ABWE Missionaries Evacuated From Ukraine

March 25, 2014

ABWE missionaries have been evacuated from the Ukraine because of growing tensions, the threat of a Russian invasion, and increasing difficulties in obtaining money and carrying out regular ministry.

All ABWE teammates have now relocated to temporary locations — either in neighboring countries or back in North America on early furlough — while the team continues to monitor the constantly changing situation.

“We are praying that within a few weeks things will stabilize and we will be able to return, but the future is uncertain,” one missionary reports. “It was heart-breaking to leave behind our dear brothers and sisters in Christ…With all this in mind I was convicted by the words of Psalm 34:1. Am I willing to bless and praise the Lord at ALL times? My flesh wants to protest instead of praise.

“I was reminded again that my hope and trust is in the Lord who made heaven and earth. He is in control and He is worthy of my praise at ALL times.”

Despite all of the uncertainty and upheaval, the team remains optimistic about God’s faithfulness and the seeds that have been planted in the country.

“We do not know what is going to happen in the coming days,” another ABWE teammate adds. “[These events] have caused significant disruption to our families and to our ministries, and yet we know that God is in control, and that none of this caught Him by surprise.”

“We continue to pray that God will be glorified in all of this,” a Ukrainian ministry team member added.

Already, reports from ministry partners inside the country tell a story of the Ukrainian people “seeking a haven in the storm of confusion — churches have been full on Sundays.”

Additionally, team members are hearing reports from believers who are prepared to serve God, no matter what happens.

Recently a Ukrainian pastor living Crimea was visited by officials asking him “whom will you choose in the upcoming vote?” The pastor said, “I choose the Lord and will only proclaim His kingdom”.

This pastor was offered shelter by other believers in another part of the country, but was unable to leave before the roads were closed off. His response to the possibility of living under Russian rule has been one of faithfulness.

“[If this would happen] it doesn’t mean anything to us because then I would be a missionary in Russia and would be able to continue to proclaim the Kingdom of the Lord.”

Please join us as we continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and wisdom for their leaders. Please also pray for the safety of our ministry partners during these tumultuous and uncertain times and that our missionaries will be able to return to their important ministry in the Ukraine soon.

*Names have been withheld for security.