CITA in Ukraine: How missionaries serve in the regions
10 October 2023
Christ Is the Answer International Ministry continues to serve the regions of Ukraine through various means of the Gospel: charity trips, children’s events, help for the needy, eye clinics, Gospel tents and newspapers. The following are reports from the field for September.
A team of pastors from “Christ Is The Answer” church in Rivne, with the support of Christ Is The Answer Ministry, organized a vacation in Yaremche for people from Bakhmut, Kreminna, Lyman, Popasna, Kharkiv and Donetsk. Several children from poor and multi-child families as well as the winners of the raffle were able to go free of charge.
“I climbed Hoverla, swam in the Lake of Youth and played water games. In the evening we drank tea and sang with the guitar around the campfire. The food was very tasty, and the food cooked in cauldrons was so good that you could lick your fingers. I also liked playing water volleyball because everyone got wet. The Carpathians are an incredible beauty created by God,” said Ivanka Dybiak from Rivne, 12 years old, daughter of a missing soldier.
The Christ is the Answer missionaries also started the “Feed the Needy” ministry in the city. According to missionary Andriy Kadubets, the team held two such events, feeding about 70 people from the most vulnerable groups – pensioners and the homeless:
“Not only do we feed people, but before we start we try to evangelize for 5-10 minutes while the food is being delivered, and we also make a call to prayer before the meal. After the meal, we pray for people’s needs, distribute newspapers, prayer books and New Testaments.
We have not invented anything new, we have simply followed the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who in His day, when He preached the Kingdom of Heaven, fed people, 5,000 people at a time. Yes, we do not have that opportunity yet (laughs – ed.), but we are following His example.
We plan to continue such evangelistic charity events every week. We hope that this ministry will help people get closer to God. We want our words to be in line with our deeds so that our faith will be in line with our deeds.”
In honor of Thanksgiving Day, the ministers organized a feast for the children of the city. In addition to entertainment, sweets, contests, and prizes, the Word of God was heard: The call to give thanks to God for food, for safety, and especially for the atonement made by Jesus Christ, who took our sins upon Himself to save all those who sincerely believe, repent, and live according to the will of God.
CITA missionaries in the Southern Region continue to serve children and underprivileged people, especially the elderly, grannies who live in such remote areas that are difficult to access.
“Villages like Dilnyche, Buz’ke, Antonivka are located in the steppe and the road to them is very bad. In summer, if the weather is good, travel is easier. When it starts to rain or snow, we drive on “asphalt”. For example, the village of Dilnyche is only 15 km away, but it takes us more than half an hour to get there. The villages of Mikhailivka and Belousivka seem to be near the highway, so it is easier to get there, but in Mikhailivka itself the road is hard, especially when the grannies’ houses are on the hills,” said missionary Inna Titova.
This time the missionaries visited a nursing home in Nova Odesa.
“There are 24 grandmothers and grandfathers in the Nova Odesa nursing home. They are lonely people or abandoned by their relatives, some of them are lying down, some of them are in wheelchairs… But they are very happy when we come to visit them, bring them some goodies and talk to them about the Lord. The director of this nursing home herself asks us to come and she is willing to cooperate with us,” continues Inna.
Since the spring, a team of ministers from the Mykolaiv region has been preparing to open a Christian center in the village of Mikhailivka.
“Everything is almost ready for the opening of the center: we have painted the walls, installed a stove for heating, and now we need to order tables. In October we plan to hold the first service for adults and children. There are already people in the village who are ready to attend the meetings and are looking forward to the opening,” said Victor Pavlyshyn, a missionary from New Odesa.
Local CITA missionaries help prisoners at the colony 45 in the Dnipro region with food and Christian literature, where up to 30 people gather for a home group.
In one of the districts of Zaporizhzhia, a team of missionaries holds so-called “prayer breakfasts” for the homeless and poor. Up to 30 people attend each Saturday.
“People come not only to eat a hot meal, but also to hear the Gospel and to pray with us for Ukraine. Last time, two of them were sent to a rehab center for rehabilitation,” said missionary Igor Pimenov.
At the suggestion of the missionaries, 70 people attended two charity eye clinics in September. In addition to an eye exam, the participants received free eyeglasses and heard about Christ.
According to the missionaries, as a result of these events, three women began attending women’s meetings at the local church, and two homeless people became part of the Sunday meeting. Another woman, whom the missionaries had previously sent to rehabilitation after recovering from addiction, now faithfully attends services and seeks spiritual growth.
Zaporizhzhia’s city transport is another place of evangelism, where missionaries hand out Christian magazines, which, according to them, is a reason to talk and answer people’s spiritual questions.
“Someone asks, someone rebels, and someone provokes,” says Ihor. – “But we use it as an opportunity to start a conversation, to invite people to an eye clinic and to church. I usually take about 300 newspapers and distribute them all in one day.”
In the prayer tents, pastors also invite people to take advantage of the church’s various charitable opportunities and to join home groups.
On September 30, a team of CITA missionaries held a charity event for 50 people in the city – an eye clinic with a concert program and refreshments.
“The event took place in an atmosphere of acceptance. We met and socialized. I performed my own songs to support them in this difficult time. Among the participants were IDPs and low-income citizens. The doctor gave individual attention to everyone. We invited one of the best doctors of Ternopil. In my opinion, the event was successful, people were satisfied, some of them received two pairs of glasses for near and far vision as a gift,” commented Andriy Vasenda, missionary and Christian author and performer.
Bila Tserkva, Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih, Uzhhorod, Izmail, Kovel, Zhytomyr, Liuboml, Shatsk, Rivne, Kharkiv, Yampil, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Novovolynsk, Bohuslav, Vasylkiv, Lebedyn, Chernivtsi, Parkhomivka, Polonne, Yuzhnoukrainsk – and this is not a complete list of Ukrainian cities where tents are used for evangelistic and charity events, as well as children’s camps.
In total, the CITA Ministry has distributed 60 Christian tents throughout Ukraine.
“We are open to cooperation with Christians of different denominations who want to spread the Gospel and provide free tents for evangelization,” said Taras Sen, director of the ministry.
Evangelistic newspaper: the next issue is being printed
The fresh one hundred thousandth issue of the evangelistic newspaper “Christ is the Answer” is already being distributed in the regions of Ukraine.
The number of newspapers produced by the ministry annually is 700 thousand copies, which are distributed in all regions of Ukraine. The printed newspapers are in demand among middle-aged and elderly people.
“Through the newspaper I have been approached many times by people asking for contacts of certain churches, as well as for advice and psychological support,” said missionary Andriy Vasenda, coordinator of the newspaper.
Christ Is the Answer International Ministry was founded to spread the Gospel through various means and works in 20 countries.
CITA Ministry Press Center.