The next generation in the Ukraine is desperate for Christ’s healing and power to make a difference in their lives and their nation.
“Nicky! Nicky! Pray for me!”
We had just finished a huge crusade in Chernivtsi, western Ukraine near the Moldova and Romania borders. As the altar call ended and the crowd was being dismissed, a desperate, heavily accented voice cried out to me from the edge of the stage.
I looked down and saw the intense eyes of a young man looking up at me, pleading for me to notice, his arms outstretched towards me. “Please. Please. I am young. Please Nicky! Can God use me? Pray for me.”
Calling the Lost and Broken
This young man was one of the 12,000 Baptists, Pentecostals and Orthodox who had completely packed a stadium. So many broken young men had flooded the altar at the final call, asking for salvation, repentance and the Spirit of God to fill them. It was one of the largest responses to the gospel in this region in recent memory, according to local pastors.
This young man crying out to me was one of hundreds. I could barely hear him over the sound of the 500-voice choir accompanied by a full orchestra.
It was as if the cry of a generation was summed up in the desperation of this precious soul. Does God love me? Is Jesus real? Can it be true that he can forgive me and give my life meaning?
As I bent down, this young man grabbed my hand with both of his, trembling, his eyes searching mine. With my interpreter, I prayed over him, assuring him that Jesus is real and loves him and that God knows him and wants to use him to reach his generation and his nation.
As he bowed his head, I couldn’t help but be grateful for yet one more experience like this, seeing the Holy Spirit call and heal and anoint a lost and broken generation.
In Spite of Hardship and Loss
The Ukraine has been in the news for the past several years because of the Russian invasion in the eastern part of the country. Ukrainians have lost their homes or been forced to flee their hometowns. Others have left ahead of the encroaching line of conflict, fearing for the safety of their children.
We met with city officials from the Chernivtsi region who told us that there are around three million internally displaced refugees who escaped the violence in the Crimea and Donetsk regions and that 11,000 people lost their lives during the fighting.
In spite of the troubles and hardship, believers in the Ukraine continue to trust God and are seeking Jesus to help reach their fellow citizens with the gospel.