Even as the war rages on, so does the spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of Ukrainians—and a growing number are turning to Christ.
Natasha’s family testifies to the powerful, effective impact of prayer. When her husband was suddenly killed in an accident several years ago, leaving Natasha pregnant and alone, she found help and community at a local church in Odesa. Through their loving ministry, she came to know Christ and was discipled by ABWE missionary Holly F. at the Choose Life women’s center. Natasha immediately began praying for her parents’ salvation and recruited fellow believers at the church and women’s center to join her.
Her mother’s heart remained hardened to the gospel, however, until the war escalated in spring 2022. In a divinely appointed meeting, Holly ran into Natasha’s mother, Oksana, in the street one day in May and invited her to church. Oksana considered the offer for a few months, and after repeated invitations from others in the church, decided to begin attending services. She soon realized her need for Christ and trusted him for salvation.
Oksana’s life changed radically. Believers and unbelievers alike in her neighborhood immediately noticed the difference.
Admitting that she had frequently used profanity to express herself, she told Holly excitedly, “God has changed my mouth—and now I’m telling people how to be saved!”
Although she quickly began praying for her husband’s salvation and inviting him to attend church with her, she doubted he would ever be interested. To her surprise, he agreed to accompany her to church on Easter and even attended her baptism service at the end of April, during which 10 new believers proclaimed the power of the gospel in their lives.
Prompted by these messages, Oksana’s husband began to consider questions of faith and repentance. A few weeks ago, he too placed his faith in Christ.
“Ukraine has been a place where spiritual decisions are slow,” said Holly. “But now, to have such a response—even to have 10 baptisms—is incredible.”
As our brothers and sisters in Ukraine continue sharing the gospel of Christ through great hardship and crisis, let us remember our common mission, faithfully bringing them before our Father in prayer.
As the Apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians, may we pray that the Ukrainian church will bear fruit in every good work, increase in the knowledge of God, and be strengthened with his power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (1:9-11).