Last night

Last night in Ukraine for two months…

Tomorrow we travel by road to Moldova, then fly to Istanbul, then Kuala Lumpur, then Bali, then Brisbane.  We’ve said our good-byes to people here, expecting and hoping that not much will change over the next two months.  We will be a few weeks in Brissy, then go down to Sydney for a few, and then spend the last one up in Brisbane before the wedding of “little sister Esther” and Tony.  Strictly speaking, surely it can’t be more full than life has been here for much of the last year.  But we do have a desire to renew friendships and spend time with loved ones and say thank you to several churches while we are back, and I know that we’ll be nicely busy. 

We’ve made it through a year of war… and the blue and yellow flag is still flying high.  Ukraine has truly proved itself to be just as full of surprises as Putin has…  and we’ve given Him some nasty ones that he won’t forget easily.   

Keeping it to just one paragraph:  The war has been a blessing to us.  We’ve known God’s presence in a special way.  The common enemy has drawn us all closer together and opened doors for the sharing of the gospel.  (Interestingly enough, we hear that some churches have grown while others have dwindled down to basically nothing.)  God has called many to Himself through this war, and that is something wonderful.

We continue to do YouTube updates.  I think that until this war ends, most of our updates will occur there rather than here in this blog.

“Dan Gollan” is how you will find us on YouTube.

Thank you again for your prayers, love and support.  Knowing that so many people were praying and helping has been an enormous encouragement during times of intense pressure.  Thank you.

Beloved electricity


We are home again… it’s Monday night. The electricity situation is becoming worse… but not something unmanageable. The cold hasn’t hit us yet though… and Russia is likely going to keep bashing away at our electricity infrastructure with missiles and drones… so security regarding a warm future is rather uncertain. We have already deeply appreciated the solar system. Today, again, we had electricity for only two or three hours during the day time, so having the power for phones laptops and tablets, plus lights and pumps, was wonderful. The 11 people who had online lectures couldn’t have done it without that power.

0-02-05-12b6239428962d95568897ae4318f5e0ef9fca790f665ec440bff3126db34887_e6e3c83b85783a75Nine of those people were children. (The first group of refugees have arrived.) It has been a good five days of getting to know each other. I realize that these children are going to be ones whom I invest in and love quite a bit over the next several months.  Good.

0-02-05-eed3184c0fe01734a217cbee19a07609e5bbed8ea4791b3d20d22326d05fc609_deac15a1b71e3e06[3]We figure we have room to take in another 15-20 “kind of comfortably”. If Kiev gets evacuated because of further attacks on stations, I calculate that we could take in about 80 people into the church building, our home, and two other homes available to us. We would need a heap more blankets and mattresses to facilitate this, (and that may be a problem getting them if people have to evacuate), as well as a heap more food and other supplies… but I’m reluctant to spend 1000’s of dollars on these things just yet. (Having said that, ironically, I’m making a trip into Kiev tomorrow to pick up some extra mattresses and couches and materials to make temporary rooms.) You might like to pray that the Lord will give wisdom regarding the making of these decisions.

0-02-05-b50a6cf9137f15ad5aef797073f599ccb92e1185088119bcfbfd6fc26253aef9_65a53d194a9405c4Theoretically, we have made our last trips to Boy-arka and Noviy Bikiv for this year to clean up and rebuild what was destroyed. This last trip, Mitya took with him a number of the men who are still in rehab.  They did well, and were excited to be going.  We will continue to visit Niviy Bikiv to teach the people who gather God’s Word – please pray for this. (In both places, people are in “the firing line” if Russia does have another bite at the cherry - Kiev.)

WOOD-CHIP PROJECT: We are looking to make a major push to get the drying room for wood-chips up and running – the next two weeks will be biggies. We need to start drying chips soon. The heating season has officially begun… We are hovering above zero, but in a couple of weeks should be seeing freezing temps steadily going forwards for a few months. There are a lot of people in our community who will struggle financially to heat their homes this year. I’m pretty sure that God will love it if we help.

0-02-05-e57c2e1801aa22c9b5806f0c7fc55746b825c7c68d4b1dfe48dd80aecc9e53e3_5851a9ace4fe2933Two men whom I deeply love, got baptized yesterday – both these guys come from extremely rough backgrounds. They love the Lord deeply and gave testimony to that in front of the church today. I’ve really enjoyed working with these two humble men over the last several months on different work projects, and it was so encouraging to see them take this step.  May God use them for His glory.

