The OTHER Ukraine Story:
A Harbinger of Hope
for an American CHRIST Awakening
The press is reporting only one aspect of the Ukrainian war, focusing on the struggle, suffering, and sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in the midst of a brutal and bloody invasion by Russian aggressors.
Thus, we read statements like this from a USA soldier at the frontlines (quoted by NBC news a couple days ago): “Relentless Russian bombings were ‘the closest thing I’ve ever seen to hell,’ an American who served several tours of the Middle East said.”
But there is another story unfolding behind the headlines. And it is glorious!
And that’s why it should increase our expectations for a God-given Christ Awakening in our own nation.
In this brief report, I want to share with you the extraordinary spiritual revolution taking place in Ukraine at this very moment.
The fact is that for many weeks now, we have been witnessing an extraordinary spiritual explosion taking place in many parts of Ukraine. I’ve been receiving daily reports of what’s unfolding, joining in prayer with my friends in Ukraine that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will only intensify there in the coming days.
This may be HOW the war in Ukraine is ultimately won—by spiritual weapons. Actually, this may be WHY God is allowing the war to continue—as traumatic as it is for everyone—because it is driving many to Christ for the first time and believers into a much deeper walk with Christ.
Among people who are primarily Ukrainian Orthodox in their Christian traditions, there is a genuine Christ Awakening breaking upon them.
Here’s just one report from my dear friend Rich Correll, founder of Church Planters Training International. He has been serving Christ among Ukrainian Christians for twenty-five years. Every day since the war began, Rich has sent updates on the remarkable ways Christ’s kingdom is advancing, despite all the bloodshed.
He signs off each day’s overview with “CHRIST IS ALL.” For Rich, not only does that phrase mark the passion of his life, but it also defines the direction of the awakening that’s taking hold among thousands there. For more and more Ukrainians, Christ is becoming their “all”—all they need, all they want, all they have. And that phenomenon grows daily.
Just from this week, here’s one of his reports:
It is truly our high honor to be able to come alongside our incredible partners who are ministering in the center of this suffering-inspired spiritual awakening to Christ.
Yesterday and today, we were able to Zoom with three partners. Every conversation was very similar: Numbers of refugee housing projects are well underway, as is the bakery project to supply food.
In all the activity, many are coming to Christ daily—and receptivity to the gospel seems to be increasing as our humanitarian work faithfully continues. Honestly, we are seeing a direct connection to the making of disciples through building personal relations and investing in practical services.
The churches are packed out every time believers gather—which has never happened like this before. Already there are many being prepared for baptism.
In fact, nine new churches I know of are being formed right now with recently converted Ukrainian disciples—five churches in Ukraine plus four in Germany!
Each of the leaders I talked with expressed the need for prayers so that the movement toward Christ might continue and spread—praying especially that the Russian forces in the East would be stopped and that Belarus’s army would not attack from the north.
Of course, fear is a daily companion, even as the awakening grows, which makes this miracle all the more amazing!
Based on their faithfulness to execute their ministries and their can-do attitudes in the face of such challenges, I am asking four of our Ukrainian partners to send us a list of the next projects we need to launch in order to expand their gospel work beyond what they are currently doing. What vision they have for the glory of Jesus!
Finally, let me share with you one outcome that was unexpected. It’s the way this awakening among Ukrainians is actually pushing both German and Polish churches to wake up to Christ and get moving as missional churches themselves.
Do you see why this one report gives HOPE to the multitude of us believers across this country who have been praying for an American CHRIST Awakening for many years?
In addition, the scriptures are clear: We read that “God is no respecter of persons.” This means what he has done and is doing for others to advance Christ’s kingdom, he is willing, able, and ready to do for any of us.
What he’s doing in Ukraine, in other words, is a “harbinger of hope” for all of us who are seeking a similar Christ-exalting revival in our own land. Therefore, we must not stop praying about, preparing for, and promoting the kind of vision toward which everything at CHRISTNOW.COM is focused day after day.
In fact, what Ukraine is beginning to experience is simply a replication of what God did in Thessalonica in the first century—and what he has done innumerable times since. The Jesus-driven transformation that took place in that ancient city embodies his promise to Jesus followers in America today. Consider Paul’s observations of this work of grace only six months after the gospel came to that city, recorded in 1 Thessalonians 1 (emphasis added):
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope—all of this in response to our Lord Jesus Christ . . .
The good news about God’s Son came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction . . . So, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit—even in the midst of severe suffering.
As a result, you became a model to all the believers . . . The Lord’s message rang out from you . . . your faith in God has become known everywhere.
This is the drama unfolding in Ukraine. This is the hope that lies before God’s people in America.
To this revolution, we must give ourselves heart and soul.
The Father is ready to act.
Find out more about a “Christ Awakening” HERE.
Learn about our current “Nationwide Campaign for an American CHRIST Awakening” HERE.
About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ Awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.