Ukraine today is a privileged country. For more than ten years we have been free to proclaim the Word of God without being persecuted.
During the 70 years during which it was illegal to worship God publicly, Christians used to meet secretly for Bible study by the light of candles. To be caught in possession of a Bible, hymnbook or Christian literature could mean being sent to Siberia for years.
Today there is political and religious freedom in Ukraine, but Evangelicals are viewed as a sect. The main population is Orthodox.
Unbelievers find it hard to accept that people can glorify the name of God in a building that is not Orthodox. But the Word of God is powerful – Christ is alive and many people have found him to be the living God.
Ukraine has a population of 49 millions dispersed in 35 regions. We live in the region of Zhitomir, in the village of Stanishovka, 120 km from Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. We have worked there for four years.
God has been gracious to our small church. It is growing and last year was very special for us, with ten souls receiving Christ. Six of them have already been baptised and become church members.
We have started erecting a church building in the village, and in the meantime meet in a member’s house.
The blessing we have known in Stanishovka is part of God’s wider blessing on Zhitomir. In this region there are now over 100 Baptist churches, each with a Sunday school and Bible study group. There are also theological courses and ministry to the youth.
During the summer we have Bible holiday camps for non-Christian Sunday-school children. Some of these camps cater for more than 400 children.
At the same time, it is painful to us, in this era of freedom, to see churches with plenty of Bibles and Christian books losing the hunger for God’s Word that was once widespread.
We pray that God will bless our preachers; that they will preach God’s pure Word; and that many others will find Christ, the knowledge of God, eternal life, and the forgiveness of their sins.