“Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.” (Psalm 31:21)
These are words written thousands of years ago and yet, as American Bible Society President Robert L. Briggs poignantly notes, could have been written in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2022.
Writing for Christianity Today, Briggs explained that he has been in close contact with his counterpart in Ukraine, Anatoliy Raychynets, the general secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society, who says that as the terror and grief of war have encroached upon the Eastern European nation over the last several weeks, he has seen a passionate pursuit of comfort in the pages of Scripture increase.
“As people grapple with unknown, many are experiencing the Bible’s message for the first time ever. According to Anatoliy, priests and pastors over the past weeks have been flocking to the Bible Society store in Kyiv to buy Bibles. Demand is so high that they’ve run out of copies,” he writes (emphasis ours.)
The biggest crisis faced by the Ukrainian church?
“We need more Bibles,” Anatoliy says.
Another resource the church is able to offer Ukrainians is Bible-based trauma healing, for which a demand is also growing as people seek healing in the Word.
“Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine need Bibles for people searching for comfort in troubled times. They need trauma-healing resources to provide the balm of Scripture,” Briggs writes. “And they need us to intercede for them.”
Indeed, if you are feeling helpless watching the chaos unfold from halfway around the world, remember that prayer is not the least we can do — it is the most spiritually significant thing we could possibly do for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
“I ask you, in the name of Jesus Christ—whoever can pray, please keep us in your prayers,” says Pastor Viacheslav Khramov. “Today, the war started on our land. We ask everyone who is able to pray, please pray for us. Pray for Ukraine. Pray that lives are spared, as well as our bodies and souls.”
Ukraine is home to a growing evangelical community as well as the ancient Orthodox churches. Yet Anatoliy says that he has seen an inspiring display of unity among normally disparate denominations — and across the currently contested borders.
“We speak to our colleagues in Russia,” he told Briggs. “We church leaders speak to one another, and we pray together. We are united in the Lord.”
Even amid the fog of war, the light of Christ is shining brighter than any of the enemy’s devices.
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