Movement Unites in Prayer Amid Crisis in Ukraine
By Carl Stagner
The Church of God movement responded in prayer as news spread quickly across the globe of the crisis in Ukraine, which escalated Thursday morning, February 24. After weeks of intensifying conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the Russian military invaded by air, land, and sea, spotlighting two countries on the global stage where the Church of God has a strong presence. While major media outlets alternate reports of the ensuing chaos and debate the politics at play, the Church of God is uniting in prayerful support for its congregations in both Ukraine and Russia.
The church is often caught in the middle when conflict between countries occurs. The circumstances are certainly no different in the current crisis in Ukraine. Multiple Church of God congregations call Ukraine home, one of which is located only ten miles from the border with Russia. Jim Lyon, general director of Church of God Ministries, reflected on the tapestry of global connections that started the Church of God in Ukraine.
Recognizing the impending Russian invasion, the congregation in closest proximity to the border, totaling at least twenty-five brothers and sisters in Christ, fled their homes on Wednesday. Nate and Stacy Tatman, regional coordinators to Europe and the Middle East, reported that church families are hiding in cellars, their internet and phone communications are lacking, and there are long lines for basic needs of food, water, and fuel.
Leaders of the Church of God in Germany, which has strong historical ties to the Church of God in Ukraine, shared a message from one Eastern European leader. “I know that you stand behind us and support us and especially our brothers and sisters in Ukraine in prayer. Our Lord is above all…. We know that we are connected and supported in him.”
Ahead of the Thursday morning offensive from the Russian military, Church of God Ministries wired funds to the Church of God in Ukraine for immediate emergency use. As families continue to evacuate amid the rapidly escalating situation, additional funds will be available for disbursement. Church of God congregations in the United States and Canada now have the opportunity to get involved not only prayerfully, but also financially.
As the crisis in Ukraine continues to unfold, Church of God Ministries remains in contact with Global Strategy leadership in Europe and the Middle East, as well as sources within the Church of God in Germany, to find creative solutions to support our brothers and sisters in peril; updates will be published as soon as they become available. In the meantime, please keep praying, and consider getting involved with your generous gift today.
The current conflict is greatly affecting our brothers and sisters in the Church of God in Ukraine. If you would like to walk alongside our Ukrainian church family as they seek refuge in locations away from the conflict zone, donations can be made to Church of God Disaster Relief. Your gift helps provide emergency evacuation and basic provisions for those fleeing the conflict zone.