Stories Open Mic Updates from Ukraine The conflict in Ukraine is deeply troubling and unpredictable. On this page you will find updates from our colleagues at sister organisation 'FEBC Ukraine'. Please join with us in praying for them and their ministry. Thank you. To give to our Ukraine appeal, please click here. June 17 2022 12pm There is a real risk that the established studio facility in Slovyansk could be lost at some point, given the intensity of the fighting in the east of Ukraine; the city is reportedly a prime target for the Russian advance. Thankfully, Eduard (FEBC Ukraine's Director) has been able to visit and retrieve some of the equipment so that it can be redeployed elsewhere. It is hard to imagine how Eduard must have felt when making this trip, as he and his family used to live in Slovyansk prior to the war. Please do continue to pray for Eduard and the team as they contend with such challenges - trying to determine how best to ensure they can continue to broadcast and provide the much-needed follow up support for their listeners. Thank you. June 15 2022 9am Victor Akhterov is the director of our ministry in Eurasia, including the work in Ukraine. He spoke with UCB about what has been going on in the country over recent weeks and they broadcast the interview earlier this morning. It's really encouraging and inspiring to hear what he has to share - please click here to listen to Victor's interview and feel free to share as you see fit. June 10 2022 8am Despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is gradually slipping down most news listings, the situation in many parts - if not all - of the country remains very unstable, and things are particularly perilous for people in the fiercely-contested regions towards the eastern and southern borders. In the face of these ongoing challenges, Radio M (the local name used by our sister organisation) continue to minister to their listeners through regular broadcasts and follow-up activity. Their programmes seek to offer practical and emotional support through a wide-range of relevant content, but it is the unique hope of the message of Christ that is having the greatest impact. The team report a real openness to the gospel and a marked increase in demand for the support offered by their counsellors: such is the need that they are trying to recruit more people to join the busy team, in order to respond appropriately to the record levels of calls and social media engagement. One of the challenges facing Eduard (National Director, on the right in the picture below) and the leadership team is knowing how best to manage the uncertainty. Having relocated to the relative safety of Chernivtsi in the early days of the war, the reduced level of attacks on the capital Kyiv has led them to consider a move back to the main studio facilities there. Indeed, several team members are now back and operating from Kyiv, whilst others have stayed away. Pastor Sergey (on the left) has stayed throughout, involved in leading several churches in the absence of their usual pastors whilst also broadcasting regularly. Remarkably, despite the fact that there is no immediate sign of an end to the war, we are awaiting news of four applications submitted recently for new broadcast licences! if granted, the new licences would provide for an expansion of the ministry into areas not reached with conventional radio transmissions at the moment. [There is material available online, but not everyone has the necessary equipment or network coverage to access that.] The energy and commitment of the team in Ukraine are inspirational! Broadcasts and outreach to those serving in the armed forces is an important part of the work at the moment. That has included the distribution of radio receivers (pictured), in addition to tailored content and face-to-face meetings when some of the team members have visited the troops. This is a long-established part of the work in Ukraine, given that the conflict has been running since 2014 (albeit at a significantly lower and more local level until February 2022). Please pray for the team as they continue to serve the people of Ukraine in these difficult days. We give thanks for their safety, but pray for their continued protection and inspiration as they share the message of God's love - bringing light into a place of darkness. Many of them are separated from family and friends, and their own futures are very uncertain. We join with them in clinging to the hope we have in Jesus, and His promise not to leave them. We pray that as they tell listeners of the hope of the gospel, they too might be inspired to follow Jesus and find peace in Him. Thank you once again for your precious partnership with us in this vital ministry. May 11 2022 8am Evgeny is the host of an FEBC Ukraine programme for soldiers and civilians affected by conflict. This was originally focused on serving those who lived in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been engaged since 2014; events of recent months, however, have extended the reach and relevance of his programme. Evgeny visited Ukrainian soldiers in the east of the country recently and shared this update. We prayed with them, encouraged them, and distributed New Testaments and prayer booklets with the number of our prayer helpline. Evgeny records soldiers' stories and shares them on his programme. He also invites guest experts to speak on his programme – people who can help those affected by the war begin to heal from their trauma. In all that he does, Evgeny’s goal is clear: "We reach out to those who are hurting, with the love of Christ.” Evgeny has been making these types of visits regularly over the past several years. Please pray for Evgeny’s ongoing protection in light of the increased risk, and for the impact of his ministry as he seeks to share messages of hope, comfort and God’s love. “Thank you for praying for us as we minister! And thank you praying for our soldiers!” May 8 2022 8am It is hard for most of us to comprehend properly what it