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A month after the war began...Ternopil needs our prayers and our help!


Volodia Kostyshyn talks to Phil Dunn about what life is like for him, his family and the churches in his home city of Ternopil, wastern Ukraine. The interview was recorded on 24th March, exactly a month after the war began in Ukraine. Aid that is being sent to help relieve the stress placed on the Ternopil churches should be arriving on Monday 28th March.

Volodia seemed calm as he spoke to N Ireland EMF representative Phil Dun, but it's hard not to miss the infectious smile that is usually the first thing you notiice about this pastor of the Grace Church (Baptist) in Ternopil, Western Ukraine., who also teaches in the Ternopil Biblical Seminary.
He confessed that for two and a half days preceding the Zoom call the city had had no air attack sirens, which had given them a welcome break in the ongoing tension. Ternopil had suffered no direct hits, though other towns in the region had.

Not many people are passing through Ternopil at the moment en route to Poland, as was the case just a couple of weeks ago. The majority of people that the churches are helping are displaced 'interior' refugees, who have sought to find a haven from the horrors they had already faced, or from the catastrophes that they feared they would have had to face if they had stayed in their home areas. VThey are staying around for longer than the first 'passing' refugees Volodia confesses that what he sees in the faces of these people, and what he hears in their stories, simply makes him weep. Other pastors feel crushed by the pressure of trying to deal with such 'broken' people. There is not a church he knows of in the area that is not offering aid in terms of accomodation and other essential care.

That burden on the churches is one that our appeal funds are aiming to help with. On Monday 28th March a shipment (hopefully the first of many), should arrive in Ternopil, providing items we have been asked to help supply: generators, washing machines, bedding, hygiene items, etc. This transport has been arranged by a wonderful logistics team based in Holland, with the help of Ukrainian drivers.

Thank you to those of you whose donations have helped make this aid begin to flow right into Ukraine. Part of the shipment will be sent further east to the most desperate areas you have seen on the T.V. reports.

Items being loaded. Destination Ternopil!

Prayer Points

Volodia has given us these prayer requests:

He asks us to pray...

  1. For him to 'understand the times' and be better equipped to serve those around.
  2. For his own family and those of other workers trying to meet the needs of others. They wrestle with their own fears.
  3. For those coming to the churches for help (often having suffered severe loss), that they may have hearts open to the gospel, and respond to the message. Volodia does not want the churches to be giving only humanitarian aid.