Crisis in Ukraine

While I have traveled in Eastern Europe and Russia, I have never visited Ukraine. However, I have many Ukrainian friends and my heart aches for their country which seems to be on the verge of civil war spurred on by Russia. I also have many Russian friends and this puts everyone in a very difficult, but prayerful situation.

I work closely with two wonderful organizations which are deeply involved in ministry in both Russia and Ukraine, Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries (which despite its name serves the church in all corners of the former Soviet Union), and Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) which has radio stations in both countries. Let me bring you up-to-date with what they tell me about the situation.

Slavyansk MapFirst,  Victor Akhterov of FEBC writes:

The FEBC station in Slavyansk, Ukraine, was shut down by the rebels two weeks ago. We were told that “this Biblical nonsense in not needed here.” On Sunday, May 4, after the government forces of Ukraine re-captured the tower, FEBC station resumed broadcasting to people who are distressed and scared. Dozens of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk residents lost their lives in recent days. FEBC does not take sides and is staying out of politics altogether, instead bringing hope for people of Ukraine by helping them meet the Lord.

I know your prayers and financial support of FEBC during this crisis would be appreciated. You can give a gift here.

Then, Sergey Rakhuba of Russian Ministries has an urgent appeal for Ukraine:

In recent days, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has continued to intensify as clashes between pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian activists have become more deadly.  In Odessa, 48 casualties were reported and in Slavyansk (in the eastern part of Ukraine), more than 20 people have been killed during the full-fledged military operation.   
How should the global evangelical Christian community respond to these events in Ukraine, that some speculate could spark the beginning of World War III?  We at Russian Ministries have been wrestling with this question as we consider the role that God would have us play at this critical time in the history of Russia, Ukraine and the world. 
We believe that, first and foremost, Christians must pray for God to intervene in a might way.  As I see the unrest and violence growing in the eastern part of Ukraine where I was born, I am heartened to see growing crowds of Ukrainians on the streets who are praying, many on their knees.  I am glad to report that evangelical congregations in Russia are also praying for the restoration of peace in this part of the world.  During this time of crisis, we urge the global evangelical Christian community to join our Russian and Ukrainian brothers and sisters in prayer. At this time, please pray especially that the gospel would enlighten the thinking of all leaders in Russia, Ukraine and around the world. 
You can read the rest of Sergey’s report here. A special Emergency Fund for Ukraine has been established if you would like to give towards Scripture distribution and humanitarian aid at this critical time.
Keep praying for our brothers and sisters. Thank you.