Tomasz & Miriam
Eduard & Olena
Yulia & Sasha
Ben & Kristy
Ukrainian USSR was one of the founding republics of the USSR as far back as 1918. Ukraine has a history of shifting borders and external control. The Orthodox Church has been one of the only withstanding entities of Ukraine. Much of Ukrainian identity is thus found in Orthodoxy. In 1991, the Soviet Union fell, freeing Ukraine as an independent country, but in 2004 the Orange Revolution showed Ukraine’s continued political instability. 70% of Ukrainians still claim to belong to Orthodox Christianity; however, due to the political pressure the church succumbed to under communism, many Ukrainians are skeptical toward it.
Ukraine is approximately the size of Texas and has a population of approximately 48 million. Only 1-3% of the population is protestant Christian (Baptist and Pentecostal denominations). Unfortunately, the rule-based legalism of the Orthodox Church has impacted the protestant denominations as well.
Ukraine is home to the fastest growing church in Europe. The youth of Ukraine are very open. There is a sense of hope among them that does not exist in the older generation. Often the local church faces a challenge of clashing cultures as young and old struggle over forms of church. In 2006, a small Josiah Venture team moved into the city of Lviv. They began working with local churches to help build youth groups and train youth leaders. They began evangelistic outreaches through camps and English clubs. Josiah Venture has a strategic opportunity to help by modeling healthy discipleship of young people through the local church in a culture that is responding to God‘s call. Pray with us that we can help build sustaining youth ministries, disciple believers to have authentic faith, and train passionate leaders to lead new believers.