Brethren, pray for us.
I Thessalonians 5:25

The Rue Family
Missionaries to Ukraine

Field Address:

A/R 60 Glavposhtamp

65001 Odessa, Ukraine

Phone: 011-38-048-533-1818



Sending Church:
Bible Baptist Church
1173 Jo Jo Road
P.O. Box7135
Pensacola, FL 32534

Support and Mailing Address:
Charity Baptist Mission Inc.
P.O. Box 692
Bristol, TN 37621-0692

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  Phil 3:10



May – July 2022

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

I pray this letter finds you well in the Lord looking forward to His soon return. This is my third attempt at writing this overdue prayer letter. The first two turned out to be small theses and were too long. Lord willing, I will find a way to put all my thoughts on what is going on in Ukraine from a Bible believer’s perspective and post it on our website.

After much prayer and consideration about the Lord’s will we have decided that He wants us to stay the course and finish what we came here to do in the USA and prepare for our return to Ukraine. We have supporting churches spread out in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New York that we have not yet updated. We have not seen them in anywhere from ten to seventeen years. When we are finished with this part of our ministry we will take another look at the situation and hopefully return to Ukraine to a people prepared of the Lord ready to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! If, however, the war is still going on we will look into ministering to Ukrainian refugees in one of the bordering countries until it is safe to return with my family.

In the meantime, we continue to encourage our people in Ukraine and send money to men in four separate areas where they can help those whose lives have been turned upside down by this war. I received a report from one brother that he has led over twenty people to Christ using the aid we sent him as a way to open a conversation. We also just received a report from my assistant in Rozdilna, Brother Alexei, that our church contacted the local authorities to receive a list of registered refugees from eastern regions hit the hardest. They made contact with 200 households and ministered to them. They also organized a church service where around one hundred refugees came and heard Brother Alexei preach the Gospel to them and give them food and clothing that was purchased by the funds sent from you, our supporters. My hope and prayer has been that the Lord would use this awful situation to prepare people to receive the word of God from western missionaries. The anti-west propaganda that has been pumped into Ukraine from Russia for the past twenty years made it very difficult to even have a conversation with them. The Lord has very graciously answered our prayers and, for the first time in my lifetime, our ministry in Ukraine received a positive write-up in the local newspaper in Rozdilna about how we are helping people and preaching the word of God to them! You would have had to have lived in Rozdilna for the past thirty years to understand what a miracle this is!

Words cannot describe how thankful we are that our church and people are still standing against all the trials and temptations that are in Ukraine right now. They continue to hold regular church services and reach out to the surrounding areas with personal witnessing, literature, and humanitarian aid (See 3 John 1:4).

We would like to include a short update on our family. My son, Samuel, has decided to relocate to Boise, ID for work and attend the Bible Institute there while he transitions to life in the USA. I drove him out there and helped get him set up. It is so hard to let go, especially when they are so far away. My consolation is that I’ve watched Samuel over the past few months really get his own relationship with Jesus Christ and prayerfully make decisions about what God wants him to do, not what he preferred to do (See again 3 John 1:4). My daughter is still willing to return to Ukraine with us but is open to whatever the Lord wants her to do in the meantime. She is also praying about finishing her Bible degree but must first work and save her money to relocate. She has become almost irreplaceable to me in the ministry as a secretary and accountant. I can’t describe my thoughts and feelings about losing her. She really adds a lot to our ministry. Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done in her life as we face some difficult decisions ahead.

Bible believing churches and people continue to express their desire to financially help those affected by the war. We still have channels open to help people inside Ukraine. If you would like to help please send a check to our mission board with the words “Rue/Ukraine relief” on the memo line. My number is (513) 376-1011 if you have any questions. Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  (a print ready version with pictures is available here)

Christopher Rue

Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,     March – April 2022

The Thought of Heaven: The past two months have been an emotional rollercoaster. One moment we are glad, encouraged, and hopeful; the next we are full of heaviness and sorrow. Taking a step back and looking at what God has done, and is doing, in Ukraine helps us to continue constant in the Lord. I often breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to God that our church and its members are still standing fast. Many of the women and small children have left. They are now refugees in Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Moldova, and Slovakia. We stay in contact with them and do what we can to encourage them to serve the Lord with what talents they have where the Lord has put them. Others stayed in Ukraine with their families to help. Several of the men from our church have enlisted to defend Ukraine from Russia. They are still holding Sunday morning church services, praying, witnessing, and helping those in need. I realize that several missionaries have had to watch as their churches were scattered, and, as one brother said, “they have said they are never returning to Ukraine.” I’m so thankful that we’ve not been required of the Lord to swallow that bitter pill.

The Lord has encouraged us with the statistics that have filtered in over the past month regarding the video presentation I had the privilege to give for use on Pastor Joel Logan’s website targeting Russian and Ukrainian speaking people with the Gospel. Somehow they have the ability to know how many people have watched the videos all the way through and how many people have watched them for 30 seconds or more. So far, over 8.5 million people have watched the videos all the way through, with over 16 million people watching it for 30 seconds or more. The presentation in Russian is as clear and thorough as we could make it to lead someone to Christ! The Lord has done exceeding abundantly above all I could ever ask! They have received many testimonies of people who have prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. The thought of what the Lord has done, and is doing, with this has made the thought of heaven much sweeter!

Ukraine Relief: We have been simply amazed at the outpouring of generosity of Bible Believing churches in the USA for Ukraine. So far, we have been able to get over $40,000 in aid to people inside Ukraine who need it, some desperately. These funds have been channeled to those in need through vetted, Bible-believing men who have proven themselves faithful over the years. Our relief program had small beginnings. I simply worked with our men and instructed them to help those closest to them, because the Lord said, “Love thy neighbor…” I told them to start with the poorest in the church and then enable those who didn’t need help to help their neighbors and family members both saved and lost. Every form of aid was to be given out with the message of the Gospel in spoken and printed form along with a message from American churches, “This help is from Bible believing churches in America who love them and are praying for them.”

These funds have provided various things such as food, clothing, medicines, surgeries, bandages, body armor, and transportation for women and children to safety. From my end here in the US there has been a constant challenge of working with the banking system and dealing with bureaucracy to get these funds inside Ukraine. On their end in Ukraine there has been the challenge of receiving these funds, rationing, curfews, and limited cash in the banks. They have to drive over two hours just to make a withdraw from the bank going through multiple military checkpoints and buying supplies trying to make it back home before curfew begins. Think about that and thank God the next time you make an easy cash withdraw from a nearby ATM.

At the present time I have to rely on trusted individuals to move money. However, we are currently working on trying to get everything set up to move money through our local church’s bank account. Our church has already been able to help several national pastors who do not have any documented proof of their status as ministers to receive aid for their churches from various humanitarian organizations. I’m so glad I spent all those hours with a lawyer years ago setting this up for our church to be a blessing to others. At the time it seemed very tedious, but what a blessing it has been over the years to many missionaries and ministries in Ukraine.

The first stage of our ministry yielded over ten people receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior! These were the family members and neighbors of our church members who were dealt with personally, one on one. We have prayed for some of them for over ten years to be saved!

We were contacted by several national pastors and evangelists whose families and ministries needed help. We sent several thousand dollars to men who needed to get their families to safety while they did personal work along the western border of Ukraine. We sent funds to men from our church serving in the military who needed supplies. One brother from our church, Kolya, who is an officer, was able to lead one of his subordinates to Christ. He was so excited to do so. He wrote me and said, “Pastor, God has me here for a reason. Thank you for teaching me sound doctrine!” We’ve also helped another brother, Slava, who is manufacturing homemade, steel reinforced vests for civilians and transporting them to safety.

We prayed and discussed ways to help those in desperate need in other areas. Our region has been bombed several times and there was an attempt to take control of our town by pro-Russian separatists from Trans-Nistria. Several vans of weapons and terrorists drove into our town and opened fire on the military enlistment center. The attackers were neutralized and the weapons were confiscated. There has been relative peace in our town ever since. However, there is a build-up of several thousand pro-Russians close to our town in Trans-Nistria, whose border is just twenty miles from my house. Men from our church are stationed there on the border to protect our town. Please pray for their safety. While we are enjoying relative peace in our town we have received requests from refugees for help from the city Mykolaiv. This has given Brother Alexei a burden to help them there with supplies and providing transportation to those trying to escape the rockets that have increased lately. It looks like Mykolaiv could be the next Mariupol. So, Alexei pledged to sell his car and use the money towards a passenger van to transport supplies and people to safety. Other men from our church who are serving in the army gave money as well. One young man gave $1,000. With these funds and the funds from US churches, we are looking and praying for the Lord to direct us to the right vehicle to use for His glory.

On The Road Again: While preparing for taxes for 2021 we calculated our miles travelled to meetings. The total came to be very close to 25,000 miles! Twice we were almost hit head on by drunk drivers! When I think about the miles we’ve travelled in our lives just to preach in both Ukraine and the USA I’m reminded of the statistics of accidents and fatalities. It is truly the gracious hand of God that has kept us safe.

We hit the road again late February and spent the past two months updating supporting churches and presenting our ministry in new ones in Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, and Kentucky. The meetings have been a blessing and we’re very thankful that we have fruit in some churches along the way in the form of rededicated lives to Christ, a renewed burden for missions, and we even had a young woman named Molly walk the aisle to get saved in Brother Schaffer’s church in Iowa. We are also very thankful for the new churches that have taken us on for support and for the funds raised for our ministry including the Ukrainian relief fund.

Rue Crew Review: Our last prayer letter was so long that we could not give a personal update. The big news in January was that our son, Benjamin, was finally married to his fiancé, Faith, and they are now blissfully living in their long awaited “La-La Land of Love!” We are very thankful that they were married according to the word of God and are growing at the Anchor Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. We have been working at improving our family’s health during furlough. Each member of our family has some kind of health issue of whatever degree with Naomi and I being the worse for wear. I will spare you the details but please be in prayer about some tests on my heart coming up. Also, please pray for Naomi who has been dealing with thyroid issues for years now. Our other issues are slowly improving. We feel much better and stronger, getting ready for our next term of service in Ukraine….one more round!

We still have several open channels to help people inside Ukraine. Not only are people being helped but it provides a great witness and open door to sow the seed of the Gospel. If you would like to help please send a check to our mission board with the words “Rue/Ukraine” on the memo line. My number is (513) 376-1011 if you have any questions.

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,   (printable PDF of this letter with pictures)
Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10




January – February 2022

Dear Praying Friends and Family,
I already had this prayer letter written in my head two weeks ago…or so I thought. I can hardly remember what I intended to write now. So much has happened and things are changing daily regarding the war in Ukraine. While I was not surprised that Putin would invade and take Donetsk and Luhansk, I was completely taken back by the scale of this invasion.

From the moment that we understood the magnitude of Russia’s invasion we devoted ourselves to helping our friends and loved ones in Ukraine get to safety. Our first concerns were for the safety of the Kline family who were in Kherson, and for a young lady from our church named Vladislava in Kiev. We were relieved to hear that the Klines made it out safely. Vladislava, however, was left all alone in the university dorm building with no one to help her after a rocket hit the building right next to hers. She had no money nor her traveling passport needed to leave the country. Thankfully, she met up with the Taraniuks who took her with them to Ivano-Frankovsk, where they endured some air raids. We were able to send her money to get to the Romanian border. We were also very concerned for the welfare of Darina and her two children in Odessa who were there alone while her husband was working on a commercial ship. She spent several nights in the bomb shelter before gathering the courage to flee to Romania by herself with her small children. We were also very thankful to hear, little by little, of other missionaries who were making it to safety.

Many women and children from our church loaded up what they could and were escorted to the border by their sons and husbands. They sought safety before any heavy fighting came and they are now scattered in Romania, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and Moldova. Several of our men have volunteered and others were conscripted to fight. Some are serving right on the front at this very moment.

Quite a few people from our church stayed in Rozdilna. Brother Alexei, the pastor of our church, along with his wife Vika made that difficult decision. She is expecting their second child and they also have a handicapped son, Vanya. Our deacon and his wife, Andrei and Ella Bondarchuk, also decided to stay with their two precious children. I asked them if they needed help getting their families to the border as refugees. They decided to stay and care for the church and defend their city in case of an invasion. Both families are looking after the church’s elderly and shut-ins, along with some of the mothers with small children who stayed.

Though our people are scattered they are communicating using an app called Viber. That app was used in the past for things that caused our church much trouble and heartache. I’m so glad that it is being used of the Lord for prayer requests, fellowship, Scripture, and valuable information needed for survival. It is quite evident that they have matured in the Lord. What a blessing it has been to me to read their posts (see 3 John 1:4). Several came to realization that they did not truly value their church as they should have during peacetime. To my surprise they met for church services last Sunday in spite of the danger! Brother Alexei told me that the sirens of an air-raid began to sound as they prayed! The men present determined to pray, one by one, till they were done. Alexei said that it was quite a sight to see. No one flinched. They kept on praying in spite of the sirens!

As we learned of the conditions along the border to the west, Brother Kline and I began to discuss the possibility of me making a special trip with my son, Samuel, to help. However, after a few days, the world-wide media coverage has prompted quite a humanitarian response. Though the conditions are hard inside Ukraine’s border, once the refugees make it through, there is plenty of humanitarian aid to help. The real need is for tracts and reaching people with the Gospel. I’m told that local churches on both sides of the border are responding with literature. The apartments and hotels are booked up and there is little room at the border for us to set up a food line or the like. After praying about the situation and hearing the reports of what really could be accomplished by my physical presence at the border, I decided that more can be done by coordinating aid to get to people inside Ukraine where there is a greater need. I may make a trip later after the hype is over. We have opened channels by which we can get money to people in need using their bank cards. I am also working on getting both Russian and Ukrainian literature for use on both sides of the border. The men in our church are stocking up on supplies and storing them in our house, which is also being used as a shelter for some when the air raid sirens sound their warnings. Brother Alexei, his brother Vitya, and Andrei are busy buying supplies and taking them to the others in the church so that there is less risk to the elderly.

We recently opened a second place to help in Dnepropetrovsk, where Oleg, my translator, relocated to take care of his elderly parents. We have opened the channel for him to receive money. He has been a friend of mine for many years. He is one of the best translators I know in all of Ukraine and he has translated enough material to gain himself a PhD in my opinion. I contacted him about the possibility of him stepping up and becoming a missionary to the area while there is such a great need. He agreed! He is currently working to help people with basic food and medicine, while giving them the Gospel.

We are so thankful to hear that our people who stayed are witnessing and have even led at least five souls to Christ over the past few days! One sister, who has tried to lead a soul to Christ for years, finally got two!

The Lord opened a great door to reach Ukrainians with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Joel Logan raised the funds to push an advertisement campaign over four social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TicTok, and another). When the dear people in Ukraine log onto these websites an ad pops up taking them to a website that Pastor Logan and his men have started. There are two presentations of the gospel there: one in Ukrainian and the other in Russian. Pastor Bevans Welder approached me about filming this gospel presentation in Russian using the equipment and men in his church. We worked until midnight. After twenty-two takes we got it down to twelve minutes. They said that it has already been viewed by almost a million souls by the fourth day! They raised money to air the ad for ten days! My heart is overjoyed with the thought of souls being saved as a result of these videos!

We have received many phone calls from dear saints expressing their desire to help in some way. Now that we have at least two channels open to help people inside Ukraine we can receive donations to that end. If you would like to help please send a check to our mission board with the words “Rue/Ukraine” on the memo line. There is a lot of hype right now, but after it blows over the hard work and desperate needs will begin. I would like to be ready. My number is (513) 376-1011 if you have any questions. Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                        July – August 2021

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and awaiting His soon return.

Update From Ukraine: In the past we’ve trusted the Lord and committed the ministry into the hands of national preachers many times. There always is a bit of trepidation and concern when we do. The peace that the Lord has given us this time around is such a blessing. The ministry is thriving in spite of many problems and changes. They’ve been involved in evangelism not only locally but also making trips into new territory with the Gospel. Brother Alosha and several members of the church set aside a week for reaching out to new towns with literature and door to door visitation. Each day they visited a new town using the time for personal work and literature distribution. Brother Casey Kline graciously drove his van to transport the group each day. I received a report that this year’s Bible Club went well with around 12 of the older kids responding to the Gospel message that was thoroughly and personally explained. Amen!

Building Project Update: We’ve been very encouraged by a couple love offerings that got us closer to our goal needed to begin the building project. I asked my assistant to look into prices to see if our estimation was still accurate. It has been three years since we first started saving and we haven’t checked on prices since then. Inflation over the past three years and price hikes due to Covid have increased the starting price by 10k. Seeing that we are already in the fall season, it looks like we will have to wait until spring to break ground. There are still two things left to do that will help us prepare for ground breaking. First, we need to have the city change our current power lines to three-phase. We are going to need this for all the welding. Secondly, we can begin searching for a large cement mixer. Our town does not have a concrete company and ordering a truck from Odessa would be risky and expensive. In the past, we’ve mixed concrete by hand, but this project will require a little more than elbow grease.

Deputation/Furlough Update: I am writing this letter “on the road.” I’ve learned to trust my wife’s driving allowing me to catch up on all the administrative demands of the ministry. We are currently returning from over two months of meetings in the North West. During those two plus months we’ve added over 12,000 miles on our van. Our meetings were in North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. This part of our deputation/furlough has been exactly what we needed. We preached, prayed, fellowshipped, and passed out tracts along the way. I could spend several pages on anecdotes, but suffice it to say that we were encouraged by the state of the Bible believing churches in this region of the USA. The pastors of every church we visited were solid in the Lord and the Book! We are still working on scheduling meetings. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a specific date. My number is (513) 376-1011.

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue
Phil. 3:1



Dear Praying Friends and Family, May – June 2021

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and awaiting His soon return. The best way to begin this letter is to just say, “God is good!” Our spirits and souls are being refreshed by the Lord and His people on spite of wear and tear on our bodies from all the driving!

Update From Ukraine: My assistant, Alexei Kalinin, has been doing a good job filling in my absence. It is a blessing that we can have conversations about the work and discuss future plans and ministry issues. The Covid restrictions are loosening up and the Lord has put it in his heart to spend some time reaching the surrounding villages and towns with the Gospel. They are also getting ready for our yearly Children’s Bible Club. He also had to conduct his first funeral for a long-time member of our church, Sofia Pavlovna. She was a sweet and dear saint who suffered from, what looked like, Alzheimer’s disease. For over five years, our church, out of their own pockets, took care of her out of love for her and the Lord Jesus. Christian charity is so much more reliable than socialized medicine!

Building Project Update: The past two months have kept us busy in Ohio and Kentucky where we have been encouraged that the Lord is working in and through us for His glory both here and in Ukraine. We stood amazed during a church’s missions conference as they spontaneously took up an offering for our building project. We have been praying, working, and saving for this project for over three years now and we are almost ready to start. I hope we can break ground this year while the weather is warm. We now have 32K of the 40K needed to begin the main phase.

Deputation/Furlough Objectives: We are often asked the question, “When are you going to return to Ukraine?” I do not have a return date set yet, but what I do have is a list of objectives to accomplish. First, we plan to visit all of our supporting churches and update them on the work and our future plans. We have some supporters that we have not seen in over ten years, some fifteen, and we don’t know when we will get a chance to visit again after we return to the field. Second, we need to raise additional support. We lost support over the past eight years and need to replace it. We were informed by one of our best individual supporters that they are giving us notice to replace their support while we are stateside because they are now in retirement and can no longer help like they did in the past. These dear saints have supported our work for over twenty years and have saved me at least a half a year of deputation work. It is going to take quite a few new churches to replace their support. Lord willing we plan to do most of our deputation work in the Texas and NY areas since we only have three supporting churches in both those states combined. Lastly, we have several projects that need funding, the most important being: 1) return trip costs and; 2) a vehicle for use in Ukraine. We thank the Lord for the generosity of one dear church who took care of our return trip costs and also gave quite a bit towards the purchase of a vehicle when we get there.

Future Deputation/Furlough Travels: We are currently preparing for our trip to the North West states to report to our supporters there and also visit some new churches along the way. This trip will take us all the way through the first part of September. Please pray that the Lord would give us souls and use us to encourage the saints. Also, please pray for our safety and that we can find places to sleep between meetings. We also plan to travel from Seattle, WA to Pensacola, FL to take in at least one Blowout while we are in the USA. Please pray for that long trip as well. I really appreciate your prayers for us and all the help we have received along the way in the Lord’s work. We are still working on scheduling meetings. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a specific date. My number is 513-376-1011.

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue
Phil. 3:10



Dear Praying Friends and Family, March - April 2021

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord. We want to thank you for all your help in the work the Lord has called us to do in Ukraine. The long “To Do” list helping us transition is being checked off. In spite of Covid we are finally able to direct our time and energy to updating and encouraging our sending churches in the work in Ukraine.

The reports received from my associate in Ukraine, Brother Alexei, give me great peace of mind knowing that the Lord is with them and comforting them in the work going forward. Over the years I’ve seen and heard of quite a few works that have ceased to exist after the missionary left the field for an extended amount of time. That is always a great concern as the Apostle Paul expresses repeatedly in his epistles. Overall, the people and ministry are holding strong for the Lord. The quarantine requires them to limit services and use the internet to broadcast on occasion. Many of the elderly in the church are dealing with a lot of sickness, but our people are helping one another. They are also holding Bible classes in a nearby orphanage. I can’t express enough the relief, joy, and thanksgiving we feel for what the Lord is doing with our ministry.

Our meetings so far have been a huge encouragement to us in the work. After having been on the field this past term for nearly seven years, I again see what a necessity furlough is for missionaries. It has been great to see pastors and churches that we have not seen in years, like Tabernacle Baptist Church in Denver, NC. We haven’t seen them in 17 years, yet they have faithfully prayed for our work and supported us the whole time! Temple Baptist Church’s missions conference in Statesville, NC ministered to us in ways we never expected. They encouraged us in the work and gave us the opportunity to have fellowship with other veteran missionaries, which helped us tremendously. More and more, we are being refreshed by pastors and their congregations. I am speechless and amazed at how the Lord works with and through His people in the Gospel ministry. We were able to spend time with Pastor Joe Silvestri and saints there at Wooster Bible Church. We always come away from their church and home encouraged in our personal walk with Jesus Christ. It has been good to visit other churches in the Cincinnati area like Branch Hill Baptist Church, Mt. Hope Baptist Church, Anchor Baptist Church, Lebanon Baptist Temple, Bible Believers Baptist Church, Friendship Baptist Church, and Miltonville Baptist Church who have all been a big blessing to us over the years.

I wanted to use this letter to write a paragraph or two about personal issues and things that the Lord has been teaching me about ministry and family. All pastors, evangelists, and missionaries know of the challenges of raising children in the ministry. Missionaries face an added challenge dealing with transitioning back to life in the USA at 18 to 20 years old. During my first ten years of missionary work several well-meaning elderly saints wanted to give me advice in this area. I was “all ears”, as they say, knowing that, “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding (Job 12:12).” The tone of their counsel was, “Remember young man, God called you; not them,” referring to my children. I took this advice and applied it to our family trying to be realistic about expectations of my children in regards to missionary service. We also constantly reinforced the idea to our older children the need to prepare to leave home after finishing high-school if they do not have a definitive call to stay in the ministry.

The outcome, thus far, has not been that great; at least in our family. As occasion presented itself, I’ve had conversations with other veteran missionaries on this, and I’m alarmed to hear of so many good children of good missionaries dropping out of church altogether. “Houston, we have a problem.”

Red flags began to go up when I overheard, on several occasions, conversations between my children and inquiring adults about what we do. Their replies were, “My dad is a missionary”; not “We are missionaries.” That there be no misunderstandings, let it be said that our children do indeed serve along side us in the ministry. However, there seems to be the need for an ever so slight adjustment in their hearts. I feel that we have made a big error and we are trying to correct it now. It stands to reason that if God wanted my children to be Americans in the usual sense that He would have had them born to American families in America. God placed them in our family and we are missionaries serving in Ukraine. Just as there is a special call given to Americans to leave America and go to the foreign field, it is only reasonable to think that there should be the same for missionary children to leave the field where God put them and call them back to America.

After serving the Lord in Ukraine the first ten years I began to see that my lifespan was not as long as my vision. I have enough vision for several lifetimes. In other words, the work that needs to be done in Ukraine spans generations not a single lifetime. Second generation missionaries would be a great blessing to the Lord’s work. No wonder the Devil concentrates his attention on them to take them out. We missionaries often think that the Devil attacks our kids to stop us (which is true), however, the opposite may be closer to the real reason. Second generation missionaries would be able to do so much more for the Lord. My wife and I have counted the cost of serving Jesus Christ into our twilight years and we are all in! Whatever the cost! We are encouraging our children to serve alongside us in this work, unless the Lord calls them elsewhere. This minor adjustment has brought tremendous comfort and liberty to our hearts in the task of raising our children for God. My daughter has made up her mind about helping us in the ministry and working towards being self-supporting with a job that will allow her to work online. Our son, Benjamin, believes the Lord wants him to begin his life in the USA. We are helping him transition while we are here. He is praying about a lot of things, including going to Bible Institute. Our son, Samuel, is my right hand man in the ministry at the moment in the USA. I really need the help and I keep him busy. He is also praying about the future and is looking at returning to the field with us and helping in the work until God makes things clearer to him about His will for his life. As for our younger children (Christopher, Michael, and Joseph), we have enrolled them in online classes in Ukraine while we are on furlough to further their language studies. Please pray that the Lord’s will be done in all our lives as we serve Him.

I have begun scheduling meetings and look forward to seeing you all sometime soon. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a specific date. My number is (513) 376-1011. If not, you should be hearing from me in the near future!

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


January – February 2021

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord. We want to thank you all for your prayers and support. It has been a blessing to see what the Lord has done over the last two months and we are excited to see what He is going to do with us during this furlough.

Good News From Far and Near Countries: Change, relocation, and reverse culture shock left our souls a bit thirsty. Proverbs 25:25 says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” We had some great news from two far countries! I guess that equates to a big gulp! The first bit of news came from Peru where my brother has been for several years. Micah is my half-brother, but we hardly know each other because we did not grow up together. He has PTSD from his time serving as a sniper in the Army Rangers. He did three or four tours and his life fell to pieces. There is not enough space in this letter for all the details. Micah and I came in contact with each other five or six years ago through the internet. He battles alcoholism and didn’t really believe in God. Our exchanges were… “interesting.” In short, he was trying to “take it like a man” and “pay for his own sins.” I searched for a missionary nearby that could help him. Pastor Bevans Welder told me of a missionary in Peru named Joe Hembrough who himself is a veteran. He began talking with Micah and was able to put him in contact with a national pastor who gave him some work. Everyone prayed. Brother Hembrough and I spoke about how to help Micah, seeing he really needed help of every kind, but of first importance was salvation. Brother Joe told me his opinion… “He’s either going to self-destruct and die or find God.” I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear from Micah in late December. He called to tell me that alone, homeless, during a downpour, on his knees in the cold and mud he prayed and received Christ! He said that as he was agonizing with the Lord in prayer, that the Lord put a blanket of warmth around him. He said, “He hugged me and made me warm…literally!” Please pray for him. I am going to try to get down there to Peru if the Lord allows and help him get back to the USA where he can get into a church and get some help.

A year ago I mentioned one visitor who came to our services while we were broadcasting during the quarantine. Her name is Xenia, a close friend of Sister Sveta who trusted Christ about two years ago. Sveta has been praying and witnessing to Xenia ever since she got saved. She came to church just that one time and listened closely to the message during quarantine but didn’t receive Christ. Here we are a year later and the Lord has answered our prayers and Xenia came to church again. Brother Aleksei told me that she responded to the invitation to receive Christ a few Sundays ago!
We are also thankful to see fruit here in the USA. Pastor Greer of Branch Hill Baptist Church gave me the opportunity to preach while he was out of town. It was my privilege to see a young man respond to the invitation for salvation that morning. I fully realize that he came ready to be saved due to the prayers and personal work of Pastor Greer and his people. However, it really did my heart good to see someone “walk the aisles” and gives me hope that this is a foretaste of what is to come while here on furlough.

The Lord has added more reasons to rejoice seeing my younger sons getting a burden for their new friends here in the neighborhood where we live. Christopher asked me to teach him how to win people to Christ and has been listening very well and memorizing Scripture. All my younger sons have been praying every night for their friends to get saved. Please join them in prayer for Uriah, Noah, Malachi, and Jacob.

The Rest of the News: The majority of our time since landing has been spent just trying to acclimate to the USA again and stabilize. Housing, transportation, insurance, delays due to Covid, driver’s licenses, etc… have taken a lot of time. Getting my office and our home school up and running took more time than expected in this Covid atmosphere. Helping my teenagers transition to American life was not something I thought about when I surrendered to the call of being a missionary. It is as if all the things teenagers do during their high school years in America have landed on us all at one time! We are very thankful that Miriam has already found work. The Lord has brought her through some things and she has gotten to the place where she wants to serve the Lord in Ukraine. A year ago she told the Lord, “Anywhere BUT Ukraine.” She is teaching English to foreign students with an online company and wants to be self-supporting by the time we return to Ukraine. Benjamin and Samuel are still looking for work which is hard seeing they still don’t have their driver’s licenses. We couldn’t afford sending them both to driving school so I have been taking the time to teach them myself. They are very close to being ready to take the test and I’ll be close to needing medication of some kind!

Meetings: The Lord has given me plenty of opportunities to preach even though our ministry presentation is not yet ready. There are literally thousands of pictures to wade through and a lot of blessings to catalog and figure out what stays and what goes! Lord willing, it will be ready very soon. Please pray that the Lord will bless the presentation to be a blessing to the saints.

I have begun scheduling meetings and look forward to seeing you all sometime soon. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a specific date. My number is (513) 376-1011. If not, you should be hearing from me in the near future!

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue
Phil. 3:10



Dear Praying Friends and Family, November – December 2020

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and overcoming the spirit of this world by the Spirit of God. We want to thank each and every one of you for your continued prayer and support in the work God has called us to do in Ukraine. Words cannot express how thankful and humbled we feel after receiving the cards, gifts, and extra love offerings for the holidays. We were able to help some Ukrainian brothers and sisters in need and my kids send their cheerful gratitude!

November: It was a busy month for us both personally and ministerially. It was mainly used preparing for our departure to the US. By God’s grace, we maintained our ministry and homeschool schedule while packing and setting things in order. There was a lot of time needed to arrange for housing and a vehicle in the US as well. We had to change strategies for our door- to-door, soul-winning campaign due the government extending the quarantine into 2021. Instead, we had a month of soul winning classes for those who had not yet been trained to lead someone to Christ, as well as for those who wanted a refresher course. The resulting testimonies of those who went everywhere witnessing were a blessing. The Lord gave me an opportunity to witness to the mother of one of our members for about three hours. We have been praying for her for several years. She did not receive Christ at that time, but it is obvious that she is very close. It was also an encouragement to see that those who were saved over the past several months have been growing and attending church regularly. Our last Sunday in Ukraine was a day filled with fellowship, tears, prayers, and farewells. We are comforted by the Lord that the work is being overseen by my assistant, Aleksei Kalinin. The church also recently voted on our next deacon, Brother Andrew Bondarchuk, after our last one left to pastor another church. These men, along with Aleksei’s brother, Victor, are doing a great job leading the work.

December: The month began with the long drive to Kiev to depart the airport there instead of Odessa. We were praying and hoping that their more relaxed passport agents would not give us a hard time over my son’s expired registration. Thank you for praying. All went well. It was one of the most boring flights we’ve ever had! No threats, detainment, or searches! Blessedly boring! There were a lot less people on the plane which meant better service, shorter lines, etc…

My driver’s license had been expired since January of 2020. We spent a lot of time trying to get it renewed from Ukraine with no success because of the Covid shutdown. I immediately went to the DMV upon arrival and waited for hours only to be told that the day before was the last day that I could have renewed. I had to start all over like a teenager. I breathed a sigh of relief after passing the test for my temps, then another after taking the driving test. I wasn’t confident that the driving skills I had acquired in Ukraine would help!
We are so thankful to finally get to see family again. We had a family get-together during the holidays where I was able to preach and witness to family members who have not yet believed on Christ for salvation.

