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'We Are the Church... We Do Not Run from War': Ukrainian Christians Standing Strong for the Gospel

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KYIV, Ukraine - Here on the frontlines of Ukraine, the church is standing strong. In at least one case, it just happens to physically stand right between Kyiv and the Russian army.

But Pastor Andrei Martinov of Grace Generation church isn't nervous. He laughs, "No! No. No. We just pray."
Within hours of Russia's invasion, this prominent evangelical church in Kyiv started holding prayer services every four hours.
"We received a revelation from God that we are to pray, and the more the church is praying, it destroys the enemy and destructs their ability to shoot at Ukrainian territories, civilian targets, and our Ukrainian military," Pastor Andrei said.
He firmly believes God is answering those prayers as Ukraine's military fights to rebuff Russian forces.
"Ukraine will not be conquered by Russia, with God's help, Ukraine will overcome Russia," he said.
Yet, you cannot underestimate just how precarious the church sits geographically. On the western edge of Kyiv, Grace Generation is 6 miles away from Russian forces at this point. 
"Of course, we are in regular communication with the Ukrainian military, and if there's any immediate danger, we will inform our people. But we are the church, we stay here, we do not run from war," he said.

Nearby explosions are a daily occurrence as CBN News discovered while working in the church's parking lot.
Yet, explosions do little to deter an army of volunteers, like Natalie Novikova, who've been coming to the church every day since war started to sort, pack, and gather relief supplies. 
"Even though we hear the explosions, and sometimes they are very close, we just continue doing our ministry to help those who are in deeper need than we are- and that's why I'm not scared at all," Natalie said.
Even 11-year-old Elizabeth is here pitching in. "I feel good because I know that I'm doing something very important," she said.
The church has so far helped 60,000 people since Russia's invasion, and they tell CBN News this humanitarian effort is going to continue for as long as it takes. In the meantime, their focus is on Russia and they are praying for a major spiritual breakthrough.

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Pastor Oleg Bogomaz said, "I believe the end goal of this war will be the fall of Putinism, Stalinism, Communism, and all the other ideas and ideologies which Russian mentality was built on."

Pastor Oleg is urging Christians worldwide to not only pray for his nation, but also for Russia as they endure unprecedented political and economic upheaval. "This is my prayer, 'God, if you could save Nineveh, please save Russia as well'," he said.
Pastor Andrei believes the war will somehow bring a spiritual breakthrough in Russia, leading to greater religious freedom. "The word of Jesus Christ will be freely preached in Russia, I firmly believe this, and that time will come. Mark my word, you'll see it," he said.

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About The Author

Thomas *

Reportero senior de CBN News George Thomas es corresponsal internacional senior y co-presentador de noticias de CBN News. Desde 1996, ha reportado desde más de 85 países abordando una amplia gama de historias internacionales. Desde escenas del conflicto en Oriente Medio, África y el Sudeste Asiático hasta terremotos y tsunamis en China, Japón, Taiwán, Chile, Haití, Indonesia y Sri Lanka, Thomas ha tenido un asiento de primera fila en numerosos eventos mundiales de nuestros días. Después de los ataques terroristas del 9-11 contra los Estados Unidos, Thomas tuvo varias giras de reportajes en