving folders chocolate and sharing the gospel with them. That doesn't make network TV that the it it is easy for us to focus on the dark side of of hostilities to focus on the difficulties the focus on the suffering. Yet even like it was during the pandemic in the middle of great suffering.
There was a tremendous opportunity through SJ we are able to help churches provide 5 1/2 million meals of the gospel in 120,000 times. That doesn't make network TV other happy to look at the downside, the suffering, but they're not looking at that the greatness of what God does in the middle of hardship to glorify himself through his people and so what you won't see on network TV is a countless number of believers who, in the face of suffering are rising up and that is that he come true on the Russian side in the Belarusian cited a minister all around at the people I met the great part about what we do hundred SJ and Lincoln found that out at www.sga.org and see what were doing get behind what were doing and I'll tell you it is already happening. The funds it started coming in on Friday we have funds. The churches the churches are purchasing a where they can purchase a week. I gotten bands of this wave got some initially over eight is already going to refugees were helping in Ukraine were helping him: and were even hearing of refugees showing up in the country of Georgia that were helping their again we already have the relationships with the churches we already had the financial network with them and being aware of the banking issues we figured out how to reposition some of the funds in advances that were already moving out and getting aid to the people that the other side of the story. The advancement of the gospel in difficult days as tremendous guy I just got up via email from my friend Scott read earlier about this amazing Ukrainian partnership foundation that they work with this Ukrainian Baptist theological seminary who is hosting hundreds and hundreds of refugees and reaching out to people they needed diesel fuel to keep their power on suck just a little need and they were able to get money to them so they could continue to train these men of God in the word of God, and they could continue support pastors in just like you laid out there for the Slavic Gospel Association Eric mock you have been real busy. You been asked about the Lord's work, but I'm encouraged that there are folks listen closely.
Those of you are generous those of you who recognize that is not yours. It's his were stewards of what is given is not owners. There are kingdom godly ministries like Slavic Gospel Association Samaritans purse is another one that you can give and you know the money is gonna get a bottle water in someone's hander's gonna get help help a refuge to eat or help someone get a Bible or help a church to get there little bit longer, or you take in and give shelter sanctuary to some refugees.
Eric so there's are legitimate ways to give you just heard one from him.
Eric I guess the question is, people listing everywhere to this program go here. This is a podcast.
I honestly just our heart goes out to the Ukraine. We been praying really close to showing a word of prayer integration just discount a flag your awesome producer thing a grace and Rachel the awesome team Keith behind me. The Truth Network even this program go on and on.
The year I'm Stu Epperson talking about Ukraine is what everyone is talking about how do we pray for the Ukraine. Eric can you can you give us some several salient prayer points here to guide us and direct us as we get together with other believers.
I would encourage everyone to grab someone today tonight tomorrow morning and just graphs was able to stop a second.
Let's pray for Ukraine. Can you recalibrate us in the right direction there. Eric quickly here.
The auger really quickly. You mentioned you BTS Ukrainian biblical and theological similar instruments actually supports them as well and in biblical seminary schools train pastors to deter and preach the word and so when were talking about eight were talking about people coming to faith. The first let us pray with pray first of all, for peace in Ukraine. We pray for cessation of hostilities and for peace to come. I would pray for Putin and the leaders that that part the conflict to come to faith in Jesus Christ. That is how we change the thing throughout the Old Testament we thought God turn the hearts of men, like channels of water. Just pray that the hearts of many of these leaders are bent on themselves become fully sold out to Christ and then second, their faithful believers that are in harm's way who faithfully want to minister with the gospel. Pray that the Lord would give them courage and strength they would be upset if I asked to pray for their safety and in my heart I want to pray for their Savior.
Pray for boldness and courage that the gospel go out and then finally by the believers around the world will get involved in not fit back in a distance. I am brokenhearted I can't get over there and help out what I can do is we can pray form we can give the support agent going to their churches which go out to the people and it certainly does that. And we can make a difference in that regard and get the word out. This is about politics it's about a people coming to faith in God is created. This hardship are in the midst of the hardship that people cry out to Jesus and God turns their hearts to him thinking. So much you just said there really encouraged me and really convicted me. I was talking to a pastor earlier today I said how you doing, he was having a rough day he's preparing for his Wednesday night service and I said to him I said passion. I did not mean this Eric you know you say thing sometimes you'll meet him, to convict someone that I guess the Holy Spirit is what I said what specific topic that often, but I said a pastor. Imagine what would be like to be preparing for your Wednesday night service in the Ukraine is Ukrainian pastor, knowing this could be the last service.
This could be the last supper. This could be. This can be Obama detonates. You are all in heaven. You bow your head in prayer, you open your eyes in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and you know this pastor said this to me pastor Jeff just a dear friend got a guy sits to sit. I really need to hear that it's a safe.
I didn't really want to hear that said but I visit you east.get a lot of stuff for dealing with things that he was telling us that his denominations doing to go walking on the gospel and other things and he was bemoaning that and rightfully so, but then when it when I eat it at that idea. The thought that hey we we may not have a bomb dropping in our church tonight Eric but there's little verse there in Ephesians 6 it says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against superpowers of evil that literally want to destroy our souls and they want to shut us up from sharing the good news of Jesus, talk about politics. Talk about war talk about environmental things. Do not talk about the Lord Jesus Christ and lift him up because if you lift him up.
People hear the gospel and lives. We transformed and that's true everywhere, and Esther even right now in the Ukraine.
Eric mock yeah I saw a small picture just to make sure Downing were five or six people were gathered in the basement in a bomb shelter worshiping, no light, no smoke, no fancy pulpits, they were gathered together on their knees praying and worshiping and thanking God with bombs coming down and gunfire in the street and they will worship so that scripts all the things away. Well, Lelia. Say a prayer for us. This is everyone's gonna pray with us if you drive and don't set your eyes. You bow your head. But Eric mock with the Slavic Gospel Association, a dear man of God, a wonderful ministry support ministries and advance the kingdom providing relief spiritually and physically to the needs and Ukraine praise Ukraine Eric take us out here in order prayer will you my friend for for Ukraine absolutely present for my father we come before you knowing that you are sovereign over all that we humbly come before you knowing that you saw. Even the events in Ukraine from before all time and Lord made these opportunities. A moment for your glory. We pray for the believers there that they would faithful with your true disciples would be made in many life returns you be glorified in all things other than North Texas man hashtag pray for Ukraine. Thank you, Eric mock, should thank you all for listening. Racing the Lord's share the good news Jesus Christ because the king is coming back for question is are you ready to meet him. Taken with evidence of sharing the gospel.
Eric enjoyed the Slavic Gospel Association offers.
Also so many ministries serving Christ in Ukraine was one of God are supposed this is the Truth Network