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Pastor Leonid Vasserman, who serves with Jews for Jesus in Odessa, Ukraine has established three Messianic synagogues in the city. One of them has closed due to the pandemic, but the other two are continuing their Shabbat morning services with reduced numbers. Vasserman, whose own family has left the country for shelter in Germany and Australia, says that about forty families have left, leaving them with about one hundred attendees at New Jerusalem congregation and fifty at Promised Land congregation.

Like so many other congregations throughout the world, the Odessa groups were meeting online during the pandemic but now have moved back to in-person meetings. Attendance is also affected by the unwillingness of many to come due to the present-day strategy of Russia to target public places with their missiles. Vasserman describes events at the end of this February as being especially severe when the city was invaded by Russian troops, which has been followed with repeated missile attacks. Leonid is grateful to G-d that no one in their congregations has been hurt in the attacks.

Amidst all this, the group continues to do ministry work, reaching out to unsaved Jews with the Gospel and additional assistance in the form of food and medicine. This endeavor is producing fruit. Vasserman is happy to report that Gena Gelman, a member of their missionary team, led a Jewish man who is a retired 99-year-old colonel in a prayer of repentance, and he accepted Yeshua as his Savior.

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