Rutherford Weekly

March 17, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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Joel and Irena Colon are missionaries in the Ukraine where they have been operating a missionary training center that trains and sends out Ukrainian missionaries. The couple left the country for Poland in order to be able to offer more help and support to the Ukraines, Irena said on Facebook recently. Joel is an American and Irena is Ukrainian. Before going to the Ukraine, Joel was living in Rutherfordton near Pinnacle Elementary School. His parents Jim and Eileen still live in Rutherford County. Jim Colon said Joel and Irena went to Poland to help set up a program for relief efforts. "He (Joel) was asked to come over and help. He can be of more help there than staying", Jim Colon said. The Colons were able to take Irena's parents with them to Poland. "We have not been stressed. We believe God is taking care of them," Jim Colon said. "But of course, we're not there." On Tuesday, March 8, Irena said the couple left the area where they were in Ukraine In order to be able to help more people. It was a two day trip from their Ukraine and Irena said the trip was horrible. "There were no hotels anywhere. It doesn't matter how much money. Money doesn't mean anything anymore," she said. When they arrived in Poland they were able to get a hotel room where she and Joel are staying with her parents. "The needs are massive. Everywhere we turn the needs are so massive" Irena said. "We are giving to support (fi nancially) those we can trust. We are giving to my uncle's church and giving to missionaries continuing to work in Ukraine," Irene said. "We are in a safe place. We are trying to fi gure out exactly how to help," she said. Irena asked that people continue to pray for her members still in Ukraine and others. "Pray for the president, soldiers that God can give us victory. Pray for the city. Enemies are trying to surround the city. Pray the Lord will protect the city," she continued. When the couple left for Poland they took only their suitcases and two cases. "We have our suitcase and each other. We will try to fi nd a place to live here." Joel has been living and working in Ukraine since 2005. Irena is from near Kyiv where the couple met at a meeting about starting a new church in a region of Kyiv years ago. The couple was married in 2008. They were in North Carolina about four years ago and have plans to be back in North Carolina later this year if it is possible. On Thursday morning February 24, Irena Colon told reporters she was awakened to her apartment's windows shaking as bombs were going off in Kyiv. A telephone call from her father, a pastor in Ukraine, confi rmed to her the war had started. Irena said she and her husband, Joel, quickly packed up their two cats and a few belongings to head to her hometown on the outskirts of Kyiv, where they stayed in the basement of relatives house. They took a few belongings and their two cats. They remained in the basement of the house until they went to Poland. Irena has posted on Facebook a couple of times updating their family and friends in other places in the world of their presentation. Irena continues to ask the people to pray for "peace, wisdom, safety and no fear...You hold us together really" she said to those praying for the country. "We believe in victory. We believe God is for us. It's getting a little hard for me to hold on. Pray that God will give us peace and wisdom on what to do," she said just days before going to Poland. Joe and Irena helped organize aid for refugees through a network of churches, providing shelter, food, and basic supplies to those in need. Joel and Irena are One Challenge (OC) missionaries and receive some fi nancial support and prayer support from Florence Baptist Church in Forest City, as well as other churches around the state, nation and world. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (Joel Colon sent an email to Florence Baptist Church just after the invasion of Ukraine. Parts follow): "We woke up in our apartment Thursday morning (Feb. 24) about 5:30 to the sound of explosions. The shelling continued all morning, and the news from friends and family was fi lled with videos of Russian cruise missiles and Russian fi ghter bombers fl ying toward Kyiv and bombing military targets and airports. We made the decision to leave Kyiv and head a bit outside the city in case the situation changed quickly or offi cials imposed a curfew or locked down the city. We quickly packed small bags, loaded the cats in the car, took a quick look back at our apartment hoping to return soon, and left. We appreciate the huge outpouring of support and prayer from all of you. We are sorry if we cannot always respond to every email or message. We will try to continue to communicate as best we can and keep you aware of how things develop here." Prayer requests: Pray for peace. Pray for safety for us, our family, pastors, and refugees. Pray for wisdom and courage for Ukrainian President Zelensky and the Ukrainian leadership. Pray for wisdom for Joel & Irena to know how and when to act and get involved with various needs here and how and when to relocate if needed. Pray that God would use this time of uncertainty and fear to move the hearts of people and recognize Christ as the only hope and Savior. Pray for stable communication as the Internet is reportedly getting unstable in some places. ISSUE NO. 11 • March 17, 2022 ISSUE NO. 11 • March 17, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 IN HOUSE FINANCING IN HOUSE FINANCING M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©Community First Media Community First Media BRING YOUR VEHICLE BY FOR US TO LOOK AT! NO APPRAISAL FEE CHARGED! Top Top Dollar Paid! Dollar Paid! YOUR VEHICLE YOUR VEHICLE We Want to Buy We Want to Buy 6P LW K 7 UDG L QJ 3RV W STP 828-289-6699 WE BUY GOLD 131 W Main St., Spindale Beside Barley's $$$CASH ON THE SPOT WE HAVE MONEY FOR YOU BUYING & SELLING ANYTHING OF VALUE, ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, MORE! OVER 30 YEARS OF SERVICE! PAWN SHOP Article Provided By: Jean Gordon. Photos Contributed. Ukraine missionaries travel to Poland Ukraine missionaries travel to Poland Missionaries have Rutherfordton connections RUTHERFORD COUNTY'S ONLY WEEKLY NEWSPAPER! RUTHERFORD COUNTY'S ONLY WEEKLY NEWSPAPER! Lines at the ATM as Joel and Irena Colon left Kyiv. Joel and Irena Colon. Irena and one of the couple's two cats,Olive, as they left Kyiv. Joel and Irena Colon and other family members hid out in the basement of Irena's parents and other relatives before leaving the area for Poland. Refugees leaving Kyiv on foot, walking west. UKRAINE RELIEF FUND Go online to or send a check payable to: OC International; Write UKRAINE RELIEF FUND in the memo and mail to: OC International, PO Box 36900, Co Co Co Co Co C lo lo lo lora ra ra rado do do do do Spr pr pr pr p in in in ings gs gs gs gs g , , CO CO CO CO CO 809 09 09 09 0936 36 36 36 36-9 -960 60 60 60 600 0

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