Furlough and Future: There are several reasons why we decided to take a furlough at this time. First, we have been praying specifically about this and the Lord answered our prayers. Next, it has been over six years since our last furlough and several pastors have been asking me to come and meet their congregations again because of so many new members. Another reason was because it was the best time to take a furlough before entering into the next phase of our ministry. After years of preparation and prayer we will be finally working to establish a church in the city of Odessa where we have lived and witnessed for years. We have been patiently waiting on the Lord’s timing to make this move and we are excited to begin. Once we put our hand to the plow, so to speak, we will need to work without interruption for a good long time, or until the Lord comes! Last but not least, we have children who have grown up and need some help transitioning to American life.

Prayer Requests: The tasks at hand and ahead are too much for me to figure out alone. We need God! We need prayer! Please pray for:
• The Lord’s continued blessing and protection on the work in Ukraine.
• Our family to get settled (housing, vehicles, driver’s licenses, insurance, bank accounts, telephones, etc…)
• Our children’s continued education and employment.
• God’s blessings in preparing our ministry presentation.
• God’s direction in scheduling meetings with our supporting churches to give an update on our ministry.
• God’s leading in scheduling meetings with new churches to replace support that was lost over the last six years.
• God’s timing in returning to Ukraine.

We are looking forward to seeing you all and spending some time with the saints and especially the pastors. I plan to begin scheduling meetings soon. If you would like to contact me my US phone number is 513-376-1011.

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,   September – October 2020


Bible Institute Graduation: With great gratitude I am glad to announce that we have finally graduated the students who stuck it out till the very end of Bible Institute. We started with 17 and had only five finish all the courses. Many could not finish due to the economic instability of Ukraine. These graduates received over 1,200 hours of instruction and worked very hard to receive their certificates and degrees. It was a big load and a lot of hard work. Listening to these students give their testimonies of how the Lord had changed them as a result of constant exposure to the Bible, prayer, witnessing, and fellowship made it well worth the work. I am grateful for the help of my translator, Oleg Sizganov, Case Kline who helped with the load, and another brother who also taught a couple classes. We would not have been able to finish this in a 3 ½ year period without them.


Helping People: The Bible says that our Lord Jesus “went about doing good… (Acts 10:38).” I don’t have the apostolic signs (that would be nice!) to heal the sick and do miracles, but we have a God who can! We currently live and minister about 100 kilometers north of Odessa in the interior of Ukraine. We do not have the conveniences of the city here and the people are much poorer. Thus we are surrounded by poverty and hardship. We are thankful for the generous love offerings that you give that allow us the privilege of helping people. Most of the time I do not mention these things in our prayer letters for several reasons, one being that I never want them to think that we are making merchandise of them (2nd Peter 2:3). They too have access to the internet and can read missionary prayer letters. I know of Christians nationals who left missionary’s churches because they thought the missionary was being dishonest with their supporters. Despite all this I decided that it would be a blessing and an encouragement to you to see some of the faces of the people that you have helped recently so that you can pray for them.


First, please pray for Grandma Raiya. She received Christ in our church 25 years ago. She is a huge blessing to us and doesn’t flinch to witness to others. She is both sweet and bold. She was a sniper during WWII when she was just a teenager. She developed a blood clot in her leg which led to gangrene. The doctors will not amputate because they say her heart cannot take it. Her daughter has quit working and is caring for her fulltime. She has had gangrene since August and is fighting for her life. My wife is trying to help her get her heart stronger so they can amputate while trying to keep the gangrene from spreading. Please pray.


I’ve mentioned a sister in our church name Galya in past prayer letters. One of her daughters broke her arm three years ago. The doctors didn’t use pins to put it back together. Instead, they wrapped the bone with some type of thread that doesn’t dissolve. Galya brought her to Naomi when a large hole opened up and it began oozing. We told her to immediately go see a specialist and that we would pay whatever the cost. She will be in the hospital for over a month for operations and further care. The bone had grown around the thread and they are doing what they can so that she can have normal use of her arm as she grows. The doctors have had compassion on them and are writing off almost all of the hospital and doctor’s fees. We are covering the rest of the expenses.


My assistant’s son, Vanya, had some problems during childbirth. He is not developing properly and does not speak well. We have paid for many different medicines and clinics in the past with no success. Naomi found a doctor in the USA who will take Vanya as a patient via video consultations. We can get their blood work done here and translate it for him. His first consultation is scheduled for Thursday next week and we are praying that he is able to help.


We have also been helping a national evangelist over the past four or five years. He now has six children and lives in a one room house. His chimney collapsed and destroyed their roof and interior in their home, while his wife was pregnant. Their home was uninhabitable so he sent her away while he tried to clean up the mess. We sent them help with the doctor bills and with his house so she could return. He called and thanked me for the help. He said, “Brother, out of all the other churches in Ukraine you are our biggest supporter. You give more than all others. If it weren’t for you, we would be eating out of garbage cans.” Such a statement does wonders to warm the heart and I am thankful to God for being allowed to help like this.


Miscellaneous Ministry News: The Lord blessed us with one lady receiving Christ in our church and she has been attending ever since with her little boy. Please pray for her growth.


Thankfully we successfully applied for an extension to our residency permits. The quarantine caused big delays in our paperwork. We made it by two days, but were not able to apply for Samuel’s residency permit. We are not sure what will happen at the airport when we leave. I’m sure it will not be pleasant and will result with us paying some fines. Please pray that there are no other problems.


The Lord’s people have been very generous in sacrificially giving towards the building project. We are very glad to announce that we have 50% of the funds needed for our new church building. We pray that we will begin in spring when the ground thaws. Until then we will continue to pray, work, and save. We want to thank all of you who have prayed and given towards this project which will greatly help establish this church in the area and help her reach out even farther into the area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Furlough: Since January this year we have been in prayer about the Lord’s timing in returning to the USA for furlough. Our biggest prayers were about the strength of the ministry, plane tickets, housing, and a vehicle. We are still somewhat concerned about the ministry due to a few Billy goats who keep causing problems. Other than that all is good. The Lord amazed us with the generosity of one friend of mine who paid for all of our plane fare! Praise God! Housing is also taken care of where our family of eight can stay. All that is left is the vehicle. Please pray we find the right one. Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,          July - August 2020

I hope this prayer letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His blessings.

The Quarantine: The Ukrainian government has once again put the country on lockdown, this time till October 31st. As I sit to write this letter, our family and about half of our church is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms: loss of taste and smell, fever, chills, aches, fatigue, coughing, and difficulty breathing. But that is just what has happened in the last week. We have had sickness in our home for the last two months and it has been a bit daunting. First, my two boys, Ben and Sam, contracted streptococcus at a youth outing which turned into scarlet fever. After that ran its course, mumps hit our family. My wife has been trying to nurse us all back to health and then she finally succumbed to the virus. She is now showing signs of pneumonia and asked me to ask you all to pray for her. This is a little strange for us, because the Lord has been so good giving us good health for years. We hardly ever get sick.



Graduation Service: After battling sickness for over six weeks we thought we were in the clear and decided to finally hold a special service for the graduates in our church. My son Samuel, was one of them. He has worked very hard. There were a few unsaved family members in attendance who listened closely to the preaching of the word of God. It was a big step for them to come to church. Please pray for their salvation.
Bible Institute: The Bible Institute is now finished and preparing for a graduation service, which will have to wait a while. I planned to invite a special speaker for the milestone event in our ministry, but the shutdown has changed all of that. Now that it is behind us, we are concentrating on strengthening the church and preparing to transition to national leadership.
Church Building: We are very grateful to report that we now have over 40% of the funds needed to begin the new church building. Thank you for praying and to those who have given to this need.

Prayer Requests:

• Our family’s health.
• The salvation of souls and especially of our neighbors.
• Our various literature projects.
• God’s direction for furlough.

Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10



Dear Praying Friends and Family, April – June 2020

I hope this prayer letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His salvation and service! Summer is finally here and the fruits and vegetables are beginning to come in. The black soil of the Black Sea region is truly amazing. It reminds me of the fruit tree of Psalm 1:3 that, “…bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” One of the keys to being fruitful in the ministry is to stay rooted and grounded where God put you!

The Quarantine: Due to a new spike in Covid-19 cases Ukraine has put the country back on lockdown until July 31st. We resumed holding services after seeing that there were no cases of the virus in our area, but with caution. We began with just Sunday morning services and then added the others slowly. We are currently back up to full speed with the Bible Institute and usual church services. However, we are still not sure how our summer plans are going to turn out. Please pray for wisdom about holding evangelistic services in nearby towns and our annual Children’s Bible Club.

Rue Crew Milestones and Future Challenges: My son, Christopher, became a teenager in April. Benjamin turned 19 in May. Samuel graduated High School and Miriam finished her degree. We are all ready for a break. In just a few weeks we will begin our 7th year since our last furlough. In the meantime, our eldest children are continuing their schooling so they can work online from home until we return to the US for furlough. The month of May also marked our 27th wedding anniversary. The Lord sure has been good to us.

I am asking the Lord to make His will plain to me about the timing of our return to the States for furlough. It is a huge undertaking with a family the size of ours. Miriam, Benjamin, and Samuel have some very serious decisions ahead about their future and God’s perfect will for their lives. So, in addition to getting reacquainted with our dear supporting churches we have to help our children learn what it means to be an American. Naomi and I don’t even know anymore ourselves. Please pray for our children for God to make His will clear to them. And please pray about all the logistics involved. Housing, vehicles, and airline tickets are our most pressing need. We have a furlough fund but it is far from being what it needs to be for us to return.

We are asking the Lord to allow us to finish up several projects before leaving. The most important is the transition of the church and all ministries to national leaders. Secondly, there are various projects in the literature department that need to be finished. We aim to provide, in the Russian language, all we can to root and ground Bible believing pastors and their congregations. This includes the finishing touches on the Bible Institute materials and a children’s Sunday School program. We also have all the materials in Russian for any church planter/evangelist to disciple new converts and organize a local church. There is still some work to do on the new Russian Hymnal before it is ready for printing. All that is left are translation issues. Of course, the Bible Institute graduation will be a highlight in the ministry for us all! We have also been looking forward to the summer months for village evangelism. Please pray for wisdom in the current climate that we will be able to do what we can to win the lost.

Building Project/Fund Raising: We are happy to report that we are now at 30% of our goal to begin the building project. We have prayerfully counted the cost (Lk. 14:28) and believe that doing the work ourselves will add up to a lot of savings. We have some first-class welders, plumbers, and brick masons. We were hoping to start by now to take advantage of my son’s young backs before we return to the US for furlough.

Prayer Letters, Prayer, and Spiritual Battles: The power of prayer in the ministry and spiritual warfare cannot be overemphasized, thus the importance of our prayer letters. I’ve seen the prayers of God’s people move the hand of God to lift hindrances, bring conviction of sin and salvation, stop attacks from the “powers that be”, supply needs, bring healing, comfort, reconciliation, and many other things. For this reason, I try to include both the blessings and the heartbreaks; the victories and defeats. The problems are mentioned so you will pray, the blessings are included to encourage you to rejoice and praise God; knowing that your prayers are being answered.

When writing a prayer letter and rejoicing in what God has done there is always a hesitation in the back of my mind. I’ve noticed that, when I mention someone in our prayer letters as a source of encouragement to our supporters back home, they almost always come under attack. A couple of times I actually paused to highlight a brother or sister who were doing very well in the Lord for fear of impending backlash. You may say, “That isn’t right, Brother Rue, to think that way…. You should trust God, etc…” But, you haven’t been here and seen it on the scale that I have. Sadly, I know too well what the Apostle Paul said in Phil. 3:18 and 2 Tim. 4:10. Praise God that we also know very well what he meant in 3 Jn. 1:3, 1 Thess. 2:19, etc…

In our January prayer letter we rejoiced over a man, Maxim, who had then recently been released from prison. He started attending church, received Christ, then brought a friend to church named Zhenya who also received Christ. We mentioned him in our last prayer letter. They both attended church services before the quarantine and even came to church during broadcasts. It was a great blessing to watch them grow. Then, sadly, Maxim seriously injured his eye on a job and started taking pain medication. The quarantine hit, and he was without work and almost lost his eye. Injury, pain, fear, no job, quarantine, and little fellowship led him to start drinking again. I am told that he had a seizure, during which he almost bit off his tongue and hit his head in the fall. He went to the local hospital and they told him to go to the Odessa hospital but he didn’t go. The transportation wasn’t working because of the shut-down. That night he strangled on his own swollen tongue. His friend, Zhenya, is devastated and it so shook his faith that he went back to drinking too. I had the sad task of calling his mother in Zhitomir to tell her the news. Her wails and crying were so sad. I tried to comfort her with the Scriptures giving her assurance that she would see him again. She was saved and attends a Baptist church there in Zhitomir, but his death was unexpected. She had hoped that he was finally getting his life back together again after getting saved and going to church. Please pray for these families.

On the other hand, our church is thriving, witnessing, meeting together in spite of rumors and threats for disobeying the quarantine, and there is still a shout in the camp during worship services! We are very glad to see the continued growth of the new converts and their children!

I had the added blessing to take part in the ordination service in Limonski where Brother Maher has labored for years. He left the church in the hands of several men, and it took a number of years before one of them stepped up to the plate to take the pastorate. We laid hands on Slavic and Brother Kolya Veselkov who have faithfully served in planting a church in a small town about two hours away. I had the privilege of teaching these men in our combined Bible Institute 17 years ago. There was a lot of prayer, time and money invested in these men; and it is a blessing to see that it was not in vain (Gal. 4:11; Phil. 2:16; 1 Thess. 2:1).

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest prayer letter. We pray for you all, especially you pastors. We want to thank you for all that you do for the Lord, giving us the privilege to serve Him in Ukraine. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                  December 2019 – January 2020

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service! It is going on six years since our last furlough and we find ourselves missing home and longing to see our family and friends in the churches. The first week of January is always spent preparing for taxes, which affords me the opportunity to relive what the Lord has done and take a look at the sacrifices of God’s people so that we can be here. I am humbled and thankful for all of you who give so that the people of Ukraine can know our Savior Jesus Christ. Please know that we pray for you often that Jesus Christ would be real to you and that He would answer your prayers in such a way to bring Him glory and strengthen your faith.

Holiday Season: If it feels a little late in the year to be talking about last Christmas I’d like to let you know that we still receive Christmas cards in March and April! We wish to send our thanks to those who sent special gifts for our family and ministry for Christmas. We felt very spoiled this year! Our church and family were thrilled to take up a special love offering for our missionaries who are engaged in winning souls and planting churches.

The children in our Sunday School presented a play depicting the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, reciting Scripture from memory and singing the classic hymns. We had a great New Year’s celebration with preaching, singing, testimonies, prayer, and….fireworks! It is not illegal in Ukraine to shoot fireworks so every house and business puts on their own display at the same time. There is literally a fireworks display in any direction you look for about 20 minutes after midnight. I still have a bit of boyish pyromania in me, so I think this is very cool!

Building Project/Fund Raising: We are thrilled to report that we have 20% of the necessary funds to begin our building project. The Lord sure has been good to us and encouraging us in this project. The weather has been unusually warm this year which means that we can start as soon as we are ready. We are still working on trying to get the three phase electricity hooked up. The electric company is currently working on the paperwork which we hope will be completed soon.

Ministry in a Nutshell: We continue to rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for His goodness to our church in the area of soul winning. Six people have received Christ over the past several weeks as a result of our people doing personal work. It was especially good to hear of one lady, Oksana, who has prayed for the Lord to allow her the privilege of leading someone to Christ for two years now! Sister Sveta, who recently received Christ herself, gave a great testimony of how she led one of her friends to the Lord. We are preparing for a baptismal service in the near future.

We are also encouraged by three new men who have begun faithfully attending services. One came after being released from prison. It has been hard for him but he is really trying to do right. Another man came back after being in the world for about seventeen years. He struggles with drug addiction and now has AIDS, which is a first for us as a church to deal with. If any of you pastors have had to deal with this I sure would like some advice. I have a US number: (513) 376-1011. Or, write me at  We want to minister to this man but want to protect the congregation as well.

The Bible Institute is continuing well and keeps me very busy. We are all looking forward to graduation and having more time for evangelism and catching up on various projects. Please pray that we finish well.

Family Update: We are very excited that our daughter, Miriam, is back home with us for a while till she finishes her degree. It is a good thing that she returned home when she did. We suspected that something was not quite right with her health and ran some tests. The blood tests revealed that she is anemic and that she has the same condition that Naomi has been fighting. It is a condition where they cannot absorb iron, even though iron may be present in the blood in sufficient quantities. Naomi has been working with a functional doctor in the USA to help her with her various health problems. Things are improving but we still need a lot of prayer. My cancer-marker blood tests came back the same as before, which is a big relief. The rest of the family is in good health, thank God! Please pray for my oldest son, Joshua, who has been in the States for the last seven years that he would get close to the Lord.

New Converts Growing in the Lord: The Lord did something for the young lady I mentioned in our last prayer letter that I thought would be a blessing to you. She attended our church for around six months before making the decision to receive Christ. Since the day she got saved she is growing and is overcoming a lot of things the world has been throwing at her. We always pray for our converts that the Lord would answer their prayers in such a way that they would know beyond any doubt that the Lord did it for His glory. The Lord answered our prayers in a great way. We received a special love offering to give to her personally. I let her know during prayer meeting and she gave a testimony of how the day before she was asking God to somehow help her. She needed to feed her little boy, pay her rent and utilities which were already due. She came to church with her last 20 Hryvna (about 80 cents) and left with $200! She was overjoyed with tears. She began to realize how the Lord already knew her need weeks before she prayed and put it on the heart of a saint of God to help her. She continues to witness everywhere she goes.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,    October – November 2019

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service! Writing a prayer letter is a great way to take a break from routine and reflect on what the Lord has done over the past few weeks. It also warms my soul to remember our family and friends back home. Thank you for all you do for the Lord allowing us the privilege to serve in the mission field of Ukraine. We pray for you all collectively and individually as the Lord puts you on our hearts and minds. We pray the Lord keep you all strong in His word and grace while the fiery darts fly (Eph. 6:16).

Thanksgiving/Harvest: Our annual Harvest service was a blessing this year. We all came to church dressed in our Ukrainian “Vyshyvanka”. It gave us the opportunity to thank the Lord for His goodness by inviting one of our local missionaries to preach and update us on his work in a town about three hours away, called “October.” We prepared an offering ahead of time to provide him enough firewood to heat his home for the winter. We also had a Thanksgiving get-together with other missionaries in Ukraine. It is always a highlight of the year to sing hymns, enjoy fellowship, and pray together in ENGLISH(!) with others who miss their families, friends, and churches back in the States.

Soul Winning and Fruit: Over the past few months it has done my heart good to hear many testimonies from our members who are bearing fruit as active soul winners. One of our young ladies, who recently graduated high school, has entered the work force and is witnessing as she goes. She rejoiced to tell how she led two people to Christ at work. We’ve had several others tell of neighbors and relatives who have received the Lord Jesus over the past few weeks. We are also seeing fruit in our ministry here that can only be observed by watching God build the believers up by His word over many years. It takes several generations to get to the level of many churches in America. It has become evident to us that training leadership for the pastorate is going to be possible by second generation Christians, those who grew up in Christian homes. The exceptions are few. Our members are truly bearing their crosses for Jesus’ sake by making decisions that are very unusual for this culture and it costs them something to be in God’s will. May the Lord give us more like these!

Building Project/Fund Raising: It is encouraging to see the Lord’s blessings on our building project.
Already a couple churches and individuals have contributed giving us about 12% of what we need to begin. We believe it would be prudent to first raise enough to do everything needed to finish the outside before breaking ground. This would include: the foundation, purchase and set the containers, roof, insulation, windows, doors, and finishing the outside walls.

We have been proceeding over the past year or so with baby steps, doing all the less expensive projects that have to be done in preparation for the real building project itself. So far we have:
• Fence. We put up a fence and gates around the parameter of our property. Local law dictates that a security fence must be around the property before building can begin.
• Gas lines. We also had to reroute gas lines to the fence line…at our own expense. The gas lines here are above ground on poles that are about ten to twelve feet in the air. These pipes were running right down the middle of our property. The gas company said we had to do all the work ourselves including pay for the materials and then when all was ready they came and did the hook up.
• Septic Tanks. We also managed to put in new septic tanks in an area that would be easily accessible for maintenance.
• Kitchen/shower. We converted our outside building containing a small summer kitchen and a utility shed into a larger kitchen with room for cabinets, stove, and fridge. We will need access to a kitchen for the building project to feed the workers. We also installed a summer shower.
There is one more baby step we need to take and that is to get a three phase electric line run to the church for the welding work. The electric company said that it will cost $2,000, but they do not have anyone employed at the moment to do it. Our present meeting hall is 15x28 feet and we are maxed out with a pulpit, piano, baptistery and 60-70 people. We look forward to have room to grow…and breathe!

Youth Meetings: Our church hosted a one day youth meeting with the Limonski church which was run by our students in the Bible Institute. It was a good time, with good fellowship, and good preaching about our great Savior.

Answers to Prayer: On the week before Thanksgiving we breathed a big sigh of relief as we finished the final step in our registration process and we are good for another year! We thank the Lord for the opportunity and for your prayers for us to get this done without too much time wasted. Now we need to exit the country with my son Sam to get him a visa in the coming weeks and would appreciate your prayers for him to not run into any problems.
The Lord answered your prayers for Galya and Sveta who recently received Christ. Sveta is really getting “plugged in” as they say. The Lord Jesus is very real to her and it is obvious that He is answering her prayers. They were able to finally find a house before the cold weather hit and could afford it with the love offering that was provided by the Ukrainian immigrants in the US. I was happy to see that their new home is not far from the church. The children are able to come to church clean and with clean clothes due to having running hot water inside their house. The Lord is good!
We are thankful to finally have my car fixed but only after another engine overhaul. It turns out that the engine block was cracked all along. After four major expensive engine overhauls it is now fixed and running well. Thank you for praying and please continue to pray for the salvation of man who was able to finally figure out the problem and fix it for us.

As the holiday season approaches we miss you all more than ever. Thank you for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,             August – September 2019


I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service!


Ordination Service: Over the years the Lord has allowed me the honor of laying hands on six men in Ukraine. All but one still serve in full-time ministry today. We held an ordination service at our church in August ordaining Brother Sasha Taraniuk and sending him to Kiev where he is now the pastor of Bible Believers Baptist Church. He began using the Sunday School lessons I wrote for church planters on soul winning. He told me that their members have already led four people to Christ!




Church Building Update: A friend suggested using old shipping containers for building our church building. I scoffed. However, after researching the technique and checking with local authorities, I have concluded that this is the answer to the three main problems we had to solve before breaking ground. The first problem involved the foundation; the second, the roof; and the third, cost. This approach solves them all. We need six containers all total for the new building project (see the drawing). Instead of pouring a very expensive foundation and risk collapsing our current building we will put this building on concrete reinforced pilings, thus saving a lot on the foundation. We are still working on calculating the final cost but so far we have calculated that each container will cost $4,000 each to purchase, transport, and set in place. We still have to calculate the costs for the roof, insulation, finishing the outside, drywall, wiring, and plumbing. That said, our first stage is $24,000 for six used containers set in place which would give us the shell. The men in our church will do most of the work themselves.


Our current building is just a renovated house. Our meeting hall can seat 70 people uncomfortably. We’ve handled up to 85, but it is not safe. This church needs a bigger facility to serve, not only the town, but the region. In the near future we are going to put together a video so that people will be able to see the need. Please pray for the Lord to provide the wisdom, funds, and strength to see this work to completion.


Baptismal Service: Missionary Chuck Leonard contacted me about a year ago about a woman who recently received Jesus Christ and moved to our area. Her name is Lena and she is doing really well attending our services and growing in the Lord. We decided to hold a baptismal service and Brother Leonard came with some of his men. It was a great day! Sveta got saved; Sasha was ordained; Lena was baptized; and we had dinner on the grounds! We were speaking in tongues, but not like you may think! These were understandable languages! We had Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Moldovan, and (glory to God!) English!


New Names in Glory: In our last letter we mentioned Galya who recently received Christ and asked prayer for her daughter Sveta. We are very glad to write that Sveta finally received Christ after attending church for around four months! They are very poor and have to start life over after leaving a horrible situation with an abusive alcoholic. They were practically homeless and currently live in a mud-brick house that has only three small rooms, no inside running water, and an outside toilet. It is sad to see those five little girls living in such conditions and we are concerned about the coming winter. Our church has rallied and has provided clothing, food, and work for them. One lady in the church put out an APB to Ukrainian friends who immigrated to the USA. Their network, along with one local church, has begun raising funds towards the purchase of some sort of housing for their family. It is a blessing to watch the Lord answer their prayers and strengthen their faith.


Funerals: Our ministry had a trying week with two funerals. We were in the middle of the preaching service when one woman began having heart attack-like symptoms after she found out that her estranged alcoholic husband had died. He received Christ years ago and had victory over alcohol for over ten years then he relapsed. Ever since, he has left a wake of destruction in his family. He racked up debt causing both his wife and daughter to seek work as migrants in Poland to keep from losing their home. I preached at his funeral where there were about 40-50 people present and preached hard against sin, alcohol, and told them of the only way to Heaven – Jesus Christ. People were visibly shocked at plain preaching. They are used to the local priest droning on in an unknown tongue; they are not accustomed to a Baptist preacher not pulling any punches. We’ve heard reports that people are talking about what they heard that day. Please pray for an awakening here in this town!


The other funeral was of an elderly man, the father of one of my converts. I’ve spent many hours reasoning with him and his wife from the Scriptures of their need of salvation. Several months ago we rejoiced to hear that his son led him to Christ. The word of God, especially I Thessalonians chapter four, was a great comfort to us all that day. Several members of the family stood and listened carefully, who were before very antagonistic to me when I arrived with a Bible and hymnals. We pray the Lord deals with them about their need of Jesus Christ.


Bible Institute: We began our Bible Institute classes again and have just one semester to go till we have our graduation service. The courses we will be studying are: Matthew; the Pastoral Epistles; Advanced Theology; and Church Planting. In addition our guys are going on visitation and doing personal work. There is a lot of work to be done with the writing, translating, and printing of materials and we ask for prayer for strength and wisdom as we go forward.


We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10 Email: 




Dear Praying Friends and Family, June - July 2019

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service! The list of items jotted down to include in this letter is long and leaves me somewhat apprehensive about what to cut and what to include. I know that people are busy with little time for wordy prayer letters. However, I’ve always strived to not make the ministry about stats and bullet points alone. I pray you get a blessing from this letter even if it is a little long.

New Names in Glory: A sister from our church has been ministering to a neighbor family, hoping for their salvation. Galya lives in a two room house with her five children and one grandchild. Her husband is a convict, and when he was released from jail she was forced to flee because he began beating them. Galya, after attending church for weeks, responded to the invitation and received Christ as her Savior. Her oldest daughter is coming to church but has still not responded to the invitations. She is under conviction, please pray for her salvation.

My assistant, Alexei, and his wife, Victoria, have been praying for her mother for years to be saved. She was a very mean woman, and a drunk, living a life of degradation for years. Her liver is shutting down do to all the drinking. The doctors also discovered that she has tuberculosis in her bones and AIDS! Her liver cannot handle the drugs needed for treatment and there is no way knowing how much longer she has to live. I visited her in a special hospital in Odessa and was very to the point about her soon-to-be eternity if she did not get saved. After about an hour of explaining the Gospel to her she bowed her head and prayed to receive Christ. Victoria said she has already noticed a difference in her – she no longer cusses up a storm!

Graduation Service: The public school system in our town celebrates graduation much like the United States, but the celebrations and parties are notorious for all kinds of wickedness. Instead our church puts on our own celebration for our young people and we try to do it up. It is a great testimony to the unsaved that we do things first class and can have a good time without lewd dancing and alcohol! We had people come and hear the Gospel who would never have come otherwise! We even had a Christian family cross the border from Moldova to offer their daughter an alternative to their local school’s party.


Children’s Bible Club: This year’s Children’s Bible Club was one of the biggest yet with a high day of 98 kids present! The Lord blessed the week with 17, mostly older kids, receiving Christ after being dealt with individually by our church workers. We have decided to add more such Bible Clubs during the school year when the local schools are out for their various breaks.

Visitors and Offerings: Over the years we have strived to be examples of giving to the Lord’s work and stressed that our people should do the same. In May, we witnessed something akin to the sacrificial giving mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8 when we took up three offerings for three different men and their ministries. Two of them were missionaries and the other was for Brother Sasha who has agreed to take over the work that missionary Ed Keough had started in Kiev. Our people do not have much money and do not have much economic hope for the future, yet, they gave sacrificially for the Lord’s men and His work. I was amazed and am truly thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of it all.

Exodus and Migrant Workers: Our church seems to be in the middle of an exodus at the moment. This is nothing new. No need to panic. We’ve been through this before. In fact, after looking over the past, I’ve pastored four different churches with the exception of a few core members. I’m glad to say that there are many who left who are still serving the Lord in their new locations. There is one difference this time - many are leaving in search of work in different countries like Poland, Germany, Israel, and the USA. A few spend long hours on public transportation back and forth to work in Odessa, but it leaves very little time for life. The economic situation here is getting worse and our present town offers little hope of bettering one’s station in life or even the ability to make ends meet. More and more people are left with no choice but to move. It is a blessing to know that some will be returning after their work visas expire but others have left for good. Please pray for the economic situation here.

Rue Crew Review: We were very blessed to be able to have our entire family home under our roof for a couple weeks. Both Joshua and Miriam were able to visit and it was so nice to all be together again.
I somewhat prematurely mentioned that Ben’s document issues were over. They weren’t. We had to spend a few more full days completing the process. Now all is done and he possesses a temporary living permit for one year. Now we get to begin the whole process for Sam, who turned 16. Hallelujah!

Mailing List Mix-ups and Prayer Letter Delays: After spending many hours going over our mailing list, all we can figure is that at some point within the last year an older list was mistaken for our newest one resulting in many of our supporters not receiving our letters. We apologize for the mix-up. The disconnect with many of you was felt both financially and in the area of prayer support. We have had many attacks from the enemy in many ways over the past several months. In addition we had a noticeable decrease in support for the month of June, the lowest month in years. We are still working on updating our mailing list and we plan to begin including pictures in future letters. We have also decided to use Mail Chimp to send our letters to those who prefer them digitally. Thanks again for your patience and desire to help us in the Lord’s vineyard of Ukraine

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10



Dear Praying Friends and Family, April – May 2019

First Things First: We are thankful to report that a man by the name of Bogdan received Christ as His Savior! He was in the middle of a separation from his wife and moved back to his old home in Yakovlevka. He visited Sasha with a fishing pole in his hand, who replied to the invitation with, “It’s Sunday! Let’s go to church instead!” He came and got saved! It was a blessing to see him faithfully attend services and grow in the Lord. He was reconciled to his wife, which is good news, but they live in another town and cannot attend services anymore. We gave him literature and hope he will continue to grow in the Lord. I also wanted to report that Nina Sergeovna, of whom I wrote in our last letter, went home to be with her new-found Savior.

