Grace Extends in Ukraine
Through the work of Grace Baptists in Europe we have an ongoing commitment to the progress of the gospel in a number of countries. Here is an account of grace extending in Rakove, Ukraine.
Over a couple of years, Ryan and Uliana King travelled quarterly to Khmelnitsky, Ukraine where with the blessing and encouragement of local Baptist pastors, Ryan led a Growing Leaders group at House of the Gospel Church with a view to equipping existing church planters and identifying new ones.
Local pastors have for some time considered the suburb of Rakove as desperately in need of a local church gospel witness – it has none – and were eager to see someone raised up for the task. By God’s grace, Roma Martynyuk emerged among a group of men already active in planting across the region as a man willing and able.
Together with his wife Maryana and another man from the church, he began to do evangelism and minister to the social needs of people in the area with a view to starting a Bible study and organically, evangelistically planting a church.
Progress has been slow, and not always steady. Toward the end of 2018, despite many evangelistic conversations and new relationships formed with some locals, it became increasingly clear why there is not a local church gospel witness in Rakove: it is a hard place.
Ryan encouraged Roma to persevere and went with Uliana in January to assist with a special Ukrainian Christmas outreach in a local café. A good number of local families and couples came who were completely new contacts, and they clearly heard the gospel sung and spoken.
Unfortunately, this has not translated to further interest…yet. But Roma and Maryana keep pressing on in faith. They are presently helping lead a Christian afterschool club for children from troubled families – several of whom are from Rakove. Through this they have begun meeting with the children’s parents for Bible study.
Pray that Roma and Maryana would persevere, that God would encourage them and sustain them through discouragements and difficulties, and that God would raise up devoted team members to work alongside them.
Pray for provision, as Roma’s workplace has closed and he both wants and needs to devote himself more fully to evangelism and church planting in Rakove.
Pray for the successful planting of a local church in Rakove.
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15