Letter from Pastor Michael Kloss (Chair of the JEEP EC) 

First, the Executive Committee (EC) would like to thank Bubu for his tireless and selfless work in supporting the Ukrainians, especially during this increasingly difficult time. 

Next, JEEP has operated a War Relief budget since the full-scale Russian invasion began in 2022. These funds have accomplished a great deal in the relief of refugees, expanding the footprint of the CRE churches and ministries in Ukraine, by acquiring new buildings and property used to serve the Kingdom work of the CREC pastors. The funds have provided two vans to provide transport of people and goods. Since the war began, JEEP has provided six tons of food, fuel, household chemicals, water filters, power stations, etc., not to mention the money spent in Ukraine on fuel, food, power generators, etc. This has been a monumental task and I commend my brothers on the EC for their oversight to make this possible, as well as your ongoing generosity and provision.  

As the EC begins to consider the next fiscal year, we have decided to no longer have a separate Ukraine War Relief budget, moving this to a line item in our regular operating budget. The situation has changed, and there are fewer overall categories, but the needs of our brothers in Ukraine are acute. Not only is war a constant threat, but the effects of inflation, energy shortages, and loss of both people and resources are ever present. To close out the war relief budget, we are aiming to raise $50,000 to purchase the Nazareth House a needed new van and finish their building renovations, provide fuel for generators in Mykolaiv, support two seminary students in Ivano-Frankivsk, and fund the 2024 children’s camps in Rivne and Pidhaichyky. Any amount that you can donate would be a great blessing and go a long way towards completing these in-progress tasks. 

It is important to keep in mind the immediate effect of this war on our CRE churches in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the full invasion, around 25% of our people have left Ukraine, most of them at the beginning of the war. Families have separated, with wives and children living abroad, while the men have stayed and endure these circumstances bereft of their loved ones. We have six of our men doing military service. Both Pastor Yuriy Lishchinskyi and Pastor Sasha Pavliuk serve on the front. The number of close family members of our folks who serve is at least twice that. Three CREC members have been killed in the war. In Mykolaiv, several relatives of our folks have also been killed.  

However, none of our churches closed due to the war, although in the Mykolaiv church, which was surrounded by Russian troops, the worship service was several times disrupted by shelling. Despite this, the Mykolaiv church has grown during the war, even with several people leaving Mykolaiv. The number of church members has increased by 20%, and the number of service attendees grew three times. 

I was in Ivano-Frankivsk in April 2024 for Hus’ spring presbytery. The morale was high, and the resolve was strong. Our distinct CREC fellowship was a welcome comfort to them. I love being there with our men, and Ihor and Tanya’s hospitality is always a great comfort to the soul. Rev. Rob Hadding was also in attendance to give lectures on the “Pastor and His Family”. So, you can see, as the war rages, JEEP continues to support Hus’ everyday work of teaching and preaching a Biblical culture of feasting, worship, and robust obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This faithfulness is a sharp contrast to the areas in Ukraine under Russian occupation, as Pastor Bogumil wrote to me, 

“I know that people have different opinions about the war in general, but perhaps it would be good to remind the listeners that in the territories occupied by Russia, there is no freedom of worship for churches that do not fully comply with official directives, i.e., say nothing negative about the occupation or Russia either in public or in private. The expectation is that churches limit themselves to teaching “pure Gospel” and, from time to time, praise the new order. Churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church need to apply for permission to have even prayer meetings. Any suspicious or unauthorized activities can lead to jail for church leaders or people involved. And if a church complies with the official directives then it is no longer free, anyway. Invigilation is almost omnipresent, and it usually starts with checking social media and messaging apps. A Lutheran deacon I met a few months ago, who is a Russian citizen, yet escaped from the occupied territories, said that the atmosphere felt like in the Stalin era.” 

We stand for Ukraine’s physical and spiritual blessing. Thank you for joining us in this important work. 


Pastor Michael Kloss (Chair of the JEEP EC) 

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