We Need a Message of Hope | Ukraine
We caught up with Kseniya Bondarenko about the use of Life Explored in Ukraine.
The message of hope is so needed now in Ukraine more than ever before.
Ukraine has been affected by COVID-19 in a similar way to the UK. Many people live in tall apartment buildings which means the virus spreads very quickly. There were some churches who were prepared but a lot of churches did not have the facilities to move their services online.
The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in years with devastating consequences for a lot of the community. According to a UN assessment presented on the 18th September, it found that 84% of households have lost income and 43% have at least one family member who has lost a job. Lots of people are asking questions like, "how am I going to provide for my family?" Many young people were working towards their future profession but now it is seeming impossible for them to get there.
Kseniya said, ’it was impossible for us to do Life Explored online during the summer because of the church’s lack of equipment.’ The team in Ukraine had planned to do an official launch of Life Explored in March this year but it had to be cancelled. So, they decided instead to work on the Russian translation which is now complete.
The next steps for the team are to run the course online. Their main target is the new generation. Kseniya said, “we are working on starting ten online courses in ten regions of Ukraine in December as a follow-up program for the National Online English course. Our ministry partners from Michael Gott International had over 1700 students, and we will invite them and their families to join the online Life Explored course before Christmas.”
The main idea for the Ukrainian team “is to find those who are searching. […] When I first looked the Life Explored course, I immediately realised that this is what our core programmes will need as a follow up because it is very clear in answering the questions like ‘who do you worship’.”
In Kremenchuk, an industrial city in central Ukraine, some churches were able to run the course in person, not just online. Kseniya told us of one story where Life Explored was used: “our friend Lena, for almost a decade, has ministered to orphan graduates. The course helped orphan graduates who didn’t know God, to know more about Him and to know Him. Each lesson was easy to prepare, the videos helped to reveal the topic, the handbooks helped to consolidate and follow with what you heard. The sequence of meetings motivated the girls to come week after week and not miss the new session.”
To conclude our interview, Kseniya summarised, “we didn’t know that 2020 would be something like it is, but what a joy to move forward with the tools that can bring hope and light to every corner of our country.”