YWAM Kyiv:
As YWAM Kyiv, daily we are doing our best to keep you updated on what
our team is doing on the ground in Kyiv. Many are praying and giving to
support this work, and we want to be accountable and also encourage our
prayer warriors with specific needs.
However, what you may not know is that we also have YWAM Kyiv staff
who have travelled to different parts of Ukraine to be safe (as well as others
who have travelled outside the country).
We have a group of staff who are in Ternopil, Ukraine. They are helping
with transferring refugees out of Ukraine, and also getting supplies from
outside of the country into Ukraine and to our team in Kyiv. We also have a
family in Khmelnytski working hard to help refugees.
So as you pray for YWAM Kyiv and our team. Please also pray for the staff
who are away from their homes in Kyiv. They are missing their homes, they
don’t have much of their things, and they are doing everything they can to
help. Please pray for their safety and their energy as well. It is hard to live
in a country that is being attacked night after night by an aggressor, never
sure if the night will be safe, and then to serve others all day long. Your
prayers mean so much! You have been holding up their hands by your
prayers, and they still have the joy of serving the Lord and others. Thank

Sergei, Kyiv:
I used to love to be in church:
Smile, clap and dance.
But the last 25 days I have forgotten how to do it.
I just lost that ability.
I hope when the war is over
I will smile again, clap and dance.
I pray for my Ukraine .
And for every Ukrainian.
Lots of questions to heaven.
But at the same time, I fully trust in Him!!!

Welcome Churches
Join the Ukraine Welcomer Training to learn about #Ukrainian culture, good practice in welcoming newly arriving
#refugees, trauma awareness, and to learn how your church can warmly welcome Ukrainians.
24 March – Ukraine Welcomer Training Registration
28 March – Ukraine Welcomer Training Registration

Thank you for praying,
Al Akimoff and Slavic Ministries Team

Reflections from a border worker:

Taby: It’s Saturday night and we finished work a couple of hours ago. I am
thinking about this week and everything that happened: all the people that
come, all the shopping, all the moments when I wanted to cry, but didn’t
had the time or space to do it… I cry in between food delivery sometimes
One of those moments was while driving to the train station and saying
goodbye to this amazing family (a mother and her three children). They
were among the first people who arrived in Cluj, and even if we could not
understand each other, we connected from the first night. My heart was
touched every time I will go to bring them food: they were so grateful and
so happy for every little thing they will receive. I was hugged every time I
entered into their apartment, I was always invited for a cup of tea!
I was touched when I wanted to give them some clothes and they said that
they have everything they need (they only had a small backpack for the 4
of them). I was touched by the fact that they never asked for anything,
although they did not have much!
They will always be in my heart and I pray they will find peace and a home
in the new country where they are!
Report from the front:
This is why prayers work! This Russian soldier surrendered. What did the
Ukrainians do? They gave him food, hot tea and then a cell phone so he
could call his mother back in Russia to tell her he was alive, that he loved
her, and was being cared for by peace loving men and women!
Request from our staff: Rosen
Please pray for Mariupol right now. Ukrainians need a miracle from God to
continue to withstand attacks from the enemy. Please pass this prayer
request on. It is evening in Ukraine and will soon be night. Those who are
awake on this side of the world please continue to pray throughout the day
as God would lead.
Do not get weary in praying, thousands of Christians working around the clock in
the country and along the borders are so dependent upon them.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Lessons learned in war: a Ywam couple choosing to stay in Kyiv

Life goes on. I can’t believe it will soon be one month after the war started. We are both doing very well. We laugh a lot; we mess with each other a lot; we truly celebrate life. First-year of marriage went fast, and I should say it went well. We were busy but always happy. One thing we learned in the last 20 some days of the war is that Life is a gift; you can not take it for granted. We take it for granted and try to hoard stuff and build our own empires.

