Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A baby girl is born in Odessa!

Dear Friends,

    Our leaders in Odessa, Ukraine just received a great blessing during all of the turmoil there. Their new daughter, Mirra, was born yesterday and here is our first glimpse of her. Please keep up the prayer for Sasha and Sarah in Odessa and all of their other Messianic Jewish congregations in Ukraine. Shalom, David & Leslye Schneier

Monday, March 3, 2014

Some good news from Ukraine

 Some good news from Ukraine - so far Russia has not attacked the surrounded Ukrainian bases in Crimea. The Russians assure us that they will not attack but you know how that goes. Here is a first hand account from Odessa:

Shalom dear Rabbi David! Last night we prayed for a long time with the whole family, and today woke up with the feeling that all of us ( from all over Ukraine and our family in particular) will be good!
We called to the draft board and were told that this is a general mobilization, but not forced. If a man believes that he cannot leave his family, no one to force him to go to the training camps. If (God forbid !), fighting starts, then later will be released another order . But we pray that this does not happen !
Praise the Lord , Ukraine is not alone in this opposition of the Russian Federation . Leaders of the powerful nations announced strict condemnation of Russia's actions, and the U.S. president promised Russian Federation problems if Russia does not withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine. I hope Vladimir Putin will listen and weigh that as important to him .
To date, Ukraine has already defeated Russia! Why? Our unity ! Almost all regions of Ukraine have risen as one to defend the country's sovereignty! Even in Crimea! And as paradoxical as it may sound,  an external enemy ( and now Russia is an enemy ) unites and rallies our people! I think Ukrainians has and will cope with the situation that exists! In my opinion, Russia has tried to use the same script like in Georgia, but they have not succeeded. Putin expected that Ukrainian troops will begin fighting and that bloodshed would start and then all this will not be stopped even America interbened . But he was wrong. Ukraine is a peaceful country, and the military did not shoot at the Russians. Ukraine applied for assistance to the G8 and is quietly trying to resolve the conflict through negotiations. PRAISE THE LORD !
We believe that beautiful holiday of Purim , we will celebrate with our children! As the salvation that came from God to the Jews of biblical times and now to us !

Does this touch your heart? Let's hear from you so I can encourage those we love in Ukraine. Shalom. David Schneier

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Conflicting reports from Ukraine as the country inches towrds war

Today the reports are conflicting as to what is happening in Crimea. I have heard that there are 6,000 Russian troops there and that Putin has taken control of the Crimean peninsula. Ukrainian armed forces are refusing t surrender to the invaders. Some communications from our friends say there is a general mobilization of 18 to 45 year olds and this age group must report to draft offices. Others say there is only a mobilization of reservists. In Odessa there was a march against Russia and Putin contained in the following link:  The crowd is chanting "Putin away."

Most of our leadership in Ukraine are in this draft age and they are the sole support of their families. They are facing severe challenges in every direction. If you want to help them and the Messianic movement in Ukraine you can send financial support to our congregation, Beth Hallel, at (go to the donate button and confirm your gift for Ukraine by sending us an e-mail at stating the amount, date and purpose given so your gift will be used for Ukraine). We will get these funds to where it is most needed so the Ukrainian Messianic Jewish movement can continue during this crisis).

Also we are going to Ukraine at the end of April to encourage the Messianic Jewish congregations there through a leadership conference in Odessa. If you want to go there still is time to join our group. Your willingness to go at this time will speak volumes to the believers there. Shalom, David Schneier

Update from Crimea by David Schneier

I have received several reports from a leader and long time friend in Crimea, Ukraine about what is going on there right now. Here is what he said with some minor corrections:

"Now we have not real restrictions, but maybe we must not make big  concerts to celebrate Jewish festivals. We need for praying about peace, shalom, God's protection and provision, against anti-Semitism and all kind of aggression, link(?) and transport. Crimea events are only beginning...

There are 6 tanks in Pheodosia, TV said that Russians are in Yevpatoria, but we did not see them, they may be in Simferopol, in Yalta "Kazaki"(Cossacks) from Russia. President Turchinov made Ukrainian troops in full ready condition. Prime minister of Crimea Aksenov said that all crime forces (police) must listen only to him ."

It's hard to imagine that one day that you could be leading a band of congregations in a unified Ukraine and in the next day you find yourself possibly in a new country forcibly created by Putin and Russia.  This is like the invasion of the country of Georgia all over again and the world is negotiating with a former big wig of the KGB. Reminds me also of Europe negotiating with Hitler over Poland and Czechoslovakia. People's lives and liberty are at stake! And what are we going to do? Stand by and let more territory be gobbled up by the descendants of Stalin who managed to murder perhaps seven million Ukrainians farmers and their families in the early 1930's through systematic starvation or in work camps in Siberia. We are telling Russia not to send in troops but their soldiers and tanks are already there.

Where are the howls of those who batter Israel every day through boycotts and one sided investigations? Where is the press coverage against blatant aggression by Russia! As Natan Sharansky said the problem in the West is that the people cannot see evil. Maybe the boycott Israel movement will start a boycott Russia campaign?

Pray for the families of believers and those who only want to be free in Ukraine whose lives are being turned upside down. They are watching the freedom gained in the early 1990's slip away to their former oppressors while we try to deal with leaders whose hearts have grown cold with power and corruption. Shalom. David Schneier