Bearing Fruit in Ukraine


You might remember hearing about Pastor Maxim Dzhum (’13) from Ukraine. A team from Bethel Church in Indiana served with him in the poor Roma villages of Berezivka and Poplavka outside Odessa in 2019. Through all the challenges of the pandemic, Maxim has persevered in his ministry to the Roma people in these villages, who are usually forgotten or despised by Ukrainian society. And God is blessing him with fruit!

When the Bethel team visited Poplavka in 2019 there was only one believer in the village, and she had been led to Christ by Maxim. Now, there is a small group of believers meeting, and the daughter of the village baron (leader) recently received Christ and was baptized! The Gospel is spreading!

In Berezivka, the team worked with some of the villagers to lay the foundation for an additional room to the building Maxim was using as his ministry hub. Maxim had only recently started his work in the village, and there remained much work to be done.

Today, that small building is the village church! In fact, a Roma missionary family has recently moved in across the street from the church from another city specifically to minister in this village. Volodymyr and his family were from a Roma church meeting in Kharkiv, which is pastored by another Global Action graduate. When they heard about Maxim’s ministry in Berezivka, they chose to leave their home to come live in this impoverished village so they could minister on a daily basis. Their living conditions are extremely rough, but they have chosen to live in obedience to God’s calling.

Next year, we plan to offer our Foundations program in the nearby city of Odessa so that Roma leaders from these and other villages may have the opportunity to receive training that would never be available to them elsewhere. These Roma leaders have the capacity to transform their communities from the inside out. Please join us in praying that God would raise up more Roma missionaries like Volodymyr from among these leaders!

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