Ukraine (MNN) — Pro-Russian separatists have taken over Donetsk Christian University, trapping more than 20 staff members and their families inside. The school is one of many public buildings the separatists are occupying in a desperate attempt to solidify their hold on the city.
“This place is so dear to m. It’s so close to me, and I know the people that are there,” shares Russian Ministries president Sergey Rakhuba.
Until last spring, Rakhuba was a member of Donetsk Christian University’s Board of Trustees. He’s been in close contact with the school’s president about the situation.
“The concern is that when the Ukrainian army sees that insurgents [have] taken over the building and turned it into their stronghold…. Ukrainian army then starts going after [it] with military action,” says Rakhuba.
Taking over buildings like the Donetsk Christian University puts innocent people right in the line of fire. Along with the school, separatists have reportedly seized several businesses.
Separatists appear to be “digging in their heels” and preparing for a showdown with Ukrainian government forces, who warned rebels yesterday of a plan to re-take the city.
“I cannot comprehend the magnitude of that tragedy that will happen” if urban warfare breaks loose in Donetsk, Rakhuba says.
Russian Ministries and their in-country cohorts are hoping and praying the situation will not escalate further. At the same time, though, “We are prepared, and we want your listeners to stand with us.”
It’s an urgent situation that needs your help. First of all, pray! “I want your listeners to pray for the leaders of this Bible School that are there now dealing with this crisis, so that God supernaturally would intervene and protect them all,” says Rakhuba.
Pray that the Lord will continue to work mightily in Ukraine through Russian Ministries. Their “I Care” Refugee Assistance program helps churches in eastern Ukraine care for refugees displaced by current violence. Along with relief aid like food and personal care items, churches are equipped with counseling resources and pastoral training.
School Without Walls students have been sent with resources in-hand to cities that were previously occupied by pro-Russian separatists.
“There are thousands of people that recently were liberated by the Ukrainian Army,” Rakhuba shares. “People [in occupied cities] were not able to have water for weeks, they did not have electricity; everything was paralyzed.”