A New Way to Pray for the Refugee Crisis in the Ukraine
October 28, 2022
This year we’ve watched the escalating crisis in the Ukraine on the news and we’ve prayed, we’ve rallied, we’ve cried at the images, and we’ve cheered the courage and faithfulness of those who stand for God, no matter which side they’re on. Most of all, we’ve wanted to do something to help the people in crisis but didn’t know how. Now, thanks to some unusual information, we have a prayer path forward.
THRU the BIBLE has aired on the radio in Ukraine since 1992. We have faithful brothers and sisters on the Bible Bus there and also in Russia (on the air since 1976). During this crisis, we’ve heard stories from our partners on the ground of how workers have risked their lives and slept in the studios in order to make sure God’s Word continued to go out on the radio for as long as possible (and the radio towers stood).
In this crisis, we’ve learned how God is making a way for His people to carry His Word and THRU the BIBLE with them as they ran for safety, exiting their home country as refugees of war. This news is coming from a quiet and growing source—one that you might this moment have in your pocket.
Question: Have you downloaded THRU the BIBLE’s new app yet? Today, we’re taking this same app you have in English and making it available in other languages. When the crisis hit in eastern Europe this year, we escalated the release of the Ukrainian-TTB app. And it has told a great story of its own. This is what we’re learning based on the metrics of where people are when they are listening:
Even while their cities are being attacked, people are on the Bible Bus in Ukraine. The largest percentage of listeners (54%) are still in country, with the majority in Kiev, the focal point of the conflict. In addition, many are listening to THRU the BIBLE in Lviv, the refugee hub for those hoping to escape westward and in Dnipro, which is a military target. [Note: Even today as this is being written, rocket attacks are being reported in Dnipro.]
As Ukrainians leave their country, they carry their THRU the BIBLE app with them on their phones. With limited flights out of the country, refugees are traveling to neighboring countries in Europe by car, bus, train, or on foot. More than 30% of those listening on THRU the BIBLE’s app are in Croatia. But the Ukrainian language app is also being listened to in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Belarus. Ukrainian listeners are also as far away as Guam, the United States, and Canada.
The Russian-TTB app has also seen a large increase in downloads and listens. Our tech ministry partner comments, “God's Word transcends even the most stark political contrasts of this war.”
Helpful data also tells us that Ukrainian listeners are tuning in faithfully, daily, and listening to the full study. Even in, or perhaps especially in, dangerous situations, God’s Word remains our refuge.
Here’s how to pray:
- Pray the Ukrainian refugees who are now living outside their country are comforted, encouraged, and strengthened by God’s Word and THRU the BIBLE studies on the new app.
- Pray for the many human, technical, and political hurdles to be overcome in releasing the apps in various languages. We have a path forward, but it needs prayer support to pave the way.
- Pray for the many human connections to work together to see God’s Word go far and wide—even, or especially, in this refugee crisis. This begins with you, praying for these efforts, and includes on the ground radio partners and technical partners all working to combine radio efforts with digital efforts to get God’s Word to anyone who will listen.
- Pray for THRU the BIBLE to be wise with the many new ways we’re telling you about to distribute Dr. McGee’s studies in keeping with our mission with you to take the whole Word to the whole world.