The following is an update that I recorded from three HeartCry missionaries in Ukraine on the Russian invasion of their country. The men are presently pastoring churches around the city Chernovtsy, Ukraine. Please note that what was related to me is their personal account of the conflict and its effects.
Speaking through a translator earlier this morning, I was provided the following info from HeartCry missionaries Ion Gireada, Vitalii Rusnak and Iliya Hlushchak. In response to various questions that I asked pertaining to the military conflict that began on the Ukrainian/ Russian border overnight, Brother Gireada said that the Russian missiles that have been launched on Ukraine have not come any closer than a hundred miles from their area. The missionary brothers said that according to news sources, approximately forty people have died and twenty have been wounded. But they agreed that the number of causalities could be significantly higher as the government doesn’t want to incite greater fear, being that the nation is already in panic.
The Ukrainian cities of Kiev (capital city), Odessa, Lvov (the largest city in the west with a population of a half a million) and Chernobyl are being bombed. Some of the smaller cities in the south of the country have already been taken by the Russian troops. The missionaries are concerned for Chernobyl, the nuclear power plant, for fear that another nuclear disaster could occur if the Russians destroy it.
Brothers Gireada and Rusnak confirmed that the Ukrainian banks have shut down and the accounts of the citizens have been frozen. In addition to this perplexity, grocery stores, pharmacies and means of transportation have been significantly affected.
Tomorrow, the Ukrainian government will decide whether to impose a mandatory draft in which all men from twenty to sixty years of age will be expected to enlist in the military.
Upon inquiring further how the Church could pray for our missionary brothers, they requested prayer for wisdom to counsel the many refuges they will encounter in the days ahead. With so many of the Ukrainian citizens attempting to flee harms way, the missionaries anticipate hundreds of men, women and children coming to their region for shelter and food.
Among the needs of the people, please pray for communication. The internet is very unstable at present. Also, pray for the “general mobilization” for recruitment. The missionaries said that if they are forced to go to war, they don’t know whether they will serve in combat or as military chaplains. One of the brothers said that his son was in a large city that was under Russian attack and was not able to get out of the city. He has no money or food as the banks are closed.
Most of all, pray that the conflict will turn to the furtherance of the gospel. We have every confidence in our sovereign God to take the atrocities of war to expose men to the redemptive work of Christ. With the growing anticipation of refugees coming from across the nation to escape the carnage, the missionaries see a great opportunity to share the gospel.
Eastern Europe Coordinator
Don is serving as the HeartCry Coordinator for Eastern Europe. As an itinerant evangelist, his pulpit ministry is directed toward preaching on the inner life of the believer and the spiritual need of the lost. With HeartCry, his ministry includes organizing Bible conferences and corresponding with the HeartCry missionaries in Europe. He and his lovely wife Cindy live in Tuscumbia, AL.More By Don Currin