Bible Institute: Twenty-plus years ago I asked the Lord to allow me to train men for the ministry. It has been my privilege to have taken part in the training of dozens of men, several of which are in full-time ministry today. We are close to graduating our third batch of Bible Institute students from our fullest curriculum yet. They have been taught every verse of Genesis, Daniel, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians through Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, James, and Revelation. I expounded the books paying attention to doctrine and practical application. In addition, when occasion required, we dealt with textual criticism and showed them what the Authorized King James Bible says and compared it with the Russian Synodal and a few other versions with corrupt readings. Other subjects that we taught were: Soul Winning and Visitation, Evangelistic Song Leading, The History of the New Testament Church, Old and New Testament Survey, Manuscript Evidence, Baptist Missions, Missions Methods, Theology I, Advanced Theology, Preparation and Delivery of Sermons 1 and 2, The Preacher and His Problems, The Local Church, and the Life of Christ.

The curriculum requires three years to complete but due to a few setbacks we will have to finish the last semester in the fall of this year when we will finish up four or more subjects. These have not been just a few condensed short courses. Each subject required an average of 36 class hours to teach. The preparation and translation of the material demanded more. I am thankful for the help of Casey Kline who taught some of the courses along with another brother who also helped lighten the load.

I wrote the lesson plans and syllabus’ myself for many of the classes and had them translated into Russian. My translator was kept busy full-time translating the textbooks by Dr. Ruckman for Church History 1 & 2, Advanced Theology, and Manuscript Evidence. We also translated “World’s Bible Handbook”, for O.T and N.T. Survey and “The Preacher and His Preaching” by Gibbs, for Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. Time and space will not allow me to list all the other handouts, charts, booklets, and materials that we have translated to equip these men for the ministry. Our prayer is to prepare them as best we can for them to not only start New Testament Baptist Churches from scratch by personal work and evangelism, but to also give them the materials needed to root and ground them in the truth, deal with problems common to the church life, and counsel the saints.

The students have worked hard and we are excited to see what the Lord will do with them in the future. I am asking the Lord to let me move the Bible Institute to Odessa where we are planning to start another church. It should be much easier now that the materials are written and translated into Russian.

Ministry Changes: There have been some recent changes that will affect our ministry in the future. Brother Sasha Taraniuk, of whom I have mentioned several times in past letters, was offered the pastorate in another church. He prayed about it and agreed to the arrangement. It is not yet set in stone but we will know for sure in a couple months. The reason this is going to have such an effect on our ministry is because I’ve worked with him for over fifteen years and we were planning to create a local church-planting mission board to reach the unreached regions for Jesus Christ. He was probably the only man qualified for such a work and without him I do not think that such a ministry will be possible for now. This new arrangement may move the date for us to begin the work in Odessa even sooner. Please pray for us during this time of change, which took us all by surprise. The workload that Sasha had carried is now placed on the shoulders of others, who already have a lot to carry. We are adjusting and praying about what the Lord would have us to do in the upcoming summer months.

Rue Crew Review: That last two months have had quite a few family events. Christopher turned 12 in April, and Benjamin turned 18 in May. Naomi and I celebrated our 26th(!) wedding anniversary. There is a lot of business in Benjamin’s life as he graduates high school. We traveled to Kiev for a few days in April for him to take the ACT test. I left the country with him before his eighteenth birthday so that he could re-enter Ukraine with a tourist visa. We then submitted the necessary paperwork and waited for his letter of invitation from the Department of Religious Affairs. After we had that letter in hand he then left the country again to go to Moldova and applied for his religious visa. There was the standard drama at the border because they do not know what to do with children of missionaries. We thank the Lord that we were able to take care of the problem over the course of a few days and now Benjamin has his religious visa and is legal. Thank you for praying!
Our homeschool was wrapped up for the year and we are thankful to have a looser schedule just in time for harvesting our trees and canning food for the coming winter!

Prayer Letter Delays: We want to apologize for our last letter not going out on time. There was a miscommunication with our board and it did not go out as intended. I’ve also had several churches say that they have not received a letter from us in months! I average sending out bi-monthly letters, totaling six a year. Now that our Bible Institute is on break we are going to go over our mailing list with a fine tooth comb and see what’s going on. Thank you for your patience.

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,                     February – March 2019

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His blessings, fellowship, and service.

Yakovlevka is the name of a town about a half an hour’s drive away where my deacon lives with several other members of our church. We’ve held evangelic meetings there in the past and even had the nucleus of a church started. However, the town’s mayor blocked us from renting any of the local facilities for holding services. On one occasion the mayor stirred up a riot against me while I was preaching at a funeral. Instead of holding services there, Sasha brings as many people as he can to church in his station wagon.

Brother Sasha’s wife, Oksana, is a teacher in the local elementary school in Yakovlevka and takes a lot of liberty to tell her students about the Bible. She has been trained in our Sunday School with the curriculum I wrote several years ago and she practically knows the material by heart. With great joy she told us of a small revival that took place right in the public school classroom. She said that the kids had a lot of questions about the Bible which led to her explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ. She actually gave an invitation in the classroom where over ten of them received Christ. Try that in America, the land of the free…! Sasha and Oksana asked for prayer and help to get at least one of the rooms in an old house they inherited from his father ready. The men in our church helped them make the necessary repairs and now she has several children coming to the house for Bible studies!

Brother Sasha’s sister, Marina, asked if I would come and visit her ex-mother-in-law who is in bad health. Her son, sadly, is a drunk and will not take care of her. Pretty amazing to see God’s grace work in Marina’s heart to the point where she rearranged her home, life, finances, and schedule to care for her ex’s mother! She did so in order to witness to her before it was too late.

I spent four hours on a Saturday dealing with her about her soul. Her name is Nina Sergeiovna and she was a typical self-righteous sinner. She tried everything to impress me with how good she was, going down the list of how she prays the “Our Father” and other good deeds she’s done. I dealt with her using Acts 10 and the story of Cornelius. She was such a contradiction and yet so typical. My usual American approach to soul-winning only works about half of the time here. My favorite icebreaker question, “If you were to die today do you know for sure where you’d go?” is often met with. ”Wherever God decides. That’s His business!” Fatalism is alive and well here! My next attempt, “If you were to die and appear before God, and He were to ask you why He should let you into Heaven, what would you answer?” Same answer, “I’ll go where He decides.” I say, “The Bible says you will go to one of two places: heaven or hell. Do you want to go to hell?” They answer, “No!” I usually reply, “Well, then what would you say if your eternal soul was resting on your answer?” They will repeat again, “It’s up to God.” This is a typical conversation. I asked her, “Are you a sinner?” She gave the typical Ukrainian, ”WE (collective) are all sinners.” Later in the conversation after I explained the Gospel to her and told her what it meant to “call upon the name of the Lord,” I mentioned that she should confess that she was a sinner. She replied, “What sins?!” I said, “You just told me you were a sinner. You need to admit the fact that you are a sinner and that you’ve been neglecting what Jesus Christ did for your salvation all your life!” She replied, “I can’t think of any sins!” After four hours of that I left her lost and bed ridden, with a pile of drugs at her side.

Marina asked the church to pray for her salvation because her health is failing and she can only get up to use a bucket in the corner of the room as her bathroom. She dealt with her all week and warned her over and over of hell. The next Saturday I went back again…..for another four hours! This time she was completely different. She opened up and out came all the bad stuff. She was actually the daughter of a prostitute who’d been moved around from city to city during the Soviet regime because they were trying to stop her from conducting business. She started to confess all sorts of things. She eventually called on the Lord Jesus Christ and asked Him to save her soul! The Holy Spirit’s presence was felt! I asked her why she did not admit that she was a sinner during my last visit. Her reply was very insightful to the inner condition of the unregenerate here. She was hoping that I could pray for her to be physically healed and thought that I wouldn’t pray for her healing if I did not deem her worthy! This is nothing more that the rotten fruit of priestcraft. The local Russian Orthodox priests have led people into all kinds of superstition. Praise the Lord she was saved! Please pray for her health and for the Lord to use us to make her comfortable and comfort her and edify her with what little time we all have left.

We have a very important request that needs prayer right now. My son Benjamin turns eighteen on May 7th. This means that he is going to have to leave the country and re-enter on his own religious visa. This requires an application for a letter of invitation from our church to the local religious affairs office. It takes a few weeks to receive this letter and they refuse to be pro-active by giving us a post-dated letter before his birthday. It forces us to break the law and pay a fine in addition to the risk to even more penalties - like Ben being forbidden re-entry. Another option is that he will have to leave Ukraine before his birthday and we have no way of knowing how long it will take to get the letter of invitation, which means an expensive open ended ticket and living expenses for an undetermined period of time. Going to the USA means expensive tickets but cheap living expenses because we can stay with family, or Europe which means a cheaper ticket but living expenses are high. We've talked to a couple border agents and they said just break the law and pay the fine. So, I am planning to take Ben out of the country after his eighteenth birthday with the letter in hand. My ministry and Bible Institute will have to be put on hold but we believe this will be the quickest and cheapest way. Please pray for us that Ben will get his own religious visa with no problems from the powers that be.

Our building project was been put on hold due to some needed changes to the architectural drawings. We discovered some mistakes and oversights in the plans and had to pay for a revision. There are some technical challenges ahead that deal with some potential complications from building so close to an already existing building. There are also some other decisions that need to be made because we are going to have to mix and pour our own foundation by hand. There are no cement trucks nearby, nor are there any businesses that mix large amounts of concrete at a one time. The task is beginning to look daunting! Please pray for strength and for God’s provision for this project.

The other aspects of the ministry are going well. Our services are full; the saints are witnessing to the lost; the Bible Institute is going well; and the men in the church are making good progress on the new hymnal for use in churches here. After a few other minor repairs we are very thankful that our vehicle is working again. Gena, the mechanic whose brother is an SDA (Seventh Day Adventist), has been a big help and is opening up more. Please pray for his salvation.

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him!  Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10 Email:



Dear Praying Friends and Family,          December 2018 – January 2019


I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His fellowship and service. We would like to first thank you all for your continued prayer and support for us and this work, with a special word of appreciation to all of you who sent extra gifts for the kids and the Christmas cards. Our kids were really spoiled by the special gifts from several of our supporters and their grandparents! The biggest highlight of the season was seeing our daughter, Miriam, who was able to visit us for two weeks.


The church kept busy during the holiday season with various ministries and special services. Our people continually witness and pray for the salvation of their loved ones, co-workers, and neighbors. Our “preacher boys” preached during our watchnight service. Our youth group visited the orphanage giving special gifts and spending time talking to the children there about the Lord. We had lessons for new converts wanting to follow the Lord in baptism and we baptized two young ladies in January: Nastia, my assistant’s “firstfruits” (see Rom. 16:5) unto the Lord, and Diana, of whom I mentioned in our last letter. They both gave a good testimony of their salvation before taking the plunge! Brother Oleg, of whom I mentioned in our previous letter, is faithfully coming to services but is still not ready for baptism. We decided to vet our candidates after ministering here over the years. There are A LOT (!) of weird ideas about water baptism here and it is necessary for conscience’s sake. The full-time Bible Institute takes the lion’s share of our time and energy and we look forward to graduating our next batch this spring. The guys in the Institute, along with Casey Kline, are working on a long needed hymnal to be used in our churches with all the good ol’ hymns we love to sing. A national pastor, Dema Pischanetski, attended a Blowout several years back and was inspired by the song service to translate some of the hymns that are not available in Russian. I was elated when he finished “Arise My Soul” by Charles Wesley and our church has fallen in love with it! We look forward to some future youth meetings and a Sweetheart banquet in the future to encourage our married couples. We are looking forward to continuing our church building project when the weather warms up.


The past two months have kept us very busy in the ministry and our personal lives. Raising seven children on the mission field certainly has its blessings and challenges. With the new-year came the need to renew the passports of my three youngest children Christopher, Michael, and Joseph. It required of us a trip to Kiev in winter. I was a bit trepidatious about the trip first because of the weather conditions and secondly, we just got our car back from the shop and it was still unproven. True to form it broke down again on the highway at least twenty miles from the nearest town. The temperatures were freezing and a snow embankment hindered me from getting off the highway causing a very potentially dangerous situation. Semi-trucks were passing at high speeds just a few feet away helping us fulfill the “fervent” part of James 5:16. The battery kept the emergency lights on but night was coming soon and there was no way were could get out and walk. Naomi used her phone to get people praying and we thankfully found a tow truck and taxi to get us home many hours later.


Speaking of our vehicle situation… Back in November we were elated to receive a generous love offering from Treasure Valley Baptist Church towards the purchase of a newer vehicle, which was contingent on selling our present vehicle. By the time we received the funds the engine broke down again and it took six weeks to fix. We were so thankful that it was working in time to pick Miriam up from the airport. I decided to put it up for sale after the business of the holiday season was over. As described above, the engine totally gave up and it needed a total engine overhaul. The mechanics who fixed it the first few times did not change out the gaskets but used the old along with a large amount of sealant which ended up clogging up the oil pump. The engine burned up so bad that one of the pistons melted! So, we were stuck again with no vehicle and not enough funds to buy one and the one we had was in no shape to be sold! After talking with a local repairman who has done odd jobs around our house I found that he is and engineer and can overhaul engines! He is not saved and we are slowly working on him. He is former navy master diver and he is beginning to open up about his present condition. He is a little put off by religious folks since his brother is an SDA. It took him a month to put it back together and we are very thankful to again have transportation. Please pray that we can sell this vehicle for a decent price and buy a new, more reliable one for our family and ministry.


We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10 -


Dear Praying Friends and Family, August – September 2018  (Click here for a printable version)

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His fellowship, service, and blessings. We are thankful to be back in Ukraine after two very busy months in the USA. The short break was a blessing and did us all good. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to see at least some of our family and friends, along with a few churches. The Lord blessed several of our meetings with one man responding to the invitation for salvation, others rededicating their lives to Christ, and another who is interested in missionary service.

The main objective for returning to the homeland was to help my daughter transition from life as a missionary in a foreign field to life as a child of God in America. We are thankful that the Lord was with us and helped every step of the way. First, Miriam had to get her driver’s license. With only one week to prepare she passed both tests. The Lord sent several good brothers in the Lord who helped us find a dependable car and insurance. The next big step was driving to Pensacola where we got her set up with an apartment and suitable furnishings to get her started. There were utilities to be turned on, bank accounts to be set up, used appliances to be found and delivered, etc. The Lord blessed Miriam with some wonderful roommates who are all attending PBI together as first year students. We are thankful to have had Miriam for the extra years. We miss her but rejoice that she is doing well and is in God’s will.

The time away was not only good for us but for the men in the church as well. They kept the ministry going and, as a result, grew in the Lord and His work. In addition to the usual pulpit ministry of teaching and preaching, they made visits, counseled, and ministered to the saints during the week. There was even a new visitor who has been attending faithfully since we returned. We are praying for his salvation. They also put in the main part of the sewage system for the new church building along with replacing the old entry stairway to the current building. In short, I was very thankful to see the Lord working in their hearts and blessing their desire to see God’s work advance in Ukraine.

As soon as we returned to Ukraine I had more blood work done to see if the cancer markers were all still good. A whole year has passed since receiving the first results of my blood work when there were three cancer markers that were just high enough to be flagged. Two months later they were elevated to stage two. At that point we rolled up our sleeves and decided to fight it. For the following eight months we threw everything we could at it. I lost about 25 lbs. but gained it all back after reintroducing things back into my diet. The trip to the U.S. had me concerned what the blood work would say after eating out so much while on the road. Praise the Lord the numbers all look good with only one being close to getting a red flag.

I figured a few words about our return trip may provide some comic relief. Our trip began with the typical Ukrainian bang! Our tickets required us to be at the Odessa airport by 3:00 a.m. for registration, which meant that we had to leave our house before 2:00 a.m. Our vehicle has turned out to be a great blessing and a tremendous trial all rolled in one. It decided to break down on our way to the airport. The Lord had everything in control when I ordered an extra van to carry our luggage. It actually was large enough for us all to squeeze into and get to the airport on time.

The typical problems awaited us at the Odessa airport. Everyone, from the check-in desk clerk to the shuttle bus driver, was grumpy and seemed to resent us for needing to fly out at such an awful hour. My two sons, Benjamin and Samuel, packed their U.S. military knives, which they received as gifts, in their check-through luggage. They met the local criteria of a legal “cold weapon” that does not require registration. (Yes, certain knives have to be registered here just like guns.) The security workers have been well trained to handle potential threats to national security, like us, and sprung into action. They took me and my two sons into a side room for questioning. Benjamin also packed an airsoft pistol which really escalated the situation. Two of the security officials were women who had quite an emotional disposition compared to the men in uniform with real automatic weapons. One of them was convinced that Ben’s airsoft pistol was a real gun. Ben offered to shoot himself with it to prove that it wasn’t. There was no sense of humor about this offer. Only an over emotional “NO!” The other cut herself while taking the knife out of its sheath. That didn’t help matters. First they called the chief of security, then the police, then the militia who all required photographs. Things here are a little tense because of the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk. They kept asking if Benjamin was military. It must have been the combat boots and camouflage he insists on wearing that tipped them off. Thankfully, they allowed us to go after signing some paperwork. I was comforted knowing that we still had time to get through passport control to our gate. Passport control, again, raised an issue about Benjamin being seventeen and in the country without visa or residency status. They detained him and would not let him leave the country. I argued that I had already inquired about this earlier with the authorities who said that underage children do not need a visa. They were going to write up a “protocol” on him and assign him a court case to pay a fine. In the end, they let him go with a warning and we made it to our gate in time. In hind sight this situation had the potential to turn bad but “the peace that passes all understanding” kept our hearts knowing that He was in control. Thank you Lord!

We are glad to be back in Ukraine and are trying to get settled into our homeschool routine along with getting things ready for winter. Please pray about our vehicle situation. It was taken to the shop after our departure to the U.S. and was fixed in time for our return flight. However, it broke down again on the way to the airport to pick us up. We’ve been sitting here without a vehicle for weeks now. This time the turbine broke and needs replaced which is not cheap. At this point I don’t trust it anymore and will try to sell it after getting it fixed. Please pray we can find a more dependable one. Please further pray for the Bible Institute classes to resume along with our paperwork for renewing our residency status, especially Benjamin’s!

We want to thank all who helped us out along the way and wish we could have had more time to make visits and see all of our family and friends. Lord willing, we plan to return to the U.S. for a furlough sometime in the not-too-distant future, when we will have more time spend with everyone.

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                   May – July 2018

Apologies: First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you who support and pray for our ministry in Ukraine. Our prayer letters are our lifeline to you back home who are “holding the ropes.” Many of you did not receive our last prayer letter until it was about six weeks overdue. The fault was mine. I wrote it in a timely manner and sent it to everyone on our e-mail mailing list and forgot to send it to our mission board. The oversight was called to my attention when a church contacted me to let me know that they had not heard from us in a while. Thank you for your patience and I’ll try to not be so scatterbrained in the future.

Upcoming short trip to the US: After much prayer it is clear to us that this is the right time to take Miriam back to the US. She will be attending PBI and working towards her bachelors of business administration (BBA) with the University of Northern Ohio, the latter of which she has been taking online classes for the last year. She has been such a blessing and help to us in our ministry here. It is very difficult to let her go. She loves God and has put His will first, waiting patiently for His guidance in this chapter of our family and ministry lives. Please pray for her as we take this journey together to get her settled in. We will be in the US for all of August and September. I would love to stay busy preaching and try to be a blessing while in the US. If anyone is interested in scheduling a meeting please contact me by e-mail or by phone after August 1, at (513) 376-1011.

Bible Club: This year marked our 18th anniversary of holding Children’s Bible Club. God obviously blessed this year with a lot of new older kids, many of whom received Christ as their Savior during the week. We averaged about seventy children with our highest day being eighty in attendance. This year’s theme was “Great Questions of the Bible!” They all received a lesson, then did crafts and memory work that fit the day’s lesson. Every day they were fed a small lunch and our youth group did a skit for them. There were plenty of prizes, fun, and games. They loved the sword drills and Bible songs. This year we began teaching them about the prayer altar. On the second day five older girls were dealt with and received Christ. They came the rest of the week and brought friends. On the last day we had 11 children respond to the invitation who had not yet received Christ after giving them an object lesson demonstrating the imputed righteousness of Christ to the believer and his sins being imputed to Christ on the cross. My friend Earl Wafford taught me how to do this years ago and we have used it in Bible Club every year since.

Youth Conference: Our youth attended the youth conference held in Limonski for the second year in a row. This year was a special blessing because my son, Benjamin, surrendered to God’s call on his life to serve in fulltime ministry. All of my older children are growing close to the Lord along with several others in our youth group. On the second day of camp, Sergei (Mowgli – see our last prayer letter for details), asked if he could skip youth camp to attend our midweek prayer meeting because he likes praying with us. He said that the first day of camp was fun, but a little spiritually dry. I told him that he would have to enlist others to the task of praying for God’s blessing on the camp. They started praying together for over an hour at a time at night and God blessed it!

Church Update: The building program for the church is going slowly forward. We are still saving for the first phase before actually breaking ground. In the meantime we poured a new concrete porch and stairs for the entryway of the existing building. The old one was an eyesore which we tolerated thinking that it would be temporary. We also put a nice wide awning over the entry so that there is cover during the snow and rainy seasons.

We are very encouraged by the return of my old secretary who left after being offended at several people in the church. I dealt with her once about getting right with God, but she didn’t budge and eventually turned all her bitterness against me since I didn’t repeatedly beg her to come back. She finally did return a changed years later! She joined the church along with her new husband and they are doing great!

From time to time I’ll have a sister or two in the church complain that our church is too chauvinistic, that everything is for the men. I’ve assured them that there is no male conspiracy going on, just Bible-believing Christianity! Coincidently, those that complain are all divorced and still unmarried! Anyway, just to prove them wrong, we scheduled a women’s retreat where they had a great time of fellowship together with a fireside picnic in the country. Funny thing is that they requested that two men from the church help them with the fire and to be within calling distance should any wild boars show up! Other than the usual goings on we have a wedding in the works along with a baptismal service for several new converts.

Future Plans: Over the past year I’ve been waiting for several things to be accomplished before focusing our time and energy on beginning the work in Odessa. First, there is the trip to the US to help Miriam get settled in. We’ve been waiting on the Lord and now it is time. Knowing that we would have to leave for a month or two, I did not want to start something only to leave it for such a long time. The second thing was our full time Bible Institute. Over the past three plus years we have taught every class that is taught at PBI with the exception of Greek and Hebrew. There are several classes left that I will finish during the upcoming semester. With that accomplished I’ll have much more time for the work in Odessa. Lastly, there was the issue of giving time to instruct and prove my assistant for the pastorate. He is doing very well and will have his first dry run at the helm during our two months in the US. Please pray for him and his wife during this time.

Answered Prayer: We want to thank you all for praying for our various health needs over the past year. Since returning to Ukraine over four years ago, Naomi suffered through four miscarriages, the last of which almost killed her. We are only now learning how devastating the loss of blood is on a woman’s thyroid. She has been studying and working with functional doctors in the US and we are seeing great improvement. We are so thankful for the Lord’s mercies. My various health issues are getting back to normal. I haven’t felt very comfortable talking about it, but I’ve had my own private battle with depression over the past ten years. The only time that I felt normal was when I was preaching. My blood work revealed that I had stage two stomach cancer, very low vitamin D levels, adrenal fatigue, and bad cortisol levels, among others I don’t care to mention. In short, I was a mess. My wife rolled up her sleeves and took on the task of doing the research to heal cancer naturally. I went on a total vegetarian diet and included several cancer healing protocols over the course of four months. I want to thank my God and Savior Jesus Christ for His mercies on me and my family. My cancer levels are now back to normal; the skin cancer on my arm is healed; and for the first time in a long time, I’m beginning to feel like my old self again. Also, thank you for praying for our vehicle situation. After two months in the shop, they were finally repaired.

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10  Click here for a printable PDF.


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                       April 2018

Good Stuff: The months of March and April have been great. We had three people follow the Lord in believer’s baptism including my son Christopher. That same evening we had the Lord’s Supper where two ladies in our church were reconciled after a time of being “at odds” with one another. The Lord’s blessings were evidenced the following week when sister Taraniuk, a school teacher in the town of Yakovlevka, explained the meaning of Easter (Passover) to her all classes. The kids had many questions and the conversation easily turned to salvation and the Gospel. She said she really didn’t know how to act when her entire sixth grade class said that they wanted to pray and receive Christ! She too is against “Easy-Believism” so she went through the plan of salvation again and verified that the kids knew what they were doing. All twelve prayed in class to receive Christ. She said they all wanted Bibles and are reading them!

Opposition and Prayer for Protection: In additions to the blessings, the last two months have had an unusual amount of opposition. First, Sister Taraniuk was hauled into the school principal’s office and was grilled about her teaching the Bible in the classroom. Evidently, the kids went home and told their parents that they had gotten saved and started reading the Bible. This was somehow a problem. The hypocrisy here stinks to high heaven. The director of that same school allowed a huge icon of the Virgin Mary in the front foyer of the school. She has also allowed the local Orthodox priest access to the kids giving them the impression that there is only one church allowed in school. The same day she found that the bank has begun to dock her pay because of her husband’s bad investment deal with the bank. My daughter, Miriam, was walking home alone one day when a black SUV, with four men inside, appeared as though they were planning to abduct her. The initial encounter occurred when they first saw her on a well-travelled street. She saw them turn around and followed her until she came to the place in the road where there are no houses. When they pulled up close Miriam got her mace and then just stared them down and shook her head at them and told them, “No!” Thankfully, they turned around and sped away. The third was too close to home. Last Friday night we all went to bed late and I had just started to fall asleep when I heard our front door open. My first thought was that our neighbor needed something and had woken Ben or Sam. The next thing I heard was Ben yelling “Hey!” then the crashing sound of shattered glass followed by the sound of two men fighting. Then I heard the front door opening again. I jumped up and grabbed my baseball bat and ran downstairs to find Ben pale as a ghost with blood all over him. A man broke into our house and just happened to run into Ben who was coming out of the bathroom. He shouted at him and threw the nearest object, a 25 ft. tape measure, and missed, breaking a window. The robber had some kind of tool with which he slashed at Ben four times gouging his chest, shoulder, and right arm. Thank God it was not a knife. Ben managed to get three kicks in before the guy high-tailed it out of here. After calling the local police and filing a report we nervously and thankfully went to bed at about 3:00 a.m. We thank God for his protection working out the details seeing no one was seriously hurt and nothing was stolen. My children have a new respect for their parent’s constant vigilance and caution which can be a drag to them at times. (Continued on the other side...)

Building Project: Everyone in our ministry, including myself, has a touch of Spring fever. The winter was long and being housebound for three months is enough to make any hermit stir crazy. We thank the Lord for the change in seasons which has given opportunity to minister to the youth and do more work on our building. We are still waiting for the final “OK” to be given before we can actually begin. This last inspection is simply to verify that we did not already begin building without the proper permission. If we had begun we would be facing a fine. However, we have been waiting over six weeks for the inspector to come from Odessa. In the meantime we are working on several small projects that will help facilitate our goals of having a building large enough to minister to this town and the surrounding region. Our current small project involves rerouting the water lines, pouring a meter pit and installing a new water meter. This is all in preparation for the first stage of our project – the foundation and sewage system. We are doing the work ourselves as the Lord provides and only begin each phase when we have the funds to do so. Please pray with us about this work.

Family Update: My kids are getting older and so are we! Ben just took his ACT test. Being here in Ukraine makes things like this both time consuming and expensive. We had to travel to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and get a room for the night and order taxis to get around. The Lord worked it out where an old Ukrainian friend just happened to be the taxi driver that came to pick me up from the hotel. He is a little backslidden and needed some encouragement to get back to the Lord Jesus. Our daughter Miriam is a huge blessing and asset to our family and ministry here. Sadly, however, we know that it is time to pray and consider returning to the states for about two or three months to take care of a few personal things and help her transition to life on her own. We are all content to do this in God’s time and we’ve been praying about it for over two years. We hope that we can do this sometime in August so she can start school in September. Please pray the Lord’s will in this. She loves God and wants His will for her life.

Anniversary: Naomi and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in May! We look forward to a little alone time and will probably spend it talking about our kids and the ministry!

Prayer Requests: Most all our church members have lost relatives and they are constantly witnessing to them and asking prayer for their salvation. Please pray with us for them. We have a somewhat carnal request as well. We have been without a vehicle for almost six weeks. Both of our vehicles are in the shop to be repaired and I think that the old ministry van just needs to be retired. It was great for hauling building materials and chauffeuring groups of people to church on Sundays. However, it is getting more difficult and expensive to repair. Please pray we can get them fixed soon.

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family, November – December 2017

Holiday Blessings: The holiday months were full of blessings for our ministry and family. The ministry is doing really well. New converts are growing and staying faithful to get the Gospel out, and services are well attended. The Bible Institute is going strong and is a challenge for all of us. Our neighbor, Sergei, who was recently saved is growing in the Lord and won his brother to Christ. His school teacher noticed a change in his character and asked him about it. He told her he received Christ and started reading the Bible. She had a lot of questions and we are trying to set up a meeting with her, praying for her salvation. Missionary Ed Keough came and preached for us during the Thanksgiving weekend, which was a special treat for everyone. We’ve had several visitors, and we have several waiting to be baptized and others wanting to join the church. Our congregation supports six missionaries and sacrificed over several weeks to take up special love offerings to send to those families over the Holiday Season. We also want to thank those of you who generously sent us extra love offerings for our ministry and family during the holidays. It sure was a blessing to buy the kids extra gifts and let them know that they were from the saints back home in the USA.

Building Project/Answer to Prayer: We were very encouraged by a couple of special offerings that were sent for our building project. It was confirmation to our prayers. We are still in the document/drawing stage. We have had to go back to the drawing board seven times now! I think we finally have the plan and approach that we are looking for. All we need now is the final approval, and then the architectural drawings can be ordered. Thank you for your prayers and help in this area. We have a very long way to go but are excited about the thoughts of having a building for a larger ministry.

The Gospel Preached in Public Schools!: Our first presentation in one of the local public schools went well with the exception that, at the last minute we were forbidden to pass out literature! At least we were allowed to distribute the full color flyers that we put together, which contain more information on salvation and the Bible than these kids have ever heard in their lives. The other schools postponed our dates until after mid-January due to various reasons. First, the holidays presented an obstacle. Then the schools closed for a few weeks because of the freezing temperatures. They barely heat the schools in winter because the local communities cannot afford it, due to the ever rising gas prices. Recently another setback occurred when an outbreak of measles hospitalized several children with five reportedly dying as a result of complications in Odessa. Now, there is a diphtheria outbreak.

Answered Prayer and Prayer Requests: Thank you for praying for my parents during their recent trial of faith. My step-father had to have open heart surgery which lasted about six hours and involved them hooking him up to life-sustaining machines, while they stopped his heart and did the procedure. It was a difficult situation. I wanted to be with my family at this time but we had already scheduled a meeting to preach in the school. We decided to stay, trusting that the Lord would take care of him while we stayed and preached the Gospel.

I also want to thank you for praying for my own health. I am still undergoing treatment but my most recent blood work was very encouraging. Please continue to pray about my family’s various health needs.

Please forgive this very late prayer letter, along with the fact that it was hurriedly written. We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him in the New Year! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,   August 2017


I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord, and growing in His word and work. It is hard to believe that summer is already over. The Lord gave us a fruitful summer both spiritually and physically. Our cherry and apricot harvests were amazing. Naomi and Miriam have been working hard canning and freezing the food we will need for the soon coming winter.


Season’s Blessings: Like the Lord says in Psalm 1:3 “ that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” It was a great, fruitful season for us. We saw ten people come to Christ! During our Children’s Bible Club six children trusted the Lord Jesus as their Savior. We had an average attendance of 75 children each day. Of those who trusted Christ we’ve seen four of them come to church for Sunday services after the Bible Club was over.


