It was near bed time here in Kiev when we heard loud explosions; it sounded like gunfire. We quickly realized it was just another birthday party with unsafe and insane fireworks. A few evenings later we noted flashes of light in the night sky. This time it was only an outdoor discotheque.

In a country at war it does make you think twice and realize the world is still plagued by the effects of sin. Soldiers die almost daily while life goes on in other places. The effects of sin and evil may be more evident here. The economy is down and people have a hard time making a living. Mike and Rachel Gustafson's home is surrounded by a high wall with heavy gates. Their neighbor appears to be a wealthy and has guards on duty 24/7. Another neighbor is a general in the army who has guards with automatic weapons I am told in this neighborhood of dachas (a seasonal second home). But most have much more simple dwellings or live in huge apartment buildings.

Christ said we would have wars until He comes to settle things. That is why the message of the gospel is so vital here where life is uncertain. I'll be speaking on that this Sunday in the Rebirth Church. When Christ comes He will bring in a time of peace. That begins now in the heart for those who trust The Prince of Peace (cf. Isa. 9:6).

It has been good being with the Gustafsons this week. We spent time with our grandkids Ellie, Daniel, Jonathan and Susanna. We also helped fix things around the house, planting flowers, repairing things, etc. and getting to know the new neighborhood. It is nicer location on the edge of the city with no large apartment buildings nearby.

We'll keep you up to date here so stay tuned. Anyone wanting to be on my new blog can go to www.DiscoveryBaptist.orghttp://www.DiscoveryBaptist.org. Click the green Mark's Blog button and then click on subscribe to fill in details. You will then receive it regularly by email.

If you didn't hear, we praise the Lord that our For the Generations to Come building expansion commitments have exceeded $70,420 this past week. These are gifts that are committed to come in above regular giving over the next two years.

Thanks for praying for us while Ukraine. More later. -ms