Ukrainian Christians struggle in war-torn country


Eastern Europe


Photo EPA, Hannibal Hanschke

Without water and electricity, life in Kyiv is grim. “It is such an unimaginable blessing from the Lord that our children are not here.”

The Norwegian Bible Society employs the Ukrainian Victoria Rachynets. She lives in an apartment in Kyiv with her husband Anatoliy Rachynets, the assistant general secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society. In her latest newsletter, she describes the current situation in the Ukrainian capital. The Christian Norwegian daily Dagen wrote about it.

“Just imagine you wake up every morning and don’t know if you have electricity today. Because many power stations in Ukraine have been destroyed, we rarely have light and electricity. You try to plan your day, but everything depends on whether there is electricity in the city.

I wake up in the morning, but we don’t have electricity, so we can’t shower because the hot water tank and pumps don’t work. We cannot cook breakfast because everything depends on electricity. We can’t even make a cup of coffee or tea because we can’t boil water.

I pull my hood over my head to hide that I haven’t groomed myself properly. Then I have to walk 15 floors up and down without a lift.

We go out and hope to find something to eat or buy a cup of coffee. But there is no light anywhere. As we drive through Kyiv, we see lights in a shop. We run inside, but as we are about to pay for the goods, we hear the air raid alarm. This closes everything. Everyone must take refuge in the bomb shelters, even though we are just as hungry.”

Although life is not easy in Kyiv, Victoria is grateful that her children are safe in Norway. “Every day, I thank God for the fact that my children are safe”, she writes. “It is such an unimaginable blessing from the Lord that our children are not here. They are completely safe where they are. And because of that, we are still able to serve.”


The director of the Ukrainian Bible Society, Oleksandr Babiychuk, lives in the recently liberated city of Kherson. Christian Today reports that Bible Society staff have been able to re-enter their office for the first time since August. Still, the return has been bittersweet - there are bullet marks everywhere, and the rooms were full of vodka bottles.

Despite the victory for the city, the Russian retreat has prompted a lot of soul-searching, and people are asking existential questions about the war, Babiychuk says. “We must continue to carry the Word of God because war shakes the very foundation of people’s lives,” he says. “They are looking for answers to the most important questions about why this war happened and why God allowed it.”



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