It is a natural human tendency to hoard. But in the face of war, hoarding makes no sense when you do not know what tomorrow holds. So, we started applying that truth in a very tangible way. I started using my favourite perfume my mother in law gifted. I ate all the German goodies; now we use all the special Indian spices, wear our best clothes, and listen to our favourite songs. We hoard nothing except for some canned foods if Putin goes Chemical crazy.

It took a war for us to live out what Jesus asked us to do each and every one of us on a daily basis – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. DO NOT HOARD.

YWAM Europe Member Care Resource & Training Facebook Page

Are you receiving refugees from Ukraine? Want to know how to care for the children?

Although it’s already started, you can still join in the last half of this training

Offering Healing and Hope to Children in Crisis by Crisis Care Training International!

ZOOM ID# 871-7858-4407
ZOOM LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87178584407

Our drivers brought 30 more people from Chernigov today. This was their second trip this week.

Chernigov is North of Kyiv, still very hot spot, people being shot, lots civilians targeted. So proud of our brave guys and so grateful to God for watching over them. Thank you for your prayers, they are making a difference, Let’s keep pressing in…

Let’s keep praying for these brave ywam guys and gals that choose not to leave but continue to serve.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

The Harvest of the Maidens

Scattered across the steppes of Ukraine, little cottages dot the landscape as farmers try to eke out an existence from the land. With little to protect them, it is an open invitation for the galloping hordes to invade their land. They come, the Tartars, the Mongols, the Vikings and the Ottomans, they even had a name for this annual occurrence, the harvest of the maidens. Thousands of young girls as well as young men were taken as slaves to be sold throughout the then known world. This was the origin of the word “slave.” It comes from the people living in those areas, the Slavs.

After many centuries of this, the practice continues and in fact had a huge explosion after the fall of communism. The ability to travel and work outside their lands after 70 years of isolation, created a whole new market for young slaves. “See the world, work abroad” the brochures proclaimed. Young girls longing to leave their poor villages responded by the droves. Their passports taken away from them, they found themselves as sex slaves throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. So common was this that prostitutes around the world gained a new name, “Natashas.”

With three million refugees, mostly women and children there is fear of a new harvest of maidens. Just this morning there was a special report on the news of the possibility of this heinous crime resurrecting once again along the borders. Already traumatized women and children being exploited by heartless traffickers with no convictions seeing this as a huge financial boom. Can this really happen? Are there really people so heartless to do this? Unfortunately, yes there are.

One former ywamer, who was a policewoman in Holland, got tired of arresting prostitutes every night just to see them released and back on the streets the next night, joined ywam to make a difference. She did! She started a whole ministry in Latvia working with these girls, establishing a street ministry and a half way house ministry. She now works in an anti trafficking government position. She has just produced a pamphlet that is being given out at borders warning ladies of this danger and giving them instructions on prevention and what to do if they find themselves in danger.

Can we join together in prayer for this ugliest of situations.
Pray that this pamphlet born out of a tremendous desire to see women be free, that it will be effective and that it finds it’s way into the hands of those that need it.

Pray that these traffickers will be stopped in their tracks, pray for conviction to fill their hearts. (One of our most effective and powerful ministries in Russia today is led by a former trafficker). It’s not impossible.
Pray that these ladies and their children will be taken into homes across Europe and the world that would care for them out of hearts of compassion and love. Pray against abuse or any kind of unkindness to these refugees.

This is the beginning of the Feast of Purim, a Jewish holiday celebrating the saving of the Jewish nation from a plot designed to eliminate them. Through a young girl, you might even say she was trafficked as she was taken away from her people and placed in a harem in the palace of an enemy king. Because of the faith and obedience of this girl named Esther, her nation was spared.

As we join the Jewish people around us to remember this wonderful event, can we use this to remind us of what God did to spare a nation and maybe He can do it again?

Pray for Ukraine, pray for Kyiv that is beginning to feel the effects of the siege that is now closing in.

Pray for our drivers and rescuers, some of them are ladies.

