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War and Peace and Church Planting

GCF in Action

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We sat in a circle around our living room listening as each person took a turn to pray. For several participants, it was their first time to pray aloud. Tears of joy came to my eyes as I heard their simple, honest intercessions.

Yulia had recently found new life in Christ and prayed for all of her displaced colleagues who have settled in Kiev since fleeing war-torn eastern Ukraine. She prayed that they too will find freedom in Christ. She also thanked God that we stand before Him equally in grace.

Transformed People

In only one month the Holy Spirit transformed this group. During the first few gatherings, people listened, ate the meal, and took home their small bags of groceries. They looked out for their own needs and often asked for special things they wanted. Now, since they have heard the gospel and some have received the good news, they are almost fighting for the chance to read the Scriptures and prepare or serve the food.

gcf-action
Leadership team of the church plant Light for Ukraine (Photo courtesy of International Worker)

We have added two more meetings for Ukraine’s internally displaced people (IDP) at another location. About 120 individuals attend those gatherings every week. We also have plans to open other ministries to IDP with the help of Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) to help them fully integrate into life in Kiev.

While working with IDP gives special openness and opportunity for spreading the gospel, we do not know the future any more than they do. Many of them are waiting to return to their families, homes, businesses, and work in eastern Ukraine.

Some IDP are well-educated teachers, lawyers, and the like, whereas others are villagers with less education. Their incomes were tied to their land or something near their homes. Therefore, some find jobs easily and meet many of their own needs. Others who are older, have small children, or have less desirable or adaptable skills have greater difficulty finding work. For various reasons the government is unable and unwilling to provide many resources for these people.

Adventures in Church Planting

Our dream is to start a strong national church of fully equipped, spiritually healthy believers that multiplies and sends new workers throughout Ukraine and the rest of the world. At this point there are no other Alliance-related churches in the main part of Ukraine (there are thriving churches in Crimea).

Almost every week we have ideas for new ministries. We have plans to expand our outreach to teens and young adults (both IDP and the youth of Kiev). We have begun a women’s ministry and hope to provide some help for children with dyslexia.

We have no idea how God will build His Kingdom, but it is an exciting trip as we follow Him in this adventure. Please pray for wisdom and His direction on how best to develop the ministry in Kiev and beyond.

—Michael and Joanne

1 response to War and Peace and Church Planting

  1. These people are living proof of God in Romans 8:28 action. Keep building Christ’s Kingdom!

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