is like to try to continue with 'everyday life' in Ukraine. With news reports detailing ongoing attacks and images showing destruction across the country (particularly - but not exclusively - in the east and south), it might seem improbable that team members are able or willing to travel between cities in order to meet with listeners. And yet that is precisely what Inna has done recently. In this short video, Inna shares something of Svetlana's story: The whole Ukraine team are very grateful for the ongoing prayers and support received from people in the UK and elsewhere. Thank you for partnering with Feba, as together we seek to minister to listeners across a country at war. April 27 2022 8am We have some exciting, positive news to share - received from Ukraine just earlier this morning: the team have been able to get the new station in Zaporizhzhia on air sooner than expected! The industrial city in the south east of Ukraine has been in our news in recent days, not least because it is the home of Europe's largest nuclear power plant and therefore a sensitive location in relation to the ongoing war. Russian troops have occupied much of the surrounding area, and an attack on the city itself is anticipated. Despite the many challenges and obstacles along the way - including technical difficulties, the absence of internet connectivity, and bureaucracy - thankfully staff and volunteers managed to get the station fully prepared in remarkable time and they're now broadcasting on 88.8FM. Please pray with us that the station would serve the people of Zaporizhzhia in these dark days, and that it would be a beacon of light and hope - inspiring people to follow Jesus Christ. The future is obviously particularly uncertain across the southeastern part of Ukraine and so we pray that the station would very quickly become established, and that their audience would grow and engage positively. Thank you. April 25 2022 7pm Having been introduced to a couple from a church near Worthing and then applied for a visa under the UK government's 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme, FEBC Ukraine team member Iryna travelled to the UK over the weekend. She left Lviv on Friday for a bus journey to Krakow - including a five hour wait at the border, and then flew to Heathrow on Saturday. Please pray for Iryna and her hosts, Dave and Ann, as they get to know each other; please pray that the various practical issues associated with such a relocation would come together smoothly, and that Iryna would settle quickly and feel at ease in her new home for as long as she is here. The plan is that Iryna will continue her work for the ministry in Ukraine, given that much of it can be done remotely. Please pray that arrangements would become clearer over time, and that she would have a sense of peace and fulfilment in relation to her future work. Thank you. April 19 2022 10am An update and 'Thank You!' from Eduard, the Director of FEBC Ukraine. The ministry continues, despite the extraordinary challenges that the team is facing: most have relocated, and the emotional and psychological pressures are considerable. The FM broadcasts are ongoing, as is the internet activity. The follow-up workers are receiving thousands of responses to the content being shared. We are committed to continue to broadcast, and to continue to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ. Please pray with us for Eduard and the team in Ukraine as they persevere faithfully in face of such trials. Thank you. April 12 2022 8pm Bucha has featured in some fairly harrowing news reports from Ukraine in recent days. Broadcaster Igor has just visited Bocha - as well as Gostomel and Vozrel - to assess the situation, and to consider how the team can best serve people who have stayed or are returning to the city: the things he saw were indeed terrible, but there were glimmers of hope too. "After spending the day visiting these devastated cities, I’ve started getting used to seeing destroyed buildings, destroyed apartments, tanks, broken glass, dogs running in the streets - it's like we are living in a post-apocalyptic movie. “People, on the other hand, have really surprised me! People have joyfully come to these cities, cleaning up and repairing the streets. Hundreds of volunteers who wanted to help! I’m inspired by the faith of our people! While seeing this destruction has been saddening, it’s people that are truly important. It will be much harder to rebuild the thousands of broken hearts than to rebuild these buildings. But this is possible with God’s help! Please pray for the people from cities like Bucha that were occupied by Russian forces, who have suffered in ways we can barely imagine. Please pray also for the FEBC Ukraine broadcasters that are ministering to them - specifically for strength and wisdom, as they seek to share messages of hope in the face of conflict and uncertainty. Thank you. April 10 2022 8am Eugene is FEBC Russia’s leading broadcaster, with a remarkable following of listeners drawn to his online 'video radio' programmes (- essentially radio material but with a camera for simple supporting video of the presenter): there were seven million programme views for his material during the month of March in total, with one particular programme attracting over one million views - setting a new record for the ministry in Russia! He has a reputation for being an engaging and dynamic presenter, with a real depth and rigour to his material. Eugene has a great way of communicating timeless and complex truths in a very contemporary and accessible way. Unfortunately, Eugene has had to leave Moscow - hopefully temporarily - following a conversation on air in which he essentially apologised to Ukrainians. He and his family have received various serious threats, and so it was decided that for their safety they should relocate. The future remains uncertain, but they do very much hope to be able to return one day before too long. Thankfully, Eugene is able to continue with his ministry remotely – and he is committed to persevering with that. He frequently receives comments and questions from listeners about the war, which can be difficult to address appropriately; the threats are continuing, too. It has been particularly hard for Eugene that the majority of people in his own Bible study group seem to be persuaded by Russia’s account of events and do not accept the more widely held view about the horrors of the war in Ukraine. Feba’s CEO Bob Chambers (right) had opportunity to meet with Eugene (centre) in the course of an international work trip recently, along with Victor (left) - who oversees the ministry in both Russia and Ukraine. Please join us in praying for Eugene and Victor in their respective roles, as they try to navigate their way through these unprecedented times for the ministry in both Russia and Ukraine. Pray that they would continue to bring hope in a time of darkness and despair, and that people would indeed be inspired to follow Jesus Christ. April 4 2022 9am Please join us in praying for Max, FEBC Ukraine’s program director. Max was the co-host of their Morning Show before the war, and now hosts longer form programs where he encourages listeners, prays with them, and reads the Bible together with them. Max, his wife, and his daughter, travelled from Kyiv to western Ukraine - which is somewhat safer - so that Max could help lead the broadcasting team from the new temporary headquarters in Chernivtsi. Please pray: · for God’s guidance in Max’s life, as he takes care of his family and organizes a broadcasting team which is scattered across the country; · for spiritual and emotional strength as Max leads longer broadcasts to help minister God’s love and His Word to people who desperately need it; · “Praise God that my hometown, Ivankiv, was liberated today! Glory to God!”. March 31 2022 10am FEBC Ukraine is continuing to broadcast in the Slovyansk area, sharing the Good News with listeners in this particularly sensitive, unstable region. Slovyansk is the city where four FEBC Ukraine volunteers were martyred for their faith during the 2014 attacks that marked the beginning of the ongoing conflict, that has escalated so dramatically in recent weeks. Since the start of the war in February, the region has been attacked only by rockets - which have fallen mostly in surrounding areas. However, they are now expecting more fierce fighting to start any day. This sign in Slovyansk was repainted after the 2014 attack; if you look closely, you can see that flowers were painted around the holes left from bullets and shrapnel. A few days ago, another station was taken off the air in Ukraine, when Russian forces captured and shut down the tower that was broadcasting programmes into the long-occupied Luhansk region. Many listeners in Luhansk have long been living in considerable hardship, in an environment characterised by lawlessness and with little real freedom. People have been kidnapped, and many churches have been closed – Christians being forced to meet in secret. Many ministries have left the region. Conditions have only grown worse since the war began. One scared listener recently wrote, “No water for three weeks. Young people are being drafted against their will - and not only young people.” Please pray for the team as they prepare programmes for the people of Slovyansk and those across Ukraine more widely. Please remember also those engaged in the follow-up work as they handle difficult conversations with their callers. And please do pray for our listeners in Luhansk who are living through an extremely frightening and dark time, yet currently without access to the broadcasts they have come to appreciate so greatly. Thank you. March 28 2022 8pm “We have a saying, ‘When sorrow comes, you’ll find out who your true friends are.’ I can tell you that this is definitely true of the word of God! In these times of sorrow, the word really is like a faithful friend who will not leave you or abandon you!" Pastor Sergey has seen all kinds of destruction as he has been travelling around Kyiv, speaking to soldiers, and helping take care of families, the displaced, and the elderly. The only true comfort and encouragement that he has found to offer has been in God and in His word. “Only the Good News has the answers to the fear, pain, and grief people are experiencing right now. The word of God is alive. It’s not just words on a page. It is something that you can know and experience for yourself.” Sergey has reported a real openness to the gospel since the start of the war, and a hunger for God’s word – particularly the Psalms. He shared with us these opening verses from Psalm 1: 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wickedor stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in seasonand whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 Pastor Sergey was interviewed by UCB recently, and the conversation was aired earlier today. You can listen to it online by clicking here. Please join us in praying for Sergey's ongoing ministry. March 27 2022 3pm Please join us in praying for Alexandr and Nadia Pastushak. Alexander and Nadia often minister together at FEBC Ukraine as a team. They host the 'Family Bible Hour' programme together, and they both serve as counsellors on FEBC’s prayer helpline. Alexandr received his theological education from Irpin Seminary, near Kyiv. The city of Irpin has been under heavy attack by the Russian army, resulting in the partial destruction of the seminary. A friend with whom Alexandr attended the seminary, who was helping civilians evacuate from the city, has recently been killed. Alexandr and Nadia have shared the following prayer requests: For God to help us not to break down emotionally and to endure to the end. For God to keep our family safe. That God gives us the strength to continue to serve people at this time with housing, money, prayer, and physical help. [Note: Alexandr and Nadia opened their home to Olesia and her family when they arrived in Chernivtsi, and will now be hosting