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Ukraine Update: Storytelling in Ministry

7 September 2023

TWR Ukraine Director Alexander Chmut (left) and members of the TWR Ukraine team continue to minister to their communities despite the trials of war. [Image courtesy of TWR Ukraine]


Whether it’s by a campfire, in a book or on a screen we love a good story.


It’s often the simple details in a story that we relate to. The details trigger our own memories, emotions and life experiences.


The Bible teaches spiritual truths through stories and the details help us remember. We know that Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree, not an oak or maple.


Similarly, TWR Ukraine is using real-life stories to communicate biblical truths. An impressive example is the project Yak vi tam?, which literally translates to “How are you?” but in context could mean “How are you surviving this?” For each two-hour video episode, the team travels to a different Ukrainian city to interview Christians in that city. These believers talk about how God is at work in their city amid the turmoil of war.


Most recently, the team travelled to Zaporizhzhia to film. The city is home to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has been heavily bombed throughout the war.


In the episode, a woman who works for Save a Life International, a non-profit organisation supporting women in crisis, shared her experience. She said that since the start of the war, women’s needs have changed and now, many internally displaced women come for help.

“We share and fulfil their emotional needs,” she said. “The women who come have very difficult stories filled with losses that are heart-breaking to listen to.” She went on to describe many women who are already searching for God when they arrive and find God as they walk through the programme.


And this testimony from Save a Life International is just one of nine stories that were filmed for the latest episode in Zaporizhzhia.


Because the Yak vi tam? project is a medley of personal stories that many Ukrainians can relate to, it’s been a fruitful platform for candidly speaking about God.


Something for Everyone


In another TWR Ukraine video project called Bible Battle, witty, intelligent participants are quizzed on their Bible trivia. The idea is to show that the Bible isn’t boring but on the contrary opens new doors for life and ministry. Points are earned for each episode that are converted into cash and donated to charitable foundations.


The author of the programme Studying the Bible Together wrote, “Although it’s been a difficult month, with Kyiv being shelled almost every night, the work continues. We plan to continue the programme with the Book of Psalms, the most popular book of the Bible among Ukrainians during the war.”


Angelina Chmut, the presenter of a programme called Another Point of View, has renewed the format. It will now be called You Are a Christian and will include a monologue and discussions with experts.


As With a Friend is a project that raises important questions for men in a relaxed atmosphere in which they feel comfortable to answer honestly. The theme of the new edition was loneliness.


The TWR Ukraine team is gradually updating the design of all their projects and shows to make Ukrainian Christian media stand out. Each programme, whether in the format of a talk show, interview, Bible study or even game show, is a quality production.



A listener from the Cherkassy region wrote, “Thank you for teaching the Word of God and for the restored radio receiver. In our small village, there are no Bible-study groups and the nearest church is 50 kilometres away, so the receiver is our main [spiritual] reinforcement through sermons, life stories and songs.”



Prayer Points


  • Praise God for the creative inspiration of the TWR Ukraine team and the various projects they are involved in.
  • Ask for God’s continued protection and provision for each team member.
  • Since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, many people have unanswered questions about death, loss and the meaning of life. Pray that more people find TWR Ukraine’s programmes, which are designed to answer these difficult questions.