From Our President
Ukraine crisis brings people to their knees in prayer
Greetings to you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You are a valued and integral partner in the ministry of Christian Aid.
We try to keep you informed of current events and pressing needs impacting the work of indigenous missions by way of e-alerts, “What’s Happening” flyers enclosed with receipts for your gifts, and, of course, with Prayerline.
The news can change at a moment’s notice, and in our fast-paced, interconnected world, circumstances that affect the lives of our Christian brethren in one region touch the family of believers around the globe. As I write this letter, the rest of the world is closely monitoring the dramatic events unfolding in the Crimean Peninsula.
During the first week of March, Christian Aid sent out an e-alert with the urgent request for prayer and assistance to those suffering in the aftermath of violent clashes between demonstrators and police in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city. Bonfires burning in downtown Kiev were barely extinguished before another firestorm developed in Crimea, where Russian troops took control of government buildings, the airport, and communications systems. Thus far neither side has fired a shot, but the situation remains tense and unresolved.
For 70 years Ukraine was governed by the iron fist of the Soviet Union. It was a crime to own a Bible or to preach the gospel. As a result, two or three generations of Ukrainians knew very little about Jesus Christ. When the fetters of communist rule were loosed in 1991, believers who had remained strong in their faith made full use of their newfound religious freedom by re-establishing churches. People were hungry to read God’s Word and a spiritual revival of sorts swept across the nation.
Ukraine is a beacon of light for the gospel
Today Ukraine is a beacon of light for the gospel and the primary missionary sending country in the region. Under the guidance of Slavik Radchuk, our area director for the former Soviet Union and a native Ukrainian, Christian Aid assists seven ministries operating in Ukraine and Crimea. Their wide range of projects includes evangelism, church planting, ministry to prisoners and drug addicts, the care of orphans and street children, the distribution of New Testaments, and radio and TV broadcasts that reach over 100 million people.
The work of all of these ministries and the people they serve is threatened by the tenuous situation in Ukraine. The nation’s economy was already fragile before the recent series of events, and now it is facing possible collapse. Prices are skyrocketing, and food is in short supply.
One of the ministries we support is Father’s House, a Kiev-based children’s outreach that provides food, medical care, and a loving Christian home to hundreds of neglected or abandoned youngsters each year. Their Center of Social Care, where children stay before they are placed in home settings, currently accommodates about 50 children, ages 4 to 17. Financially-strapped due to the economy, the ministry’s director has asked Christian Aid for additional support as the program is experiencing a $7,400 (US) shortfall. The operating costs for the Center of Social Care total about $5,500 per month for food, electricity, natural gas, medical supplies, and living allowances for staff. (368-FAH—4/5)
Summer for Jesus
Beginning in June, high school and college students will canvas the Ukrainian countryside in the Summer for Jesus initiative. We are very excited about this project, as now more than ever people are turning to God for direction and forgiveness. Dozens of young believers will assemble into teams and place 100,000 New Testaments into the hands of Ukrainians living in villages where there is no witness for Christ. The cost is $5 (four New Testaments) per village. The students will share the gospel with residents and do various service projects for the poor and elderly. (368-BIB—4/30)
The Lord Jesus told His followers there would be “wars and rumors of wars” but He also reassured them, saying, “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6, NKJV). These troubling times only serve to remind us of the urgency of our mission here at Christian Aid. We are wholeheartedly committed to advocating and supporting the work of indigenous ministries in Ukraine, in Russia, and around the world—until He returns.
May our Lord bless each of you,
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