Fighting for a Lasting Revolution
Dave Patty | January 2014
As I write today, the first day of 2014, Ukrainian protesters are again filling the streets of Kiev, continuing their call for an end to corruption in government and responding to the latest police brutality against a prominent journalist. In spite of winter cold and holiday distractions, protests have continued for over a month now, drawing hundreds of thousands of people out onto the freezing streets to demand change.
What you don’t hear in the news are the stories of young people fighting for a more permanent revolution – in the very hearts and minds of the next generation.
Last spring I spent a week with Oleg and other youth leaders from across Eastern Europe, teaching them ministry principles from the life of Christ. When the protests started, Oleg knew that the gospel was the most important news his disillusioned countrymen needed to hear. Gathering together other young men from his New Life church in Kiev, he set up a prayer tent in the main square and shared the truth of Jesus day after day with weary protesters seeking relief from the cold.
In early December, the mayor of Lviv urged his people to join the protests and warned that his policeman would take off their uniforms and defend the city if the government sent in reinforcements. Our JV team is based in this western Ukrainian city, a university center with almost a million inhabitants.
While politicians issued threats, JV missionary, Ben Williams, mobilized two young leaders, Roman (18) and Andriy (25), to start an evangelistic floorball league. Already the league has five participating churches. Together, these churches are reaching more than 80 young people every week through floorball outreach. About 70% of those participating are non-believers. In one church called Grapevine, the team is made up entirely of orphans. They practice at the orphanage in a small room and obtain special permission to take the team to tournaments.
When you hear news of protests in Ukraine, pray with us for Oleg, Roman, Andriy and many more young leaders like them as they fight for a lasting revolution.
Grateful for the Good News,