Ukraine (MNN) — Yesterday we shared how Hollywood stuntman, Stan Barrett, is a fan of the Slavic Gospel Association. In fact, he recently traveled with SGA’s President, Michael Johnson, to Ukraine.
Film: Chernobyl and Eastern Ukraine
“We spent time in the Chernobyl area and did some filming and ministered to the people there. Ministry that takes place both outside of the exclusion zone as well as well as inside the exclusion zone, which means that the exclusion zone is those villages that people are not allowed to travel because of the radiation,” Johnson explains.
Afterward, the men drove to villages impacted by the Ukraine Crisis. They traveled close enough to the war in eastern Ukraine, that they could hear the gunfire in the distance. It’s in this area of Ukraine where people have to take shelter in their basements every night because of the violence surrounding their homes.
“Part of what we want to do is update a video that we had done a number of years ago on this issue, and build awareness among people that we know as well as people that [Barrett] knows, that have a passion for it as well,” Johnson says.
“That was one of the causes. The other cause was the people who are being displaced as a result of the war.”
The video is currently in post-production and will be made available this summer on SGA’s website, social media pages, and more.
“We’re doing this video to show what the needs are and so people can really see what’s going on. I felt it was important, and so did Michael, that we film in the spots where things are so bad,” Barrett explains.
“Chernobyl is not going away and the effects of that, the poor people can’t relocate because they don’t have the money to relocate. Same thing in the war zone…You know there’s a lot of alcoholism around Chernobyl area, so you’ve got these social orphans.”
At a summer camp in Chernobyl, a lot of kids who attend come from the radiated zones. While at the camp, these kids receive an evaluation and treatment. And during one session each year, all the kids attending are from the radiated zone. And out of this group, an average ten out of 135 of those kids die from the effects of the radiation every year.
Just imagine what this statistic means for the rest of the individuals who still live within the radiation zone but aren’t receiving treatment. And not many people are talking about their situation.
Furthermore, a lot of NGOs and non-profit groups have had to pull out of Ukraine, leaving just a relative few behind to meet the needs of locals. With that said, the need is great in both these areas of Ukraine.
But by partnering with local churches, SGA is coming alongside these people and providing for both physical and spiritual needs.
“As a ministry, what we exist to do is we’re involved in sharing the Gospel, equipping the church, and helping the forgotten. And over the last year, I’ve traveled extensively throughout the countries in which we serve, and I see more and more examples of people that the local churches, that we equip, where they’re helping forgotten people in their regions, and their villages,” Johnson shares.
Be Prayerful, Be Active
On top of filming, the men also did ministry and shared the Gospel. And you can do the same. Start by praying and raising awareness. As tends to be the motto at SGA, “much prayer, much power.”
Pray for churches to be able to continue meeting the physical needs of people in Ukraine, and other areas of the former Soviet Union. Ask God to create open hearts to the Gospel, and for people to respond when they hear His Word and truth.
Also, help raise awareness by reminding friends and family that there’s still a need in Ukraine. People are still affected by the Chernobyl disaster even 32 years after the event. And, the war in Ukraine has yet to cease.
And finally, a tangible way to come alongside the ministry of these churches is by financially partnering with SGA.
Find more ways to pray and financially support SGA’s work in Ukraine here!
Or call SGA at 1-800-BIBLE-50.