UPDATE: We have indefinitely extended our stay! Go to our latest post to read about how God is working: Our Extended Mission
Mark & Nora Apple ~ World Renewal International Missionaries to
2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” This is our heart’s desire.
We are Mark and Nora Apple. We are sinners saved by God’s grace and mercy. It is said that those who have been forgiven much, love much. This is the love we want to share with others. We now have an exciting opportunity to share with others a little beyond our normal sphere of influence.
On March 30, 2016 we will board a plane to Mukacheve, Ukraine! We will live in Mukacheve for 90 days where we will be joining our long-time friends, Josh and Sarah Brown. The Browns were called to the mission field as tent makers (self-supporting), and in 2012 they sold everything, and moved from Fortville, Indiana to Europe. Here, we will work with the Brown family in their mission of ministering to the youth in Mukacheve, in the orphanage, and in the Roma (Gypsy) village. Josh and Sarah have established a Coffee House on Friday nights for the youth with an average of 140 attending. They are witnessing exciting things weekly! The sports ministry will be in full swing by the time we arrive. We will be working in the orphanage where around 90 children live. And, once a week, the girls make a trek to the Roma Village where the women join in Bible studies.
We are also blessed to partner with World Renewal International in this project. WRI sends people into the world to disciple and empower local leaders, equipping those leaders to establish churches in their native countries.
We ask for your prayers for us in this endeavor, as well as wisdom in every area of our lives. We thank you deeply.
We are thrilled and honored the Lord has given us this opportunity to spread His love to others. While we will be busy with projects, we will do our best to post frequent updates on our activities. We ask that you keep us in your prayers, for God’s presence, for good health, and for our safety. Please keep the Brown Family in your prayers as they have devoted their lives to ministering God’s love to so many!
Mark & Nora Apple
Send us an e-mail!
If you feel led to help us financially, you can donate to us through World Renewal. (Click here to donate: Ukraine )
Below is a short bio of Mukacheve with the sources sited:
Population (2015): 86,061
Jewish Czechoslovakians (1.1%)
Mukacheve is located in the western Zacarpatskaya region of Ukraine and borders on Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. Mukacheve is in a valley between the Carpathian Mountains. Due to its very convenient location with Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Poland, Mukacheve is a transportation juncture of several international highways.
Ukraine is full of rich history dating pre-Middle Ages. In the 16th century, Mukacheve became the part of Transylvania Principality. In 1938, the territory became part of the annexation into Hungary. In the spring of 1944 there were nearly 15,000 Jewish residents of the town. Before it, Mukacheve was the only town in Hungary with a Jewish majority. This ended when all the Jews were deported to Auschwitz by the Nazi German Eichmann Commando. They were the last Jewish community in Europe to succumb to the Holocaust. On May 30, 1944 the city was pronounced Judenrein (free of Jews after ghettoization and a series of deportations to Auschwitz). The Red Army forces captured Carpathian Ruthenia region at the end of 1944. The territory became the part of the Soviet Union. In turn, the USSR began the policy of expulsion of the Hungarian population. In 1945, the city was ceded to the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine).
In 1991, Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union and formed a partnership with NATO in 1994. The Ukrainian revolution in 2014 overthrew the president and a new government was established. In February 2014, the Russian Federation annexed the island of Crimea, and in March 2014 war broke out in Donbass. Both are ongoing today. On January 1, 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Since 2002, Mukacheve has been the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese comprising Transcarpathia.
As with most European countries, Ukrainians were originally a pagan nation of idol worshippers. In 988 AD, Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev accepted Orthodox Christianity and brought the entire country under the influence of the Byzantine Empire. Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity remains the main religion of Ukraine today, with some 70% of Ukrainians still claiming to belong to this faith. However, there are a number of other religions in Ukraine.
They accepted the god of Christianity but still clung to many of their pagan traditions. Communist Atheism has had a strong effect of the people of Ukraine – causing them to feel that though there is a God, he is more readily found in other religious circles than their own. For this reason, many have taken it upon themselves to attempt to teach their own religious wonderings to the people of Ukraine.