How Bread Became Engrained in Ukrainian Christian Life

In the breadbasket of Europe, ministries bring loaves for hungry bodies and spiritual nourishment for the soul.

For Ukraine, Europe, bread is a way of life. Ukraine’s flag—now displayed around the world in solidarity—proclaims the nation’s agricultural heritage, with the yellow representing wheat fields and the blue representing the sky above.

“Bread is very important in our culture, but Jesus has said that we do not live by bread alone,” said pastor Fedir Raychynets, the head of the theology department at Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary (UETS). “There is something invisible, something intangible, something that is beyond just physical bread.”

As the war continues, pastors and churches across Ukraine are working to bring people both the bread they need to feed their bodies and the bread they need for their souls.

Inspired by the line in Isaiah 58:7 about sharing bread with the hungry and housing the poor, BREADtrust is one of several ministries helping get loaves into the hands of Ukrainians.

The UK-based charity funds local pastors who have remained in the country to continue to serve. They’re able to purchase bread, other food, and supplies for neighbors in need.

“There are those that feel deeply committed and called to where they are,” said BREADtrust project coordinator Phil Downward. One pastor and his family stayed until their apartment building was bombed and they had no choice but to leave. “That takes a level of faithfulness and courage that is utterly remarkable.”

Some ministries continue to bake the bread they distribute. In the days after the war broke out, a Dutch outreach through Oekraïne Zending, located outside Kyiv in Brovary, wanted to rally enough bakers to continue baking bread 24/7. They pass out loaves to hospitals and the …

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