These are the ministries that we have been involved with, some of which we are continuing during our temporary stay in the States:
Street preaching and witnessing in center square of Kyiv and subway stations around the city
Traveling to cities around Ukraine with nationals, preaching and soul-winning
Inviting believers around the country to begin local churches in their areas, and helping them begin
Putting material on our website for Russian-speakers
Putting preaching and teaching on YouTube channel for Russian-speakers
Preaching and teaching at Bible Baptist Church of Kyiv
Proofreading the Russian and Ukrainian translations of the King James Bible
Sending free literature, tracts, John/Romans, New Testaments, and Bibles all around Ukraine and to other countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Wales, Canada, USA, Israel, Lithuania, Italy, Portugal…)
Naomi and I were both saved at the age of seven, having been raised in Bible-believing churches and hearing teaching and preaching from a young age. After seeing the Lord leading in my life to missions and work among Russian-speaking people, I surrendered to His will at age 17. I began ministering and later preaching in a Russian-language Baptist church in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday afternoons while attending Bible college, community college on weekdays, and working secular jobs. I kept correspondence with Naomi’s father, missionary Perry Demopoulos, to learn about Bible-believing work in the former Soviet Union, and their project to translate the King James Bible into Russian. I attended evening Bible institute courses, as well as taking correspondence courses through Charity Baptist Bible Institute in Dayton, OH, and graduated in 2015.
Naomi surrendered to the Lord’s will in her life, and had a desire to remain among the Ukrainian people and serve in the ministry. Her father has been serving in Ukraine since 1992, and her mother has helped immeasurable in the ministry there. Naomi’s own desire was to remain in the country to be a help to her parents and the people of Ukraine.
After seeing that God was leading us both in the same direction, and praying about a future together, we became engaged in 2015, upon my graduation from Bible institute. After a brief deputation, I moved to Kyiv, Ukraine, and was married to Naomi in 2016, and we began serving the Lord as a couple. Our son, Philip, was born in 2019. We are expecting our second child in late summer of 2022.
We are sent out of Anchor Baptist Missions under Anchor Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio and Pastor Mike Elliott. Anchor Baptist begin in a garage in 2005 with a handful of members, and has seen the Lord bless in many ways in just a few short years.
Since 2016, we have been helping in the ministries of the Bible Baptist Church of Kyiv, under Pastor Perry Demopoulos. We found a great deal of work to do; teaching children's Sunday school, preaching, witnessing, and helping to send out literature written by Bro. Demopoulos and other men translated into Russian. Since the completion of the first edition of the King James Bible translated into Russian, many people around the world have inquired about ordering one. Naomi and I stay active corresponding with them, and sending Bibles, especially around Ukraine, but also to Moldova, America, Russia, the Baltic states, and various countries in Europe. In 2020, we were able to get the first edition of the Ukrainian KJV New Testament and five wisdom books printed.
In 2022, we came back to the States due to the Russian invasion and instability in the country. With Naomi due to have a baby, we plan to stay until at least early 2023. During our time in America, we intend to continue doing much of what we were able to do on the field. We will continue to work on the website, hymn book in Ukrainian, and proofread the Ukrainian and Russian Bibles. We plan to get tracts, John/Romans, and eventually Bibles printed and prepared for our return. We hope to send literature to other missionaries who are working in European countries with refugees for them to distribute to the people there.
History of Conflict in Ukraine
The territory that is now Ukraine has been a battleground for invaders and conquerors for thousands of years. Its strategic location, navigable rivers, and fertile farmlands make it an ideal environment for anyone with the might to control it. Various parts of the current nation of Ukraine changed hands among the Goths, Romans, Greeks, Huns, Slavs, Vikings, Mongols, Swedes, Poles, and Russians. By the early 1800's, Ukraine had largely rebelled against and driven out their Polish landowners. Many Jewish merchants and bankers were also killed in the service of the Poles. Russia began a process of annexing and influencing the various regions of Ukraine. Throughout most of the territory, the Ukrainian language was suppressed, and other groups of people were moved to settle the areas. Many Jews were allowed the settle in the “Pale of Settlement,” which included the majority of present-day Ukraine.
By the 1900's, Ukraine was divided between Austria-Hungary in the west, which brought an influence of Catholicism, but kept the Ukrainian language, and Russia, which swayed the rest of the country with the Russian language and Orthodoxy. World War 1 and the Russian Revolution brought suffering and death to the Ukrainian people, and Communism eventually prevailed in 1922. Ten years later, the Soviet policies of collectivisation against the middle-class farmers and landowners led to a famine in which millions of Ukrainians starved to death. Ukraine was further devastated during World War 2 by both the Nazi occupation purging Jews of Ukraine, and the Communist counterattack.
