• Josh Williams

November 2020

Hello friends,

I hope this finds you well in this continuing time of challenge. This past month has been a continued blessing as I further settle into my new surroundings in which God has placed me. I first want to share with you this photo which was from a day out with some of Wayne’s family in the warm October sun. The temperature has since plummeted quick and we are expecting snow imminently and I cannot wait to see it!

Simple Hospitality

Last month I asked you to pray for my long-term accommodation. It is still subject to change but I can say it has been such a privilege to have so many opportunities to cook and bake for those in our community in the church building, where I live. They have been well and truly exposed to my haphazard culinary skills, further exacerbated by a lack of weighing or measuring apparatus. As I feared potential loneliness when moving here, God has freed me to let go of any reservations about my mediocre cooking and I am seeing how strongly it builds relationships. Simple tasks like preparing meat joints and kneading bread have become strangely therapeutic. My guests are very polite about the food and it has been the best way to practice conversational language - I am so thankful for their patience with me as I stutter through basic, basic sentences.

Here is a photo from dinner with the guys who were doing the renovation work on the outside of the church. They are from Rivne oblast (six or so hours away) and spend weeks away from their families on these construction jobs.

Welcoming the French Family

It has been a delight to welcome a French family to our OM team here in Kaharlyk. They have had significant difficulties with their visa but were finally able to drive the nearly 3,000km across Europe over four days to join us for at least this next year. Their background is in automotive safety engineering and primary school teaching, both skills which give them much potential for living as Christians in the workplace here in Ukraine.

It has been nice to experience the cultural changes found with moving country alongside them. I am in such admiration for their bravery to decide to move as a family of five having only previously spent one weekend here on a short trip last year. Here is a photo of us on a short trip out to Rzhyshchiv, on the banks of the Dnieper river:

I have particularly enjoyed living and working amongst families in the church and OM while I’ve been here so far. They have made me feel so welcome even when it has been inconvenient for them. Being a part of these families has certainly served again to protect me from loneliness and isolation.

Pyrolysis Project Update

Our team keep driving forward progress with our prototype for fuel distillation. They are all very invested in the project and morale is boosted every time we produce more fuel resembling something like diesel. Here is a photo of some of them manufacturing some heat exchangers to increase the cooling power of our system.

We have started to produce some CAD models to allow us to design and plan for further adaptions and improvements. It’s such a dream to be able to operate CAD software on a project I actually care about and not in a late-night pizza-filled stress session before a university deadline.

God continues to bless us with lots of global connections with Christians in all different backgrounds keen to offer their unique skills to enable us to see God’s kingdom advance through the pyrolysis project in Ukraine. We have several virtual interns starting soon and you can find our next intern openings here. Do get in touch with us if you’re interested in getting involved!

It has also been so great to be given such an immediate global perspective of God’s mission to all nations since joining OM. I love that I get to work alongside Ukrainians and those from other former-USSR countries, French, Australian, South African and more with all the thrills of trying to schedule video calls which line up conveniently to several time zones.

COVID Update in Ukraine

As I conclude, it would be remiss to not update you with how COVID continues to affect Ukraine. As you can see below, the number of cases in Ukraine continues to increase exponentially. A weekend lockdown has recently been introduced, however, this only affects non-essential businesses. There are no restrictions on private gatherings. Church is sadly back online but I am grateful to be able to generally operate as normal through the week and see people in our close social circle. It seems likely that Ukraine will soon be overwhelmed with COVID with the limited hospital capacity and inability to increase restrictions due a lack of available social security.

We have also had a number of families in our church hit by serious illnesses, COVID and otherwise, which has put some of them in hospital. The church community is really pulling together to support each other which is awesome to see. We are being confronted frequently with the fragility of life and the fears and anxieties associated with illness and no sick pay available. Yours prayers for Ukraine would be greatly appreciated at this time.

Ways You Can Pray

Give thanks to God for:

  • The countless opportunities to build relationships and practice language skills through simple hospitality.

  • The safe arrival of the French family and the gift they are to our team.

  • The global connections God is blessing us with as He continues to drive the pyrolysis project forward.

Please pray for:

  • Continued daily perseverance with language learning to enable authentic relationships to develop with local Ukrainians.

  • The people of Ukraine whose suffering from COVID is only going to increase as we head into winter.

As well as your prayer support, your generous financial support is always welcome. If you are feeling guided to support me financially, you can do so directly through the OM website through this link:

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