We just received the following letter from one of the leaders at our partner school, Kyiv Theological Seminary, in Ukraine. It is a plea for prayer. Will you pray with us for Ukraine?
Jesus said, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end” (Matthew 24:6).
The threat of war is looming over Ukraine today. The smell of war hovers in the air. Now we are talking about how to protect the country, save women and children, and hide in the event of an attack. We are planning evacuation routes. We talk about things we never even thought about in the past.
Our country is on the receiving end of open threats from Russia, and from some of Russia’s citizens. The tension is increasing daily.
Ukraine’s border is being threatened both by Russia and Belarus (which is in sympathy with Russia). Ukraine can be attacked from many sides. Somewhere between 100-170 thousand troops are amassed on the Russian side of our border. It is estimated that they could quickly deploy as many as a million troops. The Ukrainian army is not strong enough to face such a threat.
Some Western countries, such as the United States, Britain, and other European nations, are trying to help my country and resolve some of the tensions through diplomacy. We are grateful for all the help and support.
Russia wants Ukraine to be part of Russia. My family and I have experienced this kind of influence when Ukraine was under the Soviet Union. Members of my family were arrested and sent to Siberia, others experienced intense persecution for following Jesus. On the basis of this very real past experience, we are now praying to God, “if it is possible, let this cup pass from us and from Ukraine” (Matt. 26:39).
You should not think of our plight as only a local dispute between two countries. This potential conflict will affect the whole world. Ukraine is a centrally-important platform for what is taking place in the world today. We hope and pray for God’s mercy and protection.
When the USSR collapsed and Ukraine became a sovereign nation, the number of Christians in Ukraine started to grow immediately. Kyiv Theological Seminary was planted and has had a fruitful ministry for decades. Numerous brothers and sisters receive their preparation for ministry in our seminary.
During these dark days of uncertainty and fear, we continue to serve God in sharing the Gospel and providing theological education to our brothers and sisters. We continue to hope in Jesus Christ that we will be able to continue doing the same sorts of ministry in the future as we can today.
Here are some specific ways you can pray for us:
- Pray for protection from invasion.
- Pray for the people of Ukraine.
- Pray for Kyiv Theological Seminary and those of us serving in this ministry.
- Pray for wisdom to know how to act and react to any information we might receive.
Thank you so very much for your prayers for Kyiv Theological Seminary and Ukraine during this difficult moment in our history. In such circumstances, we need to know that we are not alone, and that the world knows and understands our danger.
Please, we ask you to ask other Christians and churches to pray for Ukraine, as well.