Pray for our ywam ladies that are carrying huge loads of responsibilities right now, handling finances, dealing with tons of food and supplies coming in, some of them in leadership positions having to make huge decisions every day. They are true Esthers!

Many Blessings,
Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

The Encirclement of Kyiv

For almost a month Russian forces have been trying to lay siege to the city of Kyiv by encircling it. They began by amassing their forces on the eastern border. Then they spread out joining forces with Belarus. On the southern flank they planned an amphibious attack.

At one point a convoy of tanks and trucks nearly 40 miles long set out to encircle the city. All along the way these plans were foiled and after a month of fighting, the encirclement has remained stalled.

As I pondered this situation these past few days, I saw another encirclement. I saw our ywamers inside the city, a beautiful U of N campus full of young people with Ukrainian, Russian and other foreign staff. Spread throughout the country were other ywam centers.

When the war started, another circle formed around Ukraine. Ywam centers in Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czech, Slovakia all gathered at the borders to bring refugees to their centers. Around them they had a circle of churches and friends who brought food, supplies and provided housing.

Outside that circle another group of ywam centers joined and formed a bigger circle. These were our centers in Germany, Holland, Norway, Finland and others who gathered goods in trucks brought tons of medicines, supplies, and food to feed each of these circles.

Then an even bigger circle, all over the world, ywamers rose up to the challenge to pray and give. From the Solomon Islands came a sacrificial offering, from Hong Kong, from Australia and from Africa came a special offering with promise of more to come, saying “we have received so much from Europe, it’s our turn to give.”

As we continue to lay siege spiritually, perhaps we too like Elijah will see an even greater circle around us, that the Lord will say to us, Open your eyes and see. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Let us pray and recruit thousands of others to stand and pray with us. This really is a battle of worldwide significance.


From Kyiv (March 15, Day 20). Today was a very busy day for our team. They visited and delivered food to places where it was needed. We are working on getting the meds. In the last two nights, Kiev has been under very strong shelling. Today was even stronger. According to the guys – every 10 minutes the building shook from explosions. And it was very difficult to sleep in such conditions.


MARIUPOL (From Anya-leader in Kyiv). This is right now the most tragic city in Ukraine. We see the most cruelty and devastation in this city. The city with a population of over 400,000 people has been under siege for over two weeks.

The Russian army is specifically targeting hiding places of women and children – a maternity hospital (on March 9) and theater (on March 16) are just the two most prominent examples but there are hundreds of them!

Constant shelling, nonstop bombing, artillery attacks on cars trying to escape this hell. No electricity and no heat, people cooking food over fire. No water supply, people melting snow and taking water from puddles in the street. Children dying from dehydration.

Those seem to be horror stories of WWII, but unfortunately, they are taking place in Ukraine, in the heart of Europe, right now.

Let’s circle around our brothers and sisters, let’s join hands with them,

Let’s join our hearts with them and pray for God’s grace, His mercy.

Let’s pray for victory over the spiritual powers and authorities over these lands.

In Jesus,

Al Akimoff and Slavic Ministries Team

Music in the midst of bombs…

18th night of war is descending on Ukraine. Today all my posts seem to include music. It felt like a lighter day, not because there were fewer air raids but because we were able to get together in the church. Not everybody could come, the church is scattered, but those who could walk to church all came. Being outside of bomb shelters, talking, eating together, encouraging each other with reasons why victory will come soon, praying, and singing together lightened the burden in a very tangible way. The signal of an air raid that came in the middle of the service was ignored – we were aware of it but continued to stay together in our unsafe building. I don’t think anybody felt any fear. God kept us safe. All-day long I have this song playing in my head. A friend of ours wrote this song…

This video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VMZoQlBafM

Our center in Lutsk:

The YWAM center two nights ago had 91 people. It’s built for 22 people comfortably. But flexibility is always on our thoughts as there are things breaking, being damaged and people breaking rules like no animals. Not everyone coming to us are Christians. So we have had dogs and cats. The non believers and surprised so many people are helping and being surrounded by so many Godly people has had its effect. They too want to help and are starting to see God at work. Valyas sister’s city is surrounded. She’s trying to find food every day
and when they find food they are taking it to some elderly people that can’t walk around. We sent her some money but that’s no help for her, so little to buy. Her name is Sofia. Please pray for her, the city she is in is one that Putin does not ever want to give up. Sadly there are places our team can not go because those places are surrounded by Russian troops.

