Unexpected crises are never a surprise to our sovereign God.
The global pandemic in Europe seemed to end on one particular day, February 24. When the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, all eyes and hearts forgot about other threats and fixated on one looming danger—the largest military crisis in Europe since World War II.
In the book of Acts, we find a key turning point in chapter eight, when a crisis that could have killed the fledgling church actually served to strengthen it. A CONVERGENCE of three streams sparked an advance of the gospel.
First, we see Saul killing Stephen and then fiercely persecuting the church. These are events of history that are difficult and out of our control.
Secondly, as the believers fled, they didn’t do so as defeated refugees but rather as kingdom ambassadors. Instead of being overwhelmed by tragedy, they preached the gospel wherever they went. In their response, we see the obedience of God’s servants.
Thirdly, in each new location, the message was received with much joy and was accompanied by miracles of redemption and healing from God. Their small efforts were joined by unmistakable power from on high. In the third stream are clear acts of God.
Looking back over this last year, we see this same convergence across the European region. The war in Ukraine is tragic and has produced so much suffering and loss. The persecution of this nation and the suffering of the church is very real. History has been cruel.
Yet in over 30 years of serving in the region, I have never seen such an up-swell of compassion and initiative on the part of God’s people. Believers have opened their homes and hearts in obedience, and the result is nothing less than astounding.
Our team is just a small part of this, but we were able to transport 5,500 people to safety, purchase and deliver 850 tons of food and medical supplies, and provide 2.2 million meals to displaced people. Many thousands heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and only in heaven will we know the number of souls that were saved because of the bold witness.
During the summer, we partnered with local churches to initiate 153 outreach camps and events for young people in Ukraine and 12 surrounding countries. Over 7,000 people were reached in these events, and many lives were changed. These are clear acts of God, as he does what only he can do to open blind eyes and draw lost people to himself.
God has used you to fuel this movement through your financial support and prayers. You are part of a CONVERGENCE that is advancing the gospel in the midst of unexpected crisis.