another FEBC Ukraine broadcaster, Igor.] That I don’t get drafted to the front, but that I am able to serve or to continue to help locally because of my disability. [Note: Alexandr's walking is affected by a problem with his leg.] We are in full time ministry, so we did not have much savings, but FEBC is taking care of us. We know that this is only possible because of you. Thank you, friends, for your support. Thank you for joining us in prayer for Alexandr and Nadia. March 26 2022 8pm We know that prayer is an integral and powerful part of the Christian faith - a unique and precious gift: we can come before our heavenly Father and share whatever is on our hearts. The team in Ukraine have found in recent weeks that their listeners have a greater appetite for and openness to prayer than before the war. “I have been holding prayer meetings almost every day during the war,” says one FEBC Ukraine broadcaster, Inna, “- and more often when I can. People write in with prayer requests, with questions, and sometimes with anger. I read them and answer them as well as I can, and, of course, we pray. Many people continue writing to me after the broadcasts - asking for prayer, asking questions about faith. May God give me the strength to answer all of them." Inna has been holding up to five prayer meetings a day, shared online and using various social media channels as well as on the radio. People submit their prayer requests and comments via text or chat facilities in the apps. “Some people write to me with very encouraging messages, telling me how much these meetings have helped them. One listener wrote: 'This has been an incredibly difficult time for me, but thanks to these powerful prayer meetings, I have found peace, and I am seeing God resolve my problems! And what is even more amazing, almost every prayer you pray during these meetings directly applies to my life, and I can’t help but see God’s grace and care in this!'" “Another listener wrote: Praying with you has become a habit. Something feels wrong when I go to sleep without having prayed with you first. Now I’m praying for everyone in my life! For my husband, who had to stay behind in another city, for my kids, and for all of Ukraine! “Other stories I hear can be more difficult. One listener, a new believer, wrote to me about their doubts: 'I don’t know how to ask this. I’m a little ashamed, actually. I’ve been feeling so angry and offended for the last few days. Sometimes I feel like I am being pulled away from God, as if I’m moving away. I start to doubt. But then, it’s as if I snap out of it, and my faith is still there. And I can pray and talk with Him again. Do you have any advice for dealing with these kinds of sudden swings? What should I do?'" “Another listener asked for prayer for the orphaned son of her friend: 'Please pray for the woman who has taken in my friend’s son. Both of his parents have died. This woman is taking care of him, but they are trapped in Mariupol and can’t find anyone to take them out. It’s hell there. They are left to wait and hope in God. I beg you to pray for them. God really listens to your prayers!'” “When I went two days without holding a prayer meeting on one of my accounts, listeners started writing in, asking if I was okay, telling me they were looking forward to the next meeting. Many people wrote to me, and several people sent in pictures to show their support.” Please pray for Inna and the rest of the team as they seek to support their audiences through an exceptional period of trial - offering to listen to them, counsel them where appropriate, and to pray with them. March 25 2022 6pm A new radio station in Ukraine - really?! It's true! Despite the great challenges in Ukraine at the moment, remarkably the team now have most of the permits they need in order to start broadcasting in Zaporizhzhia (in the SE of the country), on 88.8 FM, within the next couple of weeks. The team have managed to send some equipment to one of their partners in the city (pictured with Eduard), who is helping set things up to broadcast. They are hoping to work with locals in Zaporizhzhia - including members of the church with whom they already have contact, who can help make programmes specifically for the people of their city. Please pray for God’s hand to be on this exciting new endeavour, and continue to pray for protection for the existing six stations. March 24 2022 9am Please join us in praying for Iryna over the next few days. Iryna is a vital part of the FEBC Ukraine team - managing their team of counsellors and volunteers, hosting a program to encourage teenagers, and providing strategic leadership on social network use. Iryna is currently in Kyiv and can often hear the sound of attacks around the city. Tomorrow morning (Friday 25th), Iryna is planning to relocate to Lviv in western Ukraine, from where she will continue to work. Please pray for her safety on her journey, especially as she crosses military checkpoints on her way out of the city. Please pray for discernment, strength and resilience as Iryna manages the counsellors and volunteers - who have been extremely busy during this time. Many desperate people are calling in for prayer, and they require careful handling. Please pray for wisdom as Iryna works to make sure that as many people as possible are able to watch and listen to FEBC Ukraine’s programmes. Please pray for Iryna as she encourages the youth of Ukraine. This is a time when they are in great need of hope and support. UPDATE (March 25 5pm): We give thanks that Iryna has arrived safely in Lviv after a fairly straightforward journey. Thank you for your prayers. March 22 2022 8am Over the coming days, we'll focus on various team members and share some associated prayer requests. As we begin this new series, please join us in praying for Eduard - the Director of FEBC Ukraine. Eduard was a volunteer with FEBC Ukraine for several years before officially joining the team and eventually becoming the Director. His father, Viktor, was also a radio preacher with FEBC