Viktor and Olga Moskovenko and their 4 daughters live in southeast Ukraine in the city of Ordjonikidze where Victor is pastor of House of Prayer Baptist Church. Our first contact with them was with Richard Proctor, a Russian-Speaker in City Church Worcester, who met them whilst travelling as an interpreter with a UK based charity. He felt as though God was in the ‘connection’ and prompted us to build on that first contact. That was about 16 years ago – the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the intervening years numerous teams have visited – helping with summer camps, leadership training, conferences etc. – and Victor and his family have visited us. He has often attended Salt and Light leadership conferences, and in recent years he has been able to bring with him various church leaders with whom he is working in Ukraine.
Life in Ukraine is not easy. Corruption is rift and everyone in an official position expects a bribe. If you are unwilling to ‘grease the wheels’ they can be obstructive. Trying to get anything done, even as simple as acquiring a passport, can be immensely frustrating!
Since independence the cost of living has risen dramatically, as has unemployment. There is real poverty. There is also an emerging, IT-savvy generation who are leaving the nation in droves, in the hope of sharing the prosperity of the west. This is, of course, a disaster for the nation, and also for the church – as fast as Victor trains younger leaders, they move.
Despite the many problems, Viktor and Olga love their nation. They believe that the church if Jesus Christ is the hope of the nation, and they are passionate to see disciples won and churches grow. Locally, they have planted several churches and a rehab centre, all of which Viktor oversees. Regionally Viktor has become something of a catalyst in drawing together a number of like-minded pastors who meet together every month or so for prayer, mutual encouragement and strategic planning.
Church Teams visit Ukraine at least once a year so maybe this could be your first taste of mission? This is a fantastic place to visit.
Contact Tim and Claire Dobson: 07734526646