The Hero Pastors of War-Torn Ukraine

UKRAINE — As the war in Ukraine continues local pastors on the frontlines are putting their faith into action. OM is partnering with these amazing church planters in Ukraine who risk their lives for the sake of the Gospel. OM teams work with several churches in the cities of Odessa, Rivne, Vinnitsa, and Kaharlyk. They often focus on children through Sunday schools, clubs, and camps.

Vyacheslav Balagura – Donetsk Regional Church of God Pastor:

When the military conflict started in our region the people became hostage of the situation. For the last couple of years there has not been a break in the fighting. For 11 months people have not had electricity. No water, no gas. And people are stuck constantly under shelling and living in basements.

Peter Dudnyk – Church of God Missionary Coordinator for Ukraine union:

The church is called Good News. We serve on the front lines which is 60 to 70 kilometres from our town and in 2014 we experienced the war right in this place. During the time of war when.

Vyacheslav Balagura

The next level of help was to rebuild houses because in our city 1500 houses were destroyed, as well as 2,000 apartments. After that we started to serve people in other towns on the front lines. We saw that to bring bread and water does not change people. This is when the idea of organizing missionaries teams were born. We started to open church services there. Inviting people to the hall. There was already a specific place and a time was discussed and people started to come. Today there is a permanent team that serves there. That is to say there is a church now. People are being baptized and becoming members of the church.

Peter Dudnyk

In the last 2 years we organized 28 missionary teams all along the front line

Have you ever heard the expression ‘the hero pastor?

Vyacheslav Balagura

Hero pastor? Maybe there is someone who is using this expression. First of all, it’s a person who loves God and loves people. We are simply doing what we should do. That is being true Christians.

What caused you during all this time of war to stay here in this place?

Peter Dudnyk

Well it is difficult to say. Looking back, it is impossible to find words to explain. Simply my pain for the people who died here forcing me to keep risking my life to save others. This is our calling in Christ Jesus.

Vyacheslav Balagura

As the Bible says, when He sees trouble, He does not run away and He does not leave His flock.

Read more news on Ukraine, Disaster Relief and World Missions.


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