Stories Of Impact

Helping Pastors and Displaced People in Ukraine Live God’s Word

Pastor Yan and Church

Walk Thru the Bible is helping pastors and displaced people in Ukraine live God’s Word.

Yan is a young pastor from a small town in Ukraine.

In 2016, he planted a church for people who were recovering from addictions—drugs and alcohol—as well as people recently released from prison. As Yan and the church members ministered to them, and as God worked in their lives, one after another the people found true freedom in God and became Jesus-followers.

Pastor Yan and Church
Pastor Yan (bottom left) and his first church members

The church began to grow—in addition to the prison and rehabilitation ministry, the church started new ministry offerings to students, children, and families.

Then God expanded Pastor Yan’s ministry even more.


When the war started in Ukraine, millions of internal refugees and displaced Ukrainians moved from war-torn areas to safer parts of the country. At least 4,000 refugees came to the small town where Pastor Yan lives. “Their eyes were visibly filled with feelings of loss and loneliness,” says Pastor Yan. “There is so much pain and despair. There are so many stories of personal tragedy.”

He and his church began a new type of ministry for the refugees and the displaced. While they gave out food, clothing, hygiene products, temporary shelter, and more, Pastor Yan said, “There was no humanitarian aid that could meet the needs of people’s souls—they needed comfort, compassion, and hope.”

So every time they gave out food or clothing or supplies, they talked with people about where to find true Hope. And in the right moment, Pastor Yan and his church found Walk Thru the Bible’s Biblical Character Series course, Refuge: Finding Home in a World of Change, based on the life of Ruth.

“From Walk Thru the Bible, we received clear and simple Bible teaching on the story of Ruth. Ruth and Naomi were also displaced people,” he says, “but they found hope, they found home, and they found their true Home. This teaching was just what we needed, and more importantly, what the people we served needed at just the right time,” he says.

Later, when the refugees were asked, “Who helped you go through these difficult times?” a majority of them answered that “there is no other structure who helped them survive and who revitalized their hope as the church did,” says Pastor Yan.

“We were overwhelmed by this response. We couldn’t believe that these suffering people see us as a Boaz from the book of Ruth,” he says. “We quickly realized that God is writing new redemption stories in this terrible reality, both in us and through us.”

Yan suffered his own very personal tragedy during this time—his baby passed away from a heart defect. He says, “Please know that the story of Naomi and Ruth comfort not just our refugees, but it also comforts me and my wife. Refuge speaks to us and gives us hope and a vision of the future.”

God is making Himself known around the world through the work and ministry of Walk Thru the Bible—even in the middle of a warzone, even in the middle of unspeakable tragedies. “The story is still being written, and there is hope,” says Pastor Yan. “As the song says, ‘There’s no story You can’t redeem.’ “

Will you consider a gift to reach people around the world with the hope and truth of God’s Word? As we know, when people engage with Scripture, everything changes.

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Find out more about our small group Bible study Refuge: Finding Home in a World of Change.

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