On Saturday, I nearly killed a dog. (Then the car in the opposite lane nearly killed it.) It was a German Shepherd and in its prime. It believed that it owned the road, obviously, and wasn’t moving for anyone. It got me thinking about confidence. Confidence can get you killed. But confidence also inspires. Something Sergei said on Sunday resonated with me because of these thoughts. He said that as a Christian now, he has confidence in God. When we have confidence in God, in His wisdom, power, authority, love, etc. etc… the security that this brings into our lives is impressive.  It reminds me of what God said to Isaiah before punishing Israel with war:  “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”  But the people weren’t having any of it.  They didn’t trust God.  They couldn’t, in a sense, because their deeds were evil.  And yet, God is always there for us if we will but trust Him.  Looking back, something that was a great comfort to our church was the trust in God that the leaders had.  It inspired people to serve and not “crawl into a hole” like many people did.

We are blessed.  We have confidence in God.  Thank you for your prayers.

Quiet Rzhyshchiv


It’s 9:30 in the evening and, yes, it has been another eventful day for Ukraine. Many missiles fell. At least a couple flew over Rzhyshchiv, speeding westward; but as we’ve believed since this war began, it would be extremely surprising if a missile was aimed at our little town.

I was talking with someone earlier today and said that I didn’t know of anyone in Rzhyshchiv who felt fear for themselves this morning. “Concern” for those further afield, yes; but not fear for our own safety. We are in a nice, quiet, comparatively-safe town.

And to continue with the rational, pragmatic thinking: It is impossible for Russia to continue this sort of bombardment daily. We shouldn’t think that more of this WON’T occur, and perhaps be even more successful in taking out strategic infrastructure… but the “savagery” God allowed this morning will dissipate now for a time.

We are well. Elle is home from her time in the U.S., (and has returned the computer I can use to post to this blog). She felt like her time there was good but is thankful to be home again.

Pris is busy loving the many people she loves in the many ways she loves them. I’ve often thought that God gave me the perfect wife for the road he had planned for my life.

We continue the trips north to help those who suffered loss because of this war. Of recent weeks, I’ve been going up to Borodyanka, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbggSYTLR4), with two or three men to help Tanya with rebuilding her home. Tanya’s home is further down the road that the drone footage shows in the video. The Russians tanks drove into the town and pretty much indiscriminately shot at houses on the way in. The houses all around her suffered damage too – but because of sheltering in her cellar, she and several others survived that shocking moment. The added bonus in helping here is that Tanya Beloshapka has a heart to love and serve in the Name of Jesus… and Bible studies will continue to occur in her home going forward into the future.  It’s a privilege to help.

imageThe Bible study group gathering in Noviy Bikiv, the town we’ve been visiting for the last several months, is going well. Here’s the latest pic…  God has been speaking to these people and it’s wonderful to see!

We’ve been getting a lot of new people at church. It shouldn’t be surprising. I noticed that on Sunday, we were maxing out our seating again – not the worst problem a church can have. Actually, on the subject of “worst problems a church can have”, today we took the final step in an extremely painful process of calling a brother and sister to leave sin and come back to God. Sadness was so heavy on my heart… it surprised me with its pressure. Platitudes like, “God hasn’t finished with them yet,” and “if they are God’s children, then He will draw them back to himself,” don’t do much for me. These poor foolish people are sowing the wind, hurting 100’s of people, dishonoring the Name of Jesus, and ultimately disdaining something holy. God will always be glorified, but I sure feel the tragic nature of the deliberate steps of His children towards evil darkness.

We are still expecting “our refugees” to come in a week or two. If we end up getting the 50 that we were asked to take in, it will change the dynamics of our church quite a bit. May God give us wisdom.

We had a baptism Sunday a week ago and it looks like we shall have another on in early November.  It will be cold, but celebratory none the less.  Taras, (in Ukrainian colors) and “Big Sergei” have both come through rehab and are ready for the next step.

I am back to posting in YouTube again should you choose to have a listen. Do a search for “Dan Gollan”.

Thanks for your prayers for us during this unique time. Christians all over Ukraine are sharing the hope of the gospel message with people. Pray more than anything else, that God will have mercy on the souls of those whose sense of security has been taken away and imagewhose hearts are open.