This year’s Youth Conference in Limonski was a blessing where my son, Ben, received Christ along with our neighbor’s son, Sergei. In addition, there is a single mother and her two teenagers who began visiting our services. She is an English teacher and tutors one of our church members. During the lessons he continually talks about our family and how much he loves and respects us. She was interested and wanted to meet us for herself. She is staunch Russian Orthodox and is not saved but her daughter, Nastia, finally received Christ and is now sold out! Please pray for her continued growth in the Lord as she goes to college during the week days and comes home only on the weekends. A young man named Slava came to church one Sunday where he heard the Gospel for the first time. He heard that we were going to have a Bible Club and wanted to help during the week. Several of the workers came to me and asked if it would be okay to have an unsaved young man help and I told them that it would be a great opportunity for him to be exposed to more Bible even though it was more geared towards small children. On the first day of Bible Club one of our visiting missionaries took him aside and led him to Christ!


We also received news of the Lord continuing to use the testimony of our deacon, Sasha Taraniuk, who served on the front lines in Donetsk and was a part of the now famous “Kotyol” evacuation before it was overrun by the Pro-Russian Separatists. A few days before the evacuation Sasha along with a group of about twenty-five men were pinned down in a bunker which was being bombarded with “Grad” rocket fire. They thought they were going to die. Sasha gave an invitation call to anyone who wanted to get ready to meet their Maker to which about fifteen men said that they wanted to pray. He led them in prayer and after a few more minutes the shelling stopped and they were all alive!


A few months ago, Sasha was contacted by a journalist who wanted to do an interview with him about his experience there on the front. He told them about the bunker and required them to print the exact prayer they prayed word for word. The story ran in two different newspapers about a month apart. We just learned that the head of a nearby village told Sasha that she prayed to receive Christ after reading the article! It is very encouraging to think of how the Lord may have used that article elsewhere! (Continued on the other side….)


Bibles for Public Schools: We mentioned this in our last prayer letter and would like to ask you to continue to pray about it with us. The time is almost here to preach in the public schools to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. If anyone would like to help with Bibles for this initiative please contact Brother David Cagle at Operation Enduring Word, 527 Benjulyn Rd., Cantonment, FL 32533. His phone number and e-mail address: (850) 607-4426;


Visa Registrations: All the business and excitement of summer led to a big oversight on our part. Last year we renewed our visa registrations six weeks earlier than necessary to avoid the hassle during the demanding weeks of summer. The problem was that I still had it in the back of my mind that we needed to deal with it later. By the time I noticed that we had to renew we barely had enough time to get it done. To complicate things further, Sasha, who always handles our paperwork, was called back for military training for ten days. As a result we missed the deadline by one day!!! My wife, kids, and I had to leave the country on foot at the Moldova border at night and hoped that they would let us back in. For the most part all went well except that the border guard was confused about the law for Ukrainians verses the law for foreigners and would not let Benjamin leave. He said that the law required him to write up a protocol on him and send him to appear before court for trying to leave the country being 16 years of age! So, now we are here under a 90 day tourist visa and have to start our paperwork all over again. It requires us to leave the country and get a new religious visa at a foreign embassy before reentry. We are going through the process in October. Please pray that everything will be right and that we will get our visas with no problems.


Ministry of Mercy: There is a man in our church named Gresha who has struggled with pain ever since I’ve known him. He fell two stories from an apartment balcony and badly injured his hip. It is a miracle he can even walk. This shook him up and he ended up receiving Christ. His family has become regular members and help in various ways. It was always sad to watch him fidget and shift with pain during the services. The pain got worse and he tried to get help in the Ukrainian system of socialized medicine but was always disappointed. The bureaucracy led him in circles while he was getting worse and worse. The operation is expensive and we didn’t have the money so I told them to pray and see if they could get any help whatsoever and we would try to make up the difference. Our church saved money and took up love offerings for him and Brother Kline left a good chunk of money for his hip replacement before returning to the states but this was still not enough. Finally, we received some extra love offerings from you, our supporters, and together we were able to pay for their trip to another town and finally get him the help he needed. He and his family are very grateful. The surgeon said that his hip was literally bone on bone and was amazed at how well he put up with the pain for so long. Thank you to all who give so that this man and his family could experience this answer to their prayers.


We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10



Dear Praying Friends and Family,   March - April 2017


I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His blessings. It is our privilege to once again give a report on the work and our family. We pray it will be a blessing and encouragement to you.


Rue Crew Review. We received requests to give more information on the family, so here goes… We are all breathing a sigh of relief now that spring has sprung. We had a freak snow storm in the middle of April after many gardens were already planted and blossoms on the fruit trees were in bloom. Two feet of snow fell over two days. Many trees were broken, power lines were down, and over twenty villages in our region were without power for several days. The family birthday season began in January and continues monthly until July. Naomi had her birthday in March and is still a young lady! Christopher and Joshua’s birthdays were in April. We want to thank all who send cards remembering our birthdays. It is a blessing to know we are remembered.


After praying about it, our oldest son, Joshua, is planning on entering the air force in the near future. He had several unplanned hindrances signing up for his second semester in college which caused him to look for other ways to get his education. Please pray for him.


Miriam is a huge help to us in our family and ministry. She helps Naomi keep up with all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and schooling. She helps in the ministry with teaching, passing out tracts, and just trying to fill in anywhere there is a need. She works as an illustrator of tracts, children’s books, and our Sunday School curriculum. She also has her own website and is constantly in demand. Miriam has her own website which is worth a few minutes of your time to check out She is planning to return to the US in the near future to attend Pensacola Bible Institute.


Naomi and Christopher are still trying to get on top of some health problems. Both have thyroid issues but we still do not know the extent yet. We are very thankful for the Schmitz family’s generous shipment of iodine. It is helping us all. We are still trying to get help for Christopher’s feet which are becoming more deformed as he grows. We finally found a different company that makes special corrective shoes. We went to a recommended Ukrainian company for the past three years and it has only been a waste of precious time and money. This time of his childhood is crucial for correcting his feet. The first company just took our money. We pray every night for God’s help, wisdom, and healing. We’ve been encouraged by this new company and were given the advice to try it for a year. If it doesn’t help then surgery will be the only option left.


Our family website is up and running thanks to Pastor Schoolfield’s wife Amanda. It is still a work in progress but you can log on to see pictures and get more information on current projects


Preaching in Public Schools. We are rejoicing in the new open door here to preach in the public schools. President Poroshenko issued a decree celebrating the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. He has further dedicated the upcoming month of October to celebrating the Reformation and wants school children to know and understand the value and contribution of Protestants in the development of civilization in Europe and America. We are preparing a big presentation for all the schools in our region during the month of September. Please pray about scheduling and meetings with each school’s director.

2017 is also being celebrated as the year of the English language which is a perfect opportunity to give them King James Bibles. Brother David Cagle has already shipped us over 1,000 Bibles through his ministry Operation Enduring Word. One of our missionaries who works in the Zhitomir region is asking me for KJV Bibles and said that he could give away up to 10,000 in his Oblast alone. While the Bibles have been donated by several Bible Societies and are free the shipping is not. Brother Cagle has helped with these costs and we are are very grateful for the opportunity! The Lord is obviously giving the Ukrainian people grace that is seldom given these days. Please pray for God’s blessings on this endeavor.


Missions Conference. Our church had a long overdue missions conference in March. We are putting the emphasis on supporting Ukrainian men involved in evangelism and planting local Baptist churches. Our people practically qualify to be placed alongside the Macedonians of Second Corinthians chapter eight and yet they’ve increased their giving and pledges that allowed us to take on three more missionaries.


Upcoming Guests. Our church and family are all excited about our special guests in May. My parents have finally mustered up enough courage to cross “the pond” and see our family and ministry in our natural habitat. They are coming with their pastor and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Niehaus of Mt. Hope Baptist Church who will be very busy making the rounds to visit all their supported Ukrainian missionaries. We are very grateful to get them for a day and our church is very excited about the opportunity to treat them to Ukrainian hospitality! Two weeks after their departure, Naomi’s mother, Sarah Witter, will be visiting us for a couple of months. Our kids are so happy about the news to finally see their Grandparents again.


In a Nutshell. All other areas of ministry continue with the Lord’s blessings. The Gospel is going out via literature, personal work, and our YouTube channel. Men are being trained in our Bible Institute, and we’ve had a lot of new visitor’s lately! Sergei followed the Lord in believer’s baptism and we are rejoicing that Oksana who was recently saved has begun attending church services in spite of the opposition from her family! We are excited about the future work in Odessa and the upcoming opportunities to preach in Missionary Ed Keough’s Missions Conference and Missionary Perry Demopolis’ Bible Conference.


Personally Speaking. Last week I visited my former assistant who is terribly backslidden. I poured twenty years into him. He was talented, gifted, and capable but twice the Lord kept me from ordaining him to full-time ministry. Actually, his own conduct is what kept me from it. It seemed the Lord brought it out each time I was getting ready for his ordination service. The recent visit left me saddened, frustrated, and angry. So much was poured into him and I was so excited to finally reach the point where we could turn this church over to national leadership and plant the church in Odessa. My hopes were dashed. God changed my plans. For the last three years I’ve been waiting for him to come back. The Lord recently dealt with me about him from I Samuel chapter 16, because I was beginning to feel slightly resentful toward the work for taking so much time from what I’ve been looking forward to for years, which is start a church in Odessa. I know, however, that to leave this work prematurely could be catastrophic to a work in which we’ve invested over twenty years. In some ways it feels like starting over again, at least as far as leadership training is concerned. In other ways, we are reaping of the rewards that are only seen by those who have stuck it out over the years. We are encouraged that this time we have a young man who, along with his wife, really has a heart for the Lord and His work.


We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Ruem Phil. 3:10


October – December 2016

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Rethinking “Too Close For Comfort.” About three months ago we found out that Naomi was expecting another child. We didn’t expect her to be able to carry this one to full term because of the previous miscarriages. We put it in the Lord’s hands and decided that we would announce it if she made it to the second trimester. We were afraid to hope, but the thought of finally having another little girl got the best of us. When the twelfth week came we decided to get an ultrasound. They said the baby had died at 9 weeks and that they wanted to admit her to the “other” part of the hospital where abortions are performed. It was a hard blow and the thought of her going through a medicine-induced miscarriage surrounded by women getting abortions and the people which perform them did not sit well with us. It was Friday afternoon and the hospital was shutting down for the weekend. They wanted to admit her immediately and have the procedure on Monday. Naomi had some doubts about her dates, she didn’t feel bad, and there was no pain or bleeding so we wanted to give it a few days and then get a second opinion. We still held on to the hope that it was a mistaken date and, thus, too early to pick up a heartbeat, but in the back of my mind I was afraid. Several days later another ultrasound confirmed that the baby had indeed died. We knew what to expect. We’ve been through this before. This would be the fourth time in two years. Naomi wanted to go through it again at home.

The fears added up in my mind after thinking, “What would we do if she hemorrhaged?” The danger was real. First, our newly purchased vehicle was in the shop. We were stuck out here in the “boonies” with no transportation because the transmission had to be rebuilt! Second, there was the real concern about the quality of care of the local hospital. Odessa would be a much better option but getting there was the challenge. We decided to try and wait till Monday and then get to Odessa if nothing happened by then. Naomi felt fine and, like I said, we’ve been through this before.

It started at 2:00 a.m. Sunday and an hour later we realized that she had hemorrhaged. In that moment is was as if the Lord allowed all my deepest fears to come true…every one! Without going into details we knew it was bad. Thankfully, our closest church member, Luda, answered her phone and said she would try to call the emergency room while I got Naomi ready. They never answered. We repeatedly called for an hour and got no answer. Sarah Kline answered her phone and said she would be over with their van to rush Naomi to the hospital. While we waited for transportation I made calls to people in the States to get people praying and even sent up prayer flares on Facebook! Kolya and Luda went ahead of us in their car and laid on the emergency room doorbell till they woke up. After the staff got moving they quickly put Naomi under and began the D&C. There was no way to know how she was holding up. No heart monitors, no nothing. The anesthesiologist, from time to time, would put her hand up to Naomi’s nose to make sure she was still breathing!

In that moment I realized that the Lord allowed it all to happen. My worst fears came true and the Lord Jesus was with us every moment. They say, “Too close for comfort…” but the Lord can never be too close and, as long as He is close by there is always comfort. Naomi pulled through and the medical staff, especially the doctor, did great with what little they have to work with. It was a little unnerving to observe Naomi as she awoke from the anesthesia saying that she was in a “tunnel of light” and could hear my voice the whole time she was under! Praise the Lord that He is with us, “…even unto the end of the world.”

Bible Institute and Charity. Our Bible Institute classes continue to be both a blessing and a challenge to everyone. I am very happy to say that the preachers are showing great improvement in being capable ministers of the word of God. They have been busy passing out literature, doing personal work, and helping with the sick and church shut-ins. We recently found out that one lady had no heat and was sitting at home enduring -10C weather. She had no money to pay for gas and she was saving what little she had for an operation. We loaded her up with wood for her wood stove for the winter. There are a lot of other stories that I should probably include in prayer letters. Thanks to your generosity, we get to help people with things like food, clothing, surgeries, medicine, fuel, baby supplies, and even college tuition to help the children of poor saints take care of their families with better jobs. In addition we give to national preachers and their ministries. We support one pastor by buying him enough wood to heat his house for the winter. Another preacher recently totaled his van that he used for ministry and we were able to help him a little towards the purchase of another. Things like these are the norm for our ministry and go on without being mentioned in our prayer letters. Thank you all for your prayers and support for allowing us the privilege to minister to the Ukrainian people.

Break-In and Big Board. Our church building was broken into again for the third time. The thieves got away with our sound board that is used to record our videos for YouTube. They also got my video projector, a guitar, and our computer monitor. The bad economy and gas prices are driving more to crime. Our church is trying to pull enough money to install European-style rolling window shutters to prevent break-ins in the future.

The break-ins are the normal response of the enemy. You see, we have been getting some very positive feedback about our YouTube channel. More and more Russian speaking Christians say they are “holding on” where they are by watching our videos. One church said they watch our sermons during their evening service ever since they lost their pastor. I get to preach to people I’ve never met! Our men are also getting close to completing a big church sign board for displaying Scripture. It will be illuminated and high enough to be seen from the train station. Literally, tens of thousands of people will see the signboard every day. We are very excited about the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shine even brighter in our region!

A Church Family Immigrating to Israel! The Jewish man, Igor, and his family who came to us from the war torn area of Donetsk have recently been approved for immigration to Israel. Perhaps you recall me mentioning him in a previous letter and told the humorous story about how I had led him to Christ twenty years ago and we didn’t recognize each other after he visited. They have been here faithfully attending and growing in the word of God, while they sought the Lord’s will about immigrating to Israel. We are very excited about what the Lord will do with them there. We pray that he will bring others to Christ just as he recently did with his friend Yura. There is a good chance that they will be staying in an area where other Russian speaking Christians live and we pray that they will be an encouragement to one another. Please pray for them as they leave sometime before Christmas to begin their new lives in the Promised Land!

Discipleship and Baptismal Service. The Lord once again gave us the privilege of taking another group of new converts through our discipleship lessons in preparation for water baptism and church membership. This time Marina and her two sons, Nikita and Andrei, joyously followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. Igor’s above mentioned friend, Yura, and our deacon’s son Matthew also followed. We continue to pass out literature and witness to others looking for the next batch!

We want to thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you during the holiday season and give you much fruit in the New Year. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family, September 2016

Amazing Answered Prayer! The Lord has so graciously answered our prayers! There is a great sense of inadequacy when I think of how to properly, with words, give God the praise He deserves and express my own thoughts and emotions. Perhaps a little background would be the best place to begin to explain what a huge blessing we recently received. During our last furlough our two largest fund raising projects were plane tickets and a vehicle. We saved for our plane tickets and were planning to return during the down season for the cheaper rates. After the funds for tickets were raised two pastors graciously asked us if we needed anything. I told them that we needed a vehicle for my family and ministry. We almost had all the money needed when several unexpected things derailed our plans. First, the war in Ukraine along with new document requirements postponed our departure, resulting in us paying almost twice as much as planned for tickets. Upon arrival in Ukraine the rest of the fund was quickly depleted by having to replace our stove, washer, water pump, and heating and A/C unit. There was also a lot of expense trying to fix our water problem. By the time it was all said and done the vehicle fund was gone.

For over two years we have been here on the field with no vehicle. We are very thankful that we were able to use Brother Casey Kline’s van when we needed to travel to Odessa for supplies and run errands but we tried to keep our use to a minimum. (Having to borrow another’s property does wonders for your pride of independence.) The rest of the time we used taxis to get to church and for long trips. The lack of transportation was tense at times, especially while Naomi was miscarrying. There was always a little fear of “what if?” when thinking of emergencies and if war ever did come to our region. Would we have to flee and perhaps couldn’t?

There were other questions. “Was I following the Lord or was I putting my family in harm’s way unnecessarily?” I believe we were following the Lord and I would never foolishly put my family at risk. Of course there were times when we wondered why it was taking so long to raise the funds. We had several generous love offerings but there were always other needs that seemed to be more important. A good chunk of our support goes to the overhead of the work and I never felt comfortable about the thought of decreasing it. The question, “Is the Lord chastising us for having such nice vehicles in the States during furlough?” was there too. We had been criticized during our time in the States and such words always seem to be close at hand during periods of doubt. Perhaps we deserved it. Of course we prayed about it individually and as a family. Bedtime prayers with little Christopher were sweet and humbling. One night he asked, “Dad, why does everyone have a car and we don’t?” These types of questions and doubts led me to question whether the Lord wanted us here anymore. We didn’t mention this in any of our prayer letters because it was personal. We needed to see God provide in such a way that there is no doubt that it was Him!

I have a Scripture promise from the Lord about starting a new work in Odessa and the last thing I wanted to do was to start something without the Lord’s blessing and presence. It was clear, however, that we couldn’t begin that work until we had dependable transportation. So, I prayed for God to provide us a vehicle in such a way that it would be confirmation about His will in the new church plant in Odessa. The answer came when a pastor of a church who wishes to remain anonymous contacted me and said that they had heard that we were in need of a vehicle. Still to this day it is a mystery to me how they found out. Only a few close friends and family knew that we didn’t have a vehicle. What is important is that the Lord knew and got the news to them! One of the most amazing parts is that I’ve always low-balled the price by $5,000 when asked how much we needed and just hoped we could make due. Vehicles are so expensive here due to heavy import taxes that I feel somewhat ashamed to tell people what it really costs. However, when this God-sent pastor asked me I told him the entire amount and was shocked that they said they could cover it! The Lord is so good and we are so grateful that He did this the way He did. We really needed a “Red Sea Crossing” type of experience and the Lord provided. Thank you all for praying for us and our ministry. Every time I sit in our vehicle I know that the Lord gave it to us!

A Cultural Moment. The economic crisis in Ukraine has caused crime to increase again. There was a wave of break-ins and thefts that came to our neighborhood. Someone broke into my storage shed and got some tools and our ladder. They tried breaking into our house through the garage but were unsuccessful. A police officer showed up at our house one day and asked if we had been robbed. He said he had our tools and that we would have to fill our paperwork to get them back. It resulted in a criminal case and I had to go to court and face the thief. It turned out to be one of the workers that helped us with some concrete work. He showed up at court “three sheets to the wind” as they say. What a spectacle! The judge was getting very irate and I ended up being his defense of a sort! She, the judge, was getting ready to throw the book at him for being drunk and unruly. I asked for clemency knowing he had children. In a way it was funny in that the whole spectacle was so absurd but really it was just plain sad. Please pray for Sergei for salvation.

Bible Institute. Classes for our Bible Institute have resumed for another year and it is encouraging to see the interest in our own people here locally as well as in other cities. We currently have eleven students; some full time, others just come for the Bible classes or the course Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. One of our fulltime students is a young man named Daniel who is still in high school in Odessa. He takes our classes by watching the videos after school. It is humbling and encouraging to have Misha from Limansky travel over awful roads to attend classes. A couple students receive a stipend that helps them attend and they are required to pay for their education by labor around the church. It is a win – win situation. They benefit by being able to have work and attend classes and the church benefits by the constant attention and upgrades that help the ministry. The kitchen help is all done voluntarily by several ladies in the church.

Odessa Church Plant Update. We are glad to announce that we now have ALL of the documents in hand and now can legally rent a building for use in the work. Now that we have a vehicle we can begin to look for a good location to rent. We probably will not begin regular services till spring and will pray and prepare as we decide on the right location and building to rent. Please pray about this important step in the work there.

Church Building Project. We are coming very close to finishing the veranda to handle overflow and help us with more seating on special occasions. We are also busy insulating the building in preparation for what looks like an early and hard winter. We hope to soon begin drawing up the building plans for a more functional church building that will be able to service our current members and give us room to grow and host larger conferences. We have been maxed out for quite a long time and it is obvious that we need to build. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom, guidance, and provision.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,    March – May 2016

Correspondence with our supporters in this work is very important which is why I try to put out timely by-monthly prayer letters. From time to time, however, things hinder and I have to put out a letter covering three months. The need to write this letter has been hovering and I am thankful to finally sit down, say a prayer of thanks for you all, and ask the Lord to use it to encourage you in what you do for Him.

A New Name Written Down in Glory! After months of prayer, witnessing, and direct preaching Sergei finally received Christ as his personal Savior. He has been attending church off and on for quite a long time. It was obvious at the beginning that Sergei was coming because of a young lady who has had a very stormy history with our church. I dealt with him after church one morning but he said he wasn’t ready to get saved. I told him to start reading the Gospel of John and that we would pray for him. He came the next week and I let him have it! Both barrels! The look on his face after the service told me that he would either get saved or never come back. I was excited to see him the following Sunday. He did not respond to the invitation so I determined to let him have it again. Our eyes met and I prayed, “God, please save this young man.” His gaze did not turn away like usual. This time he came up to me and said that he was ready to receive Christ! He said, “After reading the New Testament I’ve come to the conclusion that only God could write a Book like that!

Emergency Trip to Kiev. We had another set back from our usual schedule when I realized that three of our children’s passports were about to expire causing us to make an emergency trip to Kiev to get them renewed. The law requires both parents to be present so the entire family had to make the 7 hour trip. I hired a taxi driver named Sasha to take us in his van and I witnessed to him for a good part of the trip. He didn’t budge. I will probably need to hire him again in the future and hope for another opportunity to witness to him. Please pray for his salvation. We were thankful to receive the new passports safe and sound.

Good byes. It has been said that the life of a missionary is a life of “goodbyes.” You never have enough time to spend with the saints and family. Just as you begin to get to know people and enjoy their fellowship it is time to pull up stakes and move on. Saying goodbye to loved ones is the hardest. Every time we leave to return to the field I go through the emotional turmoil of saying goodbye to my grandfather, Conrad Rue, whom I love and respect very much. The call that I’ve been dreading for years finally came. He suffered a severe stroke. Friends and family kept me up to date on his condition and with the reports being pretty optimistic I continued with the daily work load of teaching the Bible Institute. He took a turn for the worse and Hospice was called in so I went back to the States for two weeks to see him again, be with family, and help however I could.

The Lord was good to allow me one last moment with him. I took him by the hand, told him it was me, and asked him to squeeze if he could hear me. He started squeezing my hand over and over! I joked that he was going to break my hand and he managed a smile. What a precious memory. He passed on to be with the Lord on Sunday March 27, 2016. I can’t wait to see him again. The trip to the USA was unexpected and short so I did not have time to contact any churches. Upon hearing that I would be in the Cincinnati area Pastor Joel Greer of Branch Hill Baptist Church and Pastor Mike Elliot of Anchor Baptist Church were kind enough to ask me to preach for them one Sunday. They were a huge blessing and answer to prayer because, between the two of them, they covered the expenses of the entire trip. I also want to thank Pastor Dan Ferrell and the folks at Morning Star Baptist Church for officiating the funeral service and being such a help and support to my Grandmother Rue during her time of bereavement.

Bible Institute. The setbacks in our schedule have caused the school year to be pushed back but all is going well. We started off the school year with about twelve applicants. Two never showed for first class, and one dropped after the first day. We are now down to six solid students with one more preacher coming on Fridays from Limonski for the class “The Preacher and His Preaching.” The trip to the States along with the trip to Kiev have left me scrambling to catch up. I’m currently preaching and teaching from the pulpit 18 to 19 hours each week, not counting preparation time. All of it, of course, is in Russian. It has been great but I’m getting tired! Please pray that we all do not wear out before the year is up!

Odessa Church Plant Update. One of the most challenging parts of registering a new work in Odessa was orchestrating the paperwork. In order to submit the documents, ten people who are residents within the city limits had to appear before a notary at the same time during office hours! I planned to have a short meeting with the new charter members after our visit with the notary to pray and discuss plans but I was literally boarding a plane to go see my Grandpa Rue at the time. We are thankful to announce that all the required paperwork has been successfully submitted to the Department of Religious Affairs and is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. We should hear something about the status within the next few weeks. Please continue to pray that the Lord will guide every detail of this new work.

I want to thank all of you who prayed for Dr. Ruckman as requested in our last letter. On April 21 he went home to be with the Lord. Every time we were in the States it was always a highlight of the trip for me to be able to spend at least a few minutes with him. There was always a feeling of support knowing that he was there at the Bible Baptist Church. He will be missed by our family and we thank the Lord Jesus that we have the hope of Heaven to see him and our loved ones again.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,       January - February 2015

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord, rejoicing in His blessings, enjoying His Book, and faithfully serving in His vineyard.  We are slowly digging out of a freezing, snowy winter and getting ready for spring.  Looking back over the last two months reminds me of how much we have to be thankful for in this New Year, which got off to a good start with Scripture calendar distribution at the local marketplace.  It reminded me of 1990s when crowds would gather to hear the preaching of God’s word and even throng you to get literature.

The Bible Institute is going well and takes up the majority of our time.  Classes are four hours a day, five days a week.  There are currently seven men and two ladies studying.  Two men are from the Lakeside Baptist Church in Limonski.  We’ve had others who would like to attend via internet but we are not set up for that yet.  We are considering offering classes to others in the country who would like Bible Institute training in Russian next year. 

We are also busy making repairs and improvements on the church building.  Our Sunday morning services are full with only a couple of empty seats.  We are in the planning stages of adding a larger hall onto the building so the church will have room to grow.  We also plan to add an outside covered picnic area for use in warmer weather.  We are thankful for a new gypsy family that has been attending lately.  The man of the house is saved, while his wife’s testimony is still unclear.  Their marriage is a little shaky and we are praying that the Lord will allow us to help them with healing their family issues.

We are very thankful to the Lord for those who sent special love offerings last month.  The funds helped us cover many extra expenses, including the overhead for the Bible Institute and the higher gas bills since the new tariffs went into effect.  We were able to purchase a washing machine for a national pastor, Brother Korol, who is currently serving as Captain in the military.  There were over one hundred Ukrainian soldiers doing their wash by hand in winter!  Thank you for allowing us to help.  He made sure that the men he serves with understood that American Baptist churches made it possible for Jesus’ sake, thus giving him an opening to witness to his men. 

We are thankful for our Great Physician’s care over the past few months.  Naomi was ill for several weeks and was bedridden as a result.  Miriam picked up the load and kept our home and school running as smoothly as possible.  We made it through a plethora of flus and bugs that struck the area, including swine flu, that left several people dead and the local schools quarantined.  My son, Benjamin, tore a ligament in his hip one night after church.  It was Valentine’s Day so the hospital staff was a little “merry” as a result.  The ambulance was just sad.  It had no life-saving equipment whatsoever and I’ve seen work trucks that were cleaner.  The splint the EMT’s used to stabilize his leg was homemade out of clothes hanger wire, cardboard, and packing tape! The X-ray technician had to scour the place for film then had me hold his leg while the 50 year old x-ray machine radiated us (6 times!) till they got it right.  He was also “merry” because of the holiday.  Ah, the joys of socialized medicine!  

Since Benjamin is a minor the incident was reported to the local police and I had to answer a bunch of questions.  The doctor was unprofessional and rude.  I did not like the rough manner in which he handled my son and he was irritated that I would ask questions like, “What is the diagnosis?”  He would not give any information whatsoever about Ben’s condition or treatment nor would he listen to my account of what happened.  As a result, he gave a conflicting report to the police.  They came to my house the next day and interviewed my children while Naomi and I were out getting groceries.  They required me to appear at the police station with proof that Benjamin was my son.  We are very thankful that it was not worse, and Benjamin is already walking again without the aid of crutches.  We are reminded of the Lord’s protection over 20 plus years of life here and only having to visit the local hospitals a handful of times.

The plans for registering a new church in Odessa are still being held up at the Dept. of Religious Affairs.  The government is currently overhauling everything resulting in many government workers being laid off and even closing whole departments.  A new head of Religious Affairs was appointed and is still trying to learn the ropes.  She wants us to make changes to our documents that we are not yet sure are legal.  Please pray that the Lord will intervene and that this work will begin with His blessings and guidance.

On a personal note, Joey turned three in January along with “yours truly” turning 49!  February marked my 27th anniversary of rededicating my life to Jesus Christ.  He changed my life forever and my only regret is that I haven’t done more for Him.  I guess the song sums it up well, “Jesus passed by my way, and He made me whole that day.  Just a sinner was I when Jesus passed by and Oh what a change in my life, when Jesus passed by. 

I would like to ask you all personally to pray for my pastor Dr. Ruckman, whose health is not good at the moment.  Few men have had the impact on my life as he has, and I thank God for his good example.  When I received the news that he stepped down as pastor of Bible Baptist Church I was somewhat melancholy for days.  Several men who also had a big influence on my life have gone home to be with the Lord.  The old guard is going home and passing the torch to our generation.  Dr. Ruckman has said that he wants to go home to be with the Lord and asks people to pray accordingly.  I find it difficult to do so after praying for the Lord to keep him going for so many years.  Please pray for Pastor Donovan as well, that the Lord will keep him strong for the work ahead as he leads the Bible Baptist Church and the Pensacola Bible Institute.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil.  3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                    October – December 2015

 Bible Institute Upgrade.  Back in September we started our Bible Institute Classes one night a week and added a Soul Winning class before Saturday’s Visitation.  It is not enough.  After prayer and consultation with the men of the church we’ve decided to upgrade to a full-time Bible Institute for the second semester.  The main reason is for training future leadership for this ministry.  We ask that you please pray that the Lord will bless this important and challenging ministry.

 Preparations for a New Church in Odessa.  The registration of a new church in Odessa is ever-so-slowly going forward.  It has taken an unusual amount of time to make the requested changes to our documents for the first initial presentation for approval.  The process will take an additional three months to complete after the documents have been approved for submission.  Please continue to pray about the work there.  As soon as we have our documents in hand we can search for a good location to base the work.  Over the years, while living in Odessa, I looked over the terrain and have several areas of the city in mind.  It is a matter of prayer and God opening the doors He wants us to go through.

 Baptismal Service.  We thank the Lord for three believers who followed the Lord in baptism.  We worked with Dema and his son, Vitya, for years and now rejoice to see their love for the Lord.  The other was a boy named Daniel whose father is Muslim.  He recently fled Syria and moved to Germany and now wants his wife and son to relocate to be with him.  We are very concerned.  Please pray for their family and his salvation.

 Visitors.  The past several months have afforded me the special privilege of experiencing what is common place for pastors in the USA - visiting missionaries and pastors.  The Lord sent four Bible believing Ukrainian men for our mutual edification.  They preached and ministered to us and our church took up love offering after love offering to help them in their corner of this mission field.  First, Brother Kolya Veselkov who has a small work going in a town called Oktyaber (October) stirred us to serve Christ.  He has five children and heats his house with wood.  He said that he had no idea how he was going to get the money to buy enough wood for the winter.  The church took up a love offering and covered the entire expense! That preacher and his children will be warm this winter, a thought that often warms my heart. 

