For the last two newsletters we have been challenged with Questions on the Bible. The plan was to put a few more questions in this month’s edition. However, the people of Ukraine have been in our thoughts and prayers for the last month and it is important that we continue to pray for them. So, we’re going a different direction. Here are two prayer requests from Church leadership in Ukraine. Let’s partner with our brothers and sisters around the world in lifting up these specific needs. These prayer requests come from an article on Christianity Today’s website on March 11 - “The Wartime Prayers of Ukraine’s Evangelicals.” The whole article and more prayer requests can be found at the link below at the end.
Christianity Today asked Ukrainian evangelical leaders to help readers enter their war-torn world by sharing a glimpse of it. Each provided a Bible verse that has proven meaningful for perseverance, prayer requests for both concrete personal needs and more profound spiritual longings, and a referral to how readers can get involved.
Taras Dyatlik, Engagement Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia for Scholar Leaders International: Currently supporting a network of Ukrainian seminaries, Dyatlik has identified three stages of need. The immediate need is to evacuate, relocate, and find safe locations to save the lives of students, staff, and faculty. In another week or so, their situation must become stabilized in longer-term accommodations. And then, pending the developments of war, they will figure out how to continue theological education.
The Bible verse helping him persevere: Mark 14:27–28 “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Sometimes we find ourselves with Jesus, not because we followed Him, but because He comes to us—as now, in our brutal war with Russia. And He asks us as He asked Peter at the Sea of Galilee: “Do you love Me?” (John 21:16–17). Still, this comes after breakfast, when He has taken care of us, first. Even when we fail in the challenges of this war, His friendship is available for us to revive in.
What he’s praying for: I am praying for my wife and many other wives who refused to be evacuated while their husbands stayed behind. But I am also praying that this war will shake the conscience of humanity and the theology of the Church. No longer can we elevate a nationalism that so often requires others to be brought low, as we see so many Christians adopting now in Russia.
Oleksandr Geychenko, President of Odessa Theological Seminary:
United World Mission has been a decades-long partner of OTS, located on Ukraine’s western Black Sea shore. As his fellow seminary heads in other cities have turned their campuses into places of refuge, Geychenko has been trying to evacuate the school’s staff and students and provide for them as best he can.
The Bible verse helping him persevere:
1 Corinthians 12:26–27 “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Last Sunday, we celebrated our monthly Lord’s Supper for the first time since the war began. The high point was in identification with the suffering of fellow believers who have loved ones in neighboring nations, still on the road searching for accommodation, or who have perished in the attacks on our many cities. But as I took the bread, I knew I was part of the body of Christ.
What he’s praying for: I am praying through the rage of an almost tangible pain. Instead of my seminary routine, I am an emergency volunteer. Our lives have been smashed, our souls have been burnt, and there is no end in sight. For the wholeness of our country to be restored, we need God to give spiritual insight and moral clarity to the world. Then this storm can turn against the aggressors, and disperse them.
To read the full article, click on the following link or copy/paste into your web browser: