027: Ordinary People Extraordinary Faith Interview with Dema Grischuk, Ukraine Preacher

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Ukraine-Map_(Renovated)Tensions remain high in eastern Ukraine.  In certain areas, like the Dontesk/Donbass region and the city of Donetsk itself, it’s particularly tense.  The new Ukrainian president has initiated an “anti-terrorist” military campaign intended to oust the pro-Russian insurgents in various locations.  The result has been much fighting and the disruption of daily life.  The city of Donetsk waits for these efforts to be brought there.

Dema Grischuk is a preacher, teacher, and ministry director who has taken a leading role in trying to minister to the suffering and hurting citizens of Ukraine.  His efforts extend beyond the local congregation. The Let’s Love ministry which he directs has long been reaching out to orphans, children at risk, and the poor and needy throughout the Donetsk region.  With many of their efforts suspended due to the unrest, much attention has now been directed to refugees; those leaving eastern Ukraine to escape the violence and danger.

In this “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith” interview, Dema shares his thoughts and experiences of trying to share the peace and comfort of God with his countrymen in a nation torn by aggression, violence, and turmoil.  Not only is Dema involved in addressing physical needs, but also the often-overlooked spiritual dimension of these troubled times through an active, public prayer grouped that has assembled every day since the first difficulties arose, over 100 days ago.

 

Photos:

Dema's family

Dema’s family

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Dema leading Donetsk prayer group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer group meeting daily for prayer in Donetsk for over 100 days.

Prayer group meeting daily for prayer in Donetsk for over 100 days.

Former prisoner of insurgents being given aid

Former prisoner of insurgents being given aid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Burned out public transportation, Kramatorsk

Work with refugee children

Work with refugee children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Passages:

These are the Scriptures that Dema shared that he has found most helpful, not only for himself but those to whom he ministers, all coming from Isaiah.

  • Isaiah 40
  • Isaiah 41:14
  • Isaiah 43:1-7
  • Isaiah 54:15-17

Prayer requests:

• For peace in Ukraine
• For the Vacation Bible School program to be conduced for refugees’ children (end of June)
• For the week of Bible camp for refugees’ children (end of July)

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026: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Ukrainian Christians During Upheaval and Conflict

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UkraineUndoubtedly one of the most remarkable world events of the past three decades was the fall of the “Iron Curtain” and dismantling of the former Soviet Union.  Though considered by many a great event in the progress of freedom and democracy, the fallout from these world altering events is far from over.  Several nations broke away from the USSR including Ukraine in 1991.

The church in the west saw this as a great opportunity to evangelize this atheistic.  Many Christians, myself included, were completely unaware of the long and rich history of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Still, massive efforts were made, hundreds and thousands were converted and numerous congregations were planted.

The move to a free market system and democratic political process has not been easy or smooth.  Right now Ukraine is in the throws of political upheaval.  Mass rallies ousted the sitting president with a new presidential election scheduled for the near future.  In the meantime, pro-Russian separatists have taken action in eastern Ukraine (the area most heavily populated with native Russians) going so far as to holding a referendum election to separate the eastern part of the nation from the rest of Ukraine.  Blood has been shed, ordinary daily life has been greatly affected, and the churches find themselves in very difficult times.

This episode’s interview is with two of the preachers from Kramatorsk, Ukraine—Vladimir Paziy and Vitaly Rodichev—as well as some of the Christians in that community.  In it they speak to the uncertainty of their situation, their efforts to maintain peace in the church amidst a variety of political viewpoints, and the assurance and comfort they draw from their faith.

 

Photos:

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Vladimir Paziy

Vitaly Rodichev

Vitaly Rodichev

 

 

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Christians in Kramatorsk, Ukraine during Skype call–Eugene Tebel (in blue shirt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Bible Passages:

These are passages mentioned by Vladimir and Vitaly as well as several of the other Christians that they find most helpful in the middle of their uncertainty and turmoil.

     Psalm 37:3-9
     Psalm 71
     Psalm 89
     Psalm 23
     2 Kings 4
     Romans 8:28
     James 1
     1 Peter 1
     Revelation 2:10

Appeal

Do you know someone think would be a good subject for an upcoming Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith interview?  Send me their name and a little information to feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

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Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living podcast.  Come back and visit again soon!

 

God bless!

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