In 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine gained independence. This began a difficult process of self-determination where Ukraine tried to find its place in the world after more than 70 years of Communism. The leadership swayed back and forth between closer ties with Russia, and closer ties with Europe and the West in a government prone to voter fraud and corruption. 2004 saw a movement called the Orange Revolution, in which Viktor Yuschenko, the pro-Western candidate, was poisoned mysteriously, and the results which showed him to have won were annulled. Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian candidate eventually lost, but he won the next election in 2010. Ukraine began to align itself closer to Russia, which culminated in large protests in winter of 2013 when Yanukovych chose to align the country with Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union instead of the European Union. Yanukovych’s harsh crackdown of the student protesters with riot police grew increasingly more violent, as more common people joined against the police brutality. In early 2014, the government began using snipers, and over 100 protesters were killed in the clashes. In late February 2014, Yanukovych fled to Russia. The pro-Western protesters around the country solidified their positions, but faced more opposition in Eastern Ukraine, a traditionally more Russian-speaking part of Ukraine. The pro-Russian factions seized government buildings in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, and attempted seizures in other cities in the south and east. Initiating on the chaos in the country, Russia sent in troops in unmarked vehicles and uniforms to occupy the Crimean peninsula, which had naval, air, and ground bases under lease to Russia. By mid-2014, the lines were being drawn between pro-Russian forces in the East supported by the Russian military, and the Ukrainian government. The Ukrainian army suffered defeats and losses early in the operation, and for the next few years, the war settled into an entrenched stalemate. The separatist pro-Russians held half of each of the two easternmost counties of Donetsk and Luhansk, and controlled all of the Crimean peninsula. Ukraine worked on improving and modernising their military to NATO standards, with support from American, British, Canadian instructors.
In 2021 and 2022, there was much talk of war between Russia and Ukraine. Russia was making more demands for Ukraine to abandon their aspirations of joining NATO. Russia did not want missiles and heavy weaponry on their borders, nor did they want to face the whole power of NATO if Ukraine demanded they return Crimea and eastern Ukraine. They began gathering forces on the eastern border of Ukraine, a threatening move that many believed to be pressuring the West into granting concessions to Russia. Most Ukrainians did not believe that there would be an open war, but considered it a propaganda conflict between Russia and the West. Some, including us, believed that Russia would at the most, try to attack Eastern and Southern Ukraine, to link Crimea to Luhansk and Donetsk. In January 2022, it was announced that Belarus was allowing Russian forces to gather in their territory on the northern border of Ukraine. This placed the Russian military within 120 miles of Kyiv. On February 24th, missiles began to strike most large cities of Ukraine, and anti-aircraft fire went off around the country. Ukrainians woke up to the news that Russian tanks and soldiers had crossed the border, and the Russian Air Force was disabling the Ukrainian air defences, air bases, and Air Force. We made the decision to head west to avoid what we saw as the inevitable siege of Kyiv. We drove 18 hours through the back roads of Ukraine as explosions sounded in the distance, jets flew above us, and tanks drove by us. Along the way, we heard that cities in Western Ukraine were being bombed as well, and decided to press on for the Polish border. After 3 days of sitting at the border, we made it into Poland. After praying for the Lord’s will, we made the decision to return to America for a time with my in-laws until the country calmed down. The situation is on the battlefield is still unfolding, but our prayer is that the war will be over soon with minimal more loss of life and freedom in the country.
Statement of Faith
Our statement of faith can be found at our home church's website: http://anchorbaptist1611.com. In short, we believe that the King James Bible is the word of God and is the final authority for all matters of faith and practice. We use the Russian translation of the King James Bible in services and witness. Our goals as missionaries are to spread the Gospel, win souls to Jesus Christ, plant Bible-believing churches in Ukraine that will send out their own missionaries, and distribute the translated text of the King James Bible to as many people as possible.
The King James Bible is the preserved, perfect word of God. We hold that versions in other languages should be measured against the standard of the King James Bible. As such, we hold that the Russian and Ukrainian translations of the King James Bible are not perfect, but strive to be as close as possible to God’s perfect word. Any deviations from the English King James Bible in the Russian and Ukrainian KJV are not the intention of the translators, and will be corrected according to the English King James.
There are two scriptural uses of the word church: a spiritual body of believers in Christ, and a corporate local assembly of believers, exemplifying the spiritual body. Born-again believers are a part of the church, "which is His body", and therefore should join a local autonomous church.
We believe in two church ordinances: Water baptism and the Lord's Supper, and two offices: Pastor and Deacon.
We are Baptist in doctrine and traditional in practice. We are anti-Calvinist in theology and moderate dispensationalists. We hold that the Roman Catholic “Church” is the Great Whore of Revelation 17, and we are against the falsehoods taught in the major seminaries across the country: the lies of higher and lower criticism of the word of God.
We also believe in a practical, Biblical Christianity: prayer, personal work, giving, ministering to the saints, and a daily walk with Jesus Christ.
We believe the Second Coming is in two parts: a great summons we call the rapture which is when Jesus Christ returns as a thief in the night (I Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10) to harvest the church from the earth prior to the Great Tribulation (I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:50-54). Believers who have already passed and are asleep in Christ will rise first and will put on a new glorified resurrected body, and believers who are still living will be changed instantly. All of us together will meet the Lord in the air. The latter part, the Second Advent, where every eye shall see him (Rev 1:7) is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and his armies and to establish His millennial kingdom post the Great Tribulation. (Rev 19:11-16.) Afterward, God will create a perfect new heaven and earth where the old earth will melt away. (II Pet 3)
Thank you for praying for us personally. We appreciate every time the saints go to the Lord on our behalf. Thank you as well for your prayers for the Ukrainian people. The Devil has warred against the truth being spread in Ukraine and throughout the Russian-speaking world. We have a short time until the Lord’s return, and have a desire to continue serving the Lord there until His coming. May the Lord bless you all.
David, Naomi, Philip, and James Lohman