Chernihiv (Chernigov) Brethren pastor returns to city, finds meetinghouse miraculously undamaged

The following is an update from the Chernihiv (Chernigov) Brethren in Ukraine and their pastor Alex Zazhytko and his family, provided by Keith Funk, pastor of Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren. Funk has been a key Church of the Brethren contact for the Chernihiv (Chernigov) Brethren:

“Last week Alex and I had opportunity to Facetime, something we had not done in several weeks. He and his family are back at their home in Chernihiv (Chernigov). I was able to extend greetings to all the family…. The family is doing well, particularly in light of the circumstances.

“At this time, utilities and services have been restored to some degree in Chernihiv. Some stores are open and humanitarian aid is getting through. Alex and his family have been blessed by prayers and giving, and he and his family continue to help in distribution of food and ministering to the needs of their neighbors and city residents.

“Alex is asking for continued prayer as Russia continues to press the war. One concern is that Russia is gathering troops at the northern border, which may mean another incursion into Ukraine from that location. This could directly involve Chernihiv again. Alex said, ‘Keith, we don’t want to flee again. If we have to, we will. But we are hoping not to.’

A pre-war photo of pastor Alexander Zazhytko and his wife, Tonia, in their church house. Courtesy of Keith Funk

“The Zazhytko home was not damaged and the same can be said for their congregation’s meetinghouse. This is stunning in light of 70 percent of Chernihiv having been leveled by missile attack and bombing

“To this point, many of the members of the congregation have not returned to Chernihiv. The hope is that they can and will at some point. Many answers and much work remains. Of course, much of the process of restoration will necessarily be determined only upon the war’s end. May we continue to pray for the end of this conflict.”

— Keith Funk is pastor of Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren.


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