for many years. Eduard recently travelled to Moldova to pick up some new equipment to improve the quality of FEBC Ukraine’s broadcasts. He also met with a local contact - Ilya - who is assisting with organizing a new office in Moldova. This office would serve as a base of support for the existing ministry in both Russia and Ukraine, as well as ministering to the local people. With the current levels of uncertainty and growing challenges being faced in both countries, it seems prudent to investigate alternative methods of operating in this sensitive region. Eduard and his family are now safely back in Ukraine. Please pray for: • wisdom as Eduard leads the FEBC Ukraine team through this challenging time, and considers ministry plans for the future; • grace and strength as Eduard leads his family (- his wife, Nadia, and their four children) - especially his son, who recently accidentally broke his hand; • God's guidance and compassion as Eduard helps FEBC Ukraine team members relocate across the country (and potentially beyond); • unity and creativity as Eduard brings together FEBC Ukraine's broadcasters and counsellors to work together in new ways, both technically and spiritually. Thank you for your invaluable partnership with us in prayer. March 21 2022 10am The team in Ukraine are now hosting more long-form programmes - which give listeners a better chance to get to know broadcasters; listeners 'sit with them' for an extended period of time, and as a result they often feel more comfortable in asking questions or asking for prayer. The broadcasters become more like family: they are with listeners wherever they are - whether they are isolated (having relocated to new cities) or in bomb shelters close to home. Time spent listening to and connecting with the team becomes a 'safe space', and listeners are no longer alone. Our broadcasters talk with listeners and listen to them: they encourage them, pray for them, and read the Scriptures aloud. This has been particularly effective and impactful recently: people are responding to God’s word in a new way - especially the Psalms, which seem to be speaking directly to Ukrainians in this situation. People are calling the station having heard the Bible being read - not knowing anything about Christianity, but wanting to understand what it is that they are feeling and how to be a part of it. The programmes where I am reading the Bible are becoming especially popular. There aren’t many good recordings of the Bible in contemporary Ukrainian, so people are not used to hearing the word of God read aloud in an everyday, common language. Igor, Broadcaster Please pray for Igor and the team as they share God's word with their listeners. Please pray that hearts and minds would be open to the Scriptures - that people would come to understand God's love for them, as expressed through His word. Let's pray that team members would discern how best to engage with listeners, that they'd have the right words to share (1 Peter 3:15). March 16 2022 7am At the start of each new day, people across Ukraine don't know when they might need to head to their shelters; indeed, they might be waking in them - having slept there for safety. FEBC Ukraine's team members are spread across the country, some having relocated and some separated from their families too. Others are still with spouses and children, but none is immune from having to endure life in a bomb shelter. You might recall the video we shared on 24th February in which Olesia and her family were leaving their home in eastern Ukraine; here we see them in their shelter in Chernivtsi. Olesia with her husband and children Alexandr is another FEBC Ukraine team member. Supporting young children through a time of war is a particular challenge and concern, and something several team members are having to navigate. Alexandr with his son Please pray for the physical protection of the team and their families - but also their emotional and spiritual wellbeing, as they seek to support one another and continue the ministry in such testing circumstances. March 15 2022 10pm You might recall that we reported on March 13th that a missile strike had damaged one of the transmitters and a station was off air as a result (see dated entry below). We are now delighted to be able to report that we heard earlier this evening that some of the people who work at the tower in Slovyansk have been able to undertake repairs and managed to restore the signal, so FEBC Ukraine is once again back broadcasting on six stations (of their original seven - one is still damaged and off air)! This station has a particular significance, as it was the first that FEBC ever had in Ukraine. We give thanks for the dedication and skill of the technical staff, and pray for protection of the team and facilities required to continue the ministry through these troubled times. Slovyansk/Kramatorsk mast and transmitter site (in 2019) March 15 2022 5pm Following yesterday's update about the attack on Konstantine's car, thankfully, we can now report that he and his family have since left Kyiv and have arrived safely in another city. The situation in Kyiv is becoming increasingly unstable, with several attacks reported in residential areas and very near the city centre in the past 24 hours. Please pray for the civilian population still living there, including team members Sergey and Iryna. March 14 2022 11pm One of FEBC Ukraine's current administrative staff, Konstantine, was injured earlier today - the first team casualty in this war. Konstantine actually has a long association with the ministry, having been instrumental in setting up FEBC Ukraine's first station in the country many years ago. Having just driven a family away from the capital to relative safety elsewhere, Konstantine was heading back into Kyiv when the attack happened: he encountered Russian soldiers who opened fire. Konstantine was able to escape, but he sustained shrapnel injuries to his leg. After two minor surgical procedures, he is now recovering. The images