From the Football Field to the Battlefield

fballWhen Artyom Kondrashov took on the role of Football League Coordinator for Youth for Christ in Ukraine, he never imagined he would end up becoming a chaplain for the military, but that is exactly what has happened. Where he once urged friends and supporters to pray for the ministry of the Football (soccer) Club, he is now urging them to pray for the guys from the League, who are fighting in Eastern Ukraine.

He writes, “I am on the phone with the guys regularly. We talk about life. It is scary to hear the guys say in every conversation that they do not know what will happen to them even one hour after the call. Our prayers often go with tears…“.

As a chaplain, Artyom is praying with “his boys” on the phone, sending them daily text messages with Bible verses. He is thankful for the meetings he had with them in Kiev before the conflict, during which he was able to sow the Word of God into them. At the beginning of the hostilities, Artyom called the guys with the offer to pray and they agreed. But now, he says the guys call him with requests for prayer! Even more, now they are joined by their military colleagues.

Young Philip, who is serving in a very dangerous combat sector of hostilities, says that in the most difficult moments he reads Artyom’s text messages with Bible verses, and that they are very encouraging to him and give him hope. For Artyom, it is a great testimony “of how the Word of God is acting in the hearts of our guys.”

Artyom asked the children at a Christian camp to write down Bible verses in some nice cards that they sent to the soldiers in the Ukrainian military.

Stories are coming back regularly from soldiers sharing how God is ministering to and protecting them. One came back exhausted after a hard day and went to bed very tired. The place they used for sleeping had always been very safe before. Somehow one guy could not sleep, and he got up and sat looking at the sky. After awhile, he saw huge missiles flying in the direction of their place. In no time, he woke everybody up and all the guys jumped in the trenches. The young man from the football league covered his head with a bulletproof jacket. When the firing ceased, he saw that the bulletproof jacket was completely beaten by shrapnel – to him, indubitable evidence of God’s protection.

Regular evangelistic meetings continue for those back at home in the Football League.

Please pray for these young men in the Ukraine, who are now very open to prayer and to God’s Word, that they will open their hearts to Jesus, and that God will continue to protect and minister to them.