Hey, this is Mike Zwick from If Not For God Podcast, our show.
Stories of hopelessness turned into hope. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it.
Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. What a treat we have on a very unique occasion today at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention with Lantern Rescue. We have two very special guests that are actually here in the floor of the Convention Center with me, both Anya and one of the pastors there in Ukraine and Chaplain for the services over there and the military service over there in the Ukraine is Anya and Alex. And so Anya, welcome and it's so good to see you again because we've talked a number of times on Lantern Rescue, but so here we are and the war is still going on. Yes, it's just an honor for me to be here again with my pastor.
He is, he is. And so introduce your pastor for us, for our audience, to know a little bit about Alex. Alex, he is a senior pastor in the central parts of Ukraine in a city named Vynitsa. In our church union, we have seven daughters churches. When I'm saying daughter, it means that we send missionaries to different parts of Ukraine to start the churches from zero. And he is a senior pastor.
Now he also a chaplain for army, and he is such a God's hero and warrior of God's army. I can imagine. And so you're going to interpret for Alex to an extent, but I would love for the audience to hear Alex respond in Ukrainian. Is that the dialect Ukrainian? Ukrainian.
Right. And so I know our listeners would be very interested to know what I would like, you know, is for him to go to the front line, you know, to give our audience a sense of what the Ukrainian people are experiencing right now in Russia. All our people now, they experiencing all different kinds of stress and feelings, but all of us is unified by one desire to see the victory of Ukraine soon. A lot of our army, like soldiers, they are struggling with separation from their families. They are struggling with loneliness because their wives, kids, a lot of them living abroad because it's missile attacks and civilian spots, and it's dangerous to stay on some territories of our country. Some of them moved to central part or to western part of Ukraine, and still our soldiers separated from their wives and kids. A lot of civilians, they lost their houses, homes because of missile attacks, and for one second they lost everything they had. And even for soldiers, it's also struggling.
While they were fighting for the country, their home could be destroyed, and one of my familiar soldiers, he went some kind of retreat on vacation for couple weeks, and instead of being with his family, he was trying to repair his house because it was a missile attack in his house. Wow, wow, it's just, that's really helpful for us to know how to pray for these soldiers, because it's one at a time. You know, we don't think of the whole Ukrainian army, they're one guy whose family was bombed, you know, his children are where he doesn't know, you know, he's got no, and so it's individuals, right, that's the face of a Ukraine that really, you guys kind of came to the NRB to help the Christian church see that this is a personal thing, this isn't, you know, a political thing, this has to do with real life, what's going on for you guys every day? And for us it's also very important to know that we are not fighting for our government, we are not fighting even for territories, we are fighting for our families, for the freedom of our faith, that's why we're still standing in that war, trying to protect our beliefs. Yeah, that's beautiful, absolutely wonderful. And so, as you guys have had a chance to be in America for a couple of weeks now?
Yeah, and can you kind of share what your experience has been, Anya, for, you know, having toured for the last couple of weeks, and what you've come to see? We have been in North Carolina with our friends and our teammates in London Rescue, it has been a beautiful time to share experience with them, but also we came here to NRB convention, for us it's a new experience, we have never been in such a place where so many Christians are gathered to share their beliefs and to discuss politics, discuss Christianity, theology, and all that questions, so for us to be here as representatives of our country to talk about the problems in our country, and also the truth which is not showed on social media, it's very important. And so what truth would you want our audience to know that you don't feel like is being showed on social media? The truth is that the Russian nation came invade our country in 21st century, invade the independent country, not just to take our territories, but to do that genocide against of our cultural language and nation. The proof that the Russian nation wants to destroy our nation is that they are sending missiles and rockets into the civilian spots where there are no any soldier, and they trying to hit the targets with civilians, kids, vulnerable women, and this is the proof that they are trying to erase our nation. It's just simple people, it's not infrastructure, it's not military objects, it's just simple houses with apartments, buildings with apartments where you can sleep at night, and because of Russian decision you can die because of the missile attack. And even recently my friend, he was visiting his family in western parts of Ukraine, and on his way back he needed to repair his will in a truck.
He just stand there, and it was just simple station for repairing, any military objects were there, but there was a rocket missile attack. There are so many examples and stories of such situations. It's unbelievable, it's almost unthinkable some of the things that I've heard about what's going on from Mark and from you, and I heard actually today, and I had not heard this aspect before, but I was interviewing somebody else about the situation, and they said they visited a hospital that had 50 Ukrainian women that were all pregnant by having been raped by Russian soldiers, and so here they all were traumatized by these Russian soldiers that had just massly ravaged, it's unthinkable, it just doesn't seem like anything that could happen in the 20th century, or the 21st century, but here we are.
Unfortunately it's hard to comprehend by our human mind that it could happen to such an enemy, because when they are entering the territory, soldiers of Russian army, they could rape not only girls, they are raping kids, men, old people, they are not thinking about anything, it's unhuman behavior. Lantern Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former US special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.
As a non-profit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery, and facilitates holistic aftercare services.
