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Ukraine Update: Pastor, scholar, soldier

By TWR Staff
CE Europe, Europe, Global, Russia, Ukraine, turmoil
9 September 2022

Personnel from TWR Ukraine set up a video shoot against a backdrop of buildings that have been heavily damaged in the war. Photo by TWR Ukraine

Personnel from TWR Ukraine set up a video shoot against a backdrop of buildings that have been heavily damaged in the war. [Image courtesy of TWR Ukraine]

If you’ve been following the news, you know that hundreds of thousands of Russians are facing the choice of being drafted into the military or trying to flee their country.

It’s the latest consequence of the conflict enveloping Russia (with its ally Belarus) and Ukraine.

In a season of war, many people who perhaps never envisioned a military career find themselves on the front lines. That’s true on the Ukrainian side as well as the Russian.

During the early phases of the war, Alexander Chmut, the leader of TWR Ukraine, was conscripted to dig trenches for his country’s military. Now, a Ukrainian pastor who has been seen and heard on TWR Ukraine’s programs has been called up.

Vitaly Maryash, who is a teacher and dean at the Kyev Theological Seminary as well as pastor of a church, is on the front lines, TWR Ukraine reports. As a co-author of a program called Studying the Bible Together, Maryash had spent dozens of hours in the ministry’s studio. The program had covered Exodus, part of Matthew, Leviticus and John, and a study of Deuteronomy was underway when he was conscripted.

“It’s good that we’ve had time to finish studying the Gospel of John,” Maryash wrote. “But for Deuteronomy, wait for me. There will be good motivation to come back.”

Meanwhile, Chmut continues to speak at various churches in the land. He reports giving a sermon at Central Baptist Church in Dnipro that has been active in hosting refugees. In fact, refugees were living on the balcony when he spoke.

He also spoke at an evangelical church in his village where attendance in the past had normally been around 50. He couldn’t believe his eyes, Chmut wrote, to discover a full house of about 200, including internally displaced and homeless people. More than 10 people came forward in response to a call to repentance, he wrote.

“Today we see a similar picture almost all over Ukraine,” Chmut wrote. “In times of war, many people find Christ, and that is a good thing.”

Prayer Points
  • Please pray for Vitaly Maryash, that God would keep him safe during his service in the military and that at the proper time he would be able to resume preaching and teaching.
  • Thank God for the revival that seems to be occurring in Ukraine. Pray that revival fires would far outlast the war.
  • Our contacts in Russia and Belarus face increased instability as more and more people are conscripted into military service. Please intercede on their behalf.
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