Open Hearts and Homes in Ukraine

After Natalia Bradarsky experienced an incredible loss in her own life, she opened her home to people from other parts of Ukraine who have been displaced by a rebel uprising.

On Pentecost Day 2014, rebels entered a church in Slavyansk, Ukraine, and abducted four worshipers, including Victor Bradarsky, a local Christian broadcaster. A month later, Natalia learned that her husband had been killed.

Earlier in the year, the rebels had destroyed the Christian radio station from which Victor Bradarsky aired his biblical messages and Russian-language programs produced by Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI). 

Station manager Victor Kurilenko, who had worked closely with Victor Bradarsky, said, “I am convinced that it [was] very important to rebuild the station so the Word of God [could] once again be on the air, because [eastern Ukrainian] people are going through depression, desperation, loss of faith, feelings of hate.

“Who else if not the church should be bringing peace and calmness and God's blessings to the hearts of the people? Only God can heal the wounds of the soul left by the war.”

The BTGMI ministry team in Ukraine partners with local churches that created a hotline for people who have been displaced from their homes by violence. “We not only provided hope-filled messages, but also connect them with area churches for assistance,” said BTGMI Russian ministry leader Rev. Sergei Sosedkin.

“This year we plan to produce up to 10 one-hour live broadcasts on local Ukrainian stations and make the broadcasts available online. The programs are gospel-focused and also challenge local Christians to get involved in the relief efforts.”

The broadcasts offer information about sources of humanitarian aid, such as Christian relief agencies, government assistance, food pantries, and church events. For many, these touch points with local churches are their first introduction to the Christian faith. BTGMI also provides Bibles and Christian literature for those who want to learn more.

Natalia Bradarsky and her children have helped dozens of families, noted Sosedkin. “She shares her faith and the story of what happened to her husband. They feed the displaced citizens, give them a place to sleep, and present them with radios.”

Natalia said she feels called to honor her husband’s legacy through this ministry. “Victor loved people,” she said. “He had many ministries. He loved to be on the air telling listeners about God. Passionate and personable, he was a man of deep faith.”

 

Muslim Refugees Seek the Truth

BTGMI works in partnership with Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF) to bring hope to Syrian refugees in Jordan. 

“Alice” (not her real name), a 50-year-old former civil engineer, volunteers with BTGMI’s Arabic ministry to disciple listeners wanting to know more about the Christian faith. Since the refugee crisis has increased, so has Alice’s passion to serve them. She uses her gifts and experiences to assist and follow up with Syrian refugees—especially Muslim women. 

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 628,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan. Approximately 25 percent of them are women over the age of 18. Alice said, “Many of them express a desire to know more about Jesus.”

Alice refers these women seeking God’s Truth to BTGMI Arabic online resources. In turn, the women have told others about Jesus and our ministry. “In contrast to the jihad mentality, they are attracted to Christ’s words to love your enemy,” Alice explained.

The BTGMI Arabic ministry leader reported, “As a result of Alice’s connections, at least 1,500 people are visiting our sites, and a vast majority of them are Muslim.”

Praise God for Alice and her courage in telling people about our Savior. Pray that the seekers she meets come to faith and build a long-lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.

About the Authors

Kristen Van Stee, Back to God Ministries International

Nancy Vander Meer is a staff writer with Back to God Ministries International in Grand Rapids, Mich.
X