Christian Broadcaster TWR Forced To Flee Kyiv As Battles Rage, Urges Prayers
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – International Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR) said late Friday that its affiliate in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was “cut off from its office and studio” while battles raged between government forces and Russian troops attacking the city. In a statement to Worthy News, TWR confirmed that the local “director and staff” of its broadcasting partner initially thought they gathered safely outside Kyiv “to set up makeshift broadcast facilities in a house basement.” However, “before a day had passed, our colleagues heard small-arms fire nearby. They were considering whether to relocate farther from the battlefront,” TWR added.
The Christians want to “continue producing Gospel radio programs for listeners caught up in the hostilities,” TWR stressed. “Our hearts are heavy with concern but also filled with hope as we monitor the lamentable fighting between Russia and Ukraine,” the broadcaster told Worthy News. TWR said it has “strong ministries to both these nations.” The broadcaster added that they “are striving to stay in touch with our contacts on the ground and to provide any help, encouragement, or other support possible.”
In a video message sent to Worthy News, TWR Europe Vice President Branko Bjelajac urged believers to pray for the TWR staff and others in Russia and Ukraine involved in its evangelism efforts in these warring nations. “We just received a phone call. They are worried about their loved ones.” These Christians, Bjelajac said, “want to continue to broadcast the message of hope,” even from the basement of a house in a battle zone. “They hope and pray that the internet connection and the mobile telephony will continue to be serving in this area,” he added.
Bjelajac said TWR has an international broadcast into Ukraine for two evening hours daily on the AM medium wave. “We have prepared special programs for times like these. Christians are uniting and praying together. And encourage each other and continue to see how they can serve the people with a message of the Gospel,” he explained.
The TWR executive said he urged Christians to “pray that the churches in Ukraine will stand the test of the times.”
Additionally, he expressed concerns about mixed couples in which one member of the family is of Russian and the other of Ukrainian descent. “They don’t feel comfortable in these circumstances and are seeking refuge in Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and the other neighboring countries. Some churches have already asked members to provide extra housing and extra food for those fleeing,” Bjelajac noted. “We are praying for our teams in countries,
for our audience, and we are praying for the secure broadcasts.” Hungary and other nearby countries expect hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine.
Lauren Libby, TWR’s international president and CEO said, “We are here to bring hope in a hopeless situation,” adding, “Let’s pray together.”
Founded in 1952, TWR usesmediumwave or high-powered AM and shortwave transmitters, local FM radio stations, cable, satellite, internet, and mobile device technologies to reach 190 countries in more than 275 languages and dialects.
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