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Ukraine Update: Light in the Darkness

By TWR Staff
CE Europe, Europe, Global, Russia, Ukraine, turmoil
21 December 2022

The TWR Ukraine team explore basement shelters, which have not only become common in this time of war, but have even begun serving as makeshift studios for content production [Image courtesy of TWR Ukraine].

The TWR Ukraine team explore basement shelters, which have not only become common in this time of war, but have even begun serving as makeshift studios for content production. [Image courtesy of TWR Ukraine]


A text read in many churches at Christmas has special resonance to the team at TWR Ukraine this year: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

“We were able to truly appreciate the importance of light only after our country went through a blackout, plunged into total darkness,” wrote Alexander Chmut, the team’s director. “Even then, the hearts of our listeners and viewers continued to be warmed and illuminated by the truths of God's Word that the TWR Ukraine team continued to share with them.”

Missile strikes on Ukraine are hampering but not stopping the team’s work. As one program was being recorded at the studio in Kyiv, a nearby thermal power station was hit. The program went on, although the sound of destruction could be heard in the background. A boy who serves as presenter on a children’s program wore a headlamp so he could read his script during a blackout.

“It has become a rule to work by candlelight as long as there is a charge in the laptop,” Chmut wrote.

But team TWR Ukraine hasn’t just worked out of its studio. Members of the team also have gone on road trips to other places, including Bakhmut in the Donbas region, where Russian and Ukrainian forces have been engaged in a fierce battle for months.

“Since spring, people have been living without electricity and water and of course without communication and internet,” Chmut reported of Bakhmut. “They live in basements, heat their houses with wood-burning stoves. … I have noticed that they listen a lot and absorb any new information. This is a good field for evangelism.”

TWR Ukraine also traveled from Kyiv to the second-largest city of Kharkiv to film an episode for a new program allowing people to share the stories of how they’re surviving the war.

Meanwhile, our ministry friends in Belarus also were traveling, visiting orphanages and foster homes in northern and eastern parts of that country. In the small community of Kirovsk, they met a couple in their 60s who have reared 40 children and still have babies in their household.

“More than once in their lives the impossible has become possible, when God has given healing to the children,” our Belarus friends reported.

Prayer Points:
  • How do you celebrate Christmas in the midst of war? In widely differing circumstances, our esteemed colleagues in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus are living that reality this season. When many of the festive aspects of the holiday are stripped away, perhaps the historical miracle at its heart can be perceived more clearly. Let’s pray fervently along with our brothers and sister for “peace on earth good will toward men.”
  • Despite the upheaval, TWR Ukraine is ministering with greater passion and impact than ever before. Ask the Lord to keep blessing these men and women with creativity, courage and stamina as they produce radio and social media programs that meet critical emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Praise God for protecting all the Ukraine team members since the outbreak of the war 10 months ago. But reports of nearby missile strikes during recording sessions remind us that the threat of death and destruction is never far away. Whenever you hear a report about the war or happen to think of our partners in these Eastern European countries, please take a moment to lift them up in prayer. Ask the Father to assure them that he is their refuge and fortress in whom they can trust (Ps. 91:2).
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