below were taken in Kyiv upon his return and show very clearly the damage to his car. We thank God for sustaining Konstantine, and pray for his full recovery. Please pray also for protection for the team in their various locations across Ukraine. March 13 2022 8pm You might recall that one of our first video updates from Ukraine was filmed by Olesia, as she and her family were leaving their home in Slovyansk in the east of the country - shortly after the outbreak of war. Olesia relocated to Chernivtsi in the west, where several other team members also congregated, to use their existing studio there as a temporary base for the ministry. In this latest message, Olesia tells us about her programme yesterday and what happened afterwards. Please pray for our protection, and for us to trust God despite circumstances. In recent days, it has seemed that attacks are becoming more widespread and there are fewer places that can reasonably be considered even relatively 'safe'. Having lost one of FEBC Ukraine's seven stations at the beginning of the war (in Mariinka), a second - in Slovyansk/Kramatorsk - is now off air, after the transmitter site was hit by a missile earlier today. Thankfully, the five remaining stations are all currently able to broadcast, and the online ministry is still reaching people across the whole country and beyond. Please do continue to pray for Olesia and the rest of the team - especially Eduard (in Chernivtsi), as he leads them all through this extraordinarily challenging time. Thank you. March 12 2022 6pm With the situation across much of Ukraine now perilously unpredictable, Sergey is still in Kyiv. People have been asking him what he has learned since the outbreak of war on 24th February. His response is very simple and yet profound - an essential truth of the Christian gospel - an inspiration to us all. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means 'God with us'). (Matthew 1:23, NIV) Please continue to pray for Sergey and the team in Ukraine, that they would each know God's presence with and love for them. March 12 2022 8am Things in Russia are not easy at present: the war in Ukraine has led to the imposition of strict sanctions, and the introduction of new laws in an attempt to control information is restricting freedom of speech too. Both these developments are having an impact on the ministry, as Alexey (based in St Petersburg) shared in an update last night: 'It’s great to know that we’re not alone. Of course, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine need more prayers and attention than we do, because they face danger for their lives every day. 'This time is the most unpredictable in my life. It seems like all that we knew is collapsing before our eyes. It is still hard to believe in what is happening right now. We’re going to come through very difficult time, for sure. But there are good things as well: it’s easier to see what is really important - where our real hope is. I’m grateful that people in our team see this time as an opportunity to preach the gospel boldly. Because people around are disoriented - they don’t feel solid ground any more. My prayer is that we use this time as much as possible. 'The worst thing is that we're going to have problems with internet. Many western internet operators have left our country. Many services have become inaccessible, because we can't pay for them. And our government want to isolate our internet - it will lead to the new level of control. Another problem is that companies that produce cellular communication equipment have left our country - it means we're going to have problems with mobile internet soon.' I just hope we'll be able to find solutions to stay available to our audience. We give thanks not only for the perseverance an boldness of the team in Ukraine, but also their brothers and sisters in Russia. Please do pray for the team in Russia as they seek to adapt to their new circumstances and restrictions, that the ministry there would indeed remain effective and find creative ways of inspiring listeners to follow Christ. Please pray for ongoing conversations about possible options for new locations and methods of operating for the ministry in this troubled region. [You might like to read summary notes of what Alexey shared at our special online Prayer Meeting on 2nd March - please click here to find out more.] March 10 2022 6pm Many of the supermarket shelves are looking very empty as stock of certain products runs low in parts of Ukraine - including this particular district of Kyiv. Thankfully, they do at least have bread in this store. Sergey reflects on what Jesus had to say about bread, and how that inspires him to persevere with ministry in the face of war. 'Then Jesus declared "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."' (John 6:35, NIV) Let's join with Sergey and the rest of the team in praying not only that the people of Ukraine would have sufficient access to basic supplies, but also that they would be receptive to the 'bread of life'. Please continue to pray for the team's protection and inspiration, as they seek to minister to those in their immediate neighbourhoods and on air. Thank you. March 9 2022 6pm "Aren't you afraid?" With various cities across Ukraine being subjected to seemingly indiscriminate attacks, it is surely only natural that those who are still there might feel afraid. In this short video - filmed on the streets of the capital, Kyiv - team member and local pastor Sergey reflects on how he deals with fear. Do let's pray for Sergey and for other members of the team, as they seek to share the message of God's love and the peace that is beyond our human understanding. Please pray specifically for the counsellors and follow-up workers as they speak with listeners. 'Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.' (Psalm 23:4, NIV) March 8 2022 6pm Victor (who oversees ministry in Eurasia) shared an update in a call early this morning: "The team are basically doing OK, having weathered the initial shock of the outbreak of war; some are doing extraordinarily well. They do need encouragement to keep going, but they – and we – are amazed at what God is doing! One of the broadcasters recently did five hours of gospel presentation – straight evangelism and preaching. Before the war, their usual programme was our daily ‘Breakfast Show’! The response was amazing, and they were still dealing with comments and conversations with listeners two hours after the programme ended! "Another of the team members was praying recently that he’d be a stronger leader. He clearly never dreamed that he would face this sort of tribulation! His own personal situation is extremely challenging at the moment, and yet he’s pressing on with ministry in a new city - apart from his family, who have fled to Poland. "The studio in Chernivtsi (in the southwest of the country) that we’ve had since 1992 has become the new broadcast headquarters. The city is considered safe at the moment, and it seem providential that we have the facilities to operate from there. Several of the team members have relocated there from other parts of Ukraine. Six of our seven stations are actually still broadcasting in Ukraine (but Mariinka is off air, since the city was attacked). "We are currently also exploring the possibility of setting up a new facility in Moldova, and maybe elsewhere in neighbouring countries. We’re looking at options for the best way to support ministry to Ukraine and Russia in the coming months." Please continue to pray for the teams in Ukraine and Russia, and for Victor as he supports them. You can read more about items for prayer by clicking here. March 7 2022 9am Several of the FEBC Ukraine team members are now located in the city of Chernivtsi, in the southwest of the country; that is where they have established a new temporary headquarters for the ministry, including studio facilities from where they can record and broadcast their regular programmes. At this busy church service in Chernivtsi on 'Forgiveness Sunday', people gathered to pray for peace. You can find some pointers for prayer in notes from a special meeting we held last week - please click here to read them. March 6 2022 9pm Team member Iryna has left her apartment very little at all since the war started; she shelters in the basement in her block when the sirens sound. Iryna lives in a suburb to the west of Kyiv city centre - only 20km (12.5 miles) from Irpin, where there has reportedly been a sustained assault with civilian casualties over the weekend. Please pray for Iryna and the many other residents of those areas under most direct threat at the moment, including those in Mariupol. Iryna joined our Feba prayer meeting earlier this week, during which she shared a more detailed update. You can read a summary by clicking here. The map below shows Irpin marked with a red line, and Iryna's neighbourhood circled in yellow. March 5 2022 12pm Our special online prayer meeting on Wednesday evening was a precious time. We were greatly encouraged by the number of supporters who joined us to hear directly from colleagues in Ukraine and Russia, and we had the tremendous privilege of being able to pray together. Please click here if you would like to read some of the updates that were shared when we met. FEBC Ukraine team member Iryna told us just how open listeners are at the moment: "Now is a golden time to just say it straight about God. Previously, we were trying to be sensitive to people who didn’t know God; now, people are just open to God. On some social media posts we have 1,000 comments. People say ‘I pray, I pray, I pray!’. Now, there is no atheist in Ukraine! We just help these people to find the real God – to open the Bible, to pray to Jesus Christ – we try to give them the Word of God. That is one of our prayer requests: that people stay open to the gospel, continue to serve Him, and importantly join a local church – something we work at constantly." Now is a golden time to just say it straight about God! How can we pray for the situation in Ukraine? Team member Inna leads us in this short video: let's join her in praying for peace, repentance, protection, and boldness. March 4 2022 6pm Leaving one's home with very little notice, and with no idea when you might return, can be both distressing and disorientating. It's something few of us can imagine, and far fewer - thankfully - will ever experience. And yet, for literally millions of people across Ukraine, that has been the reality of their past week; that has inevitably included people with young families. Team member Eugene has been to meet some of the children evacuated recently from the embattled city of Mariupol. (Please click 'Watch on YouTube' to see English subtitles.) March 4 2022 1pm The relationship between our ministry partners in Russia and Ukraine has always been close, with a shared heart to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ. It was therefore a privilege to have Alexey (based in St Petersburg) join our special online prayer meeting earlier this week - alongside colleagues from Ukraine. Please do remember the team in Russia as they face challenges of their own following the invasion of Ukraine, including restrictions on freedom of speech and the effects of economic sanctions. Please pray for Victor too, as he seeks to support both teams at this exceptionally difficult time. This short video from February 2019 introduces Alexey and Victor, including an insight to their respective family backgrounds. March 3 2022 11pm Families are having to make desperately difficult decisions - not least whether to stay or leave their homes. People like Tatiana, for whom things changed overnight: one day she was collecting firewood, and the next she was looking for a way to flee. (N.B. click the button to 'Watch on YouTube' for English subtitles.) Fellow team member Igor (see earlier videos) and his young family have also relocated from Kyiv to the west of the country today, making an arduous 11 hour journey in an overcrowded train. Thankfully, they