Uncertain Future

Hey everybody! Ellie here. I am currently in America with Dad’s blog computer. So I will be posting the blog for you, but not writing it, excepting this little segment. Being in America with my Uncle Matt’s family is really special, but at the same time I miss Ukraine so much. I have come to realize that I am no more American than I am Ukrainian, I may even be more Ukrainian than American. It has been a blessing to be here and to gain a more expanded worldview. Seeing how another family, culture, and American churches function is fascinating. May God use this time that I have here to bring glory to himself. 

Have a blessed day.


Ellie with one of Matt’s kids.


Six months

Six months of war…

Six months of killing…

Six months of separated families…

Six months of anxiety…I

Six months of confusion…

But six months of feeling closer to God.

To be frank, I feel more unsure about the future than at any time in my life - and this despite a renewed desire for God’s presence or perhaps “comfort” or strength.  I have a lot of questions.

My father taught me to play chess when I was 7 years old in his study in Tasmania.  (I still take pleasure from playing the greatest strategy game of all time and involve myself in battles through my phone.)  Something decent chess players must do is look several moves ahead in order to determine the best move now.  Ultimately, our ability to do so determines whether we win or lose.  We look for the most likely moves of our opponent and then attack or defend.

Russia invaded on Feb. 24, making a major push for Kiev.  I only started believing it might happen a few days before the 24th.   We went through a month of not knowing, (but half expecting), Russia to break through and occupy our town; and so we prepared for this while evacuating people from Kiev and a few other towns.  Our Christian community was strong during this time, and it was really our great privilege to love a lot of different people in different ways.

Russian troops retreated from Kiev approximately a month after attacking.  A few weeks later, a team from our church was able to make our first trip north to some villages that had seen intense battles.  For the last four months, we have made weekly trips up there, excepting for during the kids camps and a wedding trip down south to Dnipro.

So… the questions…

1. When do we return to “life as normal”?

2. How long will this war continue at this level of intensity?

3. Will nuclear weapons be used, or nuclear power stations blow up?

4. Will we have electricity and gas during the cold winter, or will these services be targeted?

5. Do we keep on focusing a lot of effort on helping people rebuild and on evangelism?

6. Do we continue in Noviy Bikiv or go closer to the northern border and work there?

7. What sort of prep. do we need to make for the winter?  How difficult is it going to get?

8. Should we plan to take in more refugees into the church building?

9. Do we offer the church building as a warm place for study/learning for children?

10. Should we go ahead and run the conference for parents we were planning to do before the war broke out?

11. Should we actively work on expanding the rehab ministry now?

These questions are my pieces on the chessboard… and to continue the analogy; “it’s hard knowing how to proceed because I can’t see all the pieces of my opponent”.

It’s likely not a life and death game… but my choices will affect the lives of a lot of people so that they suffer more or suffer less/experience salvation or not/ and grow in their faith more or grow in their faith less.

I’d appreciate your prayers.

The Ukrainian summer is drawing to a close.  It’s been a superb season for apples and pears this year and trees all over the town are laden with them.  We expect perfect weather for repairing roofs and working on houses over the next couple of weeks as we see out August.  But as is the case every year, I have a dread in the back of my conscious mind of the approaching months of deadly cold.

As I type, I hear the rolling thunder of some new big guns from the range nearby.  It’s a comforting noise.  Our lads are training and will use their learning to defend us.

Occasionally, someone asks me how the war is going.  I smile and, depending on who is asking, normally give a non-committal answer.  People here generally expect it to go on for at least another year though.  Maybe…???  Can we hold out?  Probably…???  Which way is the victory needle leaning right now?  I have no bankable opinion… and yet hope says “maybe in Ukraine’s favour”???

Since I last wrote, Pris and Elle went to a family reunion in the States for a couple of weeks.  Elle stayed on with Priscilla’s brother, Matthew, and his family.  She will leave the US at the end of September and work on finishing off her last year of schooling here at home.  That goal has taken a bit of a hit this year.  She’ll get there eventually, though.

I wanted to use this blog to give praise to God for His blessings on our children.  We’ve been greatly encouraged by the improvement in health of Jesse and Angie, (both in Australia), over the last few months.  For both of them, it has been a long haul.  God has given grace and had mercy on them, allowing them to give Him glory during their suffering and now giving them healing from the illnesses that “inflicted” them.  Our Father is wise, loving, merciful and worthy of praise.