• Jeff Crotts
Ukraine flag blowing in the wind

This week I asked Oleg and Amanda Bondar to take some time to talk together and write down a brief but detailed list of prayer requests for Oleg’s native country and his extreme family circumstances in the middle of war-torn, Ukraine. Many of you know Oleg and Amanda and their three children, Dima, Ben, and Nicholas who are part of our church. You may not know, Oleg is now attending The Master’s Seminary/AK, to train for ministry and that Amanda serves as children’s director for AGC. We want to pray with them as we along with the watching world witness the ongoing attacks from Russia against the people of Ukraine. God’s Word calls Christians to pray in view of world events like these and for personal situations that affect people in our church. Oleg and Amanda, not only need prayer for their extended family but also share deep concern for Christian friends currently fleeing ongoing attacks in Ukraine. Let’s raise our voices together in prayer remembering those who are literally in survival mode, who have a real need for God’s intervening grace. 

ESV  James 5:16 Therefore, aconfess your sins to one another and pray for one another, bthat you may be healed. cThe prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.1 

FYI, I left the Bondar’s prayer list mostly in its raw bullet point form to push it out as quickly as possible and this comes from their voice and hearts.     

1- For the invasion to stop and Russian forces to leave all Ukrainian territory. For the restoration of peace and the rebuilding of the country’s infrastructure.

In Ukraine

2- For those leaving/moving- refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) as they flee via trains, buses, cars, etc. The majority of those leaving are women, children, and the elderly. Pray for physical safety, for physical needs along the journey (food, sleep, toilets at the needed time). Pray for mental clarity in making quick decisions under extreme stress. 

3- For those staying – those that stay to keep open the pharmacies, the hospitals, the groceries, the gas stations, the electricity workers, the gas line workers – pray for families hiding in basements, cellars, and subways. Pray for the civilian volunteers creating defensive lines around their cities and villages. Pray for the volunteer drivers bringing in truckloads of humanitarian aid. Most of these volunteers are driving into the danger zones without any kind of protective equipment like bulletproof vests or helmets. 

4- Spiritual care – For displaced pastors and missionaries – for them to find new locations to reach displaced Ukrainians – with the gospel and gather them into (new) churches. Also, that they would be able to provide biblical counseling for the refugees to work through the trauma of war, fear, grief, loss, culture shock adjustment to a new place to live, etc. 

5- Physical care for Ukrainians crossing into other countries – for the NGO’s (Non Profit Organizations) and Christian ministries that are serving refugees – for adequate supplies and effective organization, and translators. Most refugees have brought very little and have very small carry bags with them as they walk through border crossings. They need basics like baby formula, diapers, luggage, backpacks. Most border crossings have buses that transport the refugees on to train stations and other destinations. In the sudden movement of 3 million vulnerable people there are many wolves. Pray against human trafficking. Pray that all people volunteering to host refugees in their homes would have the best of intentions. 

In Russia

6- For believers to be strong under greater persecution, to support each other through the strain of a rapidly collapsing economy and increasing isolation from the west. 

7- For Grace to govern the strained relationships between believers inside Russia and believers located outside Russia as they judge the rightness of one another’s political action/inaction in regards to the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s forces. 

8- For the world to not to hate Russian people. Russian people are not the enemy. Satan is THE enemy. See FB post below from Rob Hindman (A missionary acquaintance from time serving in Ukraine. He is Church of Christ, which differs theologically from AGC, however his post is a helpful read). This was part of his opener – a header to his link:

Pray for Russia. Pray for the people of Russia. And yes, pray for the leaders of Russia. In this post, I’ll try to share some ideas about why, and how. 

Remember this important principle: There are many enemies, but there is ultimately only the ONE enemy. Yes, for Ukraine and its military, and indirectly for many others, Putin and his forces are the enemy, currently. But Putin is not THE enemy. The Russian military is not THE enemy. They, and all militaries anywhere in the world, are “those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28). But THE enemy is prowling all around the world, looking for those who do not resist him (James 4:7). He can and will find his targets on all sides of this conflict. We Christians who love Ukraine and support its people must guard ourselves against sinking into a hatred of Russian souls. Every case in which this happens is a victory for the evil one. If the Russian military ultimately fails in Ukraine, but in the process THE enemy succeeds in ensnaring millions around the world in sin, then it is a net loss in terms of things that eternally matter. 

 Oleg’s family 

9- They fled from Kharkiv in far eastern Ukraine, to a small village in far northwestern Ukraine, close to Poland but also close to Belarus. They are all nonbelievers. Pray foremost for their eternal salvation!

 Oleg’s parents – Sergey and Taisiya Bondar – Taisiya is ready to leave Ukraine as a refugee but Sergey has severe depression and does not want to go anywhere. He just lays in the bed and wants to die. Pray that he can get medication so he can think straight, have some motivation to live, and to travel together with Taisiya. At this point we think Bulgaria would be the best destination for them to head towards and begin the process to apply for official refugee status. The Bulgarian language uses Cyrillic letters and is similar to Russian so that might help them in their culture stress and adjustment there.

For Oleg’s twin brothers and their families:

Brother Alexander, wife Valya, son Artyom (17)

Brother Alexey, wife Lyena, son Daniel (9)

Pray especially for Daniel, the 9 y/o nephew he has been in the hospital with high levels of acetone in his blood. 

10-For Max and Olya Korol – Max and Oleg were seminary students together in Ukraine. Max currently is/was a student at the TMAI (The Master’s Academy International) Ukraine school and is/was a pastor. He and his family stayed ministering in their city for several weeks. But the trauma of war and constant shelling began to have mental health effects on Olya. So, Max decided it was time to leave. They have made their way to Germany. They were placed in a German home where sadly they were taken advantage of. So, they left that situation and are currently staying in a church basement. Max and Olya would like to travel to Alaska as refugees. They want to come to Anchorage and join AGC and study in our seminary. They will need to get refugee status from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) then apply to the US Embassy in Berlin for refugee visas. Pray for this precious family. Children: Timofey (Timothy -13 y/o), Yelesey (Elisha – 10 y/o), and Evnika (Eunice – 3 y/o).