have family and friends they can stay with. Please continue to pray for the team and the onging ministry of FEBC Ukraine. March 2 2022 5pm On Day Seven of the war, Igor speaks to us again from his family's bomb shelter. The situation is becoming increasingly challenging and wearing, and they face some incredibly difficult decisions - yet his faith and resolve remain strong. An inspiration. March 1 2022 2pm Sergey has been out on the streets of Kyiv - ministering to local people, and has sent this photo from a local shop: supplies are running very low, but he says: 'Yes, we don't have much food in stores, but we don't panic! People are extremely polite and attentive. Let's hold on, pray, act! We are Ukrainians!' February 28 2022 10pm We've just heard that there has been an explosion near the FEBC Ukraine studio in Kyiv. Thankfully the building is currently OK, but its proximity to a site of military interest is a mixed blessing at the moment. Many of the team members and their families have been spending the nights in bomb shelters. Some of those in Kyiv (including Sergey and Igor) have been patrolling the streets - meeting with residents and seeking to minister to them. Opportunities to share the Christian gospel are reportedly plentiful as people are very open to the Good News at the moment; the team are excited about being able to speak so openly about matters of faith, but they are becoming physically and emotionally tired. Igor (Kyiv) shared the following update: "So many are responding to the gospel! 20 teens just accepted Christ in one of the media groups I am hosting!" Olesia (in Chernivtsi) has shared her reflections about recording a program in which she was promoting the helpline: "I speak, and I am being encouraged as I listen to my own voice. Please pray for our emotional and spiritual strength." February 27 2022 8pm As the situation in Kyiv becomes increasingly unstable, it is no longer safe to work from the main FEBC Ukraine studio there. It was only five months ago (Sept. '21) that the impressive new facility was officially opened - with a real sense of celebration, optimism, and a vision to serve the wider region. This short video gives a flavour of how things were, and features some of the team we're praying for - along with Feba's CEO Bob Chambers and a number of international colleagues, who had all travelled to Ukraine for the opening and a related training event. How things have changed. February 27 2022 3pm Igor is sheltering in Kyiv with his wife and two young children (aged five and one). In this video, he shares a little about his feelings and his unwavering commitment to the ministry. February 26 2022 11pm If you saw Olesia's video on Thursday in which she and her family were leaving their home in eastern Ukraine, you might like to watch this humbling and inspiring update. February 26 2022 9pm Team member Iryna shared a message this evening from her apartment in the western suburbs of Kyiv, where she is subject to a strict curfew that runs until Monday morning: Maybe it's weird to hear, but I think the first shock is gone and we are getting used to living with war. We pray, look at the news, write and call family and friends, do what you can do, inspire people online - all day and night. Thinking about life, people and God. Please pray for Iryna and for all residents of the city - facing another unsettled night and the ongoing threat of further attacks. We can report that Eduard (the National Director) and Olesia (who fled her home in Sloviansk) have both relocated to Chernivtsi - an existing studio location that will become the temporary new base for FEBC Ukraine. Broadcasts are continuing, with remote access enabling the team to produce programmes and engage in follow-up conversations with listeners. Please pray that they would know God's strength, and that by His grace they would be able to offer words of Christ-centred comfort and hope to the people of Ukraine in these days. February 25 2022 11pm Inna is one of FEBC Ukraine's lead broadcasters - normally presenting their breakfast programme. Having fled from Kyiv for safety, this evening she shared this video from Vinnytsia; things are apparently not secure there either. Inna is still producing short, uplifting messages for Ukrainians when she can. February 25 2022 3pm This morning we had news from another FEBC Ukraine team member in central Kyiv: Igor and his wife Emma explain how they are feeling as sirens have been heard in their neighbourhood, whilst their children sleep. February 25 2022 11am Sergey shares an update from outside a residential block that has been damaged overnight - only a about a mile from where he lives. February 24 2022 2pm For many living in eastern regions of Ukraine, their only choice has been to flee - leaving their homes and finding safety in regions not yet reached by Russian military. The situation is unfolding quickly, with many Ukrainians having to make difficult decisions. Decisions like Olesia's, a broadcaster who sadly had to leave her home in Sloviansk in the early hours of this morning. February 24 2022 11am As many of us woke to the news of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24th February, Sergey (a pastor and broadcaster with our partner FEBC Ukraine) shares how we can support and pray for the FEBC team, churches and people across their country. Please hold our partners and the people of Ukraine in your prayers Pray for peace and reconciliation. Pray boldly for the church in Ukraine as it ministers in the midst of conflict. Pray for the team as they continue to broadcast and share the Good News; ask that God would protect and strengthen them at this time. Pray for those who are feeling afraid, ask that God might bring comfort and his peace during this challenging time. Please click here to donate now We will continue to update Feba's website to reflect news from our partners across Ukraine as the situation develops. Please feel free to share this page or any content as you see fit - see the buttons below.