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Ukraine Update: A ‘Chance’ Encounter

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

UPDATE: JUNE 22, 2022

TWR's International Director for TWR Europe (right) had a chance encounter with a man in Cologne, Germany (right) who would give a glimpse of TWR's global ministry reach. 

The first clue to the man’s heritage might have been the fact that he was speaking in Ukrainian on his phone.

Or perhaps an even better clue was the Ukrainian flag painted on his cheek.

Dirk Muller, international director for TWR Europe, was attending a luncheon that followed worship at a church in Cologne, Germany. He just “happened” to be at that particular church. He had arrived at the airport in Cologne at 1 that morning and found a nearby boardinghouse – or pension, as Europeans call it – in which to spend the night. He looked for a church that was close and had a service that was late enough to allow him to sleep in a bit. This particular church was close and had two services, with the second starting at 11.

It “happened” that the church was having a missions event to send a family out to Asia. Moreover, Muller fell into a conversation with someone who, as it “happened,” may fit a role for which TWR Europe has an opening.

And then there was the man, whose name is Bogdan, with the Ukrainian flag on his cheek. Muller picks up the story:

When he was done with his call, I talked to him in English and gave him one of our Ukrainian business cards. As soon as he had received it, he shared about how wonderful TWR’s ministry is and how he likes Alex [Chmut, TWR Ukraine director] and the team and what they are doing now during the war on social media.

Muller soon met Bogdan’s wife and two young children. “God so much encouraged me in this crisis about how he took care of this family and how highly they spoke about Alex and our team,” Muller wrote.

Isn’t it amazing how God uses “chance” encounters like these to accomplish his purposes?

TWR in the war-affected region continues to get significant feedback through more conventional means. Here’s an example from Svetlana in Russia (translated):

Thank you for making us happy every day. For the word of edification … every day and for the psalms that you include. Just thank you for being who you are. God bless you!

This is from Pavel in Belarus (also a translation):

I work as a city bus driver. I listen to you regularly during my shifts at work. It is very good to have you – it helps me both emotionally and spiritually.

Finally, a woman posted this on the TWR Ukraine Facebook page (translated):

My husband didn't really listen to the Word of God before the war, but now he listens to your sermons, he likes it, and I love how God works through you.

How do Ukrainians, including refugees, connect with TWR in these tumultuous times? One tool is the thousands of cards that have been handed out offering links, broadcast information and a QR code. Alenka Stephenson, communications director for Europe, reports that 20,000 of the cards have been shared in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and Romania via partnerships with Operation Mobilization and other organizations. 

Will you pray with us?

  • Please lift up Bogdan and his family as they adjust to life in Germany, and so many Ukrainian refugees who also are experiencing unfamiliar places, often apart from other family members.
  • Alex Chmut and the team at TWR Ukraine continue to stay safe and active as they provide Bible-based support to the people of their war-torn country. We praise God for them and invite you to continue to pray on their behalf.
  • Please continue to pray for the leaders of these countries and for a path to peace. Although the war is getting less media attention, it’s as damaging as ever. Ukrainian officials report “colossal destruction” in the city of Lysychansk, according to BBC News.
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