By Mission Network staff
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Odesa Theological Seminary (OTS), a Baptist affiliated seminary in Odesa, Ukraine, is an education partner of Mennonite Mission Network. On Thursday, Feb. 24, Oleksandr Geychenko, president of OTS, sent an email to partners and supporters confirming that "at the moment, Odesa is safe," though blasts could be heard from afar.

"Thank God, all the employees and remaining students are safe," he wrote, and confirmed that classes would continue online.

"Please keep us in your prayers. We do need them," he concluded. "Trust the Lord and keep walking His way."

Mary Raber served as a long-term worker with Mission Network in Ukraine from 2009-2021, and was a professor at OTS. Below, she gives prayer requests that reflect concern for the seminary, the students, the people of Ukraine and the broader context of the armed invasion. May these prayers draw us to unity and a vision of peace that takes into account all people. 

Five Prayer Suggestions for Ukraine

  •  Pray that God would be glorified through the faithful witness of Christians in a terrible time of suffering. Churches have already been preparing for weeks to shelter and feed their neighbors. Pray that they would be free from fear and filled with strength to live out their mission of service.

  • Pray for safety as people flee the conflict. Remember those who cannot leave: the elderly, the ill, the disabled, and orphaned children. Give thanks for the helpers who are bringing order and calm out of chaos.

  • Sometimes close relatives and friends separated by the border between Russia and Ukraine are watching different news media and drawing completely different conclusions as events unfold. Pray that love would overcome their divisions. 

  • Pray for Christians in the military or in civil defense units who are facing hard decisions. Remember the chaplains of different religions who are serving the troops.

  • Odesa Theological Seminary, a Mission Network partner since 2009, has gone online; all resident students and some faculty and staff have left the campus. Pray that somehow studies will continue and that, wherever they may be, Odesa students and personnel would be faithful to their calling. Pray for the future of the seminary—what work of healing and reconciliation might God have in mind for OTS?

 

 

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