Paul S. Sanders, chair of the board of READ Ministries, and Bill Arvan, READ's ministry coordinator, respond to some of the questions our American ministry partners have been asking in light of the current crisis in Ukraine.
Are READ’s ministry partners in Ukraine anxious or in danger?
Sanders: We have heard from our Christian friends in Ukraine, and we know that they are deeply concerned for their friends and relatives in various parts of the country who are affected by the current situation in Ukraine.
If you are prohibited from traveling to Ukraine, how will this affect READ’s ministry?
Arvan: I was in Ukraine in February and met with many of READ’s partners. I was able to deliver all the required funding for our ministry initiatives through the month of April. We also planned our ministry projects for May through September. I hope to return to Ukraine in May and June for those commitments, Lord willing.
We have been working in collaboration with our partners to arrange for alternative strategies, if needed, for delivering funding and distributing resources. As long as we can provide funding and resources, our ministry will proceed, God willing.
Are there any encouraging signs?
Sanders: You know the old saying that light shines brighter as a place grows darker. I pray that this will be true of Ukrainian Christians. READ has been working to effect a gradual shift, helping Ukrainians to become senders, taking the Gospel to neighboring countries, rather than just being recipients. God has a plan for their future, just as He has had a plan for their past. He is not finished with them yet.
What can we do to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ?
Sanders: We need to encourage our Ukrainian friends by praying for them. I pray that they will be reminded that their faith does not depend on political forces of the day, and that they will walk worthy of the One who called them.
Some reasons for hope
- Ukraine’s new president, Oleksander Turchynov, is a Bible-believing Christian.
- Evangelical pastors handed out 100,000 copies of The Gospel of John in Kyiv’s Independence Square during the recent protests.
- Many evangelical churches in Ukraine are calling their nation to prayer and repentance by conducting "Prayer in the Square" on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM (in Ukraine).
- We serve a sovereign God who has said, “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we trust God and are fitting into his plans (Rom. 8:28, TLB).”