Carkva Church sits in a city within Eastern Europe’s historical World War II arena. Because they’ll soon celebrate their 100-year anniversary, members thought it was time their war-time story was shared. Founded in the early 20th century, this congregation has been blessed by both difficult and joyous times. The congregation grew each year after its founding, and soon they had 120 church members. By the year 1930, they invested into a house of prayer, where regional meetings and conferences could take place.
Due to the Soviet regime, the house of prayer was taken away from the believers in 1939, and the church went through some difficult years. The congregation had to change their meeting place about 10 times, which left many believers no choice but to move to other places. Attendance grew smaller and smaller, but the spirit of the church couldn’t be broken. God protected His church.
By the early 1990s, the freedom to meet in unity was restored. The house of prayer was given back to the congregation, but in very bad condition. There were 30 church members by this time, and all of them were older. In the following years, the church maintained the house of prayer to the best of their ability. During this time, younger people were drawn to their community, and new members joined.
By God’s grace, we received the following report from this church after years of rebuilding:
Thanks to the mercy of God we could complete the construction work in the Prayer House. Especially we thank God that a great work has been done in the service hall. In the spring necessary material was bought and in the summer the ceiling and the floor have been completed thanks to a group of men from Germany and also thanks to the financial support of ICM. The toilets have been flagged and equipped with sanitary facilities. Later we bought two doors for the service hall and also lights for the walls and shutters. Much more work has been done. We thank God and all our friends who participated in the reconstruction work.
We put together the celebration of the dedication of the reconstructed Prayer House with
evangelizing on 24 and 25 October. We spent a lot of time for the preparation but it was worth of it! We invited guests from four different cities and a music group from Ukraine. Many non-believing guests participated in the services; people from our town as well as from villages of the district.
The service hall was full of people, in the second day there were even not enough seats for everybody. In the first day three people came to Jesus Christ and in the second day some more committed their lives to Jesus Christ. This was a special occasion for a little congregation like us and we are thankful for everyone who found God. All participants thanked for the services and that they had been invited. Many of them came to our church for the first time.
During these days we have thanked a lot our God for He has done great things in our eyes. The Prayer House which once had been taken away by the Soviet government has now been born again to new life. Thanks to all work with God’s help from the inside as well as also from the outside the Prayer House now looks much better than ever before. We have devoted the Prayer House to God. He is the only one owner.
It was touching to see the amazed faces of especially old people who had had the desire and had also prayed that the Prayer House which had been taken away again would belong to Christians and would serve as a meeting place for Christians and those who want to find God.
We sincerely thank you all who have supported the development in our church physically as well as materially. Our congregation is burning with the desire to reach out to people not only in our town but also in the neighbor villages. May God continue blessing you and your ministry in His name. May no crisis stop your ministry which you do among Christians in different countries.
With love and prayers of thankfulness,
Eastern European partner