At the time of writing, at the end of April, the Rev Neil Ross is in Odessa for two Sabbaths. He received an invitation to visit the Odessa Children’s Hospital and took with him a second-hand blood transfusion machine, a gift from Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. It is valued at about £500, but costs £2000 new. The Odessa Hospital has been requesting such a machine for some time, and we were pleased when, in the providence of the Lord, Raigmore Hospital was willing to supply one.
Our friends in Odessa visit the hospital from time to time with literature. They write: “We visited the Odessa Children’s Hospital on February 15. We distributed Shorter and Children’s Catechisms among the parents in the department of new-born babies, where Dr Torbinskaya is in charge. We told her that you are trying to bring them the blood transfusion machine for new-born babies. They were very glad and thankful to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and also to the Hospital in Inverness for their help and support. The Department is the only one of its type in the south of the Ukraine. Many children do not have parents and there are many mothers with babies who have no relatives and no home. These mothers are from 14 to 16 years old and as a rule they have no husbands. They stay in the Department for a long time till they will find a place where they can live. The Hospital and the Social Department of the city help them. During their stay in the Hospital they have a room and food as well as free medical assistance. Also we saw that the mothers and their children slept on beds and blankets which the hospital in Inverness gave them as a present and the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland brought with the lorry by Rev Donald Ross and Mr Edward Ross.”
Rev Neil Ross has to arrange for the reprinting of The Shorter Catechism in Russian. The previous three printings totalled 15 000, and this fourth printing will be of 10 000 copies. Mr Igor Zadoroshney recently reported that only 400 copies were left from the last 5000. There is great demand for the Catechism and I believe many are benefiting from the scriptural teachings so well summarised in that little document.
There is a continuing flow of requests for Bibles and literature from many parts of the Ukraine. We would ask you to continue to remember this mission work at a throne of grace. We are ever reminded from the Word of God that, however much effort is put into spreading the Scriptures, spiritual prosperity must come from the Most High. The kingdom of heaven, we are told in Mark 4:26-29, is like a man sowing seed; the seed grows, he cannot tell how. This is to teach us that in spiritual sowing likewise it is not the power of man which brings growth but the power of God. Let us most certainly labour in sowing, but let us ever look up to the merciful God, asking that He would, for the sake of Christ Jesus, send His Holy Spirit to give the increase. (1)
1. After this article was written, Rev Neil Ross returned home safely.