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Celebrating in Ukraine Despite the War

By TWR Staff
CE Europe, Europe, Global, Russia, Ukraine, turmoil

UPDATE: March 30, 2022

TWR Ukraine team members in the studio prior to the outbreak of war. [TWR Ukraine image]

With the Soviet Union crumbling in the early 1990s, Ukraine declared its independence about the same time that a new media ministry was established. As the nation struggled to overcome dire economic problems and divisive politics, TWR Ukraine reached out to its countrymen with messages of biblical truth, hope and reconciliation.

Nearly 30 years later, on the eve of the war with Russia, the ministry was producing over 20 radio programs in Ukrainian and Russian that were broadcast weekly into the nation from TWR’s powerful AM transmitters in neighboring countries. When the missiles began flying, TWR Ukraine’s staff had to abandon their studios and offices. Amid the death and destruction evident in daily news reports, however, this dedicated band of believers continue ministering, finding ways to help others and even recording content for broadcast when possible.

The leader of TWR Ukraine, who was chief executive officer of a vibrant organization until a few weeks ago, today is sheltering with his family far from their home near Kyiv and has been conscripted by the military to dig trenches. Sometimes he can be seen walking to work carrying a shovel and recording profound messages on his cellphone for social media users.

We felt sharing one of his heartfelt messages with you would be a fitting way to celebrate TWR Ukraine’s 30th anniversary, coming as it does in the middle of a devastating war. As you read, please join us in honoring and praying for our brothers and sisters as we commemorate the founding of their ministry on March 30, 1992.

If God makes it possible, if he has mercy and we stay alive, I will have to explain to my granddaughter what happened here. As soon as she understands that it is war, she will ask me, “Grandpa, which side were you on?”

And it will be difficult for me to explain to her what it means to be on the side of Jesus.

To be on the side of Jesus means to be with his people. Jesus came to his people, he lived with them, ate with them, healed them, raised the dead. They were not obedient, like we Ukrainians sometimes are not. They were material. My brother Ukrainians rant with swear words. I don't like that, but I love them, and I am with my people. I will be able to be honest in front of my granddaughter that I did not run away.

I am ready to die with the Ukrainians. My calling as a pastor is to see the lost saved.

That is what the Bible says, and the people who may hear me must understand. We are condemned to death. We have been condemned. We are to be killed.

I am not afraid of death. I know that life does not end with death. My life is secure in Jesus, but as long as I am digging trenches and carrying logs, I can tell the men I work with here about Jesus. I can tell the non-Christians how they can still pray to God even at the last moment when the bombs are going off. So, they can call out to God who saves.

There is peace and tranquility in my heart. Jesus has given it to me. I love Jesus! I know he controls everything, but today he has put me in this place with my people. That I might pray for them, witness to them, serve them. Just like Jesus did.

I personally understand what it means to be on the side of Jesus in this war!

For past updates and coverage of the situation in Ukraine,
visit our newsroom.

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