Pray for Kyiv tonight, the bombing gets worse daily. Please Pray!

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Talking early this morning with Sasha who for many years was our leader in Ukraine together with his wife Lyuda. She evacuated to Poland with her parents. Her father was not well and they went straight to the hospital when they arrived. Sasha reported that early this morning he died. Sasha along with several others is trying to bring everything together with these rescues and movement of people and goods. This on top of everything else, well, you can just imagine. Can we pray for Sasha and Lyuda and their family for special grace today?

As of today, the UN reports that 2,809,200 people have fled Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Centre for Strategic Communication has reported that there are 6.7 million internally displaced people in Ukraine. This means that in total, more than 9.5 million people in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes.

Two young students at Harvard, in just three days have developed and launched the website https://www.ukrainetakeshelter.com, a website in 12 languages where Ukrainian refugees fleeing war can immediately find hosts with free rooms, apartments unused in resorts, big or small cities or school dorms.

Pass this information to other Ukrainians, who are now in European countries and not only, but also to those who would like to host these people in need.

So many people responded to the video of Julia few days ago.. Here is a more recent report of a day in Julia’s life:

  • Today we fed 400
  • Rescued 29 people and two dogs
  • Visited 10 families delivering food boxes
  • Delivered medical aid to a grandma
  • Distributed 50 bags of diapers and 20 boxes of kids food to moms who lives in our neighborhood and in need of help.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Even when we tired we trying to use every opportunity to help because of generosity of so many people who is sending finances and humanitarian aid. Thank you for blessing Ukrainian nation in such difficult time

Yesterday YWAM Kiev gave you 5 points to pray, So here are the rest of 11 ways how to pray for Ukraine:
6. For protection of lives but also church buildings that were built so sacrificially for years. May these churches be a beacon of light for those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
7. For many pastors leading their flocks at this critical time of decision and risk. They carry a heavy burden.
8. For many believing men who will have to bear arms against a professional army as the war continues. There is no other alternative for them, that we know about. Pray also for the many women who are fighting as well.
9. For the Lord to cause the opposing army to lose the will to fight, be afraid, be confused, or use other methods to stop the war.
10. For many volunteers who are setting up camps for refugees, so that they will have necessary funds, places for accommodation, and physical strength to serve.
11. For many believers to stay strong, continue trusting the Lord and not to give in to panic, fear and desperation.

Thank you for your prayers, they mean so much to all our workers,

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

News from Kyiv

Its 9:00 p.m and it looks like it is gonna be a tough night. Maybe even the toughest yet.

We hear a lot of blasts in the city. They are big enough to shake our building. We got used to the small ones but the big ones make us uneasy.

Please continue to hold Ukraine in your prayers.

These are the cities under heated attacks right now.

  • Kyiv region,
  • Kharkiv region – under persistent attacks!
  • Mariupol surrounded, cut off electricity, heating, food supplies – there is a humanitarian crisis.
  • Kherson
  • Melitopil
  • Luhansk
  • Donetsk,
  • Crimea – occupied by Russian military.
  • In Melitopil “new Mayor” put by Russian military encourages massive protesting groups to “stop committing extremes acts and get used to new
  • May Your Kingdom Come, may Your Will be Done!!

