Pray for Ukraine as Russian Invasion Begins

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Pray for Ukraine as Russian Invasion Begins

Story by Margot Bass

Calvary Chapel believers are asked to pray for wisdom, strength, mercy, resources, finances, and peace.

Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine became reality last night, February 23-24.

Pray for the Ukrainian people and Calvary Chapel missionaries in the wake of that invasion. Ukraine’s major cities, including its capital Kyiv, are under attack by air, sea, and land. News reports stated that there have been dozens of casualties. Ukraine has declared martial law, and many are fleeing either by public transit or personal vehicles, clogging highways. Lines formed outside currency exchanges and gas stations. At the sound of bombings and air raid sirens, many have hidden in subway stations.

Yet, stated Calvary Chapel missionary George Markey, “I am proud of the Ukrainians. They are showing courage even in the face of fear. They are fighting for their homes and families against an enemy that is doing all it can to intimidate them and snuff out any hope.”

Fears of invasion intensified over the weekend as Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of two separatist, pro-Russian, regions in Eastern Ukraine—Donetsk and Luhansk. He then ordered units into those breakaway republics to “maintain peace” against alleged “Ukrainian aggression.”

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It is mostly an air campaign now, with troops and military hardware being put into place for a potential land war. According to news reports, Russia’s goals are to disrupt Ukraine’s military ability to organize and fight back—and to replace the pro-Western government with a pro-Russian version. More than 150,000 Russian forces, which have been mustered on Ukraine’s borders for weeks, are moving into the country. Russian missiles have destroyed Ukrainian air bases, radar stations, airports, and intelligence centers. Cyberattacks have been launched as well.

Vladimir Putin has indicated that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine. He also warned governments in the West tempted to intervene: “Russia will respond immediately, and you will have consequences that you have never had in history.”

Missionary Pastor George is safe and remains in an undisclosed location. He observed conditions in Ukraine as of Thursday. “The roads are packed with people trying to exit the city. However, the city is relatively calm. The stores are working, and the transportation is functioning as well. There are long lines at gas stations, but people are not cutting in lines. I was pleased to see that people are not hysterical.”

He shared his prayer requests. “Pray for the end of aggression. Pray for peace and wisdom for our team. Pray that wherever we are that God would use us. Pray for the brave soldiers protecting us and chaplains who are risking their lives for the Gospel.”

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Ukrainian servicemen sit atop armored personnel carriers driving on a road in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Preparing in Western Ukraine

Joel Brown, Calvary Chapel pastor of Living Water Mukachevo in Western Ukraine, is preparing for any eventuality. His family and church, however, plan to stay to help refugees from other parts of Ukraine.

Joel related, “As it stands, attacks on the Eastern front have begun again in earnest. This is where our role comes in. In 2014 [a time of Russian aggression], we were new to the city and had no church body to speak of, and there were many internally displaced refugees coming to our region—in need of help and the Gospel. We were not able to do much then, although we do still have a few of those refugees in our church to this day. Many we were able to minister to have left the country. Our goal is to do now what we could not do back then.”

He noted that the several large churches who met the needs of those refugees have since closed their doors, split, or are tapped out after the effects of the pandemic. “We want to be there for the [coming] crowds of people. Our church body is preparing their homes to house people. We are gathering food stores and sleeping bags. We are training ourselves to more effectively share the Gospel.”

Joel asked Calvary Chapel believers to pray for wisdom, strength, mercy, resources, finances, and peace in this time. “Our little church has often been an island of peace for many, and we believe that it will serve that purpose for many in coming chaotic times. And thankfully, this in not just my family or some missionaries, but the Church, as a whole, stepping up, ready to do the will of God.”

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Traffic jams are seen as people leave the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Hope from the Frontlines

Sasha Andriyashina, a volunteer CC chaplain to Ukraine’s troops, has been actively supporting Ukrainian troops amidst shelling and shooting in the eastern Donetsk region and near the frontlines. “But we trust the Lord, we continue to pray. Thank you for your prayers … for your support,” she said in a Facebook post. “Praise God, praise God for His mercy and His grace.”

She sent greetings from the troops. “They really, really thank you for your prayers. It’s important for them to know that there is a support for them. God is good.”

She shared hope. “… I love the term divine appointment during these hard times. I had many of those divine appointments where I met some very interesting people, interesting commanders, and was able to share Christ with them, and give them the Gospel and encourage them; everyone needs encouragement. So, thank you for your prayers keep praying because God is good. We believe that God is with us. We know that some difficult things still can happen, but whatever happens, I know that God knew about it even before creating the world. So nothing surprises Him. So again, thank you. God bless you; we are looking forward [to] some victories. Hallelujah! Amen.”


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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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