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World News

Volunteer chaplains killed while ministering on the front line in Ukraine

by Alex Collett

Military Ministries International (MMI) have told Premier that volunteer chaplains have been killed during the war in Ukraine. 

MMI have been hosting daily prayer meetings for Ukraine since the war began and receive regular updates of the atrocities. 

The charity's mission is to support military Christians in the armed forces around the world, including forces on the front line within Ukraine.

Major General Roddy Porter, chief executive of MMIl told Premier, a volunteer chaplain has been reporting back to MMI from the Donbas region: "Vasily's been ministering to troops on the front line in the Donbass region since 2014.

"He's been going off ministering to troops on the front line. He's had colleagues, fellow volunteer chaplains, who have been killed in this crisis, and we've mourned for them. 

"We pray for their widows and they've been able to update us on just how ghastly it is on the ground."

Major General Porter explained how difficult it has been for Vasily: "Since this original crisis started, he has been sharing the gospel, giving out Bibles and food and clothing

"He is based in Kyiv and he had a badly damaged leg at the time the war started, so he couldn't get out of his flat to get down to the bomb shelters. So he joined us nicely on Zoom sitting in his bathroom, which was the only room in his flat, which didn't have any glass. 

"So for if a Russian rocket or shell was to land nearby, he wouldn't get showered in glass. So he and his wife were so sitting in their bathroom, updating us on the war and she was looking out to the window on occasion seeing rockets land on neighbouring tower blocks."

Within the MMI prayer network, Major General Porter said over 32 zoom stations were started across many countries including UK, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Finland, France, America, Moldova, and Ukraine itself. 

He expressed God has been moving in powerful ways across Ukraine: "The extraordinary thing we have seen very considerable answers to prayer, as a result of the praying and it just encourages us to pray on. 

"For example, we prayed that the invading column that was advancing on Kyiv early on in the world would be turned around. 

"We saw the extraordinary events as it was. We've also prayed that Russian ammunitions would not initiate in their barrels or that they wouldn't impact when they hit the ground and there were reports that up to 60 per cent of Russian ammunitions were not functioning properly."

"We have taken so much inspiration from Psalms, a Psalm will lead our prayer, David talks in particular about the Lord being our defender, the one who gives us victory over our enemies. 

"We have been praying for a Ukrainian breakthrough although we haven't been praying for Ukrainian victory. 

"The reason we haven't been doing that is but what does victory look like? We don't really know. We don't want to superimpose the thoughts of man on what we believe God is doing."

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