People of Ukraine flood churches after scores die in the streets

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By Christian Aid Mission

Violence in Kiev
Violence in Kiev

“Our hearts are broken. We didn’t expect this to happen.”

These are the words of two long-time ministry friends of Christian Aid Mission whose work is based in Ukraine.

“Buildings are burning in many parts of Ukraine. Grocery stores have been emptied of food. There is no gasoline. The airports in Kiev are shut down. Computers and cell phones are not working well. The hospitals are full. There aren’t enough ambulances or medicine to help all of the injured,” he said.

Christian Aid assists six ministries in Ukraine, including a children’s home located three miles from Kiev’s Independence Square and the center of the riots. Soldiers are posted everywhere, even on the street in front of the orphanage, said a ministry representative.

In Western Ukraine, the director of a church-planting ministry reported Thursday that demonstrations were occurring in his community also. Rising fears have brought many people to church—and to their knees. If there is a silver lining in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, it is the unity of followers of all Christian faiths who are crying out to God on behalf of their countrymen.

“Christians in Ukraine have made the decision that for the next three days they will fast and pray for their country,” the director said. “The churches are packed with people praying. Some are coming and repenting and confessing their sins and giving their hearts to God for the first time.”

“They say, ‘If we die tomorrow, we want to be with God,’” he said.

The ministry has sent out over 500 missionaries since its founding over 20 years ago. These Christian leaders have established churches in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and small house fellowships among the mostly Muslim population in Crimea.

The director said his organization will continue their work in the region. He is especially encouraged by the response of students at his Bible Institute who are eager to go out into the mission field and lead lost souls to Jesus Christ.

“The young people we are training for ministry are watching the news and seeing other young people die on the streets of Kiev,” he said. “It is motivating them to go and preach the gospel. They are ready to go now.”

This year Christian Aid is supporting a major initiative spearheaded by a ministry representative and churches throughout Ukraine to distribute New Testaments in thousands of villages and small towns where there are no churches. Called the “Summertime for Jesus” project, hundreds of Christian youth and college students plan to hand out the New Testaments from May through September. They will receive training in how to share their faith and serve as effective witnesses for Christ.

“Just pray for Ukraine, pray for peace,” implored one Christian leader. “What is happening in Ukraine is like a sign from God of the urgency to share the gospel. We will keep preaching.”