While Ukrainian church leaders are building up new believers in the love and security of God, the coronavirus is shaking their nation with fear and uncertainty.
God has really been growing his church the last few years since the revolution here in Ukraine, and we’ve been privileged to come alongside many open hearts that are now experiencing God and his love for the first time.
I’m an entrepreneur, so I love to start things. We have a café about an hour outside of Kiev because we believe that the best way to bring the kingdom to earth is to be salt and light in every space.
To live that belief out, we’re coming alongside these emerging leaders and training them how to make business plans, raise funds and manage teams. We’ve just started a crowdfunding platform to help others start their ideas and businesses and ministries, especially next generation believers
Caring for the Widows and Elderly
In partnership with World Challenge, we also began a food pantry in our café for those who were in need in our area.
Then we started going out into the villages to meet with widows who needed an extra meal. That has grown incredibly as we’ve expanded into different territories and joined with new partners. We now have around 15 different sites or villages and volunteer teams, and we’re reaching upwards of 250 to 300 widows every month.
The first time we take them a food package, they’re usually very nervous to receive it. They don’t know who we are, but after one or two or three visits we’re able bring them together for times of singing and sharing God’s Word and prayer.
We’ve seen communities emerge in these sites, and many of these dear widows now go to church. If there isn’t a church, they gather together, and the volunteers have Bible studies with them. So we’re bringing more than just food. We’re able to bring them Jesus, the bread of life.
I’m thankful for World Challenge, which is you, the givers, the people who are praying. There are people like us all over the world who are just conduits. We didn’t come up with this. This is God’s idea; it’s the Father’s heart, and we’re extending Jesus’ ministry still 2,000 years later.
The Impact of the Coronavirus
America is being watched, and how it reacts to COVID-19 is felt in these smaller countries, especially ones like Ukraine that haven’t had a long period of democracy and are still trying to get their footing.
We’ve heard a lot of rumors that they’ve begun pre-digging graves, if you can imagine. All of this inciting a lot of uncertainty and fear of the unknown.
Many doctors and nurses have gone into quarantine here, but our local hospital about 20 minutes away has still been receiving patients. One particular patient was a friend of ours from a dear Christian family. He was only 26 years old who and was newly married, and he went into the hospital because he was having problems breathing. Just two days ago, he was sent home. He was not tested for the coronavirus. He was simply sent home, and the next day he died. It really broke our hearts.
There’s real anxiety in the system here; the doctors don’t want to deal with the outbreak. When the hospitals themselves are not even wanting to be the beacon of calm and help, you can imagine the problems.
Please be praying for the church here in Ukraine, that God will protect his people and bring healing and a spirit of calmness.