SEND international posted 11 ways to pray for Ukraine and we invite you to pray through the first 5 with us today, we will post the next 6 tomorrow. So here they are:

  1. Ask God to redeem this situation by drawing many people to Himself. May Ukrainians discover that Jesus is the only true source of peace, safety, comfort, truth and freedom
  2. For evacuation and humanitarian aid around cities under attack in Ukraine. Many people in these cities are without heat and electricity.
  3. For many churches that opened their doors to neighbors offering food and shelter.
  4. For protection of many kids and parents who will spend another night in bomb shelters, metro stations or on the roads to safer places and all brave volunteers risking their lives to evacuate people.
  5. For logistics of getting funds and humanitarian aid to churches and refugee camps so they continue to have food, medicine and other supplies.

As we are all aware, this war not only affects Ukaine, but the whole world. Here is a report from a missionary family in a neighboring country in Central Asia:

With the invasion of Ukraine, the world has completely been turned upside down. Here, many locals are worrying about the fall of the ruble and the rise in prices. Most families have at least one family member working in Russia, but they are now sending back far less money than before for families to live on. And with less work in Russia, many are returning home … to a place where work is already scarce. They’re not the only ones coming here. A local news channel interviewed a Russian woman who had recently fled with her daughter. Her friend’s house had been raided and she had been taken to prison for 15 years for having opposed the war. A few local airlines still fly to and from Russia, so she came to our city. Just today (Saturday, March 12), We saw at the local market a family who were clearly not from here but were speaking Russian. When we asked the vegetable seller about them, he said they were Russians who were running away from Russia because they’re afraid of their own government. We do indeed live in an upside-down world when Russians start escaping to Central Asia! Let’s continue to pray peace over Ukraine and for the fighting to cease.

Thank you for your continued prayer for Ukraine and Russia

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Just too much pain. No child on earth should experience this. I read in Ihor Huryk that 300 children from Mariupol who lost their parents have arrived in Frankivsk today. I pray  that each child will find a new family. Mr. Igor has details on the page that can help you financially. And become a guardian, if you have the opportunity. Now these are our children.
– Tanya, Family Ministries Ukraine

A lot is happening here in #hurlach. Right now 40 Ukrainian people are staying in the castle. Unfortunately around 20 of them had to go into quarantine. Please pray for them as this is extremely challenging in such a situation.
11 bus trips were made to the border and a 20 ton and a 7,5 ton truck brought relief goods into Ukraine.

DTS 2022 Open
In this difficult and uncertain time, seven brave children dared to dedicate their lives to Jesus for five months. In this time, God will change their characters and life values, go
through the challenges that will prepare them to further fulfill God’s calling in their lives. Please pray for our DTS students, they need your support during these difficult times
– Y Russia

It has been another difficult day. The bombing continues in the south and is moving toward the west now. The corridors didn’t open making rescues difficult. Pray for our drivers. Pray for our Y kids in Russia. It’s getting very difficult for them as well but they won’t quit their DTS.

These next days are expected to get much worse, please pray!

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

These are some of the needs and prayer points coming in today… Please Pray…

The Green corridors (cease fire zones) did not open for Mariupol and some of the other badly hit towns where rescue and feeding operations are extremely difficult and dangerous. Please pray for our drivers and staff in those areas. Pray that these corridors will be established until these innocent people can be evacuated, they are mostly elderly people.

Another prayer point for those receiving refugees in Europe is for protection against Covid transmission. This pandemic is not over yet, and Ukrainians were only about
30% double vaccinated. Some of our receiving bases are experiencing outbreaks, and that slows down their ability to serve the refugees.

Post from European Initiative: After a long day and night in Ukraine my EI staff and I arrived in Budapest after 1:00am. We walked by the downtown train station and saw 15 or more buses parked with engines running. After a closer look, the buses contained Ukrainian refugees – engines running to provide heat. Not enough housing for the millions streaming into Eastern Europe.

We are in great need of Ukrainian/Russian speaking volunteers that can volunteer for a minimum of 2 weeks.
This is needed in Germany/ Polen/ Slovakia/ Hungary and Romania.
Please contact: ukraine@ywamce.com

Al Akimoff and Slavic Ministries Team