They're gearing up for operations right now, and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. And so as a pastor, right, and you're coming to very hurting people that really can't comprehend, I mean, my daughter or my wife or, you know, even my cousin, I would be just like, wow, how do you minister to those folks? I'm sure God gives you something, but I'm very interested to know, how can we be compassionate, pray for you in that situation? Our mind is not created for the war. That's why it's very hard to us mentally to live in a war condition. But still, I'm not alone as a pastor. We have the whole Christian family in Ukraine, and my brothers and sisters, they joined the army to fight with a physical weapon, but also we have that people who is fighting with a spiritual weapon against this enemy. And if God would not inspire us, if God would not fill us with His love, if we would not come to Him all the time for asking for this love, we can allow this evil to live in our hearts. And a lot of pastors and our brothers and sisters, now they are struggling with this temptation to become angry, to let this bitter, to live inside our hearts. So we need this prayer about pure hearts for us to keep going in love of Jesus without angerness, but with His strength. Unfortunately, if God will not be with us in this war, and He will not be with our wearers, while our soldiers, we will become the same animals as Russians become without God. That's why the presence of chaplain in every unit is so important, and not just formal chaplain, but real believer chaplain, Christian chaplain, who will say that church is not just waiting for you, but the church is with you right now in my presence.
Oh yeah, what a difference that makes. Because, right, you know, God can give you answers when it seems like there is no other way, and actually, like you said, to have a believer chaplain, somebody who actually, you know, can call on God to come into the situation, which is, those things are unthinkable to our minds, but just praise God that He's provided that and continues to fight, you know, in ways that I can't even, or I don't want to, you know, my mind does not want to go to these places, but it's a beautiful thing that you are over here, to both raise support for those who are listening right now, to pray, to give financial risk, you know, but mostly to get the message. In other words, as you pray, as you're listening today about what's going on, and you're hearing things that like, man, I did not know that, is to spread the truth, right, to tell about what's talking about, so other Christians would know, other Christians would know to pray, and then as God puts it on their heart to contribute to the cause, because you guys are feeding, I mean, in those warehouses and all that's going on, Anya, right? There's a whole lot of resources that are going out every day that's being provided, right?
We know our warehouse, we're helping every day. We're working five days, except Saturday and Sunday, and we have been helping 60,000 of refugees, we're calling them IDPs, it means internally displaced people, because they didn't escape their country, they just moved to the central part where we are, but also we delivered, like we distributed tons of food and clothes to the villages on the front line and to liberated cities. When Russia, like our national army liberating some village on the front line, my pastor is a chaplain with other chaplains entering that village as a second team, because we want to be the first who will answer on people's needs, which are living in basements under occupation for several months. And have you had a chance to liberate several? Me personally? No, I mean, are we making progress, do you feel like?
We don't have so much territories as we want to have as liberated, and unfortunately Russia have more occupied territories than we liberated, but we're looking forward of liberation because our national army is planning their confrontation, like defending, not defending, offending nation, because we want to go, and we will not defend their territories, we will defend our territories under occupation. Right, so you've got an offensive to go back and get those territories that they're under that kind of... Yes. And wow, and so from what I understand there's a whole team of chaplains that are part of your church, right? We have the whole union of churches in different cities, so it's brothers and sisters from our church, they become chaplains, but also we have the team and brothers from other churches in our union. And so how many approximately churches or chaplains do you feel like you guys are connected with at this point?
If we will count all our churches, it will be at least 15 people. Wonderful, wonderful, and so how long are you guys here before you go back? We're coming back home on 27th, May 27th. Yeah, like Tuesday or Wednesday.
Yeah, a couple days. Do you have plans after you leave the NRB to visit somewhere else? We will be here till the end of the convention. After that we have a couple meetings in Orlando, and still we have a huge trip coming back home because we will fly through Amsterdam, and after Amsterdam we are going to Krakow in Poland, and Poland we're taking two trains to get the border, and after that we are coming to Ukraine. Wow, and so as you've had a chance to... You've gone and visited a lot of churches in America since you've been here? Yes, we've been here for a couple of days, and now we're going to go back home. Yes, we've been here for a couple of days, and now we're going to go back home, and then we're going to interview.
It's not a lot of churches because we are here only for one month, but still we had a lot of different meetings, breakfast with sharing gospel, or teaching bible study, it was just awesome time for us. It was, and do you feel like you've got what you came for, so to speak, that you feel like you've got, in other words, when you came over for this trip, maybe you can kind of tell our listeners what you were hoping to accomplish? Our expectations.
Yeah. Do you feel like you've been here for a couple of months, and now you've gone back home? Yes, we have been here for a couple of months, and now we've got a lot of different meetings, and we've been here for a couple of months, and now we're going to meet some of our friends in Ukraine.
For sure we had some expectations, but we received even more. We had rest, mental arrest, emotional arrest, we're not hearing air defense alarm here, but also we had a lot of good meetings, we met good people which promised us that they will pray about us, and we had opportunity to share the truth about Ukraine and to remind about our country that we still need your prayers and your support. Right, and it's really, really encouraging, you know, to me to see, you know, you guys get a chance to share what's really going on, and the story, and, you know, I've seen you on several interviews here at the NRB, so I know you've been on lots of different radio shows and TV shows and all those things that God's opened the door for, but as we just have a couple of minutes left, I'm, you know, what would you guys put on our hearts to be praying for, you mentioned several things, but maybe there's something else that God would have us be praying for, Ukraine, for your ministries. We ask you to pray about the victory because we have these grateful hearts for all Americans who is praying about us, and we thank you for all kind of supports to churches and organizations, even to governments which has provided us with the equipment, but we still ask you to continue prayer about the victory. Thank you so much, Anya. Alex, Scott, what an honor it is to have you guys here on the Land of Rescue today. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 12:25:09 / 2023-06-03 12:33:46 / 9