 Sasha Stepchenko, a single young man with a big heart for the Lord, encouraged our young men in evangelism.  His ministry mostly involves feeding the poor and gives him opportunity to preach to them before every meal.  The next visitor was Sasha Illchenko with his wife Alla and their three children.  They are a sweet family doing a great job “holding the fort,” so to speak, while their pastor Vladimir Korol serves in the Ukrainian army.  Pastor Korol is stationed about an hour and a half from us and came and preached to us one Sunday morning in uniform!  My sons and other young men in the church thought that was very cool! Pastor Korol is an officer (Captain) but must live with 120 men under his command sharing bunk beds and doing their laundry by hand in this cold weather!  I would really like to buy him a washing machine with hopes that it would give him an avenue to witness to them.  He paid our church a great compliment saying, “I’ve preached in churches all over Ukraine and this is the first time that I could not hear myself during the congregational signing.

 In addition to these men our church has taken up love offerings to help cover the costs of several sick people with hospital bills and they continue to give to help the soldiers on the front with food.  Our people’s desire to give and help in spite of their own poverty is humbling. 

 Holiday Season Plans.  The holiday season is a great time for witnessing for Christ.  For years we have taken gifts, toys, food, etc to the local orphanage and look forward to the opportunity again this year along with gifts for the local nursing home.  We are thankful to the Lord for providing 4,000 Scripture Calendars for 2016 which we plan to give out in the local marketplace.  We always enjoy bringing in the New Year together as a church with lots of preaching, fellowship, singing, and food.  We reserve the last hour of the year for a time of testimony looking back on the last year and then we get on our knees in prayer thanking the Lord for all He has done and praying for His blessings on our church in the coming year. 

 Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

 That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil.   3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                             September 2015

Ukraine’s Future Still Uncertain. It is hard to believe that summer is over and we are in the middle of fall. Ukraine is buzzing with uncertainty about what is going to happen this winter with the war, the economy, and utilities. The local government in Odessa recently uncovered a plot by the Pro-Russians to come from the region of Transnistria and blow up two of the main bridges that give Odessa access to Kiev. It is a good thing they were caught! We would be cut off from Odessa except by travelling right along the Moldovan/Transnistria border which would be very dangerous should such an event take place.

The IMF put conditions on its loan to Ukraine trying to ween the country of its dependency on Russian natural gas. The gas prices went up 300% for those who use little and 700% for those who use more. It is good for us that the Ukrainian hryvnia has weakened making our natural gas price increase somewhere around the 300% mark, but the rest of the country is getting hit hard by the inflation. Prices on food and clothing are going up but their pay stays the same. Members of our church have already experienced a 50% cut in their salaries by inflation. Many are preparing for a hard winter by preparing to use either makeshift wood heaters or coal. Most plan to use electric heaters to offset the gas prices. The local governments have already announced that they are anticipating an overloaded electric grid and warned us that our electricity will be out at least six hours every day. We are thankful for those who made special donations over our monthly support and we were able to order a good generator and high tech switch that will automatically turn itself on and off when the electricity is off. Thank God and God bless you for giving.

Children’s Bible Club 2015. This year’s Bible Club was one of the most well attended we’ve had in a long time. I think our highest day was 87 children. The Lord blessed with several children praying to receive Christ as Savior and having the word of God sown in their hearts to grow. The team of worker’s for this year’s Bible Club was fantastic. We had several new recruits who served as teachers and helpers and they grew in the Lord’s work just as much or more, it seems, than the kids.

Invitation to Teach in Bible Institute. Missionary/Pastor Perry Demopolis in Kiev invited me to teach the subject, “The Life of Christ” in his week long, intensive Bible Institute and preach during the evening revival services. It was a great time of fellowship, ministry, and making new friends among some of the nationals that are preaching elsewhere in Ukraine. We saw several saved during the street meetings which were held right down the street from where the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” took place and where many protesters were shot by Russian snipers a few years back. I was amazed at the level of acceptance of the Kievites compared to those in our town to the preaching of the word of God.
Our own Bible Institute classes in Razdelnaya began again in September after our two month summer break. We have less students from last year but I am very thankful for the men in the preacher’s class and their desire to learn and grow in preparation for the Lord’s ministry. We are patiently waiting for the day they take this ministry in their own hands and continue on for the Lord.

Preparations for a New Church in Odessa. I’ve prayed for years about beginning a new work in the city of Odessa and am excited that we’ve finally begun the paperwork process for registering the church so we have no problems with the authorities. The Department of Religious Affairs has given us the green light with the preliminaries and will even allow us to use a few names of individuals not officially registered within the city limits of Odessa. To register a church we need ten people who want our church in their city and are willing to give their names and tax ID (their equivalent of a social security number) to the government. God sure has blessed America where we do not have to do such things…yet. I’ve led several people to Christ in Odessa and we even have several that have moved there from our church for work or education but are still not registered residents. We have seven people who are willing and are residents of Odessa. The local Religious Affairs office said we can start the new church as a filial of our current work and use three names from the members of our church in Razdelnaya! What a blessing and answer to prayer this is! We want to get all our paperwork in order and then begin preparing for a city-wide evangelistic campaign. Please pray about this with us for the Lord’s wisdom, protection, supply, and ultimately that souls would be saved and Jesus Christ magnified and glorified!

Miscellaneous News. We continue our literature blitz of our town and have covered all the houses on the SW side of the railroad tracks that divide our town. We’ve had a few people come back to church that left years ago and we pray that they will get in and stick this time. Brother Misha, whose salvation testimony was included in our last prayer letter, continues to grow in the Lord and keeps me very encouraged in the ministry. We also had the bittersweet experience of burying one of our dear Babushkas (Grandmas) in the church, Anna. The Lord mercifully took her without a lot of pain from uterine and pancreatic cancer.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:1


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                   June – July 2015

Still amazed at answered prayer. This may sound cliché but I’m still amazed at how the Lord answers the prayers of His people. We’ve lived in our current location for eight years and we have never had a decent water supply. We have gradually adapted by adding water purifiers, filters, reservoirs, and pumps. However, all of this is to no avail if you do not have a consistent water supply. After the past eight years of battling the water here I was wore down to the point where I just wanted to leave and go somewhere else. That’s when I asked you all to pray.
Answered prayer came in a less recognizable form. It was not a one-time event like the crossing of the Red Sea. It was God’s grace experienced every day with the fear that today would be the last day we would have water. In all our eight years in this location we’ve never had water like this. Please keep in mind that it is not gushing clean water with great pressure, but it is just enough to get us through each day. We haven’t had to ration, nor beg and plead for a water truck to come and fill our reservoir. We have not had to drag hoses and submersion pumps around to pump the water from the reservoir to our cellar tanks. They do shut it off often but we are able to get by for a day or two and then it is turned on in just enough time to fill our reservoirs again. Praise the Lord and thank you for praying.

A Big Fish. The locals have a tongue-in-cheek joke/curse which translates, “I wish on you a building project.” Maintenance, repairs, and building projects are not efficient, easy, quick, or cheap….ever. You can drive down our street and almost every house has a pile of sand outside the front gate for mixing concrete. The joke/curse is that it never ends. After neglecting our house for several years we needed to make some repairs and take down a very dangerous shoddy “greenhouse” the former owner built. By “chance” we heard about a man from a nearby town with a good name and history that “just happened” to be in Razdelnaya that day. During our meeting I found out that he had been reading the Bible for some time and wanted to talk to me more. His name is Misha (Ukrainian form of Michael) and served in the Soviet Army in recon-demolitions in the Afghan war in the 1970s. His group was actually captured by the Taliban when they wandered too close to their opium operations and were drug behind horses and left for dead in the desert. Amazingly he and one other soldier survived. He is a hard worker and has earned himself a good reputation and is respected by his men.

After watching us carefully for a few weeks Misha asked me to meet with him and answer some questions about God and prayer. I spent three hours answering his questions and explained the Gospel to him. He had been exposed to every cult and sect out there and always left them when he saw hypocrisy. He asked me to pray with him. He seemed visually impressed by prayer. He was hungry for the Bible so we had Bible Study twice a day, 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. He finally got saved! In all our twenty years of ministry I’ve never met a man that had such a dramatic conversion. I’m not sure what the future holds for him but he already has the “joy of the Lord” and witnesses to many of his former friends and acquaintances, some of which were local high level communists.

Every morning he would come, always on time, with a new testimony of what he’d learned or what God had done for him. It was a blessing! One tell-tale sign that he really got saved was the weird but common phenomenon that the cults came out in full force to derail him…every one of them! He said that on the night when we had our first Bible study, while walking by the local Pentecostal church, someone walked out of the church straight up to him and said, “Misha, if you don’t come to our church you are going to go to Hell.” He also had some Seventh Day Adventists waiting for him every evening to catch him on his way home from work to try and mess him up. He testified one morning with tears in his eyes that he went to bed the night before and contemplated what the Lord has done for him. He said, “For the last 15 years I’ve been in the religious jungle and could never find the truth.” He said he went to bed that night and breathed a prayer, “God, thank you that I’ve finally found the truth.” With all the excitement of a little boy he said, “Then it occurred to me….I was actually praying! It was so natural and easy!” He is devouring our Bible Study materials and loves the “Theological Studies” by Dr. Ruckman and “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” by Larkin. Please pray for him and his continued growth in the Lord.

Visitors. During the months of June and July the Lord blessed us with several guests. One of the national missionaries we support, Brother Ghenya in Altai, came and gave us an update on the work. Missionary Ed Keough came by and spent July Fourth with us. He brought Pastor Kyle Stephens’ son, Joe, with him and dropped him off to visit with us for several days. We were very thankful for his visit. He came right in the middle of cherry picking season! He also made the piano in our church roar! The congregational singing that morning was glorious! It was also very good to have a young man in our home for our kids to “hang out” with that loved the Lord and spoke English. Our kids do have friends in church but there is always that bit of a barrier for them with the language, culture, and the influence of public school that makes close fellowship difficult at times. Joe Stephens was a great blessing to us all.

Child Training Seminar. Several members asked me to teach a seminar on child training…again. The review always does us good. I believe most got help and at least a little nudge in the right direction. Please pray for our young families. The system here is so good at turning strong Christian young people into the type who just do nothing for fear of being ridiculed, called out, and opposed publicly in school.

Soul Winning and Literature distribution. We finally received our order of custom printed plastic bags that we stuff with literature and go door to door with every Saturday. We pray for opportunities to witness and talk to people as we go and are thankful for the “handfuls of purpose” the Lord has given so far. Please pray that souls will be saved.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                      April – May 2015

“Wait For Me.” One of our members, Vika, brought two visitors to church one Sunday morning. They sat during Sunday School and listened carefully. During the break Vika introduced me to Yulia and her daughter Nastia. She told me how she had been friends with Vika since her university days but lost contact after graduation. Sister Vika had a stormy youth and learned to follow the Lord the hard way. During her backslidden years she married a Muslim with whom she had a child, Daniel. They moved to Syria for several years during which time she “got right” with God. We prayed long and hard for her and Daniel to be allowed to leave Syria and return home. Her long lost friend, Yulia, knew that she moved to Syria and was worried about her in light of the war that has been raging. She even sent a formal application to the popular Russian/Ukrainian television program called, “Wait For Me.” The show specializes in reuniting people in the former Soviet Union that were torn apart by the Soviet system and WWII. Yulia never heard from the show, but God heard in Heaven! She was at the train station in Odessa when she looked over and saw Vika standing in line to board a train! She went home with her to spend a few days to get caught up. Vika’s mother, Sister Valya, spent the next day entertaining them while Vika was at work and led them both to Christ! She said they sobbed on their knees as they prayed. They both confessed Christ that morning with bright smiles on their faces and still come to church as they have opportunity. They live quite a long way away. Please pray for their growth in the Lord.

“God Sent” Years ago I often mentioned a boy named David in our newsletters. He had a long battle with lupus and eventually went home to be with the Lord at the young age of fifteen. The Lord used his sickness to reunite his mother and father and we, as a church, did all we could to save their marriage. I tried to encourage them to stay together for the Lord’s sake after David was gone. It didn’t work. They drifted apart and the husband, Sergei, remarried a woman from Ivana-Frankovsk named Bogdana, which means “God sent” or “God given.” He came and visited us one day and brought her to church. I immediately strayed from the lesson and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After the service he came up to me and asked if I would to talk to her. I again went over the Gospel message and then extended an invitation to receive Christ. I am ashamed to say that I’ve become somewhat jaded over the years living here in Ukraine. We meet so much rejection and opposition and slander that I just expect it. The whole time I was explaining the Gospel and sending up Nehemiah prayers, I was thinking, “She’s only tolerating this.” “She doesn’t understand.” “She won’t give up Russian Orthodoxy, etc….” There were even a few times when the Holy Spirit’s presence was sensed in the room and I still thought she would reject Him. I asked, “Do you understand the Gospel now?” She replied, “Tak!” (“Yes” in Ukrainian). I then asked, “Would you like to call on the Lord right now and ask Him to save you?” She said, “Bazhayu!” (“I desire to!” in Ukrainian). It was almost like the surprise you get the first time going soul-winning and getting your first “Yes.” It is amazing how hard-hearted I can be in the Lord’s work, and yet, He still keeps on using us here! They asked about the possibility of starting a church in their city sometime in the future. Please pray.

“I believe God arranged this meeting...” Brother Casey and I visited the home of one of our members, Sister Tanya, to call on her son Dema. He’s been backslidden for years and refused to come out and see us. So, we decided to have a cup of tea with Sister Tanya and talk (loudly!) about the Lord, because we knew he was within earshot! Then her neighbor, Luba, an elderly lady came by for a visit and agreed to sit down and allow me to explain the Gospel to her. She listened intently and I had to go back over a few points, but, thank God, she finally called on the Lord to save her! We rejoiced with her and she said, “I came over here to give Tanya some scraps for her dog but now I believe God arranged this meeting.” What a blessing!

First Fruits. Brother Casey Kline hit a milestone in the Lord’s vineyard a few weeks ago when he led a soldier on furlough from the war to Christ. Casey took him off into a side room and led him to Christ…without a translator! He asked if he could take a shower so I brought him back to my house. He desperately needed a shower! We smelled our new brother, Sergei, clear into the next day! It was unpleasant but it didn’t matter. The stench of sin was gone from his soul before God!

A Possible New Ministry. There is a family about 30 minutes away in the small farm town of Luchinsk, that has asked us to come and hold weekly services for them. One of our preachers, Brother Sasha, lives close to them and it may be an opportunity to start a church there in the near future.

Special Meetings and Ministry Opportunities. We thank God for the opportunities and blessings the Lord has given us here in Ukraine. The Bible Institute is going well. We had a “men’s meeting” where we all got together and played “Airsoft” with other groups of Ukrainian men who are very serious about this game. They view it more as an opportunity to train should real war come to the region! The “war” was held in an old abandoned factory with real tar pits, broken glass everywhere, and rusty metal. It was not safe at all, but really did make the “war” feel very real. We are also thankful for the several opportunities for our church to get together with other churches for conferences and meetings. We are in the process of making preliminary plans for a building project for the church here. We meet in a renovated house but outgrew it a long time ago. It is hard to grow with no room.

Pray! Pray! Pray! Summertime here is hard because there is little to no water. The last three weeks we had water only on Sundays and then little more than a trickle. Having water brought in by truck is an option but it takes constant oversight to hounding the drivers for days to get it to you. After it is delivered it takes more oversight to pump it out of the holding tank to our house. Four years ago, the city drilled a well just four lots down from our house. They had to drill down over 700 feet to hit good water. The money for the project mysteriously disappeared, no tower was erected, and we are still without water. I’ve looked into several options and would just like to ask folks to pray for us. The thought of another year struggling every day to get enough water for our needs is exhausting. We also need prayer for our paperwork to be approved to extend our registrations.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                February - March 2015

Bible Institute Begins. The Bible Institute classes got off to a good start with around ten students.  Four of them are taking the class “Preparation and Delivery of Sermons.”  The other classes are Theology I, Genesis I, Soul Winning, and the Gospel of John which is taught in Sunday School.  Some of the men work irregular hours and came up with the idea of recording the classes and posting them on the internet so they can view them later. Our church now has its own channel on YouTube.  It is called “ББЦ Раздельная” for anyone interested in Bible Believing preaching and teaching in Russian.  Our Soul Winning class is held on Saturday before Visitation.  We are thankful for two people who received Christ and for the opportunities to explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others who have understood it for the first time in their lives.

Church Events. Winter has been long this year with snow still coming down in late March keeping us close to home.  The roads here are horrendous even in good weather.  Our church has enjoyed several special meetings like a Sweetheart’s Banquet for our married couples; a ladies meeting for encouraging the women to live for the Lord; and a Salvation Sunday/Dinner on the Grounds which gives us extra time and opportunity for fellowship and dealing with people.  All in all, we thank the Lord that things are going well and improving. 

Literature Blitz. With the warm weather on its way we are planning to canvas our town again with Gospel literature.  We have several titles of various booklets and tracts that we are putting in custom printed plastic bags to hang on the front door of every house.  Please pray that the Lord blesses this effort with souls saved and that God’s people would get fired up to do something for the Lord while we still can. 

Misc. Trials. The past two months seem to have been a period of trial and testing for many members of the church. Many were sick with a flu that caused the local schools to shut down; some of the members had relatives pass away; all are experiencing financial troubles from the war’s effects on the economy; and the concern over how they are going to pay the new gas tariffs that begin in April when there will be an increase from 300% to up to 600%.  Many also fear for husbands, sons, and fathers should full mobilization be announced to fight a war with ProRussians and Russians in Donetsk and Lughansk.  We appreciate your prayers for us, for our ministry, and for Ukraine that the Lord would bless us and keep the doors open for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                      December 2014 – January 2015

It is strange that for the third time in a row I’ve sat at my computer and wanted to write something in our prayer letter that sort of transcends all the typical reporting of events and updates. There is so much to say. Where to start? The two most popular questions asked us lately are: “Are you sure it’s safe to be in Ukraine right now?” and “How is your church and work in light of the present situation with Russia?”

As for our safety, all I can say is that I think that our present location does put us in one of the most likely regions to be attacked if the war continues to escalate. It is still a little early to tell which way all this is going to go. I’ve always believed that Russia would first take Crimea then federalize Donetsk and Lughansk. It is hard to tell which way it is going to go after that. There is certainly less optimism today that we will avoid conflict here but I know that we would have several days to get out seeing that an offensive against our region would take around two months to prepare. If this were the case there would be certain signs and several have begun to appear. There have been periodic bombings in and around Odessa, which is evidence that someone is trying to stir up trouble. Military outposts are being setup in our town and around us as well.

Several friends and family members have told us to get out but I don’t see any real reason to leave yet. I recall, over twenty years ago, well-intentioned brethren telling me that the door in Ukraine was going to close in two years. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. On the other hand, I see that there is a real need for the preaching of the word of God. God gave me some clear orders to come here and He has not given any clear orders to leave. So, I have no intention of leaving my post. My only intention is to advance the work of the Lord as best as I know how while we still can.

The work here is not really affected by the political division that others have experienced. We have, however, experienced increased hatred towards us by pro Russian nationals. They curse us as we pass out tracts but we are glad to say that there is no violence. What did affect our ministry here was the desertion of my most trusted preacher. While we were in the states he and his family left the church altogether, leaving us all in a bad way. Betrayal is an awful thing to endure. Above all else it helps me understand what my Lord went through with Judas and it gave me a new respect for my pastor who has had more than his fair share. But the Lord’s work is not about us and it certainly is not about our feelings. I was very thankful that Brother Casey Kline was here to help, along with Brother Sasha, when it happened. I’ve always taken comfort in a list of men whom I trusted could take the work forward should something happen to me. First on the list was Slavic and he deserted. Second was Brother Sasha and then he was drafted into the military. Third on the list was Brother Taras Hammerdiuk who went home to be with the Lord in August. There are other men who probably could and would step up to the plate if need be but they need more training. The work was struggling when we returned and it is obvious to me more than ever that the Lord has me here for a reason. It certainly wasn’t what I planned. My plans were to turn the church over to Brother Slavic and phase back to Odessa to start a new work there. We are, by the way, praying and laying the ground work for starting a work in or near Odessa but it will take some time before we make that move. One thing is clear. The Lord has us here and there are men here that need training. This is why we are beginning Bible Institute classes again and have been encouraging the saints in evangelism and soul winning.

Unusual Blessings. In spite of the setbacks and disappointments (and having our electricity turned off six hours every day) we have enjoyed the Lord’s blessings. Twice in the past few months the Lord has done something truly unusual for us here in Ukraine. A man showed up in our church service one night whom I did not recognize. He came late so there was no opportunity to meet him before the service began. After the service he asked to address the congregation and said that he just wanted to come by and thank me for leading him to Christ over 15 years ago! I didn’t remember him but he remembered the sermon and passage from Acts 20 that I preached from years ago. The other family from Donetsk has been coming faithfully and fit well in the ministry. Brother Alosha and his wife continue to grow and show signs of Gods call on their lives. I had the privilege to lead a young man to Christ named Slava and we pray that he really “gets in” as they say.

Nearby Military Outpost. We now have a nearby outpost about 2 miles from our home. The soldiers there keep an eye on traffic along the road that leads to the Transnistria region located about 20 miles away. If there is going to be an invasion in southern Ukraine that region would definitely play a role. They live in a tent and have a wood stove. Wood pallets keep everything off the wet ground. We give them literature, reading lights, and food. A few of the men there were in the same region as Brother Sasha and survived the “caldron” of Lughansk. He has a real spirit of comradery with them, which we pray will help lead these men to Jesus Christ.

Holiday Season Opportunities. A blizzard and freezing temperatures caused us to cancel our New Year’s Watchnight service. We postponed it one week which put it right on the Ukrainian Epiphany. We took a group caroling to be a blessing to our shut-ins and try to use the day to sow some seed in the homes of a few people in need of salvation. We also took up a collection all month for our missionaries in Siberia and for Brother Dolbin who is planting churches here in Ukraine. The Watchnight Service was a blessing but one thing stands out in my memory above all else – it was the first time my two sons, Benjamin and Samuel, preached in front of a crowd. They did not feel comfortable enough to do it in Russian so I translated for them. We were all surprised at how well they did. What can I say? My heart is filled with joy and the dream!

20th Anniversary Celebration Service. It is hard to believe that it has been twenty years since we held our first preaching service in Razdelnaya. We held a two day celebration service and enjoyed remembering all the great things that God has done for us. I can’t frame the words to express the thoughts and emotions that filled my heart to hear the testimonies of our people telling how they came to Christ or how God lead them to our church. We enjoyed a 100% authentic Ukrainian dinner on the church grounds and the food was wonderful. The ladies in the church wanted to “do it up” and boy did they knock it out of the ballpark. They honored Naomi and me with very high quality traditional Ukrainian shirts called “Vyshyvanka” (pronounced Vish-ee-vanka). We felt as if we were finally accepted as one of their own. When I commented on it they said, “You became one of us a long time ago.” Months ago I asked the church to pray for the Lord to send us a preacher for the special occasion and Missionary Ed Keough “just happened” to be in town to take care of some business in Odessa. He preached and was a great encouragement to our people.

Upcoming Bible Institute. After years of praying and seeking God’s will we believe it is His timing to begin holding Bible Institute classes again for our people. Classes begin the first week of February. Please pray that the Lord will bless our efforts to train a new generation of preachers and ministers for the Lord’s work.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                             July – August 2014

We want to thank each and every one of you who has sent us notes of encouragement and for prayer. Several have voiced their concern for our wellbeing in light of the present situation in Ukraine. To be honest I am very concerned at the moment too. It has always been my opinion that if the conflict with Russia reaches the Odessa Region (Oblast) it will be the worst yet in terms of bloodshed and body count. If Putin makes a move to create “NovoRussia” he will try to join Prednestrovia and the Crimea taking all access to the Black Sea away from Ukraine. That makes our location right in the middle of a big mess. At this moment there is a buildup of Pro-Russian troops 20 miles away from our home as the crow flies. There are Ukrainian soldiers and tanks standing between our house and Prednestrovia about 10 miles away. If they invade they will try to take this town over with the help of the local Russian (not Ukrainian) Orthodox priest. If things start to move in that direction we will have no choice but to flee our home and get out. The reports we have heard from Eastern Ukraine of what the Pro-Russians do to Protestant pastors and their families is not comforting. We have only one evacuation route; get to the Kiev highway and head north to Kiev or western Ukraine. We are making plans for our safety along with our colleagues – the Klines. We are also doing all we can to prepare for the continuation of the work and the safety of our members if we have to leave for a while. Whether Putin slowly pushes east to west, or whether he invades Odessa and pushes inward toward Mykolayiv, Kherson, and Zaporizhzia, it is going to be a hard winter. We only have one heating source – natural gas, and they say it may be turned off. Many are starting to buy electric heaters and the power stations say the grid will not be able to handle it. Rationing electricity is expected to start soon. Please pray for us to stay safe and warm.

Brother Sasha is Home! We want to thank you all for praying for Brother Sasha Taraniuk, who returned home safe after serving almost twice the term of his contract and spent 40 days in Lugansk on the Russian border. He survived 40 days of bombings, missile strikes, and sniper fire from Russia. The Lord preserved him through the whole “caldron corridor” ordeal where a ceasefire and evacuation route were agreed on and then they were fired on from the pro-Russian separatists. He gave an amazing testimony of God’s protection and guidance during his time there. He was able to lead several soldiers to Christ including officers during bombings. He is now more determined than ever to serve the Lord!

Brother Taras Hamardiuk’s Homegoing. I received a phone call one morning informing me that Brother Sasha was on his way home! How relieved and overjoyed we were! Five minutes later I received another informing me that my long-time friend and brother in the Lord, Taras Aleksandervich Hamardiuk, went home to be with the Lord. He served the Lord as a translator, translating over 1,000 sermons in my early years here before I went off on my own. He translated for my pastor Dr. Ruckman back in 1992, which was the beginning of our relationship. He went on to translate for other men like Pastor Rick DeMichele, Missionary Gerald Sutek, Missionary Thomas Castellaw, Missionary Ricky Bolick, Don Stertz, and scores of others we have had the privilege to have with us here in Ukraine.

He was a very well respected man in our town and worked in one of the local schools as a school teacher. His wife divided his funeral into two services, one for those associated with him at the school and the other with our church. She did not want to cause problems by mixing the two. She was touched by our church service and told me that she will come to church. Please pray for her salvation.

Children’s Bible Club. In spite of the setbacks, delays, and problems the Lord allowed us to hold another Children’s Bible Club. Brother Casey Kline and his wife Sarah were key figures this year taking on much of the oversight. Without them I do not believe we would have had one this year. The timing worked against us and many kids were not able to attend as they usually do in July. We had the lowest attendance ever in all our 14 years of conducting Bible Clubs but thanked the Lord for the 25 faithful attendees and rejoiced for the 3 who trusted Christ as Savior for the first time in their lives!

Baptism and Salvation Sunday. Every fifth Sunday is dedicated to Salvation Sunday. We invite visitors, preach a simple Gospel message, and have dinner on the church grounds. While the ladies prepared the meal we took a group and passed out Chick Tracts at the local market and train station. We had several visitors and I was able to deal with lady named Fila for almost an hour about her soul. Please pray for her. We also had the privilege to baptize Yulia, a girl we have been blessed to watch grow up in our church. I still remember the day over ten years ago when her newly saved mother came to me crying because she was pregnant and the doctor said she was too old to have kids and pressuring her to have an abortion. She and her husband were afraid that they were too poor to care for the baby. I counseled them to do right, trust God (not the doctor), and promised to help out as God would provide. Over the years we helped them with doctor bills and clothing and such. Little Yulia gave a sweet little testimony before taking the plunge! The Lord is good!

Registrations are Finished...Almost! We have almost finished the last steps in the registration process. The hard part is past and we have been granted another year by the Lord to serve Him here in Ukraine! Thank you for praying.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                      April – June 2014

At long last we are in Ukraine! We boarded our return flight on July 10 and arrived the next day. Looking back over our deputation/furlough time I’m left with a sense of great gratitude and wonder. If ever there was a chance for our enemy to derail the ministry and ruin us it was during this furlough. So much could have gone very wrong making it impossible to get back to the field of God’s calling but I can only stand in awe of God’s protective hand on us leaving me with more confidence and determination that He has ministry for us in Ukraine.

The last few months for us have been a whirlwind which is why this prayer letter is so long overdue. We received our paperwork and visas; Naomi’s arm healed with the doctor’s blessing on our return trip; other doctor and dentist visits were made; the house packed up; the vehicles sold; loose legal ends tied up; last minute shopping; not to mention while still travelling to meetings. The hardest part was saying our good byes to family and friends. The logistics of moving a family of nine overseas is not the easiest thing to do.

We would like to first thank the Lord for His goodness, mercies, faithfulness, protection, comfort and guidance to get us through furlough and back to Ukraine; for the souls saved, for those who surrendered their lives to Christ’s will, for friends made, reunions, and for the several hard lessons learned. Secondly, we would like to thank all of you who have prayed, supported, put us up, put up with us(!), listened, and helped us from day to day. A special shout out to Pastor Greer and all the church family at Branch Hill Baptist Church who helped us tie up loose ends and clean up the mess we left in our wake! Also to the men of Friendship Baptist Church who helped get us and our caravan of 17 pieces of luggage to the airport!

The trip back to Ukraine took 27 hours total. The kids did great and I have nothing but respect for my wife who endured the whole thing with little Joseph in her lap and no sleep. There was only one “bump” in the road on our last leg of the flight from Kiev to Odessa but they were able to get us to our destinations by splitting our family up and putting us on two separate flights. It was a little unsettling being separated and not having any means of communication but the Lord took care of it all. I tried hard to avoid Kiev altogether remembering the stings of past experience there but we were pleasantly surprised by the progress of the new airport. They actually checked our 17 pieces of luggage all the way through to Odessa! Wow! We were not looking forward to the five hour layover after 20 hours of travel but were graciously greeted and surprised by Brother Perry Demopolis and his family who met us there and brought us water and snacks (AND great fellowship) to pass the time! God is good!

Upon our arrival in Odessa we were greeted by Missionary Casey Kline and Brother Sergei Bekk who helped get us home along with our 17 pieces of luggage(!!!), which miraculously all made it to Odessa. Passport control and customs check were never easier. As I rode with Brother Bekk all he did was talk non-stop of God’s goodness and works that He has done. It occurred to me that such conversations were indeed rare and I thanked God for calling us to labor for Him in such as field as this. Brother Kline and his wife Sarah went over and above the call of duty preparing our home for our return. Sister Sarah filled our freezer and refrigerator with food and goodies and Casey worked long to get our water system cleaned up and filled. What a blessing they have turned out to be to us and the ministry here.

In spite of what was one of the best return trips ever the slap of the daily grind of life was waiting for us in Rozdil’na. Upon our arrival we found that a series of problems left us with only a day’s supply of water and a draught that has caused the city to ration it. It is turned on every other day, but on Saturday (our first day here) we realized that all our neighbors had water and we did not! Our main water line was busted, two of my pumps were broken and all I had to work with was some very bad two-year old water in the cistern. I found some chlorine shock tablets and threw about twenty of them into the cistern overnight.

The next morning I found that my submersion pump was busted but one of our church members brought one to the rescue! We were able to fill our reservoir on Sunday with enough water to last for three days. Oh the blessing of taking a hot shower!

The reunion with our church was sweet and the presence of God felt in the service. There were plenty of smiles and a few tears of joy. The experience was bittersweet; sweet from the fellowship of those present, but a bit bitter from the empty chairs that were once occupied by saints that have left.

