Slavyansk church re-opens in Ukraine

By August 28, 2014
soldiers reading Scripture.
soldiers reading Scripture.

Ukrainian soldiers read Gospel of Luke.

Ukraine (MNN) — A new front has been opened in eastern Ukraine in recent days. According to reports, tanks, artillery, and infantry crossed from Russia into Novoazovsk, a border town near Russia. These attacks caused panic among Ukrainian forces in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described as a stealth invasion. Some believe Russia orchestrated it to help the separatists, who have been on retreat for the last couple of weeks.

One of the areas where Ukrainian soldiers successfully pushed out the separatists was Slavyansk. President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba was just in that region. “The people of Ukraine are exhausted, and they really, really want to have peace in their communities.”

Sergey Rakhube in Slavyansk

President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba in Ukraine.

Rakhuba was there to talk to church leaders about how to help the victims of the conflict. He was able to personally hand out the Russian Ministries I Care packs. “I saw the Christian work in the midst of the crisis, and I’m so proud to see these young Christian leaders, these pastors. They are getting the Gospel advanced through the crisis.”

Good News Church in Slavyansk was taken over by Russian separatists. Rakhuba says, “Their Sunday School classes were stuffed with explosives and weapons.”

After Ukrainian soldiers retook the city, church members pooled finances and bought billboards. “The billboard was saying, ‘Hope is still here. Hope is in God. Slavyansk  citizens, believe, and God will come and rescue you.” So, there is hope.”

Rakhuba was able to worship with these brothers and sisters. “Half of the congregation are mostly new people that came because of the crisis. The church helped them during the crisis, and they expect the church to double in size.”

What was it like to worship with them? “I could not hold my tears back, hearing that congregation of over 500 or 600 singing Hallelujah to God, Holy, Holy, Holy. They were praising God that He saved their lives.”

I Care Pack distribution

Russian Ministries ‘I Care’ Packs distribution.

The I Care packs from Russian Ministries have made both a physical and spiritual impact on the community. Rakhuba says revival could happen. “People are so open to the Gospel. People are so open to God. I want to encourage [Christians] to continue praying that God would move the leaders of the Ukrainian church to advance the Gospel.”

Russian Ministries is in the midst of training more pastors to use I Care packs to help refugees physically, but also meet their spiritual needs. More I Care packs are needed. It costs just $50 to provide enough food for a week for a whole family, along with counseling and God’s Word.

You can listen to the full interview with Sergey Rakhuba, below

Click here to make a generous donation.

Below is a video of the Good News Church worship service this past Sunday, which Rakhuba attended.

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