Zhanna Segeda recently reported that this year the Women’s Ministry in Ukraine is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first meeting of the women's Christian Club Ruth/Ruta in the military town of Gostomel in the Kyiv region. "Ruth" in one of the translations means "companion." Seven years after the start of Club Ruth at the 2007 Women's Christian Conference, the ladies of Club Ruth shared about their ministry and cast a vision for Women's Christian Clubs in military community throughout Ukraine. I join Zhanna in thanking God for every sister…for those who now serve in Christian women's clubs and for those who started it 20 years ago. Among the first were wives of military men, women serving in the military, and others from military families.
This is how Zhanna described the ministry of the original Club Ruth in Gostomel:
“We did many forms of evangelism:
1. Thursday Bible meetings,
2. Trip to the film "The Passion of the Christ,"
3. Annual Christmas and Mother's Day celebrations for women of the town,
4. Visits to the military unit with the film or Christian theater "Emmanuel,"
5. Decoration of the military room,
6. regular replenishment of the library of Christian literature in the library of the military unit,
7. Invitation and accompaniment of military children to Christian camps,
8. Work with children (children's club
10. Baptisms of women from our club,
We even published our own newspaper!”
Zhanna listed the clubs that emerged in the years since after the Women’s Conference in 2007.
“These clubs were "testing grounds" for testing new forms of Christian work with women:
1. "Club Esther" in Alexandria,Kirovograd,
2. "Club Esther" in Dobropillya, Donetsk region,
3. "Club Samaritan" in Vinnytsia,
4. “Club Anna" in Ivano-Frankivsk,
5. “Club Maria (at the feet of Christ)" in Olshanitsa,
6. “Club Faith, Hope. Love" in Obukhiv, Kyiv,
7. “Club Tabitha/Tavita" in Brody, Lviv region,
8. "Club Women's Heart" in Kherson,
9. "Club Siloam" in Khmelnytsky,
10. "Club Loyalty",
11. Additional clubs in Ternopil, Berdychiv, Zhytomyr and others.”
Zhanna also noted:
“Recently, two more clubs have appeared, which are symbolic - two "Victories"…”Club Victory in the Lord” in Sarny, Rivne region and the other in Dnipro. Blessing for us was the head of a separate unit of the "Olive Branch" in the Dnieper is the widow of the pastor-chaplain who died in eastern Ukraine.”
Zhanna concluded with these powerful words:
“All the sisters are God's blessing to us and to those they serve. This is an important matter for God, because He answered our very first prayer back in 2001: ‘Lord, if this service is from You, bless it; if not, destroy it!’ Thank God for protecting us so far. Like a spikelet of Ruth we strengthened each stalk of strength and enriched it with the golden grain of His wisdom. Especially, I want to thank our inspired, hard-working sisters from America! Caroline, you were the spiritual mother of Ruth's female ministry. Dear sisters, each of you is beautiful, which the Lord has placed in a colorful, bright bouquet! Incense to the Lord, rejoice in Him! Let the name of the Lord be glorified through you, that there may be many worthy fruits!”
Zhanna and her team are working with us to plan a women’s conference scheduled for the end of October 2021. Olive Branch has supported biannual conferences to equip and encourage the Ukrainian leaders. These conferences typically draw about 100 women from all part of Ukraine. The American team supports these events financially and will be sharing our insights on topics that Zhanna requests. But the most important role of the American team is to be a catalyst for the event which enables the Ukrainian team to meet, share and encourage each other.
OBI Board Member
Hebrews 10:24-25… And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.