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A Special Message from Pastor Valery Antonyuk President of the Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB)

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love (2 John 1:3)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the name of the Lord! The year 2014 has passed. For Christians here in Ukraine, 2014 was a year of great trials and sobering experiences. God has been leading us in a special way of serving the people of our country. We became participants in the important events that God has allowed Christians to experience in Ukraine. For us, it was also a time of intercessory prayer and of rendering real, practical help to people.

Valery Antonyuk

Pray for Ukrainian UECB president Valery Antonyuk as he leads evangelical churches during these difficult days for their country.

We thank you all—our Christian friends, local churches, missions and associations, and all who responded to the needs of the Ukrainian people, joining together to provide spiritual and practical aid in these difficult times. Your support inspires us to continue “standing in the gap” for our land” during one of the most critical moments in our modern history.

Great tension, seeking for a way out of crisis, and a thirst for justice—these were the defining characteristics of our public life in Ukraine in early 2014. Christians here, together in unison with you, offered multiple intercessory prayers for our country. And God has been answering the prayers of His Church. We thank Him that good overcomes evil, and that He is just in His judgment.

The situation in Crimea and subsequent developments in the eastern regions we call the Donbas have brought great pain and suffering to our people. Aggression and war have brought sorrow and tears to many Ukrainian families, and has not left anyone indifferent. In this very difficult time, you have also joined with us to carry out practical ministry. We thankfully received the support of our brothers and sisters from around the world. Our problems became yours. You “wept with those who wept” (Rom. 12:15), and helped Ukraine in these difficult times.

Because of the military conflict, many evangelical churches in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions found themselves in a combat zone. Some 150 of these churches are UECB congregations. Many Christians were forced to flee their homes because of threats and persecutions. Many local churches were scattered. God helped us provide substantial humanitarian assistance to refugees from Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Here are some examples:

  • MCEF 01-22-15_2ore than 10,000 refugees have found shelter across the whole territory of Ukraine, in Christian homes, in churches, Christian camps, missions, Bible colleges, and seminaries.
  • Five locations were set up for the purpose of helping people relocate and to distribute aid.
  • Throughout 2014, the churches have provided ongoing food and medical aid to people in the conflict zones, as well as for the families who fled the region.
  • Local Baptist churches in Ukraine collected more than 120 tons of food and other humanitarian aid, and provided financial support to displaced people.
  • Our brothers and sisters in Europe and United States sent us financial support for people in the afflicted regions, and provided about 45 tons of relief supplies (clothing, food, personal hygiene, linens, etc.)

Today, we are still helping those who remain in the war zone, as well as those who have been forced to seek homes in other regions of Ukraine. In the conflict zone, the local churches have organized transportation for people, as well as the distribution of food products, medicines, clothing and other necessities. Other ministry still continuing:

  • About 70 pastors and workers in eastern Ukraine continue their ministries in the conflict zones or in other areas. They are receiving financial support for their families because they are without work, homes, and even had to leave their home churches.
  • We provide chaplain ministry for members of the military and their families, offering spiritual and biblical counsel. Dozens of ministers have dedicated themselves to this ministry in the most dangerous places.
  • In several hospitals, there are groups of Christian doctors and volunteers working.
  • Tens of thousands of Bibles and other Christian literature have been distributed, plus meetings with the refugees, with the wounded in hospitals, and with the soldiers in military units.
  • The churches have regularly carried out humanitarian aid projects to assist the disabled, as well as families where the husbands and fathers have been killed, leaving children orphaned, and wives all alone.
CEF 01-22-15_1

Teams from Ukrainian evangelical churches have been distributing tons of food and other aid provided through SGA partners.

We ask that you continue to pray for Ukraine, and to support those who stand on the side of God’s righteousness—together proclaiming the Gospel and calling for the salvation of every human soul. We believe that God will heal the wounds of war and protect our land. We pray that the Lord will open the eyes of those who have been seduced by the devil’s cynical propaganda, to cease from aggression and stealing, and from sowing discord among nations and shedding blood in Ukraine. Satan’s plans will be put to shame, for all the works of God are the true and righteous path, and He is . . . able to humble those who walk proudly (Daniel 4:34). And . . . my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Thanks to your participation in meeting the needs of the saints (Rom. 12:13), these humanitarian efforts are made possible and are very timely. Your contributions have become particularly valuable for us, witnessing to the wonderful unity that we have as believers in the Lord’s Church. On behalf of the Baptist churches of Ukraine, I express my sincere gratitude for the sacrifice and support that you have provided during this difficult time. We continue to pray and serve, full of faith that the Lord will guide His Church, and to work through us amid these difficult times in our history.

In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord,
Pastor Valery Antonyuk
Kiev, Ukraine

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