Volodiya - Kyiv

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Like a golden radiant medallion, the morning sun emerged from behind the sleepy horizon and slowly rose over vast flat Ukrainian fields that stretched as far as the eye could see. The dark, black soil lay freshly turned from recent plowing and harvesting of wheat.

A few hours earlier our small team of Ukrainians and Americans got into a bus from Kirovohrad and we were on our way to KYIV – the capital of Ukraine. As we sped towards our destination we could see from small bus windows a glimpse of this miraculous event that happens every day – Dawn. What a breathtaking sight! I tend to think that even angels wonder at it!

As the morning rays warmed the chilled October air and gladdened the Ukrainian landscape it brought to mind what God seemed to be doing in Ukraine; radiant waves of the Gospel Grace shine on the rich soil of many people’s hearts and there is a lingering sense of preparation and expectation of Precious Seed.

The soil is rich here, so much so that in World War II Hitler’s armies shipped train cars full of this black soil back to Germany. But to no avail – it is something that can’t be transported or stolen – only cared for.

I’ve now come to the end of this surprisingly blessed trip and it is as if all of Heaven traveled with us to the churches in 5 cities we visited. Traveling with me were 6 men from L’viv, Odesa, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy Dnepropetrovsk and Kyiv. There was of course the abundance of laughter, fellowship, the Word, & good Ukrainian food. The only thing that we had little of was sleep.

Every city we went to God brought young people to us that told us that they were called to the ministry and that wanted to study in Bible School. One of them was Volodiya.

As I exited the main train station in Kyiv having just arrived by plane from Bishkek, there was a surprise that awaited. Pastor Juha & Lasi from Finland were there with Albina & a young man with long hair. We greeted and talked about how we were to get to L’viv for the Ukrainian Conference.
Turning to the young man that stood there I asked, “Як тебе звати?” He answered me in English;
”My name is Volodiya, you know me” he said smiling.
“I do?” He did not look like anyone I had met before.
“Yes”, he said “I’m from Truskavets, you knew me as a teen there” He was one of the young teens that came to our Bible Study p. Yura Hrodz led in the mid 90’s in Truskavets. Then 3 months ago he re-appeared in Kyiv as someone emerging from the wilderness and contacted p. Misha in L’viv. Hearing that we were to be in Kyiv he found us and was with us till we departed from Ukraine.
“What are you doing here?” I asked,
“Waiting for a church to start here” was the sum of his answer. He was invited to Kyiv for work and God began to work in his heart.

When we retreated to a nearby Pizzeria from the noisy bustling train station he went on to share with p. Juha and I that he was Greater Grace and that he had no church in Kyiv to go to. He was voicing what I’ve heard so many times already from the growing number that lives in Kyiv that consider themselves part of our church.

It was evident the heart cry from this young 23 year old and in many ways it was disturbing to hear. Everyday for the following 2 weeks his words stirred our hearts in prayer and petition to the Lord of the Harvest.

So we have started to plan and strategize.

Is it possible for a shepherd to sleep when he hears the bleating of a young lamb lost in the wilderness? How can we not do any thing? As Jesus had the necessity to go through Samaria so we have this necessity laid on us to preach in Kyiv and tend to the sheep there. When we kneel in prayer this young man appears to us as an angel from the Lord saying “Come on! Let’s do it”

Lord help us to help them. We cannot, we do not claim to know how – “Thou knowest, O Lord!”

Let’s trust Him and see where He leads us.



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