The Ukrainian Needed Prayer. The Russian Volunteered.

How two Christian friends, divided by borders but united by their passion for evangelism, brought a prayer meeting to tears as war raged.

The following dialogue is a retelling of an emergency global prayer meeting held by Lausanne Europe on Thursday:

Angela Tkachenko:

My mother entered my room in the middle of the night. “The war has started.”

I live in Sumy, a Ukrainian city of about 250,000 people that sits near the Russian border. One week ago, my husband insisted that I take our kids and my mother and evacuate. While we made it to the United States, he stayed behind.

I immediately began panicking on Thursday. What was happening in Sumy? Where was my husband? Was he safe? When I finally got ahold of him, he told me he had woken up to the sounds of bombs. He was now snarled in traffic as he tried to drive out of the city. I scrolled through pictures on my phone of long gas station lines and people sleeping in metro stations, and read the government announcement banning men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Will I see my husband again? When? My 93-year-old grandma is alone… my team… my friends… our house….

I struggled to make it through the day. In the afternoon I joined an international prayer call organized by the Lausanne Movement in light of the invasion. When the host asked how I was doing, I cried. I was angry. I felt betrayed, broken, and stepped on by Russia. I told everyone I was scared for my husband and for my friends in Kyiv praying at that moment about whether they should evacuate.

Then the host asked if someone could pray for me. My friend Alexey volunteered. My Russian friend, Alexey.

Alexey Shabinskiy:

I woke up Thursday morning startled to learn that my country had invaded Ukraine. I was in Moscow for a ministry trip, more than 2,000 miles away from my family in Novosibirsk, Siberia. It …

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