Stories Stories Seeds of Hope: News from our media partners in Ukraine As FEBC Ukraine responds to the spread of Covid-19, the team are seeing fresh opportunities to share the gospel across the country. Ukraine’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed in early March when an individual tested positive after foreign travel. The government acted swiftly to close all schools, universities, restaurants, cafés, non-essential shops, gyms and entertainment venues. After further restrictions were in early April, it is now compulsory for everyone to wear a mask or respirator when out in public. Like in most countries, the virus is infecting many and prematurely taking loved ones from their families. FEBC Ukraine’s agile and proactive response to the pandemic Across this vast country in Eastern Europe, FEBC Ukraine is broadcasting the good news of Jesus on seven FM radio stations. In recent years, the team has pioneered a wide range of media to reach the entire population of Ukraine, including social networks, smart phone apps and internet broadcasting to name a few. All this has put the team in a strong position to be agile and proactive in their response to the fast-moving health crisis and associated economic challenges currently facing the country. Victor Akhterov, FEBC’s Director of Russian Ministries, has shared recently three key things that he and his team have seen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: Increasing listenership and responses to their deeper, more directly evangelistic programmes; a rising number of requests specifically for counselling - in addition to the many thousands of listener enquiries they receive every month in response to their programmes; expressions of fear in some areas severely affected by Covid-19, the Chernobyl fires, and rapidly escalating unemployment. “We’re doing more online, especially on-air prayer sessions. More programmes are being produced that deal with the effects of the pandemic – mostly through our broadcasters volunteering their time and hosting programmes online from their homes.” When it comes to the challenge of counselling, Victor says, “We have increased the number of one-on-one counselling sessions. We’re also training new counsellors as we’ve found that not everyone is able to handle the new kind of calls we’re receiving in response to the pandemic. Recently, we’ve opened a hotline with a toll-free number to encourage listeners to ask questions and share their concerns”. Please pray: For all the team at FEBC Ukraine as they adapt quickly to new ways of working and living from day-to-day. For the counselling teams who are under enormous pressure at this time. Pray that more counsellors can be trained to answer the increasing number and complexity of calls that are coming in each day. For those who are feeling particularly fearful about current threats including the virus, the forest fires near Chernobyl, and the loss of jobs. Can you pray for Feba's media partners throughout this time? You can sign up to receive our monthly Prayer Focus letters by clicking here. * For the sake of security, some of the real names of people, projects or programmes have been changed or omitted.