When Bill Arvan invited Dr. Alan Tims and his wife, Elna, to “Come and see what God is doing,” this pair did a quick review of Ukraine’s history. Stalin’s tragic War had robbed Ukraine of its national identity, its language, and an estimated 3 to 8 million people, who died from starvation.
Recent events have resulted in further loss of land and lives, and made refugees of more than 2 million citizens. This hit to their economy and morale has left them with a vulnerable population.
After meeting Ukrainian believers, Elna said, “We were so impressed with their passion. They were not focusing on themselves, but on their deep desire to evangelize, not only in the former Soviet Union, but also in far-flung places like Ecuador and New Guinea.”
Though Ukrainians resented being forced to speak Russian early in the 20th Century, Alan observed that their ability to do so now enables them to move more freely throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union.
One of the highlights of their trip was the opportunity to attend graduation ceremonies at Kremenchug Bible College and Seminary, where 51 graduates received diplomas in ministry: including preaching, worship, family counseling, and library science.
Bill Arvan delivered a stirring graduation address, and when the librarian graduates were presented with gift bags of books from READ Ministries, Alan said, “We saw how they valued these resources, and it was as though they had been given gold bullion.”
With their new books and counseling training, these librarians are eager to practice “Spiritual Pharmacy.”
Alan says “What READ is doing makes so much sense! People talk about ROI: Return on Investment. This is it! READ is equipping passionate Ukrainians who already speak Russian and have easy access to borders of countries the rest of us can’t enter.”
His advice to others is to Give and Pray!