Students Flee Eastern Ukraine War Zone with Determination to Return

church planting

Imagine living in a War Zone where open hostility to the Christian faith is expressed through violence against people and property. Where the “new normal” is an atmosphere of fear, deprivation, and mistrust. Where it seems the rest of the world – and maybe even God – has forgotten about you and moved on to other, more pressing issues.

That’s the reality for thousands of Ukrainians who live in the Eastern Ukraine War Zone. A year after the hostilities began, half a million people from the area were homeless; today Christian persecution in the War Zone is widespread. Many have fled, becoming refugees in their own homeland.

Thankfully, there are Ukrainian Christians from the Zone who imagine a better way – a way of hope, reconciliation, and peace. Some have undertaken an arduous journey to attend UBTS, located in Western Ukraine, in preparation for the time they can return home to minister to their broken communities.

Strengthened by the Gospel message, all UBTS-trained students and graduates are equipped to encourage and disciple family members, friends, and other refugees.  They model leadership, integrity, and accountability in the midst of confusion and corruption. They share Christ’s love with people hungry for acceptance and stability.

There is great risk in this commitment – as well as an even greater reward. The following video demonstrates the powerful impact of a church planted in Lviv, by UBTS faculty and students from the War Zone. It shows them ministering to refugees from the War Zone and, in the process, changing the life of a young man who is now attending UBTS. It is a vivid affirmation of Joseph’s bold declaration to his brothers in Genesis 50:20: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” The “Evil” that separatists meant against churches throughout the War Zone has transformed to “GOOD” for countless more people within and beyond the War Zone for generations to come.