I was woken up at 5:30 yesterday by a call from my previous associate pastor whom we sent out last summer to plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro: “We’re heading back to you. They’ve begun bombing the city.” After wiping the sleep from my eyes, I jumped on local news sites and social media to learn that this was not an isolated incident. Major cities across the country had been bombed.
Before this shocking awakening, I was planning to head up to Kyiv (a 5-hour drive north for me) to run a meeting we call “Kyiv Gospel Renewal.” This is a monthly meeting we hold through City to City Ukraine for pastors and planters in and around the capital.
Our vision is to see this city of nearly 5 million reached and renewed with the gospel through new churches—beginning with 30 by 2030. The city needs five times the number of churches it currently has just to reach a one to 5,000 church-to-inhabitant ratio. Statistics (at least until this war) say that Kyiv would reach 6–7.5 million citizens by 2040. So every chance to meet with a group of a couple dozen pastors and planters who share this vision is inspiring.
Yesterday’s events put a pause on this and a thousand other plans. But even amid this conflict, we’re hearing stories of people who’ve been prayed for over the years now coming to faith and making huge steps forward. In a word, what the Enemy has intended for evil, God is using for good.
As we’re located in central Ukraine just on the west side of the Dnieper river, we are at a crossroads for many of those fleeing from areas with heavier bombing and fighting in the east and north of the country. We received an influx of travelers making stops of various lengths throughout the day.
Sometimes it was just a quick chance for them to stop, have a bite to eat and get prayed for before continuing west. Others are being housed overnight by members of our church, Calvary Chapel of Svitlovodsk, and these refugees will try to figure out the next move after a (hopefully peaceful) night’s sleep.
Truth Reaches Deeper
The Enemy and those tyrants who serve him would love to sow fear, panic, and despair. But he is also the father of lies (John 8:44)—the family resemblance continues. In this case, the lie is that someone other than Christ is King. The depraved mind of man would like to believe and have others believe that he can control fates, lives, nations, and so on. But there is only one who controls the flow of history: “The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all” (Ps. 103:19).
But that’s not always easy to remember when bombs are exploding. The noise of the lie can get loud—so the truth needs to go deeper. We called an impromptu evening for worship and prayer for Ukraine. It was a sweet time stirring one another up and singing the truth deep into our hearts that, as one song we sang puts it:
Faithful, you are
Faithful forever you will be
Faithful, you are
All your promises are yes and amen
We serve a King who stared death in the face and defeated it, exploding it from the inside. There is only one true King—and the little tyrants of the world will ultimately only play into his great victory. His promises are sure, his victory inevitable.
How to Pray:
- For God’s supernatural protection over believers and for God to be glorified in crushing the pride and plans of evil men.
- For many who are fearful and confused to find the only true hope in Christ in these days.
- For strength and wisdom on how best to serve people, so that the church would shine brightly in this time.
- For God’s provision for those in need. If you’d like to donate to serve the people of Ukraine, you can do so here.