Please pray for our water supply and for God to send us rain. As I write this letter it is amazing to think that tomorrow marks one week since our arrival and my suitcase is still packed and all it seems like all I’ve done is try to get enough water to get through another day. Even though the water has been our main concern, the Lord has helped us get our internet connected and our mobile phones turned on for communications. We also discovered that our washing machine and the backup machine were both broke and we had to load them up and take them to Odessa for repair. In addition we discovered that a family of mice had destroyed our oven and had to buy a new one and then the gas line was busted to our house. We were so thankful that it was fixed the same day! The only “spiritual” thing it seems we have done since our arrival is pass out a few tracts to the people we meet along the way. I hope this doesn’t sound like complaining but many people asked us what it was like in Ukraine and I decided to start trying to do a better job of explaining what life is like here.

There is still much to do to just get set up to function normally as a missionary family here and we look forward to another term serving the Lord who has so graciously given us such a blessed privilege as this.

In closing I want to mention, Sasha Taraniuk, my friend and companion in the ministry for the last 14 years. He was called up for duty in the military and was sent to the Russian border where casualties occur daily. He graduated our Bible Institute and has participated in every ministry our church has engaged in along with laboring in village evangelism and church planting. In short, he is a huge blessing to our family and church and we pray for him daily. I’ve seen his family go through hard times in the past but I’ve never seen his wife, Oksana, like this before. He reported that one of his fellow soldiers right next to him in the trench lifted his head for a look and was immediately shot through the mouth and exited through the back of the neck. He miraculously survived. This will give some idea of where he is at the moment. The army is hardly paying him enough to live much less his wife and two children so we are supporting them while he is away. Please pray for his safe return and for his family.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                  February – March 2014

The situation in Ukraine changes daily and the tension with Russia is only escalating making it very difficult to plan our departure date.  A few days ago I spoke with Brother Sasha who said that some type of military engagement with Russia is inevitable.  I was planning to return to Ukraine late March or early April but felt that the Lord wanted us to postpone a little longer.  The decision was made easy because Naomi fell and broke her arm while trying to step over a safety gate of all things!  We went to the emergency room and they found that she had a break right below her elbow.  It wasn’t until two weeks later that they discovered that she had also broken a bone in her wrist.  She now has a cast and a brace and we are told that the break in the elbow takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal and that the bone in her wrist is a bad break and will take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to heal if surgery can be avoided.

We are in a very difficult situation at the moment and really need prayer for the Lord to show us His will when we should return.  On the one hand the US Embassy has issued a statement warning all Americans not to travel to Ukraine except for emergencies and the people in our church have said that it would be better to wait until after the upcoming election on May 24 to plan our return trip.  Until the election we expect Putin to continue his attempts to destabilize Ukraine by trying to incite civil war in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, and maybe Odessa.  In view of so many that have expressed their concern for our safety I want to say that I do not intend put my family in harm’s way.

On the other hand we are ready to go.  The Lord has graciously helped us to report to all our supporting churches with the exception of three or four.  Our support is back up to where it needs to be and hopefully will stay strong for a long time so that there will be no need to return to the States till Jesus comes!  The Lord has also provided the funds for our return tickets. 

The only thing on our prayer list that was not answered was funds for a vehicle when we return to Ukraine.  In fact I had already accepted the idea that we were going to return to the field without a vehicle.  These delays caused me to book several meetings that I was not planning to make and what a blessing it has all turned out to be.  We scheduled a meeting with Pastor Ron Ralph in Carthage, TN and they took up an offering which covered half the cost of a van!  I am somewhat ashamed that I was surprised by God showing up and providing for our needs unexpectedly!  Then, two weeks later, Pastor Mike Veach in Staten Island also helped tremendously with a love offering for a van.  It was such an encouragement to us and further testifies that “where God guides, God provides!”

We finally received the “Letter of Invitation” from the Ukrainian Religious Affairs Office and can now proceed with filing the paperwork with the Ukrainian Embassy for a religious visa.  After we receive our visas we will be free to purchase our return tickets once we get the green light from the Lord. 

In spite of the delayed departure the Lord has kept my calendar pretty full with last minute meetings for which we are very grateful.  The last few months have taken us to Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama.  We look forward to our future meetings in North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and Ohio.  Please pray that the Lord will use us to edify the saints and we look forward to some opportunities to preach on the street now that the weather is good.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!  

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil.  3:10


Many have asked questions about what is going on in Ukraine along with my opinion on the situation.  I thought I’d take a few minutes and try to give a little input.

Sixteen years ago, while studying at the Odessa State University, I listened to a lecture on war and Ukraine.  It was fascinating and was a relief from the grueling lectures on verb aspects, participles, gerunds, the nominative, accusative, dative, instrumental, and prepositional cases; along with orthography, syntax, and rules of translation.  It was one of the top ten lectures that stuck with me till this day because I made a mental note of how much time we had to serve the Lord before war would break out again on Ukrainian territory.  One of the facts brought out was that there has never been 100 years of peace in the territory of Ukraine.  So, the clock started ticking in 1945.  The lecture went on to list every item that is now in play on the world stage with Russia.  First, there was the fact that Ukrainians have always been proud that before there was ever a Moscow there was Kiev, the first capital of the old Kiev-Russ Empire; a fact that Stalin resented and decided to break Ukraine by killing 10 million of them in the 1930’s.  The populations of their cities were replaced with Russians.  Secondly, there was the Crimean Peninsula which was originally taken from the Muslim Ottomans by Russia and was given to Ukraine as a gesture of peace by Khrushchev in 1954.  This became a problem when the breakup of the Soviet Union occurred.  In the mind of Russians it would be like our Pearl Harbor being given to the Japanese.  The Russian Black Sea fleet is there at the historic port of Sevastopol.  Then there was the issue of the gas from Russia.  Russia wants Ukraine to pay the same prices that it charges Italy even though it is much more costly to supply Italy and has only 1/3 the clients.  In addition, Russia does not want to pay Ukraine the same as it does Germany for the pipeline going across its territory.  All those elements: the old grudge against Russia, the Crimea, the gas and its pipelines, not to mention the Muslims that also want the Crimean Peninsula back, NATO and Russia’s efforts to use Ukraine as a buffer, together create a tinderbox with the potential to ignite World War III. 

I think it interesting that Daniel’s Image depicting “the times of the Gentiles” has two legs which represent the East – West division.  That division does not heal, but lasts clear to the end of the Tribulation.  Even the 10 kings of the Antichrist’s kingdom will be divided: 5 in the East and 5 in the West.  Daniel’s other vision in chapter 7 which describes the Gentile kingdoms before BOTH comings of Jesus Christ also give some light on Russia’s role in the world today.  That bear represents Russia and the feet of the Antichrist’s kingdom are that of the bear.  Feet are for locomotion and require ENERGY.  It is Russian natural resources that will play a big role in this “brave new world” to come.  Putin knows that he has the EU right where he wants them because their economies are dependent on Russia’s natural gas.

It is further interesting that the Scythians of Colossians 3:11 are mentioned in the same book of the Bible which also makes mention of the church in Laodicea 5 times!  The word Scythian comes from scythe, as in the farming instrument used to reap wheat.  The Scythians were located right in modern day Ukraine and are mentioned in connection with the Laodicean church period.  It is the “Bread basket of the former Soviet Union” because of its fertile soil.  Scythia was ruled by the descendants from modern Iran which connects them historically with Islam though they are presently considered Eastern Orthodox.

All of this brings any student of the Bible to look at Israel in light of what is shaping up in Eurasia.  I just had a very interesting conversation with a pastor about Psalm 83.  It could be that we are witnessing events in the end of the Church Age that will bring about an attack against Israel before the Rapture with Israel being victorious again, like in the Six Day War, resulting in an international unified outcry from all nations against her and setting the stage for the events of the Tribulation. 

            In the meantime we plan, by God’s grace, to fulfill the ministry given us in Ukraine and pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                    December 2013 – January 2014

The Uncertain Future of Ukraine. Many have asked about how the latest opposition and unrest is going to affect us and our ministry. The answer to that question at the moment is that everything is very serious and uncertain. There is much speculation about what can and will happen. All I can say for certainty now is that we are preparing to return to Ukraine as soon as our paperwork is ready. However, we are monitoring the situation as close as we can. We have been advised to postpone our return until this blows over. Please pray for one thing in particular, that the door to freely preaching the Gospel in Ukraine will stay open.

Update on Our Paperwork. Before applying for our invitation to return to Ukraine we first asked two Ukrainian authorities about the possibility for taking proactive steps for my daughter to get her missionary visa after she turns 18 without having to leave the country. After petitioning them for two weeks “no” was the reply. I had resigned to the idea that I would have to leave the country again after her eighteenth birthday to get her a visa. A month went by and now they have agreed to file the paperwork! One hurdle however, is that they now require proof of some sort of religious education in the form of a degree, certificate, or diploma. One of our supporting churches has vouched for her completion of our Sunday School program and will issue a certificate of completion for her. Once it is received we will continue on to the next steps in the long process of getting a religious visa and registration to minister in Ukraine. Please pray that all goes well.

Two Fruitful Months! “and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season. (Psalm 1:3)” We were in New York City when a call came that a young man in Cincinnati had died of an overdose and the family requested me to do the funeral. We had a meeting to go to so I declined. A snow storm caused the meeting to be cancelled so I returned to Cincinnati and got the call. “We sure could use some Jesus over here!” was the request. I immediately went and spent some time with the family and did what I could to comfort them and make sure of their own salvation. The funeral was a little tense. A young man of eighteen years died after being talked into trying heroine for the first time at a party and trusted a grown man of forty plus years to “shoot him up.” A large, diverse crowd gathered. Most were unsaved and I was warned that a small tumult was likely because so many wanted to kill the man that shot the heroine into his veins. There was not a lot of time but the Lord gave great liberty to preach the Gospel and give an invitation where I saw at least ten people raise their hands as a testimony that they had just received Christ for the first time in their lives! The Lord graciously gave me two more souls who came forward in another meeting a month later! Thank you for praying for us and please keep it up!

Prayer and Blessings! We are very encouraged by the response to our last prayer letter. Our monthly support level is up to where it needs to be and the funds for our return tickets are in the bank! Thank you for your prayers and generosity. We are still trying to raise funds for a van to use in Ukraine. Please keep us on your prayer list.

Staying Busy! I want to thank God for His faithfulness to us over all the miles of travel. We have not been part of the tragic statistics that we often hear about. The past two months have taken us to North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Tennessee. While we wait on our paperwork we are staying busy updating those supporting churches that we have not yet visited. We look forward to the meetings ahead in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, and New York. If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                  September – November 2013

Great News! We are excited and encouraged to report that the Lord has graciously answered prayer since our last letter! Our monthly support level is back up and we’ve made great progress in raising funds for a vehicle and tickets for our return flight!  Announcing the postponement of our return to Ukraine in our last prayer letter was a little discouraging. However, everything started coming together shortly after sending out that letter. It is yet another testimony of God’s gracious working through the prayers of His people. Please keep it up! 

We’re Beginning Our Paperwork! In light of the answered prayer we have begun the long process of preparing our paperwork to return to the field. Lord willing, we hope to return around the end of February. We first have to renew a couple passports and get a new one for little Joseph. We are also looking into the possibility of getting a missionary visa for Miriam ahead of time but it looks like she will have to leave the country after she turns eighteen in June and come back into the country with her own religious visa.  

Skymiles for Missions! My parents have been a huge blessing to us this furlough by donating their Delta Skymiles to enable me to take meetings that would otherwise be impossible to take. I’ve made trips to California, Texas, Iowa, and Minnesota only paying $35.00 for a ticket! It has saved much time and money for which we are very thankful. I thought I’d toss an idea to our supporters that if you have any Delta Skymiles that you are not using and would like to donate them towards helping us get back to the field please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011.

Fulfilling Prophesy! Every once in a while I will respond to the common question, “What have you been up to?” with “Fulfilling Bible Prophesy! It says in Daniel that in the last days…many shall run to and fro!” The past few months kept us busy on the road in Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, and Minnesota! We were able to update still more of our supporting churches and schedule a couple of Missions Conferences. The preaching has done my heart good. It has also been a blessing to see the Lord use us to minister to the saints. We look forward to the meetings ahead in Ohio, North Carolina, and New York. If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011.  

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                  July – August 2013

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “…name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9).”  The past two months have offered some good opportunities to serve the Lord.  It was good to hit the street again and preach in downtown Cincinnati before the local Reds baseball game.  For the most part, the crowds were not hostile, many took tracts, and some stopped to listen.  I was also given the privilege of officiating my brother’s wedding ceremony.  His fiancé, Bobbie, was saved over a year ago, so we had the added blessing of meeting several times for Bible study in preparation for her baptism and their wedding.  The wedding afforded a great opportunity to preach the Gospel to many who would not have come to church otherwise.

Change has come to our family.  My oldest son, Joshua, has left home for his first year at PBI.  It has been emotional for us all as we get our first taste of “empty nest syndrome.”  Please pray for him as he seeks God’s will for his life and that he will find a job that will help him meet his financial needs with coworkers who will help him as he grows into Christian manhood.  He is missed but we are glad that he is in a good place to grow in the Lord.

Some have inquired about our support level and fund raising for a vehicle and return tickets to Ukraine.  I compared our supporters list from 2005 with our bank statements from 2013.  It was a bittersweet experience.  It was sweet to see the faithfulness of churches over the years.  One by one, I thanked God for you and imagined the day when we will all be in Heaven and you getting to see the fruit of your faithful prayers and giving.  There was a bitter aftertaste to the experience to see those who, for various reasons, no longer support us.  We have received several “Dear Missionary” letters since 2005 informing us of dropped or decreased support due to doctrinal changes, financial struggles, diminished attendance, and church splits.  There were others, however, who dropped us without a word.  We lost three supporters who together made up over 15% of our monthly support.  We thank the Lord for our new supports since returning to the states but it looks like we are going to have to postpone our departure a few more months to raise additional monthly support.  We are very thankful for those who gave towards our tickets and vehicle but there is still quite a bit more to raise.

We covered a lot of miles over the past few months serving the Lord in Montana, Idaho and Ohio.  It has been a blessing to meet new pastors and churches and get to visit old friends who have prayed for and supported us for years.  We look forward to the meetings ahead in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.  We pray that the Lord will use us to be a blessing and encouragement.  If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011.

Please continue to hold the men and the work in Ukraine up in prayer.  The Rozdilyanski church reports that they’ve seen a few people come to trust Christ as Savior.  Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                        April – June 2013

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “…name which is above every name (Phil.  2:9).” Writing prayer letters is a blessing because it forces me to stop and reflect on what God has done.  The writing of this letter just happens to coincide with the anniversary of when I first crossed the border of Ukraine in search of God’s will for my life.  That was twenty-one years ago! I cannot think of a better way to spend one’s life than to use it in service to the King of kings and Lord of lords.  Looking back at the times spent at His feet in private prayer, the reading of His Book, preaching the Gospel, the souls saved, the men trained for ministry, the literature published and distributed, the Bibles handed out, and the wonderful services attended with Gods’ people I am amazed that God would use someone like me.

I’ve come to understand that the purpose of deputation/furlough is not just for calling pastors for meetings to raise support, it is not just to visit supporting churches and encourage them with what God has done in the field.  Deputation/furlough is for one purpose – to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.  Furlough/Deputation requires a lot of time on the phone, on the road, and behind the pulpit and has its share of ambushes, landmines, and traps.  We miss Ukraine terribly at times.  But, keeping Jesus Christ at the center of our purpose here sure keeps things simple and I’ve found that if you will be busy about His business He will take care of you.

We are thankful that our schedule has been pretty full with meetings in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  It has been a blessing to meet new pastors and churches and get to visit old friends who have prayed for and supported us for years.  We look forward to the meetings ahead and pray that the Lord will use us.  If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011. 

Please continue to hold the men and the work in Ukraine up in prayer.  The Rozdilyanski church is planning for their annual DVBS and Youth Camp.  I am very thankful to report that the family I have been holding Bible studies with have avoided divorce and are now reunited.  Glory to God! They have come to church with me and still continue to study the Bible.  Please pray that they will continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Also, please pray that the Lord will help me schedule meetings in the churches He wants us to be in and for the funds needed to cover our expenses for plane tickets and for a vehicle for the field.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil.  3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                            February – March 2013

A New Name Written Down in Glory!  Last December my extended family got together during the Christmas holidays and asked me to preach.  There was a bit of a mixed crowd there but a friend of the family’s commented that he would like to hear more.  My travels kept me from visiting him but I was finally able to visit his home and lead him to Christ.  For the sake of privacy I’ll leave out a lot of details but let it suffice to say that the Lord is really at work in his life.  While I was out of state in meetings he sent me a message that he has been reading his Bible every day and asked if I would come and teach his family the Bible.  Glory to God!

Blessings on the Road.  The last two months have been very busy with meetings.  I do most of the travelling alone while Naomi and the children stay in Cincinnati.  This keeps costs down and allows the family a semblance of stability. My travels have taken me to Wooster, OH; Corpus Christi, TX; Pensacola, FL; Covington, LA; Lyles, TN; Sinking Springs, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Charlotte, NC; Canton, OH; and Talbott, TN.  The Lord graciously allowed us to be a part of five Missions Conferences.  We are thrilled that the Bible Believer’s Baptist Church of Corpus Christi and Harbor Baptist Church in Charlotte have taken us on for support.  We also had the opportunity to give a ministry update to seven churches that have supported us over the years.  In addition, it was a rare honor for two pastors to ask me back to fill their pulpits while they were away.  We have also seen several saved and others surrender their lives to the Lord.

We are still trying to raise additional support, as well as update all our supporting churches before we go back to Ukraine.  We would love to see you while we are on furlough.  If you would like to schedule a meeting please contact me by e-mail; or call 513-376-1011.

The Rue Crew Review.  From January to July we have at least one birthday in our family every month.  We celebrated Samuel’s tenth birthday in February and then in March we celebrated Naomi’s who turned, well, she’s still a young lady!  The newest addition to our family, Joseph, is a HUGE blessing and will be 3 months old on 4/6.  We battled an awful flu for over two weeks in February that attacked everyone in the family.  We are glad that everyone is healthy and well with the exception of homesickness.  We all miss our people, ministry, and home in Ukraine.

Prayer Requests.  We have many things to pray about but a few are of great importance.  First, please pray for one of our men in Ukraine who has been with me just about from the beginning of our ministry.  I’ve had to relieve him of certain positions in the ministry and I’m just concerned about him.  In addition, please pray for our ministry to grow in the Lord while we are away.  Second, we need the Lord to provide our airfare back to Ukraine.  A funny thing happened the other morning.  My son, Christopher, is constantly asking when we are going to “get on the plane.”  At one point we told him we would after Christmas.  He remembered and asked the very next day, “When are we getting on the plane?”  So, I told him we have to wait to get tickets.  He woke up a little grumpy one morning and mumbled something.  I said, “What did you say, Christopher?”  He replied, in a very loud voice, “WHERE’S THE TICKETS?!”  Third, in addition to the return tickets, we need to raise funds for a van in Ukraine.  We sold the one we had to help us cover the costs for our return to the USA and will need one when we get back.  This is not an option or luxury; it is a real need for us and the ministry.  Lastly, please pray that the Lord would use me to be a blessing and encouragement to others and win souls to Christ.

Thank you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                          November 2012 – January 2013

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His salvation. As you can see by the date above we have fallen quite a bit behind in getting this letter out. I hope that you will be glad to know that we still alive and well, looking for our Lord to come, and happy to be serving Him!

Please Meet the New Rue! We are thrilled to announce the birth of our seventh child and sixth son, Joseph Alexander Rue. He was born on January 6 weighing in at a whopping 11 lbs. 2 oz! Due to previous complications, Naomi’s previous C-section, Joseph’s size, and Naomi’s “advanced maternal age” (ahem!), they closely monitored Naomi and Joseph the last month. We should have just rented a room at the hospital. We could have saved in time and gasoline.

We could not have asked the Lord for a better delivery. Everything was great. This was the first time Naomi has ever had an epidural and all I can say is that it was not like natural childbirth at all. There was no weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth! Instead, we talked to the nurses about our work in Ukraine and were able to sow a few seeds for the Lord. The best part, however, was the Lord’s gracious presence through it all. He did something very special for us. Naomi went into labor naturally and delivered little Joseph on the same day that Ukraine celebrates Epiphany. This means that he will be very doted on by the Ukrainian babushkas! But that’s not the special part. It just happens to be the very day that we lost a baby to miscarriage eight years ago!


A New Name Written Down in Glory! The Lord opened the door for me to visit a distant family member by marriage named Patricia and lead her to the Lord. I was told on a Sunday that she didn’t have long to live and that she would see me. My great uncle said that up to that point she didn’t want to talk to anyone about the Lord. I entered her room and got right down to the Lord’s business. She heard the Gospel and called on the Lord to save her! I read her some passages in the Bible, prayed some more with her, and just as I got up to go Hospice came in. That was the last time I saw her. She entered into the joy of the Lord two days later! He daughter was there and witnessed the whole thing and I asked her if she had ever trusted Christ. She hadn’t and is open to hearing more. Please pray for her salvation.

The Work. Slavic, Sasha, and Casey report that the work in Ukraine is doing well. There were two weddings that I hated to miss but was glad that Brother Casey was there to help. The church in Razdelnaya is staying faithful and Missionary Sasha Taraniouk reports that the work of planting a church in Illichivs’k is slow but they are encouraged by little handfuls of purpose that the Lord gives.

Meetings. I have stayed busy travelling to meetings, giving reports to supporting churches and trying to raise additional support. In November, December, and January my travels have taken me to Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, and Iowa. We have seen the Lord’s hand in many of the meetings and are very encouraged by one young man surrendering to be a missionary.
If you, or any churches you know, would like to have us in for a meeting please contact me. The best way is by e-mail Or, you can reach me at 513-376-1011. Please pray with me that the Lord would use me to be a blessing and encouragement to others.

Please pray for us during the transition and for the ministry here to grow during our absence. God bless you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                June – July 2012

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C... The last year has been, as they say, “Quite a doozy!” Both ministry and family plans have gone from A to Z, it seems. First, I planned to travel back to the States with Joshua for a short visit to help him get his driver’s license, look at a few colleges, and leave him with some friends to work for the summer in NY. The plan also included him returning to Ukraine to stay with us till next year when we planned to return to the States for some furlough time and help him get acclimated to life in America. I also went to have my shoulder looked at by a doctor, which I injured back in February. Things for Joshua did not turn out as planned. We did look at one college, but he did not get to go to New York nor did he get his license. The Lord had other plans and Joshua is currently in Cincinnati staying with Pastor Joel Greer and was generously given work by a friend of mine. It doesn’t look like he is going to return to Ukraine for a year either. When I initially scheduled the trip with Joshua it was supposed to be a quick “get in, get it done, and get out” sort of trip. It turned into all of the above and more. After praying about it for some time we have decided to move our furlough up a year. This certainly is not what I wanted. My “Plan A” is to stay in Ukraine. However, several things point to the Lord directing us to do it this year. First, Naomi is expecting our seventh child. The due date is December 24th. The last baby was an emergency C-section and, after talking to our doctor here, we believe it is better to have the baby in the States. Secondly, it has been seven years since our last furlough (2004-2005). We have returned to the States several times to renew our visas and to have our last child, but they were not a full-blown furlough. During those quick trips I was able only to visit our churches in the Cincinnati area. Thirdly, ever since the Ukrainian government changed the laws requiring us to leave the country yearly to renew our visas, we have struggled financially to cover the costs. This and the fact that some churches have had to drop or cut our support, and the rising costs of living in Ukraine have made it necessary for me to do extra deputation.

Scheduling Meetings. I plan to call all of our supporting churches and visit all that would like to have me in for a meeting. We hope to schedule some new meetings as well. If you would like to have us in for a meeting please contact me. It would be a great help if you would contact me if you know of any churches that are looking to take on new missionaries. The best way is by e-mail Or, you can call me in Ukraine 011-38-067-519-2934. Or, you can call me in the States after August 18 at 513-376-1011. Otherwise, plan on hearing from me sometime between September and October. Please pray with me that the Lord would use me to be a blessing and encouragement to others.

Children’s Bible Club 2012. The Lord has again blessed our church’s annual Children’s Bible Club. It was headed up and run by the nationals in our church, with the added help of Casey and Sarah Kline. This year’s theme was, “The Mountains of Jerusalem” and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. Our highest day of attendance was 56 and we had several parents visit during the week as well. We do not give mass invitations for salvation. Instead, we have our teachers deal with the children personally. The teachers reported 13 children receiving Christ as Savior during the week. One of the visiting parents was actually one of the girls who used to come to Bible Club herself. She came to church the following Sunday and has indicated that she is interested in knowing more about God’s salvation. One of the boys who received Christ was Seriozha our neighbor’s boy. My sons, Ben and Sam, have been praying for his salvation for over a year now. It was a blessing to see God answer their prayers.

Salvation Sunday! We are very thankful for the Lord blessing us with one soul saved during our last Salvation Sunday meeting. Lydia came to church as a guest of one of our members and received Christ during the invitation. She fits in very well and we look forward to helping her grow in the Lord.

Another Baptismal Service. In our last prayer letter I wrote about Nikolai and Valentina who received Christ. They attended our classes for new converts and decided to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism and join the church. In addition, we have had several other young people come from a neighboring town to visit our services. Two of the young men were not yet baptized so they attended classes too. All together we had five follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. What a blessing it was! There was shouting, tears of joy, hugs, and HUGE smiles! It is good to be saved! It is going to be very hard to leave when everything is going so good.

Missionary Sasha. One challenge of the Gospel ministry in Ukraine has been working with nationals in the area of God’s call and the ministry. There are Ukrainian men in whom I’ve invested years of training only to come away realizing that their desire to help was more out of personal respect for me than it was the call of God on their lives. It is very frustrating working with such men in the ministry and has taught me to be patient and more thorough in dealing with men who want to serve in the ministry. I am currently praying with Sasha Taraniuk about his calling to the Lord’s ministry in Ukraine. Sasha is praying and seeking the Lord’s will for his life in the ministry. He has always been a GREAT personal worker. He constantly witnesses to his fellow countrymen and has a burden for the work of the Lord, especially that other churches will be established in other towns. He has been doing research and surveying other towns, mostly regional centers, passing out tracts, doing personal work, and seeking where the Lord would have him begin the work of starting a church. At the moment, he is drawn to the small city called Illichivsk, which is located about an hour south of Odessa. We are praying about sending him out as a national missionary to start a work there. Please pray for him and his wife, Oksana, for the Lord to make His will very clear to them both.

There is so much more I would like to say but time and space will not allow. Please pray for us during the transition and for the ministry here to grow during our absence. God bless you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord. Until our next prayer letter, or, until we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him,

Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                 May 2012

It is a privilege to once again write and tell what the Lord has done for us and the ministry here in Ukraine. A few weeks ago I revamped our mailing list and was reminded of each and every one of you. Great gratitude filled my soul thinking of all the churches and individuals who were faithfully praying for us and supporting us in this work.

From visas to registration. Upon our return, we immediately began the new registration process for missionaries. It took about fifty days to complete and we sure are relieved to be out of the paper jungle for a while. We are still waiting to hear if or when we will receive the “Vid na Zhitelstva” which would give us a five year residency status. Please pray about this with us. These new laws have really taken their toll on us and our ministry. We long to be able to tend to the Lord’s business without distraction from the bureaucratic jungle. We are very thankful that the Lord has opened this door for us to minister here and is keeping it open all these years. We pray He will keep it open till He calls us all home.

Abiding Fruit. One year, while tending to my fruit trees, the Lord taught me a great object lesson. I saw that our plum tree was just loaded with fruit. Too much, really, for it’s small frame. I went over and grabbed a branch and just gave it a gentle shaking. The fruit fell like rain. I thought, “This reminds me of some Christians and ministries I know.” They give a great appearance of being fruitful but all it takes is a little “shaking things up” and the unripe fruit falls away. I don’t want my life and ministry to be like that plum tree. I asked the church to begin praying for souls, this time, however, that we should pray for God’s Holy Spirit to convict and bring sinner’s to understand their condition before Him. We can work and labor but without the Lord’s Spirit we can do nothing. God wonderfully answered our prayers. Two people were saved within about three weeks and they were not unripe fruit picked too early. They literally fell into our hands. One Sunday four young people visited our church from a town about two hours away. Three of them were saved, one was not. A young lady named Victoria came to me and said, “I came to church today to get saved.”!!!!! Being the skeptic that I am, I questioned her to see if she really understood the Gospel and, to my surprise, she really was ready. Victoria got on her knees that morning and received Christ as her Savior! She has been reading her Bible and has come back to church. The fruit abides!!! Two Sunday’s later a retired army officer named Nikolai came to me and also asked what he needed to do to be saved. He had been visiting our church for about three weeks and started reading the Bible. He is a smart man and is very reasonable. I explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him and brought him to the part that he must call upon the Lord in prayer. Nikolai said, “I don’t know how to pray. I’ve never really prayed before.” So, I explained that the Lord was near and can hear him and that he should just talk to Him like he would anyone. He bowed his head and began praying, calling on the Lord to save him. As he prayed I felt the Lord’s Spirit with us in the room and knew that this man was experiencing the new birth. When he finished praying Nikolai said, “Something happened to me while I prayed! I’ve never felt anything like this before in my life.” I was rejoicing in my soul but containing my emotions and was somewhat amused by this newborn baby in Christ trying to figure out this new feeling like Wesely, who was “strangely warmed” when saved. Nikolai has been faithfully coming to church ever since and is growing in the Lord. The fruit abides!!! Praise be to God!!!

Water Baptismal Service. In the month of May we enjoyed the Lord’s ordinances in the local church. It was my privilege to baptize six young people: Maxim, Vlad, Lydia, and Anya. Also among them were my two middle sons Benjamin and Samuel. They are growing in the Lord, in prayer, and in their understanding of the Scriptures. They are also praying for their friend next door, Sergei, who has been coming to church for about a year.

Graduation Banquet. We are very thankful to announce that my oldest son, Joshua, has graduated High School. Every year we have a special service for our Graduates in the church and this year we made it even more special with a Graduation Banquet. It was a blessing to hear all the young people’s speeches and also to have some unsaved people in attendance. It was good for them to see how well we love and take care of our young people. (Continued on the other side…)

Funeral Service for Dina. One of our dear ladies in church, Babushka (i.e. “Grandma”) Dina, went home to be with the Lord. I wrote of her salvation in a prayer letter about seven or eight years ago. She had a very hard and even tragic life up to the time that she received Christ as her Savior. She was sold, as a fifteen year old girl, to be the wife of a thirty year old man who was of the Gagaouzi people. They are the Turkish people who settled in Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. She was an alcoholic and had to live with the death of a two-year old grand-daughter who died of an overdose while under her care. She was drunk and didn’t notice that the child had eaten a whole bottle of aspirin. She was a diabetic and contracted gangrene which caused her to lose her foot. It was during this time that the Lord answered our prayers and she received Christ. There was a visible change in her after she was saved. She went from a hard, cursing, hateful woman to a tender, kind, and loving Grandma! She is with the Lord now and I am reminded how important missions is. I tried to deal with her son who is unsaved and he cried saying that his last memories of his mother were those of her sitting by the window reading her Bible in the sunlight! I told him that, though she was poor, she left him a great legacy – a true Christian testimony. I told him that if she had not met Jesus Christ his last memories would have been of her in a drunken stupor. Oh, what a change in our lives the Lord makes. Please pray for his salvation.

Family matters. Please pray for Joshua and I as we travel back to the United States for him to work for the summer. He is preparing for college next year and needs to work to save money. He is not allowed to work in Ukraine for money because he has a missionary visa. I am travelling with him also to get my shoulder looked at that I injured last February. Please pray for our family while we are apart from each other. On May 31 Naomi and I celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary! She is very dear to me and I hate to be away from her for very long, especially in her condition! We are happy to announce that the Lord has blessed us again and Naomi is expecting. This truly was an unexpected blessing and we will have a lot to think and pray about in the coming months.

God bless you all for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord. Until our next prayer letter or we meet in the air!

