One year later
Revival in a time of war
As the war in the Ukraine enters its second year, I want to share with you some of the many good reports from this region. For many decades now, Christians around the world have believed the lie that Europe is not ripe for the Gospel, and yet we know from John 4:35 that the fields of Europe are white for harvest, the same as anywhere else.
With simple faith in this reality, on February 25 2022, the day after the war began in the Ukraine, Christ for All Nations sent out a team, headed by Matthew McCluskey, the Director of European Outreach, to the Polish-Ukraine border to begin humanitarian efforts there, and to scout out the possibility of leading many to Christ. Upon landing in Krakow, Poland, their objective was simple: to find the places where thousands of Ukrainian refugees were gathering, to give aid where possible, and in that place, with boldness and love, to preach the Gospel.
How did the Ukraine outreaches start?
The day the war started, Evelina Smane and Denis Artyushevskiy (Bootcamp graduates) reached out to me, and Ben Fitzgerald from Awakening Europe found out I was going. The next morning, Ben messaged me, “Matt, you should come over here right now.” By Friday evening, I had a ticket to Krakow. The plan was to gather our friends, get close to the border and see what was happening. What are the needs? How can we help? But the biggest question on our hearts was, “How can we preach the Gospel in this time?”
Three days later, we were already 60 people from all over Europe and America. The two main “families” of volunteers were CfaN and Awakening Europe. We loved working with, because of their heart for preaching the Gospel. But we were joined by many other ministries and individuals over time, many of who were Bootcamp graduates.
The top priority is always Jesus
At the train station where refugees were being offloaded, we set up tables with aid items and began interacting with the refugees. Between our loudspeakers and Awakening Europe’s worship team, we made that space our own. This was all at the “crazy” train station where CNN and the international press were staked out. We worshipped and preached the Gospel freely. No matter what else we were doing in a humanitarian sense, we never lost sight of the importance of sharing the Gospel at all times. We truly saw revival break out. For those first seven weeks, it was almost impossible to cross the border without hearing the Gospel at least once!
Over the border – into Ukraine
For the first week, we were on the Polish side of the border. But then we decided to base a team on the other side. And that’s where the rich harvest really began. We had around 20 people in teams of two or three, usually a Bootcamp graduate with a translator. There were always 4 or 5 teams out there. As time went on, we heard about other refugee centers and started bringing aid and sharing one-on-one in those places. There were so many kids, we started doing a “Kids’ Hour” every day, run by Nina Ogor from Nations Church.
How did CfaN Bootcamp graduates get involved?
18 Bootcamp graduates came, as well as many CfaN Fire Camp graduates. After three months, there were no more long queues at the border. 15 people then traveled further into the Ukraine to the conflict zones. They were often invited to preach to whole units of soldiers who would then head into battle, where many men would die. This happened many times. What an honor to lead many of those men to Christ.
In August 2022, we were in Rotterdam for Awakening Europe, and felt the Lord telling us to hold another Fire Camp in the Ukraine three weeks later. Stephan Gängel from Haus der Hoffnung joined us, and we held the CfaN Fire Camp in August at the YWAM base. We wanted to train up Ukrainian-speaking evangelists who would not need to leave like those from other countries. They saw around 10,000 salvations in 2 months.
"Ultimate Plus" in Ukrainian
It was amazing how fast CfaN got the follow-up booklets translated, printed and in our hands. Every booklet was given to new believers. Many times, we ran into people weeks later who got saved at the border, who shared with us the truth of their testimonies and the lasting change in their lives. Having books in Ukrainian was vital, as it was difficult to connect new believers to churches in that situation.
Reaching out into the chaos
What really had an impact on me was seeing ordinary people act heroically and sacrificially. It was beautiful to see the fruit of people who have worked for decades to build churches where they understand the love of Father God and the power of the Gospel. To see the first wave of that reaching out into the chaos, building the Kingdom in the midst of war – this is something I will never forget.
– Matthew McCluskey
We at Christ for All Nations believe that the fields of Europe are indeed white for harvest. We believe that what was seen at the borders of Ukraine is merely a foretaste of what God has planned in the coming decade in the nations of Europe.
Together with you for the Gospel,
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda