Missions Moment – Ukraine

Posted in: Missions

Eric and Beth Yodis, WorldVenture

Last week, Beth and I had the opportunity to visit Chernobyl and Pripyat, the two towns closest to the infamous nuclear facilities. In a future update, we hope to provide you with pictures and a more glowing report of our trip. Chernobyl, just nine miles away from the disaster that bears it’s name,  is currently inhabited, although it has only a fraction of the population that it once had.

The ghost town of Pripyat lies in the shadows of the now defunct nuclear energy plants and is completely uninhabited. Although we found a number of places in the town with relatively low Geiger readings, we found other places where the radiation levels were as much as 5 – 20 times higher than the lowest danger level of 1.2 microsieverts. A strip of clothing left in the hospital from a first responder measured 172 microsieverts, or 143 times higher than the danger level, even now… 30 years after the accident.

The reactor that blew up was reactor number 4. Visitors to the area can still see the abandoned construction of reactor number 5. Abandoned cranes still surround the unfinished reactor and slowly rust. We were told a couple have already fallen. Our guide told us that the long term plan was to have 12 reactors up and running. “The Soviet Union wanted this to be the largest nuclear energy facility in the entire world. That was their dream,” he said, “Whenever man has a dream to be the biggest or the greatest, something always happens. Whether it was the tower of Babel, the Titanic, the Hindenburg or Chernobyl, when man seeks to make a name for himself and to be the biggest or the greatest, it always ends in catastrophe. Sometimes dreams need to die.”

Praise and Prayer:

We praise God for productive church planting recruitment and P.R. trips while traveling around Ukraine in October. We thank God for giving us a better picture of what is happening for His kingdom throughout Ukraine and for giving us wisdom in knowing how to meet the needs of church planters and other church plant coordinators. We ask God that even more teams would be formed to answer the call to evangelize and plant churches throughout Ukraine.

We thank God for His blessing on an all-Ukraine Missionary Forum that promoted both foreign and home missions and for a solid presentation of the church planting work happening in Ukraine. We praise God for a good attendance and response to the Church Planting break-out session, as well as a great reception for the song “The Mission” which was sung in Ukrainian for the first time ever. We ask the Holy Spirit to direct our relationships as we follow-up on contacts made during this event.

November is a month of both catching up and preparation for future ministry. We seek God’s direction, guidance and blessing as we prepare for missionary journeys and training throughout parts of western Ukraine and parts of central and eastern Ukraine.  We ask God to prepare hearts as we continue our ministry locally and long-distance by telephone during this month.

We continue to pray for the peace of Ukraine. While fighting in the east has not abated, we are grateful that a purported plan of Russian interference in the beautiful southwestern region of Ukraine, Zakarpatia, was recently exposed. Russia’s ruling elite have shown great patience and skill in waiting for opportune moments before striking. This is all the more reason we need to be diligent in our prayers and in our ministry.

Thank you for praying and giving, so that we can be here to help Ukraine formulate a vision and execute a strategy for a nationwide church planting movement.