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,     February – March 2012

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and enjoying His blessings.  It is again my privilege to tell of what the Lord is doing as we serve Him in Ukraine.  As mentioned in our last letter we spent six weeks in the US applying for new long term visas, getting doctor’s check-ups, and renewing other documents.  It was a blessing to have the opportunity to preach in several churches and even preach at the Branch Hill Baptist Church’s annual Sweetheart Banquet.  I was very encouraged seeing that Maineville Baptist Church, one of the first churches to take us on for support, has a new pastor, Mark Sage, who is doing a good job leading the church to grow in the Lord.

We received our visas!  Thank you for praying for our visas.  We came very close to not receiving them in time.  I applied for the new long term visas and submitted all the documentation they required after checking ALL FOUR Ukrainian Consulate websites.  I waited several weeks for a reply only to have our paperwork and passports returned with the note, “Please submit all required documents.”  They didn’t say what was missing.  Time was running out so we drove all that night to Chicago to apply in person.  The consulate wanted a copy of our churches paperwork proving that it was a registered religious organization.  It seemed ridiculous to me seeing that it would be impossible for me to receive a letter of invitation without a registered religious organization in the first place.  The consulate stood firm.  I told him I did not have our church’s documents with me and that we would lose our return flights.  He said that he would accept a copy sent via e-mail.  I promptly called our church treasurer who, at 7:00 p.m., still “happened” to be at his office and had the church documents with him.  The copies were sent to the Embassy within ten minutes!  Glory to God!  We were on our way home the same day with the new visas in hand.  We made it out of Chicago just as a snow storm hit.  The Lord took care of us on the road as we were literally a few feet away from a car that lost control on the highway in front of us (Prov.  21:31).

Souls!  The entire time we were in the States I prayed for the Lord to give me souls.  In most of our meetings people came to the altar, and a few young people offered their lives for missions, but it was very disappointing that souls were not getting saved.  I’ve had a few health problems and had a checkup with a Jewish doctor, whose staff was not busy at the time!  After the checkup I spoke to them all about being a missionary and went straight for him.  It was a captive audience!  They listened carefully as I told them of God’s dealings with Israel and His plan of salvation.  Twice the doctor said, “You’ve almost talked me into becoming a Christian!” Doesn’t that sound familiar (Acts 26:28)? I took him some literature a few days later and continue to pray for his salvation. 

Our time in the States was coming to an end and I was very disappointed that the Lord still had not given me one soul.  Then I had an opportunity to talk to my brother’s friend, Bobbie Jo, about salvation.  My brother was concerned about her and asked if I would talk to her.  I invited them to come to Mt.  Hope Baptist Church, where I dedicated my life to Christ over twenty years ago, to hear me preach.  She came to church that Sunday, for the first time in her life, but did not get saved.  The Lord gave me another opportunity to witness to her the next  Saturday evening.  Both Steven, and Bobbie Jo came to church again the following Sunday evening when I preached at Bible Believer’s Baptist Church in Loveland, OH.  I had called Pastor Wilson a few weeks prior and he was booked up, but he called me back several days later and said that, while praying that morning, he felt that he should invite me to come and preach.  That night I preached, gave an invitation and she did not respond.  I took a seat in the front row, discouraged that not one soul was saved during our visit to the States.  Then my wife tapped my shoulder and said, “I just prayed with Bobbie Jo.  She received Christ!” What a blessing!  She and my brother  have been attending services faithfully ever since.  Please pray for them!  One of the great things about writing prayer letters is that you get to relive moments like that!  I’m getting such a blessing, even “goose bumps” writing about it!  All praise, honor, glory, and power to the Lamb of God!

Return to Ukraine and registrations.  We flew back to Ukraine on March 1.  As usual, the return trip was brutal but the reunion with the saints was sweet.  We’ve begun the process to now get our long term registration. 

We have submitted all the necessary paperwork while looking into a second option.  The opportunity to obtain “Residency Status” called a “Vid na Zhitelstva” has been offered to us. 

Brother Sasha, our church treasurer and local missionary, has connections that may be able to get this done for me, Naomi, Joshua, and Miriam.  

Things here are done in a “special” way.  To illustrate, several years ago I got a crash course in how to do business in Ukraine at the local train station.  There was a special window that was for foreigners to obtain tickets.  I would go the lady at the window and say, “I need a ticket to Kiev.” She would say, “We don’t have any.” I would walk away and then a young man would approach me asking, “What do you need?” Again, I’d say, “A ticket to Kiev.” We would agree on the day and price and then he would go back to THE VERY SAME WOMAN and buy the ticket for me.  I had to buy tickets like this on at least four occasions.  It is kind of the same situation with Residency Status.  I sent a guy to inquire for me the normal way.  We were denied, however, if you have connections and money you can get it done.  It is expensive on the one hand, however, on the other I cannot afford buying tickets for me and my family every year just to renew our visas.  As it is, our credit cards are “maxed-out” paying for the last tickets.  Each “Residency Status Card” is about the same price as a plane ticket.  Please pray that we can get this “Vid na Zhitelstva” which would allow me to stay here for five years without having to leave every year.  That is big savings for a family our size.

Small town recon.  We visited a small town an hour away named Beliavka for passing out tracts and looking the town over for opportunities possibilities of a new church plant.  I’ve been working with Sasha Taraniuk, who is our new local missionary hoping to help him get some Bible studies going in other towns.  The tracts were well received and we had a few good conversations with the locals there.  Please pray for souls to get saved and that the Lord would guide every step in this ministry.

More souls!  We are very thankful to report that two other people have been saved since our return to Ukraine.  One boy named, Vlad, the younger brother of Vika, received Christ and has been faithfully attending church since.  Another middle aged man, named Oleg, has also received Christ, though I have some doubts about him and his motives.  I’ve dealt with him for about a year now.  He was never convinced that he was going to go to hell.  So, he would come to church (I think because he is interested in a certain woman) and I’d preach at him every chance I had.  He came to me last Wednesday and said, “I’m ready.” I asked, “Ready for what?” He said that he wanted to get saved.  I asked if he knew how.  He said, “That’s why I’ve come to you.” I explained salvation and asked if he would like to pray to receive Christ, to which he replied, “I’ve already done that.” He called on the name of the Lord at home while going through some of our literature.  There is a noticeable change in him and I look forward to teaching him in the future. 

 Family matters.  My oldest son, Joshua will be turning 18 in April and graduating High School this May.  We are planning on him going back to the States to work for the summer so he can make money to further his education.  Please pray for us as we all go through the tough transition.  Please pray that God would make His will for Joshua clear and help him grow during this transition to life in America.  Thank you for your prayers, support, and friendship.

 That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil.  3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,     December 2011 – January 2012

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and looking for His return.  It was my desire and intention to write a separate prayer letter for the month of December, but I could not find the time while preparing for our departure to the United States to renew our visas.  It is never our intention to make a trip back to the States without first notifying our supporting churches and asking for prayer.  The new visas laws in Ukraine are throwing hurdles in our way that cause unforeseen problems.  In addition to the preparations for the trip our family came down with whooping cough which made us sick for many weeks.  Now I know why whooping cough is also called the “One hundred day cough.”  An epidemic hit Ukraine and affected several people in our church.  Joshua, Miriam, and Christopher had a pretty bad case, but it seemed to hit me worse of all.  The trip back to the States further weakened our immune systems so I also came down with a few flu bugs and walking pneumonia.  Thankfully we are all on the mend and trying hard to get our immune systems back up.

After praying about the need to apply for new long term visas we decided that it would be best to do so after the holidays, during the low key winter months.  Spring and summer is our busiest time, when ministry, home, and schooling schedules are full.  We also had the hard decision of whether it would be best to try to go somewhere in Europe or the States.  Both are very expensive.  Knowing that the situation with the new laws would be unchartered territory we decided that it would more profitable to fly to the States.  At least we had a free place to stay in the US.  Food and lodging in the EU for my family would be extremely expensive.  I am so glad that the Lord led us this way.  He knows what the future holds.  After buying our tickets I tried to renew my driver’s license online only to find out that they required that I appear in person.  If my license were to expire while on the field, it would have caused a lot of hardship on our lives and ministry.  We also felt it would be best to get a few medical tests done there in the States for my four year old son Christopher.  The doctors here have been a big help and diagnosed him has having a genetic disorder that makes his joints hyper-flexible.  He may have injured a disk in his back, but we cannot know for sure without an MRI.  We are thankful to the Lord that there are no broken bones.

Ukraine is a very reactive society; not proactive.  Laws are passed and everyone reacts.  Knowing this I applied for a letter of invitation six weeks before our departure to allow enough time to get it before leaving for the States….six weeks to receive a signed piece of paper!  Trying to book a return flight is much like shooting blind in the dark.  So, I allowed six weeks in the States to apply for the new visas at the Ukrainian Embassy.  It took close to nine weeks to get the letter! American efficiency, on the other hand, is amazing.  I was able to renew my driver’s license in ten minutes! I have filled out all the necessary paperwork and applied for the visas as soon as the letter arrived here in the States.  Please pray that we will receive our new visas before our return flight.

The months of December and January have been a great blessing.  We’ve had several girls consistently visiting as a result of our last summer’s Children’s Bible Club.  The church prepared “goodie baskets” for the shut-ins and sang Christmas hymns upon delivering them.  We also visiting the local orphanage and dropped off some goodies there.  We are still praying for an open door to minister there.  Our church prepared a street meeting and had a great time signing and preaching on the street.

 The Lord also gave me a longtime desire of my heart in opening the door for me to preach in the local public school.  Our homeschool group prepared a Christmas Cantata and were able to present it in two different schools in Odessa and Rozdilna.  After the children presented the Cantata to the auditorium I was able to tell them all about Jesus Christ using the candy cane as an object lesson.  We also passed out the Chick tract “The Greatest Story Ever Told” to them all.  This is a great open door that we hope will allow us more access to the children in our area.  The children and parents are much less likely to be afraid and suspicious of us if we are allowed in the schools by the director.  They have invited me back to the school in Rozdilna for “cultural exchange” between Ukraine and the United States! Please pray that the Lord will keep this door open and that these children will come to know Jesus Christ though our efforts there.

The logistics involved in even a short term visit to the States can be very complicated.  My parents were gracious to let us stay in their house while they were down south, so, a cheap place to stay was taken care of.  However, obtaining a vehicle with insurance has always been somewhat of a challenge.  We thank God for the Friendship Baptist Church lending us a vehicle and taken care of the insurance! The Lord has allowed me to take a few meetings in several supporting churches in the Cincinnati area.  Please pray that the Lord will use us to be a blessing to the saints.  We wish we could see everyone, but time will not allow.  Please pray for our church in our absence.

We are scheduled to return to Ukraine on February 29.  Please pray for travelling mercies and that the Lord will help us get this new long term visa.  We are given 45 days to complete a very complicated process.  Thank you for your prayers, support, and friendship.

 That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil.  3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                    November 2011

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and looking for His return. The Lord blessed us in the month of November with two people coming to know Jesus Christ as Savior. Ukrainian custom requires that you greet someone the first time you see them each day. It is considered an insult not to do so. This is what led to Sveta receiving Christ. I was on my way to Sunday evening service and stopped to pick up some of our church members who were talking with a woman and her two daughters. The mother’s name is Sveta and her two daughters used to come to our church, where one of them was saved. It was a little dark, but I rolled down the window and said, “Dobri Vetcher.” They just ignored me and walked on by. This is considered an insult, but I figured that she was upset for some reason. I drove on down the street to pick up some other members and upon turning around I saw Sveta waving frantically for me to stop. She was apologizing profusely for being so rude and that she did not see that it was me. We invited her to come to church, but she refused because she and her girls were in pants. We convinced them to come anyway, and, to make a long story short Sveta responded to the invitation to receive Jesus Christ. This was the last opportunity that I had to win her to the Lord, for she was just days away from immigrating to the United States. In the past I tried visiting her twice to win her to Christ and was only successful in engaging her in light conversation because she was always in a hurry to go somewhere. She is now already living in the United States. Please pray for her and her daughters as we try to help them get into a Bible Believing Church in Oregon.

It was again a blessing to gather our youth with those of other missionary churches in Ukraine for a one day Youth Conference. Missionaries Perry Demopolis and Mike Ireland preached to the youth. We still rejoice in what God has done in the past in these meetings and work and pray that they will help our youth “sell out” to God.

It was my privilege to be invited to take part in an ordination service of Pavel Ivanovich, who is now pastor over a church that was started by Missionary Mike Ireland. I preached the charge to Brother Pavel, Brother Richard Maher preached a charge to the church, then we laid hands on him. The Lord’s presence was definitely felt and testified that God is going to use this young pastor. While I was away at this meeting a man visited our church on his way to a rehabilitation center. He heard the Gospel and responded that morning. He came back that evening before his train left. He has since contacted us to let us know that he is doing well. 

The church is preparing a Christmas presentation for the town of Razdelnaya. We have a choir and a children’s choir of bells. We pray that the presentation will soften hearts for the Gospel. Brother Casey Kline has been a big help to us with this and is also showing improvement in his Russian. Please pray for him and Sarah in their language studies.

We are again facing some tough decisions regarding our visa situation here. Naomi and I renewed our visas just two days before the new visa regulations were enforced. No one knew the details of the new laws. It is a trickle down set up where the top makes the laws and it takes about six months to a year before the details move down through the ranks and everyone is on the same page….then they change them again! Joshua, our eldest son, will be turning 18 this April and will need a visa. Our original plan was to purchase a multiple entry visa and then Joshua and I could leave the country together for some father/son time as a graduation gift. Our plan is for Joshua to stay one more year with us at home before we all go back to the States together for a furlough, where we can get him settled into American life and a good church home. In the meantime he can take online courses in preparation for college or university. We thought it was a good plan, but there is one glitch. The new visa laws state that all existing visas will be automatically cancelled once one leaves the country. So, we are praying about what we need to do. On the one hand it would be better for us all to do this at the same time during the winter months while there is a lot of down time. The new visa laws require us to produce over 16 different documents and only allow 45 days to complete the task once entering the country.

For us to split this up into two trips would mean that I could potentially be doing nothing but running documents from office to office as a full time job for three months. The flip side is the expense we would incur for us all to leave the country. It is not an option for Naomi and me to leave the country without our children anymore. Please pray for God to show us what He wants us to do and for perfect peace with the decision.

This past month has been a little hard on the family by way of illnesses. Christopher seems to be getting the brunt of it all. He came down with something that resembled salmonella and was very sick for about a week. He also injured his tailbone and maybe his spine after a pretty bad fall. Praise the Lord everything is okay and he is back to normal.

It was again our privilege to host a Thanksgiving meal for all the missionary families in the Odessa area. This year we had some from Kiev as well. We ate, sang hymns in ENGLISH, and prayed for our families, churches, and country. The Lord is good!

Thank you for your prayers, support, and friendship. God bless you all as you serve the Lord and celebrate Christ’s First Advent! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                                            September – October 2011

New School Year Underway. We are glad to say that the Rue Family Home School finally began another school year. Joshua is a senior this year which places us on the threshold of some major changes in the near future. Miriam is a sophomore, and Benjamin and Samuel are finishing up elementary school. Travelling abroad to renew visas, putting up food for winter, “winterizing” the house, etc…keep us busy this time of year. In addition to this is the problematic task of selecting, ordering, and shipping the homeschool materials. We are trying to work out some problems with the curriculum we ordered. The Ukrainian Customs Dept. stopped our shipment and sent it back to the States. This is a huge setback and financial problem because the company we ordered from will not offer any help to replace the materials. In the meantime it is approaching winter and my children do not have some of the courses they need. Please pray that we can solve this soon.

Church Update. Ukraine has come a long way in some areas. It is especially obvious when you compare today’s Ukraine with the one in which I began my family and ministry back in 1994. Ukraine still seems to be about ten years behind several of the other former Soviet countries in the Baltics, but I sure am thankful for the progress. I’d give it all up in a moment for the people to be as receptive today as they were then. We had 80 to 100 people showing up every week. Souls were saved weekly. Visitors came every Sunday and Wednesday. I took it all for granted. Today, all of that has changed. The Lord, however, gives us “handfuls of purpose” along the way and encourages us in the thought that we may be ‘the last hour laborers’ of the church age. A young man named Svyatoslav came to visit our church from Odessa. He is the son of the lady who bought our old house in Odessa. I’ve witnessed to her on several occasions and she even came to Bible Club with her little girl but she still doesn’t “get it.” She is steeped in superstition and astrology. She is convinced that God hears my prayers so she thought I could help him with his eyesight. He is in danger of losing one of his eyes. The doctor here thinks that he needs to remove the one to save the other. I dealt with him after church for over an hour. Knowing him and his mother I figured that this might be my only chance to really deal with him. I didn’t push him into a decision but I certainly did ask if he would like to receive Christ as Savior. I explained the Gospel and asked do you understand. “Yes,” he said. “Do you want to pray and receive Christ right now?” He answered, “Wait a minute, what does this mean again…” After three times going through the Gospel he finally got on his knees and prayed asking God to save him from sin, not failing eyesight! He rode the train from Odessa for three weeks to attend services, in spite of the fact that it takes about two hours of travel time to get to church. Then he stopped. His mother was a little spooked by it all and, I think, began to influence him. Naomi and I visited her and did what we can to sow some more seed. Natasha is a self-made success story. She owns several jewelry stores in Odessa and has a lot on her plate. We have an open door to go back. Please pray for her salvation. Sometimes I get such a blessing just looking at our church members. I remember who they were and what they were like before they got saved. It is just a blessing to see how far they’ve come. The Lord has shown me that I can often miss such a blessing by concentrating on the problems. Believe me, we’ve got plenty. Our folks are witnessing, praying for the salvation of souls, singing loud, and still hang around after services for up to an hour. What a blessing and a privilege it is to serve Jesus Christ here in Ukraine. We are trying to saturate a town about an hour away with Gospel tracts. We’ve been there twice and still have to go back again to finish. We are praying that God will give us some open doors to start a Bible study.

Tracts and Literature. I am thrilled that we finally have a good supply of quality tracts to pass out. We finished the translation of the Chick tract “Mad Machine.” It is well received. People immediately identify with the title. The tract, “Moving On Up!” is translated and is being printed. We are now working on “Who Is He?” and “The Bully.” Please pray that this work will be used of God to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

I am also very glad that we have begun the translation of the book, “Sure Word of Prophesy” by Dr. Ruckman. Please pray for its translation, publication, and distribution here in Ukraine.

Church Planter’s Mission Society. In the area of church planting we’ve had a few, what I’ll call “good attempts.” This is not including our church in Razdelnaya. It is doing very well and has weathered many a storm over the years. So, with the exception of Razdelnaya, each time we have tried to plant churches in other towns they’ve failed when I’ve completely entrusted them to national leadership. The question that has bothered me over the past five years has mainly been whether to turn this church over to national leadership and move on or stay and use it as a base for a larger church planting ministry. In the past, each time that I got ready to turn it over, the Lord stopped us. The problem is that I’m not happy concentrating all my efforts on one church. After some prayer and consideration I believe we have found an answer to the problem. We are currently in the process of organizing a Ukrainian missionary society for the sole purpose of training and equipping nationals in the work of evangelizing and starting local churches here. It is nothing new to what we’ve been doing here over the years. It is just a different approach. So, I’ve already begun the process of organizing it and I’ve already had a meeting with our first “candidate” who is eager to get to work. He needs a little more training and direction but he has the heart to serve Christ and see sinners saved. Please pray for God’s blessings and provision as we try to get more churches planted.

Let me close with a word of testimony of God’s goodness and answered prayer. When it came time to purchase the curriculum to home school our kids we ended up doing something that I don’t like to do – go into debt. It was a big order. We also ordered the extra workbooks to go with the textbooks so that we could reuse the textbooks with our other children. (They are always putting out new editions to make you buy more books and workbooks!) It was weighing on my mind a bit and then I realized that I hadn’t asked God to provide for that need. I actually felt ashamed for not asking. So, I prayed for God to help us pay off the curriculum. Some friends contacted us a few days later asking how they could help. The rest is history. What a blessing it is to watch the Lord use the body of Christ to answer prayer. Thank you for your prayers, support, and friendship. God bless you all as you serve the Lord.

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                      March – April 2011

 I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His salvation.

 Family Matters! It is a funny thing that we have birthdays each month beginning in January and continuing through July. In April we celebrate two birthdays, Joshua’s (now 17) and Christopher’s (now 4). I turned 44 this past January and celebrated my 23rd year serving the Lord Jesus Christ on February 18. Samuel turned eight in February; and Naomi had a birthday in March making her…still a young woman! We will celebrate Ben’s birthday in a few days when he will turn ten. I wish to thank all of you who sent us birthday wishes and words of encouragement. I want to testify and say that the best thing that I ever did, besides getting saved at the age of eight, is selling out to Jesus Christ at 21 years of age. The Lord has been very good to this unworthy sinner. The Lord has given me a remarkable wife and six children. Everyone is in good health and all but the two youngest are saved. Best of all, I’ve had the privilege of serving Him on the mission field for the past 17 years, preaching the word of God, leading people to Christ, watching them grow and do the same. The Lord is good!

The Lord has provided us with a great house and yard that helps us live more and more efficiently off the land. We are debt free. Our chickens give us fresh eggs every day and we now butcher our own cows every three of four months. We have a calf that stays on one of our church member’s property getting fat for his appointed day. We have fresh milk, straight from the cow, delivered every morning by a neighbor lady down the street. Naomi makes our own cottage cheese and yogurt from it. She also bakes our own bread.

       Well, I guess it has happened, I’ve become “Ukrainianized.” The Lord sure does have a sense of humor taking a city boy like me, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and putting him out in the outskirts of Odessa Ukraine. The Lord is good.

Church Matters! With the coming of spring we have had several work days on the church property getting things in shape for the upcoming services. Please pray with us about our neighbor who has been trying to steal a big piece of land that gives us access to our property. When we purchased this property he had already claimed this land and put up some gates through which we needed to pass to gain access to our church property. He is a surly man and should have been named “Nabal.” We’ve been praying for his salvation and have tried to witness to him, but, he just needs to be put in his place. Some people understand nothing but force. He once put sharp rusty spikes in the ground where children walk to keep them out and he also once shot a dog that wandered on our (not his) property when the gates were left open. He started putting locks on the gates, which I busted  off and told him I will do it again if he tries to lock us out. He threatened me with his gun, but backed down when he saw that I would not be intimidated. I finally sent one of the men in our church, Sasha, who runs a business dealing with privatization of land to find out what’s up with this land situation. It turns out that the land is supposed to be a road joining two streets and he and the neighbor have taken and fenced it off for their own. The city came and took a look and sent him a written notice to take down his gates. Please pray for Slavic to get saved.

Missions Conference. In April we held a mission’s conference for our church to kick off the establishment of a Ukrainian Mission Board for supporting nationals who are engaged in church planting here in Ukraine. Missionary Perry Demopolis was our guest preacher and we had three nationals present their work. Each night our church took up a good love offering and pledged support for these men. Please pray for more laborers!

Bible Study in Odessa. I met with the dean of the Christian University in Odessa, who graciously offered us the use of one of their rooms for weekly meetings in Odessa. He also asked me to teach Theology once or twice a year to the students there. We haven’t discussed the details, but if I can teach anything I want I will jump at the offer. Most of the students are unsaved! What an open door! Please pray for these meetings which start in a few weeks.

 Chick Tracts. The Ukrainian customs are holding our order of Chick Tracts until we pay customs tax on them.  It involves a trip to Lviv, commissioning a broker, paying the taxes and fees all totaling around $1000. Chick Publications graciously agreed to pay for the fees. It is a good thing and just in time because we would not have had the funds to get them released. Everything has been taken care of. Now we are waiting for their delivery so we can pass them out. The tract, The Empty Tomb, was very well received around Easter time here.

 Child Training Seminar. The Lord opened gave me another opportunity to teach a child training seminar in Dnipropetrovsk at Pastor Dema Pishenetski’s church. We had about twenty young parents in attendance who all seemed to get something out of the teaching. We were able to give everyone a copy of our book “Growing Up God’s Way” by John Stormer and “To Train Up a Child.”

Prayer Requests. Please pray for a young man named Maxim. He is a former Jehovah’s Witness and has been coming for the past couple weeks. I spent a lot of time dealing with him last Sunday. He has a lot to think about now. Please pray for his salvation.

 Also, please pray for our upcoming trip to Kiev to renew four of our family’s passports.

 Of course, a big part in our ministry is the body of Christ that supports us in this work. Thank you all for your prayers and financial support that enable us to serve the Lord here in Ukraine.

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                         January - February 2011           

I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord and rejoicing in His salvation. It is hard to believe that two months have already passed in the “New Year.” It seems like we just winterized the house and now it is time to get ready for all the work of Spring. The past two months of winter have been somewhat of a down time but we thank the Lord for the opportunities He has given us to minister here in Ukraine.

Child Training Seminar. For the third time, the Lord has opened another door of opportunity to teach a Child Training Seminar in yet another church – the Trinity Baptist Church in Odessa. In addition to teaching the seminar Pastor Masato Funakoshi asked me to write a syllabus and prepare a quiz at the end. He wanted to give those that scored well a free book that we translated and published with European Missionary Publications entitled “Growing Up God’s Way” by John Stormer. The seminar took about five hours and went very well. As usual, the time for questions and answers revealed what the average Christian family faces trying to raise a family for God. The challenges here to do it by the Book are many and complex. This society, set up by atheists, is an enemy to the biblical institutions of church and family. Their system of control frustrates parents and makes it very difficult to train their children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” During the days of the Soviet Union, the fad in child training was the teachings of Dr. Spock. The results were in many cases catastrophic and the “fad” persists to this day. Most give in to the collective pressure of society accepting the mentality “That’s just the way we do it.” However, there is a remnant of Christians that take their God given responsibility seriously and do not want their children to end up like that average child in Ukraine today. We thank God for them and do what we can to help.

Sunday School Seminar. I received another opportunity to minister from my good friend colleague, Richard Maher, who asked me to teach a Seminar at the Lakeside Baptist Church. He wanted me to introduce and instruct them in the use of the Sunday School program we’ve been working on for the past four years. We are very pleased that the Lord is getting this program into other churches. That’s exactly what I want and pray for – for God to do the work. The program is still pretty much in “rough draft” form, but usable. We have already given it out to three other churches that use it in their Sunday Schools. It consists of 150 lessons which cycles every three years. It was originally geared toward three age groups, then I added lessons for an Adult Class. The parents of our kids began saying that their kids knew the Bible better than themselves. We also hope that the adult lessons will be useful in planting future churches. We have about 15 lessons left to write, along with worksheets for each group, then the project will be finished. Please pray for God’s blessing on this important project.

Youth Conference.  In February we hosted a one day Youth Conference. It is always a blast spending time with our youth. Missionary Casey Kline was the guest preacher and he did a fine job dealing with them where they are. We have no high pressure invitations for them to make their “decision for Christ” just to report numbers and such. In fact, our building is too small to even give an invitation to “come forward….” I can practically reach the first row of chairs from the pulpit! It is enough to know that we had about 75 young people whom the Lord dealt with and that some responded to Him. Many of them are at that age when they are looking for “the one.” We pray they marry in God’s will. These Youth Conferences provide a place where they can be with other believers and just be comforted in knowing that they are not the only nuts in the woods. Please pray for this upcoming generation of Christians in Ukraine, they do not have an easy time here going against this world system.

Sweetheart Banquet. Well, we did it. We had our first “Sweethearts Banquet” hoping to encourage and be a blessing to the married couples in our church. Missionary Jeff Christian and his wife Helen were our special guests. It was a good time and, of course, the ladies enjoyed getting dressed up and going out with their husbands. Our church youth served the banquet which was an added blessing. One of the best things about it was that sister Nadia’s husband, Dema, came. Brother Jeff preached a great salvation message and you could tell that the Lord was dealing with him. There was a time when he said he would never ever “cross the threshold of our front door,” but he came! Sister Nadia has completely changed in her new found Savior Jesus Christ. Dema, on the one hand, loves having a changed wife; but on the other, hasn’t yet made up his mind to get saved himself. The biggest hindrance is “the offense of the cross.” More and more, there is a stigma attached to those who are anything but Russian Orthodox. Please pray for his salvation.

 Bible Study in Odessa. We have submitted the paperwork to begin a Bible Study in a university in Odessa. Please pray that it will be approved by the Dean and council. This would give us access to more young people and begin planting the seeds for a Bible Believing church in north Odessa.

 Prayer Requests. We are still waiting for our shipment of Chick Tracts to arrive. Please pray that they make it here safely and soon; and that they will be used of the Lord to bring souls to Christ. We have some prayer requests regarding the formation of a Ukrainian Missionary Society for the purpose of enabling young men to plant churches here in Ukraine. We are also praying about starting a Bible study in a town an hour away called “Velika Michaelivka.” Please pray for God’s blessing, guidance, power, and wisdom.

 Thank you all for your prayers and financial support that enable us to serve the Lord here in Ukraine.

 That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                          November – December 2010

A Ukrainian Sister Goes Home. One of our long time church members, Luda Ghiroon, went home to be with the Lord. She was a simple sister with an interesting testimony. Several months after she got saved she told me that she watched me for almost two years before she finally believed that I really was a Baptist Missionary! She was convinced that I was a spy for the USA! She could not figure out why anyone would leave America with wife and children and come live in a place like this! However, the preaching of the Book got to her and she received Christ. Two of her children were saved, but manifest only a little growth. Her oldest son, Ruslan, has come to church and heard me preach the Gospel for over a year. Sometimes, it looks as though he got saved on his own, but he is naturally very quiet and shy and does not like attention. He and his younger brother, Dennis, now work out in the Russian Tundra and had quite a time trying to travel back home for the funeral. We preached the Gospel as plain and simple as we could trying to undue all the superstition and unbelief of what happens to one’s soul when they die. They learned of the difference in the destinies of Christians versus unbelievers. The details of the funeral were handled by an unsaved friend of the family and, as usual, some Orthodox traditions crept in. An Orthodox cross led the procession to the cemetery. Like a boxer who obviously lost the match, but raises his arms in victory before the final announcement, I knew it was the desperate attempt of my enemy pretending he won her soul. Oh to the contrary! That was a victory for Jesus Christ! Sister Luda is with Him in glory right now!

Baptismal Service. In November it was my privilege to baptize two more Ukrainian believers and receive three new members into our church family. We hold classes for candidates for membership and water baptism, which takes about four hours. In the classes I go over the Gospel with them making sure that they are saved. We also review the meaning of water baptism in addition to covering who we are and what we believe as a local New Testament Baptist church. This gives me the opportunity to deal with people on a more personal basis and gives them a relaxed atmosphere to ask questions. It also helps me deal with those who may embrace heresy – usually baptismal regeneration. Nadia and Galya both gave a good testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ before being baptized and the church was overjoyed to receive them in addition to Raya into the church family.

Thanksgiving. It may be odd but the celebration of Thanksgiving always seems so much more meaningful when observed here in Ukraine than in America. We again had the privilege to host a missionary get together in our home on Thanksgiving Day. We always enjoy the time with other missionaries. We sing hymns in English and set aside a special time when the head of each home prays for our families, ministries, and especially our country. Of course the food is good too! I still love and thank God for America as she was founded. However, anyone who understands Daniel chapter seven knows how she will wind up. In the meantime we continue to thank God for her and pray that He will continue to keep the doors open for the churches there to send missionaries across the globe until the Lord comes.

Christmastime ministry. Every year during the Christmas season our church looks for ways to witness and minister to others in the name of Jesus Christ. Our children’s Sunday School put together a play about the birth of Jesus Christ and presented it to our church, the local children’s orphanage, and the local nursing home for the elderly. Slowly, the local orphanage is warming up to us in spite of the obvious interference from the local Russian Orthodox priest.

The first time we offered to help the children at Christmastime we were told that we could do a small skit about the birth of Jesus Christ and sing some hymns but we were not to pray with the children! That was due to priestcraft! We continue to request access to these children once a week or even a month to talk to them but we keep getting the run around. The response is always “the authorities forbid it!” Nonetheless, the Lord gave us a good time with the kids this year and we were able to give each one of them the Chick tract “The Greatest Story Ever Told!” Our church took up an offering and gathered toys, candy, and shoes for them. The kids were thrilled to get all the good stuff and I was overjoyed to watch our church members get excited about giving and doing things for others in Jesus’ name. Our church also gathered together and bought material to make warm blankets for the elderly in the local nursing home, which is visited by our members several times each month and presented the play of Christ’s birth. We continue to pray for their understanding of the Gospel so they can be saved. They are all on the brink of going out into eternity without Christ and their 70+ years of Darwinism, Atheism, and Communism doesn’t make it easy explaining the Gospel to them.

New Year’s Eve Watchnight Service. We again brought in the New Year with our annual watchnight service. All the preachers took turns preaching, we had some great fellowship and food. At 11:00 p.m. we have testimony time of God’s goodness to us over the past year and end the year with prayer for God’s blessings on our church and families in the coming year.

Chick Tracts. I am so glad that the Lord has and is answering my prayers concerning the provision, publication, and distribution of Chick Tracts. So far we have edited and/or translated the following: The Empty Tomb, Creator or Liar, The Word Became Flesh, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and The Mad Machine. Most of them have been printed already and are on their way here. We are looking forward to passing them out and will pray that God bless us with the fruit of many souls saved. It is our prayer that the Lord will provide us with 10,000 tracts each month in 2011 and that we will get every one of them into the hands of the Ukrainian people who so desperately need the Lord.

Prayer Requests. Please pray for our upcoming events and meetings. We are hosting a one day Youth Conference in February. I will also be teaching a four hour seminar for raising children in another church in Odessa as well as a Sunday School Seminar for teachers. Lord willing, it looks like we will finally be able to hold weekly Bible studies in the university in Odessa. I am really praying that this will turn into another church plant in the future. Please pray that the Lord’s will be done.

We want to thank you all for your prayers for us as we serve the Lord here in Ukraine. God bless you in the New Year as you pray, read and study the Bible, witness, support your local church and pastor and missions; in addition to fighting the world, the flesh, and the devil. Keep looking up. Maybe today!

That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                              July – August 2010

 Family Update. School is out! Those words were spoken by my wife with a sigh of relief and shouted by my children with joy. Naomi now has a little time for canning before beginning to plan next year’s curriculum and ordering all the materials. Michael, our youngest, turned two in July and looks like he is going to be the biggest of them all by the time he is 10! He is already as tall and heavy as Christopher, who is three! I’ve decided to start doing pushups and pull-ups in anticipation of his 14th birthday! The kids are all enjoying the summer break and are a big help with daily chores of life in Ukraine. Another blessing we had this year was a visit from Naomi’s mother, Sarah Witter, for several weeks. This is her second visit with us and she is always a help with the kids during the busy summer days. She also helped with the daily devotions with the English speaking girls during the youth camp, which she really enjoyed.

Youth Camp. The Lord tremendously blessed this year’s Annual Youth Conference in Odessa. We had around 120 in attendance representing about ten churches. We were privileged to have Missionary Gerald Sutek from the S.W.A.T Team for Christ, along with Missionaries Perry Demopolis and Paul Hamilton as our guest preachers. The Lord dealt with many youth during the week and many made some life changing decisions to sell out for Jesus Christ. For many of these young people, the Annual Youth Conference is the highlight of their year. That is all they talk about during the rest of the year!

 New Recruits Have Arrived! I remember praying many years ago for help with the ministry. It did not matter to me if the Lord sent a young Timothy or an older Paul, I just wanted help! Well, it has pleased the Lord to send us Brother Casey Kline and his wife Sarah and their newborn beautiful girl Kayla. We are looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do with the combined effort of our lives lived for Him here in Ukraine. Casey is presently looking for a place to live that will serve him over the next several years. Please pray for the Klines as they make the transition from American life to Ukrainian along with language study and all the bureaucracy that goes with life here.

 Visa Renewal. Please be in prayer for us as we return to the US to renew our visas. We decided to go ahead and do it early because our entrance into Ukraine would set a precedence as to the timing of future travel, seeing that we now must leave the country every year to renew. We could have waited until December, when our visas expire, but we did not want to interrupt the school year with a long trip, nor did we want to have to travel in winter with six children and all the extra bulky luggage. In addition, we are not sure what we will be facing when we return because it is not clear if the new law for work visas, requiring foreigners to stay outside Ukraine for three months for every two years spent in Ukraine applies to those with religious visas. We were told the last time we left the country and came back in a few days later that if we leave and come back again they may deny us entry for three months. Most problems with the passport officials that other missionaries have had, however, have been reported as taking place in the Odessa airport only. So, I have arranged to fly to Ukraine via Kiev and then take a domestic flight to Odessa. Please pray for God’s blessing on our trip and paperwork.

 Prayer Requests. Please pray that the Lord will continue to bless our work here to the glory of Jesus Christ. Please pray for the people that are witnessed to by our church folks daily, for the tracts that have gone out, and for the Lord to bless the ministry in our absence. I also have a very important personal unspoken request that would bring some comfort knowing that people are praying to God on our behalf. Thank you for your friendship, prayers, support, and help. May God bless you.

 That Ukraine May Know Him,   Christopher Rue Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                      March - April 2010


Ministry Update. Sensing the need for more emphasis on soul winning, I put together a series of Sunday School lessons on the “how to” of bringing people to Christ. The whole church was included – all ages, all classes – even the little ones! For those who wanted more training we added soul winning classes on Saturday before visitation. The effort has yielded some fruit and I hope there will be more for the glory of Jesus Christ.

    It was my privilege to lead Maria, the mother of one of our members, to Christ. Her daughter, Oksana, has been praying and fasting for her mother’s salvation. During a visit I spent three hours explaining the Gospel to her. Maria had tears in her eyes when she finally prayed to receive Christ. She has a lot of baggage from the Orthodox Church but she’s been reading her Bible every day since. One of our young men led a man to Christ who was recently paralyzed in an accident. His wife has also gotten right with the Lord and started coming to church again. A couple members continue to visit them every week for prayer and Bible reading. One of our young ladies has taken on the ministry of visiting the elderly in the state-run nursing home. It is a blessing to see Olya’s burden for souls and faithfulness to win them. We are also encouraged by the addition of two young ladies and a young man that come every service and are very close to receiving Christ.

    The Lord gave more fruit during our revival services with Missionary Paul Hamilton. One young lady named Nadia has been coming to church for almost a year but never truly understood the Gospel. What finally opened her eyes to her condition was when one of our Sunday School teachers used the soul winning lessons to show her that, though she prayed to God for temporal things, she was not His child. She was trusting in her righteousness, not Christ’s. She thought she was saved just because she believed in God’s existence and prayed to Him for help in life. Oksana explained to her that the prayer God would receive is the prayer of calling on the name of the Lord to be saved from Hell. Only then would she be His child. Nadia received Christ during the revival services and now trusts Christ alone for salvation! She is a big blessing to us, while watching her take persecution without flinching from her friends and family to confess Christ.

    For a long time I’ve wanted to try something here that the Lord used in my own life years ago. Shortly after rededicating my life to Christ I found a way to witness to my co-workers using Chick Tracts. I worked for a small company in Cincinnati that had about 75 employees. Every Wednesday night before prayer meeting I would buy 75 copies of one title from our church’s bookstore. Every Thursday and Friday I would pass them out to the employees as we passed each other during the day. I promoted it as the “Tract of the Week.” I said those words over and over again till it caught on and they started coming to me every Thursday asking for “The Tract of the Week!” There are so many different titles that I was able to do this every week for over a year. You should try it at your workplace!

    After years of opposition, we are trying, again, to find a way to order 10,000 copies of one title each month. Several issues need much prayer to see this through: translation, financing, and shipping. We are going over the translations, one tract at a time to make sure they are good and will be well received. For example, we tried to pass out “The Empty Tomb” but the title was mistranslated to “The Empty Coffin” and resulted in people being “creeped out” and refused to take them. We talked with Chick Publications and they agreed to change the name to “Christ is Risen!” which is on every Russian tongue on Easter Sunday. Since the US post office discontinued the cheap “M-bag” option, shipping costs have doubled the cost of the tracts themselves. We plan to ship the orders to Mt. Hope Baptist Church in Ohio which has so graciously agreed to store them and ship them to us here, in boxes of 1000, as we need them. Please pray for this project. I’m looking forward to passing out “The Tract of the Month” in Russian!

Family Conference. The Lord opened a door for me to do something that I’ve never done before. I was given an invitation by two churches to teach an all-day seminar on raising children. It was a good time and several families and parents appeared to get some real help in their callings as parents. As is usually the case, I think I benefited the most from the preparation time and thinking about my own family.

Guests! We have been blessed the past few months with the rare privilege of having guests in our home and ministry. A young missionary couple from Selma, CA, Joshua and Adrianna Breazeale, stayed with us for about a month, while preparing to go to the country of Georgia to start a new work there in Batumi. We greatly enjoyed the few days the Lord allowed us to have with Missionary Paul Hamilton, who stayed with us during our revival services. We also enjoyed a day of fellowship and preaching with Missionary Richard Maher and his family, before their return to the States for furlough. We all were edified by his preaching and will miss him and his family. The Lord also gave us the privilege of having Sister Debbie Meyers spend two weeks with us as she prepared her things to return to the United States. She was a great blessing to the missionaries in the Odessa region and will be greatly missed. We pray that the Lord will continue to use her there as He did here. We are especially excited about Brother Casey Kline’s soon arrival with his wife, Sarah, and new baby girl to work with us. Please pray for them as they prepare to come this summer.

Future Plans and Prayer Requests. We are meeting a lot of resistance trying to find a place to rent for holding meetings in the town of Yakovlevka. We approached the town’s community center, called a “House of Culture”, who said that new laws have been introduced that give all local town councils control over access to them. We submitted a written request and were rejected with no real reason given. It is obvious that our enemy has used the Orthodox Church to make these buildings inaccessible to evangelistic efforts, as they were the main building being used for all religious groups for the past fifteen years. We need prayer for wisdom on how to proceed.

    Please also pray for our upcoming children’s Bible Club in July and Youth Camp in August. We are also preparing to attend a combined youth conference in Odessa with several other missionary churches in May. We are praying for those of our youth who have not “sold out” will do so and for some of them who need encouragement in their struggle to live separated lives for Jesus Christ amidst the temptation of this time and place. Odessa is a port city. Enough said.

    I also need prayer about an important decision regarding the future of the ministry here. I am really struggling with this and could use wisdom and light that only God can give. In a nutshell it involves the decision to stay here in this town and use the church as a base and the need to build an addition on to the church building. Or, turning the work over to a national pastor, but I don’t have any peace about it and it is putting a strain on my relationship with one of my best men that I’ve invested years into. Please pray.

    We want to thank each every one of you for “staying by the stuff” during these hard times. God bless you for your burden for souls, for your prayers that hold us up, for your generosity in giving to enable us to be here. Keep looking up, “in due season we shall reap if we faint not.”

     That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                          May - June 2010

On the Home-Front. The last few months on the home front have been busy with finishing up school for the year and getting ready for the summer’s activities and work. Joshua turned 16 and is now in his Junior year, Miriam just turned 14 and will be a Freshman, Ben turned 9 in May, and Sam 7 last April. The youngest pair, Christopher (“Critterpher”) and Michael, bring us all much joy. We are looking forward to the needed break from school and a visit from Grandma Witter for a few weeks this July. Our chickens are giving us about a dozen eggs each day and we patiently wait for our goat to begin giving milk. We had a bumper crop of apricots this year and the cherries were wonderful. We thank God for the blessing of raising our kids out in the country with plenty of fresh air, open space, and physical work!

Bible Club 2010. This year’s Children’s Bible Club was probably one of the best in terms of spiritual fruit, but the least in attendance. Average attendance for the week was around 50 children every day. Children’s ministry can be quite a challenge. On the one hand I’m against “easy believism” and don’t want to pick the fruit before it’s ready. On the other, I know that children can be saved (I received Christ when I was eight years of age), and I don’t want to make salvation hard to receive, or, like some, not even give an invitation in fear that they haven’t yet understood all points of Soteriology. This year fifteen children responded to the invitation to receive Christ as their personal Savior. We dealt with each child personally to make sure they understood the Gospel’s offer of full and free salvation through receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savior. All the workers were of one mind and heart and served the Lord with a good spirit. We thank God for this year’s little harvest of souls. Please pray for us as we try to now win the parents to Christ.

Ministry Update. We are very glad to have our first order of Chick Tracts on their way here and looking forward to passing them out. God wonderfully answered your prayers with Chick Publications contacting me to inform us that they want to provide us 40,000 tracts free of charge! Thank you for praying! We had a visit from one of our missionaries, Ghenya, who is serving in the Republic of Altai. It was a blessing to see how their work is planting roots in that very needy country. We had a one day Youth Conference which was a blessing to our youth. Our Wednesday evening prayer meetings are full of testimonies of people witnessing for Christ and asking prayer for the salvation of souls.

Future Plans and Prayer Requests. Please pray for us as we make all the preparations to host another five day Youth Conference. This year we plan to have around 120 in attendance and look forward to the preaching of Gerald Sutek, Perry Demopolis, and Paul Hamilton. Please pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in all that is done. Please pray for the salvation of Victor, Natasha, Sergei, and Nadia’s husband.

Thank you for your prayers, friendship, and support. We thank God for all the good memories we have of serving with many of you, ministering to some of you, and being ministered to by most all of you. Keep looking unto to Jesus.

 That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue   Phil. 3:10




Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                  January-February 2010

 There’s a new name written up in glory! We rejoice to say that a young woman, named Vika, came to church and received Christ a few weeks ago. One of our young men, who is trying to get his life straightened up, brought her to church. She didn’t respond during the invitation, but called on the Lord later that night to save her. She is really being attacked by her family for attending our church. Her parents threatened to kick her out of their house if she continues to attend. Please pray for her and for Alosha. They want to get married and are seeking God’s will in it all amidst a lot of temptation and testing.

 Yakovlevka. Times have changed quite a bit here. Evangelism did not used to be monitored and controlled like it is today. The local “Houses of Culture” (Civic Centers) used to be easily rented for meetings. Now, you must submit a letter to the town council, for evaluation and permission to use these facilities. They only meet once every three months and most of them are afraid of the political backlash for allowing Baptists to meet in their towns. We have filled out the proper paperwork for renting a hall for meetings in Yakolvevka and need prayer that God will give us favor. If not we will do what we can and try to find another way to begin meetings there. The Lord has already given us two families there and another woman interested in attending the meetings.

 Youth Conference. Missionary Richard Maher hosted a one-day youth conference in February. It was a great time for our youth to get together and fellowship during a long winter. The Devil sure seems to be working several of our young adults over in the area of relationships. We are trying to help them through this difficult time and pray that they will find God’s perfect will for their lives in the area of courtship and marriage.

 Ukrainian Elections. The Presidential run-off election in Ukraine resulted in Yanakovich’s election as president. He is pro-Russian, as opposed to the pro-west counterpart. Being pro-Russian means “Pro-Orthodox.” It is still early to see just how serious his threats were to the Baptists in particular. There has already been some “Anti-sect” legislation being debated in the Ukrainian Parliament that was drawn up by his party. If it passes, Ukraine will adopt the same laws that exist in Russia and Belorussia that practically make it a crime to serve Jesus Christ by being a soul winner. It especially targets pastors with heavy fines for proselytizing. It would also require notarized letters from parents for all underage children to attend Sunday School and Bible Clubs. Please pray that God will continue to give us liberty to preach without hindrance.

 Family Update and Prayer Requests. January was the month of my 43rd physical birthday and February that of my spiritual. God’s faithfulness is amazing! Please pray for: 1) an upcoming trip to Kiev to renew Joshua’s passport; 2) several writing projects I have begun to be used in our work here; 3) God’s provision of Chick Tracts; 4) upcoming revival services in April; 5) God’s blessings on our soul-winning efforts; 6) upcoming Family Conferences in Odessa and Limonski. Thank you and God bless you for your prayer and financial support of us and the work here.

 That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue    Phil. 3:10


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                              October 2009

A Death-bed Conversion. Before church one Sunday morning Valya, a long-time church member, asked for help with her ex-husband, who abandoned her and with three children to join the ranks of the many town drunks. Eugene has been an alcoholic for many years but would never admit he had a problem. He had one spell of sobriety while he worked daily with another church member, but when he relocated Eugene went back to the old crowd and eventually lost everything. Valya said that he was on his deathbed and had contacted them to ask someone to bring him a bottle of water. All his “friends” were gone or broke and he had no one else. She said that their family had prayed about it and wanted to bring him home to do what they could to make his last days comfortable and asked if I would talk with him about salvation. We found him in the home of another alcoholic who was not home. It was not a pretty sight. Flies, filth, and a basin of human waste permeated the room. Eugene was lying alone on an old bed, weighing half what he used to weigh. I sat down and talked with him for a while. He didn’t know if he was saved or not. One thing he knew, that he was done with alcohol; rather, alcohol was done with him. The autopsy later revealed that cancer had eaten his entire esophagus and stomach. I asked how he felt. He said, “I’m thirsty. It burns all the way down my throat. All I want is a drink of mineral water.” I carefully went over the Gospel with him and asked if he wanted to be saved. He prayed and asked the Lord to forgive him and save his soul. He was so surprised that his family wanted to take him home and care for him. The scene reminded me of Mephibosheth. I bought him some mineral water and transported him home.
     His ex-wife and children cared for him for about two weeks before He died. He slowly starved to death. They tried taking him to the hospital, but the socialized medicine of Ukraine knew it was a lost cause and even refused to give him an I.V. for dehydration. It was there he pleaded and confessed, “Have mercy, I’m an alcoholic.” Eugene’s family, a few drunks, and co-workers attended the funeral. I preached on “What the Dying Thief Believed.” The funeral of a town drunk, who abandoned his wife and kids, among many other depravities, is not the time to go on about how good a man he was. Therefore, I simply told them that even a man like Eugene could be saved and go to Heaven by placing his trust in Jesus Christ, just as the dying thief had done. At the gravesite, I asked his son, Arthur, one of our Bible Institute graduates, if he would like to say something. He was bawling. I did not think he could get through it, but he got the attention of every hardened drunk, funeral home worker, and gravedigger there. He said he still loves his father no matter what. He told how ONE TIME his dad took him fishing and he cherished the memory. He always prayed and hoped that one day his dad would get right and they could have a Christian family but “it just didn’t work out. I’ll see you in Heaven, Papa.” After that, I preached again and exhorted these hardened men to beg God’s forgiveness and get saved and then go home and asked their families to forgive them as well. We passed out tracts and continue to pray that some will respond to God’s offer of salvation.
A Prodigal Daughter Returns.
Vika, Eugene’s daughter, grew up in our Sunday School. She made a profession of faith several years ago but I suspected that she was merely tagging along with a friend who truly received Christ. When she went away to school in Odessa, she quit coming to church and ended up marrying a Muslim, Ali, who eventually took her to Lebanon and Syria. She was able, by God’s grace, to leave Syria and come to Ukraine for a visit with their son Daniel. After being exposed to Islam, she now has truly received Christ and has a great burden for her husband’s salvation. The change in her is remarkable. She asked if she could be re-baptized since she was never truly saved the first time.
    I asked her to give a testimony to explain to the church why she is getting re-baptized and for the sake of the other teenage girls in our church who may be tempted to marry unsaved men. Her testimony was amazing. I wish I had recorded it for every young Ukrainian girl to hear. Vika is the first person I’ve ever baptized with tears. I could hardly say the words. Needless to say, there was great rejoicing in the church that she had come back to the Lord. She returned to Syria the day after her father’s funeral. Please pray for Vika and her son’s safety and for her husband’s salvation. Little Daniel is a very cute kid. I always made sure to carry Tic-Tacs with me to give to him at church. I’d always ask him, “Who loves you?” The first time he said, “You do!” Then I taught him to answer, “Jesus loves me!” I’d then give him a “high-five” and some Tic-Tacs. I’m sure no one but his mother is going to tell him that Jesus loves him in Syria. We gave Vika some Sunday School materials and books to help with his upbringing in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Please pray for his soul.
Two Boys Saved in Sunday School.
Our Sunday School curriculum is coming along well. We began covering the subject of Future Events, which touches on Heaven, Hell, the Judgments and Resurrections. Two nine-year-old boys, Pasha and Dema, received Christ after the lesson on Hell and confessed Christ in their own words before the church. Pasha’s mother is, of course, very glad and rejoicing.
Church Planting Bible Institute.
Our Bible Institute classes are going well. We began by laying a good foundation for beginning our work in reaching out to other towns in the region for planting churches. Now we are meeting to put together a plan of attack and lay out the logistics and strategy with prayer. We plan to begin again in Yakovlevka where we had once had weekly meetings but put it into the hands of a preacher who eventually dropped the ball. We really need God to work and prepare hearts in this town. Please pray that there will be souls saved and a church born.
Open Door to Preach in University in Odessa.
Several young people in our church attend a Christian University, which is not very Christian at all. It was founded by an ecumenical Reformed group, which means that they are steeped in Five-Point Calvinism, while allowing Orthodox priests to teach classes. The Reformed and Russian Orthodox get along pretty well, because they both hate the Catholics and believe Israel’s promises have been forfeited to themselves. After prayer meeting one Wednesday night, I asked a young lady from our church why she was a little down in the mouth. She said that there was a teacher that she liked very much at the “Christian” university that made a remark that really disappointed her. During the lecture the teacher said, “What difference does it really make whether Jesus Christ had an intimate relationship with Mary Magdalene or not?” Very little can really shock me anymore in this depraved age, but, I have to admit I was a little surprised at that comment from a “Christian” university teacher. Anyway, I kind of half jokingly told our young people that if they will set it up I’ll come and preach. I would have never thought that they would allow a preacher like me in their school. They jumped on it and already met with the director of the university to set up weekly Bible studies. I am very excited about this open door to work among some young people in Odessa. We are praying and planning to begin meetings after we renew our visas in December.
Visa Renewal.
We have submitted our paperwork for renewing our visas and already purchased our tickets to go outside the country. We made the tough decision to leave our children here in the care of a single missionary lady, Deborah Myers, along with another lady in our church who will come every day to help her. As much as I do not want to leave my children, the costs of taking them with us and the hardship of travel on the little ones, lead us to decide that this would be better. We’ve never done anything like this before and I cannot tell you how much apprehension I have leaving them. My mind wonders, “What if they close the borders and airports because of swine flu?” “What if there’s a problem with getting a religious visa?” “What if something happens and we can’t be there to help?” Most of all, I keep thinking about little Christopher and Michael, who are too young to understand, and how they will be looking for mommy and daddy and can’t find us. I’m getting depressed just writing this! Please pray that God will bless us during this time and that the kids will be safe and that we will have no problems with our paperwork and visas. We will be gone from November 30 through December 7. Thank you for your prayers and support, which enable us to be here engaged in the greatest calling ever – serving the Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you for your desire to win Ukrainian souls to Jesus Christ.

That Ukraine May Know Him, Christopher Rue

Phil. 3:10"...Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35


Dear Praying Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                                 September 2009

David’s Funeral. We received the sad news early morning on Monday September 27 that David passed away after his long fight with lupus. He was eighteen years old. The last three months have been very hard as his lungs slowly shut down. He needed a whole tank of oxygen a day to live. Ukraine has socialized medicine which put the burden of locating and purchasing the oxygen on the shoulders of David’s father. It almost became a full-time job to just have enough oxygen on hand to keep David alive, not to mention the hardship of the cost, which was not covered by the socialistic system. I met David about five years ago in the hospital where I had gone to pay him a visit. I remember sensing the Lord’s presence in a strong way in the room. At the time, I didn’t exactly know what it meant, only that it was obvious that the Lord was working through the life of this sick boy. It has been my privilege to watch the Lord work through him over the past few years. He believed that his sickness was from the Lord designed to help unite his parents who were separated. He would tell his mother, “The Lord let this happen so that my daddy would get saved.” Upon hearing of David’s sickness, his father returned to the wife and children he had deserted after first giving his heart to the Lord. His brother and sister both got saved and his mother has been forced to reconsider the teachings of the Pentecostal church here who teach baptismal regeneration. I’ve been dealing with her on this subject for several years now. We held the funeral on Tuesday and were able to preach the Gospel again to a very mixed crowd of Russian Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Atheists besides our own church family. The Gospel seed was sown and we pray for the Lord to give the increase. I was very pleased with our church which has supported David’s family like I’ve never seen before. While David was in the hospital, each day one family from our church volunteered to prepare a meal for David’s family who were taking turns sitting with him and doing all the running to get the medicines and oxygen. Our church has been happily doing so for the last month. We have also taken up several offerings to help the costs of the oxygen and tried to help purchase four more tanks so that he could have extra on hand.
Bible Institute. We began holding Bible Institute classes again for the purpose of preparing young men for the future church planting campaign. A few men from Missionary Richard Maher’s church also wanted to join us, making 12 men who are getting ready for future ministry. I am teaching this institute in “pods” or stages, giving them just enough information to prepare them for the first stage of church planting. Then, Lord willing, after we have some new converts to work with, we can gather again for further instruction on discipleship, and organizing them into a local church. I’ve been praying about this for several years. I am so excited and thankful to finally make progress in the work of church planting.
Future Evangelism.
We are praying and making preparations for holding evangelistic services again in the town of Yakovlevka. We began holding services there a few years back and tried to get something permanent planted there, but I turned the work over to a man who just didn’t have a burden to keep it going. The Lord has given our church treasurer, Sasha, a burden for Yakovlevka, his home town, and we are laying the plans for helping him in the work of holding evangelistic services within the next few weeks, before the cold weather hits. Talent, wisdom, and skill in presentation cannot replace the power of God that comes from prayer. Please pray for this town, that God would prepare hearts to receive the message and that God would prepare us for the work.

Prayer Needed for Visas.
We were recently informed about some changes made in Ukrainian law regarding foreign visas and registration that have put some hurdles in our way. They are no longer allowing registrations to be extended beyond one’s visa term. Now we must leave the country, apply at a foreign Ukrainian embassy, and return with new visas. The OVIR office will then give registration for as long as the visas term. This could not come at worse time for us financially, not to mention the upset in our ministry and home school schedules. It is not cheap traveling with a family our size. We know other missionaries who have left the country without their children and put them in the care of other missionary families to save money. However, we do not have any peace of mind leaving our children in Ukraine alone with anyone. I know that the Lord has something planned for us and will provide. Our visas expire in December and we need prayer about where to go to apply for new ones.
 Family Update.
After finishing summer with a wonderful Youth Conference we began getting ready for another school year. The Lord has blessed us with a house large enough to dedicate two rooms to the important task of educating our children. We are glad for the extra help from the Maher and Funikoshi families with whom we have combined our children into one school. Mrs. Maher watches the little guys (her son David, and our two youngest boys, Christopher and Michael) while Naomi spends most of her time with the three younger students (Elizabeth Maher, Benjamin and Sam). Joshua and Miriam are much more independent and do not need as much attention. The Funikoshi’s are missionaries from Japan, whose son, Yuki, comes once a week to be tutored by Naomi while Mrs. Funikoshi teaches our children piano. I dedicated the first two weeks in school to act as principle to help implement some necessary changes to the schedule and rules to insure Naomi’s sanity! She is doing a great job. So, we have eight children everyday to teach, train, and feed along with the work of putting up food for the winter. The Lord blessed us again with a great harvest of grapes, tomatoes, pears, and apples. We had a surprise when 13 of our 21 hens turned out to be roosters! They are in the freezer now and afforded a great lesson for the kids as they watched the process of killing, cleaning, and plucking.

 Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you for your desire to win Ukrainian souls to Jesus Christ.

 That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil. 3:10


 Dear Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                                                      July 2006 

Since our last prayer letter (May-June 2006) was dedicated to updating you on the blessings and fruit of our translation and publication ministry we will use this letter to bring you up to date on the family and rest of the ministry. 


Early May, Naomi returned from spending two weeks with her father who has been fighting cancer.  It has been a blessing to see Naomi’s faith strengthened over the past few months.  It seems that the enemy keeps dealing us blow after blow, but we know that it is all from the hand our loving heavenly Father for our good.  The task of getting settled back into life after deputation during one of the harshest winters in fifty years, the miscarriage of a longed-for baby, trying to get the kids caught up in home school, worry over Naomi’s father, along with other problems with the church left us both asking the Lord a lot of questions.  During the trials Naomi came to the point where she decided that she could choose the joy of the Lord or she could choose bitterness.  Praise God she made the right choice.  Those two weeks during Naomi’s absence were very hard on the whole family.  Trying to take care of the house, kids, and home school, while keeping up with my ministerial responsibilities almost pushed me over the edge.  I was excited as a little boy to pick her up from the airport safe and sound.  May was also the month of our thirteenth wedding anniversary.  The kids worked hard and finally caught up with their home school studies and are now enjoying summer break.


We have been reorganizing and restructuring many aspects of the ministry over the past few months.  We restructured our discipleship program and began holding new converts classes once a month.  We have had an average of 12 to 14 new converts and potential members attend.  In June, we baptized three new converts who also joined the church.  Our annual Children’s Bible Club was the highlight of July.  We had around fifty children attend every day with five children making a first-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  We also had a special Graduation service for several of our members who graduated High School.  It is sad to think that they all are getting ready to be scattered to the four winds to continue their education.  We are very concerned for them during this very vulnerable period of their lives and are praying about starting another church in Odessa to help. 


After years of praying and considering what we can do for a children’s Sunday school program, the Lord finally gave us the light we needed to begin.  My prayer is that our labor in developing and writing the curriculum will not only benefit our church, but others throughout Ukraine.  I am very excited about it.  It is challenging to come up with a Sunday school program that will work in Ukraine.  There is only one curriculum available in the Russian language.  It has no apparent goals in what it is trying to accomplish and it is obvious that the group that developed it is far from being “likeminded” with us.  Our new program is thoroughly Bible believing with definite goals.  It is also easily adapted to any church and is certainly affordable.  It does not consist of expensive full-color workbooks.  It is a structured program that gives the teacher freedom, within guidelines, to get the lesson across to the student on his own level.  We are holding weekly meetings for training our workers, who are also excited about it.


Paul’s words to the Corinthians have been on my mind a lot lately.  “…I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon (I Cor.  3:10).” It has been said that the true measure of the success of a missionary is not that which he accomplishes while on the field, but the work that still stands after he is gone.  I have watched the ministries of dozens of missionaries in the former Soviet Union over the past thirteen years.  I know of only two who have successfully been able to turn a church over to national leadership while remaining financially self-supported.  With these things in mind, I’ve begun concentrating our efforts on taking the remaining steps necessary to help our church become truly indigenous, regardless of whether the Lord leads us to begin another building project or not.  We have begun holding Bible Institute classes once a week to further train our men.  The classes also give us the opportunity to discuss the details of the steps that we must take in order to turn the church over to national leadership.  Please pray about this important phase of our ministry.


Our youth group is looking forward to our annual Youth Conference in August.  Please pray for their safety as they travel and that the Lord will work in their hearts during the meetings.  All of them have some very important decisions to make in the upcoming months.  The most important being where they are going to put Jesus Christ.  Our prayer for them is that they will all put Jesus Christ first in their lives.


We want to especially thank those of you who have written notes of encouragement over the past few months.  They meant a lot to Naomi and me.  I have been too busy to answer all the letters we have received.  Lord willing, I will get around to it in a month or two.  Again, we thank you all for your prayers, help, support, and friendship in the ministry.  Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!


That Ukraine May Know Him,  Christopher Rue  Phil.  3:10


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