MISSIONS · REACHING THE WORLD FOR CHRIST
New City Church is fully committed to seeing the Gospel spread throughout the world. If you would like more information about our missionaries, or are seeking support as a missionary, please contact us.
Here are reports from our missionaries in the field:
Sam & Yulia Naylor, Peter's Work, St. Petersburg, Russia- October 2022 Update
Much has happened in the last few weeks. Things have changed significantly here in St Petersburg, but we want to let you know our family is safe and well. Thank you for your messages and prayers. While we watch and pray and discuss contingencies, we do continue to see value in our presence here. Our plan remains to stay. Even in difficulty we are pleased to see that the orphanage ministry grows. We have more volunteers. We find increased openness from the staff and children. And for that we are grateful.
But today our hearts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We wish to lift them up and ask you, too, to pray for them. And for those of you who are able, to help us address the urgent humanitarian needs that have developed.
Since our last communication, a large-scale conscription of Russian civilians was ordered. Overnight we witnessed a population that had appeared indifferent to a distant war become awake and panicked. As one man, realizing he too could be drafted, objected to Sam "but now it is personal." For us it has felt like February 24 all over again, as the shock and horror of war is realized by another nation. We have friends, neighbors, family, and church members who have been drafted, fled the country, or are in hiding. We see very little in the way of public protest. Yes, a few thousand people have been arrested for protesting, but it seems very small in comparison to the hundreds of thousands who have fled the country in the last few weeks. It boggles the mind to consider what such a drain of young men will do to families, churches, the economy, and society. More than one church in the city now has shuttered its doors after their leaders, who were of draft age, left the country. Also, two multinational employers in town recently decided to completely sever ties and sell off their manufacturing facilities. Whatever else this war brings, it now seems obvious that some of the self-inflicted harm has become irreversible. The people we speak to are unhappy with the draft and openly skeptical of a war victory, but they also doubt the draft will become permanent. And the loudest voices (politicians and the media) are not calling for peace or an end to hostilities. Instead, they call for bloody escalation.
And in this past week that escalation began. On Monday over 100 missiles and drones were unleashed on 19 cities in Ukraine. None of the targets were near the front lines and none (from what we have heard) were aimed at military sites. We now have checked in on all of our brothers and sisters with whom we work in Ukraine. They are alive. Thank God. They are mostly families who already had fled homes in the east and now their shelters, temporary homes, communities, and utility services are wrecked. They have become even more vulnerable as winter approaches. Friends who were sleeping in one of the bazas on the edge of Lviv awoke Monday to explosions in the next building; members of Yulia’s family sheltered in a basement during a five hour bombardment of a nearby power plant; our contacts in Zaporizhzhia (which since our last update has become a regular site of ministry) report repeated strikes at civilian and humanitarian sites; Kyiv reported busy intersections at rush hour being bombed; a church member’s wedding in a village outside of Lviv started and stopped while air sirens went off; the church-run feeding kitchens on the outskirts of Kermenchug, the Kherson region, and Lviv all report electricity and utilities down or crippled.
Please pray for these people – for their lives, for their resilience, and for their capacity to care for one another.
It is difficult to see how this ends well or soon. But we pray for peace, addressing a sovereign God who can teach us to love and to hope. And we do what is available to us to do.
In September, Sam traveled (over a land border) to Poland. He joined the team of church leaders who are working in Ukraine. It was a joyful if sobering time of planning, prayer, and fellowship. The needs of displaced people (mostly women, children, and the elderly who are separated from the men in their lives) remained the priority. And, as winter approaches, our planning focused on the needs of those who fled during the milder months and do not have a winter strategy. Cold weather clothes will be needed. Bedding and portable heat sources will be needed. We already purchased winter tires for the six mini-buses that you helped us purchase, so they may continue their life-sustaining routes. (Routes, which cover thousands of miles from the occupied territories of Mariupol to the newly liberated town in Kherson to the front line cities in the Donbas. And we discussed an anticipated surge of people needing to shelter in groups again. We hope to buy 300 electric heaters (at $60 each). We also have an opportunity to buy potatoes at a great savings by the ton (direct from a Ukrainian farmer) for delivery into the western shelters and in the eastern villages. In addition to prayer (which we believe is a critical exercise in love and obedience), we offer you these opportunities to provide material support as well.
We love you all and are grateful for your friendship. We will be in touch as we are able.
Sam and Yulia