Ukraine (OM) — On February 24, 2022, Russian troops entered Ukraine, and millions are expected to move towards safety elsewhere in Ukraine and across Europe.
Note: this story and video were recorded in 2017, but it is just as applicable today. They say they are not heroes, “we are simply doing what we should do. That’s being a true Christian.”
War means death and fear.
The Gospel means life and peace.
Can the two coexist?
Thanks to several “hero pastors” in Ukraine, with whom OM was privileged to partner, the answer is yes. “As the Bible says, when He sees trouble, He does not run away and He does not leave his flock,” says one pastor. “My pain for the people who died here forced me to keep risking my life to save others. This is our calling in Christ Jesus.”
In November 2013, thousands of Ukrainians gathered hopefully at the Maidan Square in what became known as the Kiev Maidan Revolution, watching, waiting, and praying for days. In the months that followed, clashes resulted, killing hundreds and wounding 1,100 others. The president fled to Russia, leaving the glorious riches of the palace displayed to the world, in stark contrast to the poverty many of his people experienced.
Then the Russians moved in.
Since then, many people have died. Even more have fled. Internally displaced people (IDPs) wander all over the country, in search of any sign of hope.
The Inbreaking Gospel
In this otherwise dark and bleak situation, a ray of light breaks in. It emanates from OM workers in Ukraine burning with the love of Jesus for the hurting people all around them. As the organization has done for 60+ years, OM is coming alongside the local church to mobilize resources, support workers on the ground and share the transformational power of the Gospel.
“The churches are busier than ever,” says Oleg, the OM team leader and a pastor in Rivne. “Many people are seeking God. It is really a new day. Since the Kiev revolution, there is a new sense of freedom. There is also the awareness that in our time of need, our help did not come from Europe, not from USA, but from God Himself. With our new president and people seeking God, we are excited to see what God will do. Please continue to pray for Ukraine, and for the new day dawning in our country.”
OM teams work with several churches in the cities of Odessa, Rivne, Vinnitsa, and Kaharlyk. They often focus on children through Sunday schools, clubs, and camps. The teams also:
- Help IDPs from the war zone in the east
- Reach out to Jews
- Create new business opportunities
The OM team praises God for what He is doing in Ukraine and asks for further prayer…
PLEASE PRAY for:
- God’s protection
- An end to the war
- The churches and OM teams to continue reaching those in need in many different, life-giving ways
- Even more people to turn to God and experience spiritual freedom
The need is great and the time is now. Thank you for praying for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine!
Header image courtesy of Operation Mobilization USA.