The missiles keep raining down and ministry grows ever harder, but TWR Ukraine’s staff sees this as a time of learning, of testing and of growing closer to their heavenly Father.
Alexander Chmut, the leader of TWR’s national partner in Ukraine, is blunt about the situation his team faces. But he’s also clear-sighted about how God teaches and refines his people in this crucible of war that pits his homeland against Russia next door.
“It has become much more difficult to work and we are working in mortal danger,” Chmut wrote. “Every minute has to be used effectively. Now we understand what the text of Ephesians 5:15-16 means: ‘Watch therefore, that you act carefully, not as unwise, but as wise, cherishing the time, for the days are evil.’ God teaches us wisdom, prudence, punctuality, and these are good lessons. God also shows his miracles.”
The miracles he’s witnessed vary in scale, from safekeeping – two missiles recently struck within a kilometre (less than a mile) of the team – to having electricity to record a programme even while a power cut was supposed to be in effect; another Christian organization lent the team a generator during one of the lengthy power outages so they could record a programme to be aired the next day.
Obviously, TWR Ukraine is mastering the art of continuing to minister through radio, social media and in person whatever the circumstances. To that end, Chmut and his team are working to equip their office in Kyiv so the staff can gather there during times when they can’t go home to bathe, get warm, charge their digital devices or communicate with relatives.
And this is one of the ways that TWR supporters are standing with their brothers and sisters in the war zone. The fund is being used to purchase more-reliable internet connections – most of the team’s output is dependent on the internet and electricity – and an uninterruptible power supply. It will also help cover the cost of running and maintaining a diesel generator, which was ordered and shared by the Christian organization with whom TWR Ukraine also shares an office.
Despite having a significant impact through media, the team members are determined to get outside the studio not only to do on-location recording but also to visit local residents, churches and pastors across the war-ravaged countryside. Last week team members travelled to a town that was featured in a news report titled “The Bloody Battle for Bakhmut.” The staff met with locals, gave out relief supplies and helped evacuate some people from this town located deep in the heavily contested eastern region of Ukraine.
“Our staff are all healthy and all able to do their work and serve the people,” Chmut wrote. “This is what motivates us every day and we don’t want to stop. We want to give people hope through God’s Word and the content that we make!”
- As the Ukraine-Russia war enters its 10th month, it’s easy for those of us far removed from the fighting to become somewhat desensitized. Let’s rekindle that awareness of the terrors visited upon millions of men, women and children in the war zone and intercede with the Lord for their safety and peace of mind.
- Praise God not only for protecting TWR Ukraine team members but also for equipping and inspiring them to carry out his will amid dreadful circumstances. Ask him to pour out his blessings on these courageous men and women and their families.
- Join us in giving thanks to the many people who have contributed to the Ukraine-Russia Crisis Fund. You may be one of those contributors and we are grateful for your partnership.
- Our ministry contacts on the other side of this conflict, in Russia and Belarus, aren’t dealing with the bombs and bullets but they face severe challenges and strictures of other kinds. Please ask God to bless their ministries, bringing the gospel and sound Bible teaching to listeners who need it just as much as the Ukrainians do.