by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – US missionaries in Ukraine have issued urgent calls for prayer for protection and for wisdom on whether to stay or leave as the current, dangerous Russia-Ukraine standoff continues, Christianity Today (CT) reports.
Although a Russian invasion is not yet a certainty, some missionaries have already left Ukraine, while others are seeking God’s direction on whether to stay.
The missionary organization SEND International has had US missionaries in Ukraine since the 1990s, and has a security team on hand to assess danger and plan evacuations as needed, CT reports. SEND also trains its people to cope in crisis situations: at the beginning of February, most SEND missionaries were still at their posts.
“As leaders, some of us are not in those local areas, so it’s important to us to listen to our missionaries on the ground and what the Holy Spirit is telling them, then discerning that with the information that we get from government sources and others who are assessing the situation,” SEND CEO Michelle Atwell told CT.
On the other hand, most missionaries to Ukraine from church planting agency ABWE International have been redeployed to wait and see what happens from adjacent countries. At the same time, a number of ABWE missionaries have decided to remain. Alex Kocman, a communications officer for ABWE, told CT the decision to stay or leave depends on factors such as whether the missionary has children with them.
Local Christians in Ukraine have also asked for prayer – they are asking the Lord for their country to be in freedom and peace. Additionally, CT said: “They also ask those who know someone serving in Ukraine to reach out, offer encouragement, and perhaps connect over video.”
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