Dozens of believers and refugees have packed the pews of the Revival Baptist Church in Vyzhnytsia, Ukraine (pictured above), since the Russia-Ukraine war began. The destructive forces of missiles and bombs have not yet reached this mountain village, but the refugees have. Hundreds of innocent victims, including scores of recently orphaned children, have sought shelter in the church located 30 miles from the Romanian border.
The magnitude of the human tragedy engulfing Ukraine is incomprehensible. Gaunt faces and impenetrable eyes mask unfathomable fear, loneliness, and despair. These are the ones who have managed to escape the carnage. What is it like for those trapped in bombarded cities? We can only imagine!
And what about the children? Of the three million refugees, about a million and a half are children! The future of Ukraine is being sent away or terrorized. Orphaned children are being shipped to Romania or Germany. Eighty were sent last week from the refugees in Vyzhnytsia alone. What will happen to them? Eighty children—sent to a strange country where they speak a foreign language—with no family at all to protect them! Is this the future of Ukraine? An entire generation of children . . . uprooted . . . whisked away . . . gone?
The political machinations that caused this war have nothing to do with the citizens in both countries. This is a war of egos, greed, and photo shoots. What good can come from this catastrophe?
FAITH! Yes, faith! This war is a battle between God and Satan. Ukraine is a religious nation, with 71% claiming Christianity. No matter how hard the old Soviet regime tried to erase God, they could not destroy FAITH. Right now, while the news media is praising the gods of sandbags and Molotov cocktails (how ludicrous!), God’s people have gone to the only source of protection that works. They have afflicted themselves through prayer and fasting. Finally, the media has noted that “religious practice has escalated exponentially” in the country. The result, after four weeks of fighting—Goliath has yet to destroy David! (The Russian army has yet to take Kyiv.)
God has been preparing Ukraine for this war since 1991, when, after the demise of the USSR, a wave of missionaries brought revival to the country. In 2016, God directed CRI to spearhead a Ukrainian outreach using Paul Dudka, a faithful national pastor, to represent the cause of Christ on radio and television. Those broadcasts continue to air over all Ukraine and Romania through satellite television. One year ago, Paul posted this message:
“Today I met with a local TV channel, which covers 3 provinces (2 million people). I am buying two 30-minute programs every week and receiving 3 minutes extra every day right before the evening news. I THINK GOD WANTS PEOPLE TO HEAR GOOD NEWS FIRST, then political news.”
How prophetic! God has been seeding the Gospel into the fertile soil of Ukrainian hearts for years. Powerful sermons about repentance and forgiveness have saturated the airwaves. Despite recent bombings, those broadcasts continue to air over all Ukraine and Romania through satellite television and local public stations. Before the first bombs ever exploded, God began preparing Ukraine “for such a time as this.”
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1. PRAY! The Ukrainian Christians are a fasting and praying people! Their trust is not in government, but in God. Their foremost request is that you would PRAY for God to intervene according to His will.
2. GIVE! The reality of 3 million displaced persons is a nightmare of staggering proportions, which will not disappear when the war ends. CRI is providing humanitarian aid to help some of the 2,000 Ukrainian Baptist churches as funds are received. If you would like to help, please send funds to CRI. Label your gift “UKRAINE.”
VOICES FROM UKRAINE
• “We don’t need much—a warm corner is enough.”
• “You have to choose—save the children or stay with your husband. It’s very hard!”
• “My husband stayed behind to help the church bring people from Kyiv.”
• “I’m looking to God to save my son and all Ukraine.”
• “I pray for every passenger on every train.”
• “Today we pray not only for Ukraine; we pray for Russia—for our brothers and sisters there.”
The preachers from Blessed Hope Baptist College thank all the CRI partners who paid for three transportation carts, which provide employment for the college men. In a country with 85% unemployment, these carts are an answer to prayer. Three have been purchased; $3,000 is needed to buy one more. Thank you for your generosity!
M___ is planting a church in a Muslim country and is training a convert, who was saved through the television ministry, to be the pastor. By going soul winning every day, the two have seen several saved, including two Afghan men. At the same time, four more have been saved through Skype, including two sisters of F___ (pictured), a recent convert. A baptism for new converts is planned for April. Pray for family members to come.
Christian Radio International