Andrii Kaustov the Director of Media Discipleship and Online Education and is a colleague of Vitalii Mariash at Kyiv Theological Seminary (KTS). In 2017, Andrii's wife, Yolanta, discovered she had cancer, and has been receiving chemotherapy treatment. Then in Summer 2021, Andrii contracted COVID, and for a short period had to be hospitalised. The COVID symptoms didn't last for very long - but the hospital visit resulted in him discovering that he himself had a form of Lymphoma, even though no symptoms had appeared. But chemotherapy treatment could begin.
With the Russian invasion of Kyiv, cancer treatment had to stop in Kyiv, and this caused Andrii and Yolanta a dilemma: should they stay in Kyiv and serve the Lord there, or leave? Their dilemma was solved when Vitalii called them from Chernivtsi, where he had had to go, and encouraged Andrii and Yolanta to join them there, and work alongside them to support refugees, especially Christians, from there.
But travel from the city of Kyiv, for a couple in the middle of chemotherapy treatment is no simple matter, which Vitalii and Liudmyla were praying about. In a remarkable and almost immediate answer to that prayer, Vitalii was phoned by a student, who offered to drive from Rivne to take Andrii & Yolanta to Chernivtsi. The round trip journey was 1,200 km. The reason for the student's call was he was concerned about being late with an essay! There was a rumour he was being given a generous grade for his essay! (We can't name the student for safety concerns)
But Andrii is insistent that the story is not so much about him, or about cancer, but about the grace of God, and his constant presence in their lives, causing them to realise that the priority in their lives is how they may best know and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Before, cancer was his 'private war'; but Andrii says, "Suddenly we are facing something which is a different war, which is not private. Having cancer, and being sick, is not really important any more. ... the question is how we can be useful for the Lord".
"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." Phil. 3: 7-11