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Ukraine Ministry Continues During Conflict

Last month World Missions sent more funds for war relief to Zaporizhzhia Bible Seminary in Ukraine. This is the same institution where missionaries Gordon and Nancy Snider worked from 1996-2011. The report below was in reply from Mark Mackey, our contact and the founder of the seminary. We’re still accepting donations for Ukraine Relief.

June means graduation at many schools across our country and at Zaporizhzhia Bible Seminary (ZBS) in Ukraine. More about that, below.

Horrendous things continue to happen in Ukraine, most recently the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant. Hundreds of thousands of people both down river and up north are affected by this: their drinking water, their homes, their livelihoods. It is impossible to know about chemicals, fertilizers, land mines, and oil products that were washed into the Black Sea. Farmland in the flooded areas is ruined for years to come, causing future shortages of vegetables and grain. Farms away from the flooded area are affected as well, as there will be little water for irrigation. The food supply is seriously threatened. The ecological affects will take years to recover, turning some areas into wastelands or deserts. What more can we write? This is atrocious, horrific, and staggering beyond imagination.

At the same time, something good took place at ZBS. Two graduation exercises were held, one on the ZBS campus in Zaporizhzhia, and a second graduation on our extension campus in western Ukraine. Altogether 74 students graduated with diplomas in various majors: pastoral ministry, women’s ministries, youth and children’s work, missions, and more.

We consider the Seminary ministry exciting, as this is taking place by Ukrainians committed to educating the next generation under utterly negative circumstances.

Another good matter has to do with the Seminary’s plans for the coming school year. New courses of study are being developed to address current needs in Ukraine. Examples:

1) A course of study to prepare Chaplains to minister to soldiers serving in the Territorial Defense Force.

2) A course in Premarital Counseling, for pastors and their wives to prepare couples who want to marry. The church recognizes that good premarital counseling can prevent unpleasant marital issues.

3) A course in Family Life to instruct students in marriage, living with a spouse, and serving one another.

4) An important and necessary course in Healing Wounds of the Heart, to train church workers to deal with people affected by the invasion: resentment, trauma, violence, fear, loss, and more.

This summer our Seminary professors will be busy preparing for the fall term. Returning students minister in children’s and youth camps whenever and wherever possible. Graduating students take up ministries in local churches and support their families and neighbors as best as they can.

As always, we are grateful for your prayers!



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