Food bags are still a HUGE help! As the war goes on, things are still difficult all over Ukraine. Many jobs have been lost. Food and gas are more expensive and difficult to come by.
Every week, the staff and volunteers at at our Y center do the monotonous work of filling food bags. From there, our staff go out and distribute them throughout the week, as well as allow other organizations that we have relationships with to come and pick up the food bags for distribution.

Food bags are still a huge help to many families. You may not have the power to stop this war, but many of you have helped alleviate hunger in the midst of it. As the Y staff continue to go into the dangerous areas to help the elderly and mothers with children, please continue to pray for their safety as well as strength to continue their ministry.

One of the greatest things we have seen happen during the war is how Christians have come together in Ukraine to be more effective. We wanted to post about this to encourage all of the people that are praying – please keep praying for unity and for these relationships to continue far beyond this war’s end. John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Ira (Kyiv)
I went outside tonight after dark and was amazed by the beauty and depth of the starry summer sky. It’s hard to believe that a few hundred kilometers away, there’s no room for this quiet contemplation. Instead, there are explosions from the Russian bombs. As I’m writing this, the firefighters are rescuing people after a missile strike on the Odesa region. A couple of hours before, there was a report on heavy shelling of Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk region). Mykolaiv and Kharkiv are under attack every day. Lots of towns remain under occupation. What does their sky look like?

Earlier today, I read Psalm 145 and was meditating on it throughout the day. Honestly, I had mixed feelings. I wanted to praise God as David does in this Psalm, yet I was having a hard time because the war continues, and many of our prayers remain unanswered (for now).
However, it all fell into place when I saw the photo accompanying today’s post. A young guy stands with a Ukrainian flag in front of the destroyed drama theater in the occupied Mariupol ( He dared to do it despite harsh persecutions for as much as the Ukrainian language or Ukrainian colors. For example, a 23-year-old girl was arrested there today for wearing a yellow-and-blue ribbon in her hair.

Seeing this resilience and courage reassured me of Ukraine’s victory, even if it will not happen for a while. The Old Testament prophets sometimes wrote about future events using the past tense, as if they had already happened because they were so confident that these events would happen. It’s the anticipation with certainty that gives you the foretaste of the expected and this almost tangible confidence. Today’s picture and this understanding help me pray through

Psalm 145 today:
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Today’s picture – a young man with a Ukrainian flag stands in front of the destroyed drama theater in the occupied Mariupol (photo provided by Mariupol City Council

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Ira (Kyiv))
After the sorrowful few days, I’m searching for strength in simple things, and I’m coming to the Lord for comfort and counsel.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge
Psalm 144:1‭-‬2 ‬

I believe that God has a role for each one of us in this war. And He is faithful to train and strengthen us. And I know this war goes far beyond the state borders of Ukraine. Every day, many people face a choice to pick up their “swords” and “shields” and fight for the truth or to surrender to the circumstances or accept the bribe of a comfortable and seemingly safe life and not think about the long-term consequences.

I praise God for the people who choose to stand against evil, defend the oppressed, care for the wounded, and intercede for the broken. I praise God for the people ready to sacrifice their immediate comfort to share the burden of those in pain.

I praise God that He never leaves us. I shared about Yulia Paievska (“Taira”), who was recently released from Russian captivity. She gave a few interviews about her time in a Russian prison. She said she was under constant pressure there, and they wanted to break her spirit. To resist it, she was praying through Psalm 91, which she had memorized, and it kept her going.
God prepared her for that experience, was present with her throughout it, and gracefully delivered her. I believe God is doing the same with each one of us as long as we are faithful in seeking Him.

Please continue to fight together with us in this battle through your prayers which area extremely important, because we do not fight against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces in high places. We need the whole family around the world to continue in prayer.

Pray for our DTS that starts this week in Ternopil, there is so much healing that needs to take place and these young people need discipleship and lot’s of love. It won’t be without struggle, please pray daily for them.

This tragic bombing that took place in Vinnytsia really shook up many people, it was so unexpected, it was in the far western peaceful part of Ukraine where many have taken refuge. It’s like the enemy saying, “you have no place to run.” He wants to instill fear in the hearts of people. Pray for peace to come to their hearts.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Vinnytsia (Al)
Just several days ago we visited the beautiful city of Vinnytsia, Ukraine. We spent time with the young team there, mostly made up of orphans who were taken in by the couple who founded the base. They have a wonderful ministry in the city and it has become a city of refuge for the many fleeing westward. We had a great lunch on the square with the airplane monument and walked the promenade filled with families enjoying the nice sunny day. They drove us to Ternopil where we loaded their van with goods for their ministry to refugees. Today I awoke to this terrible news of the bombing of a building in their city center. So far 22 were counted dead and many more still unaccounted for.

Pictured above, YWAM Center, The leadership team, Loading up in Ternopil

Ira (Kyiv)
10:45 am. A missile strike on Vinnytsia, a city hundreds of kilometers away from the front line that’s become a shelter for many internally displaced people. I’ve gone through that city many times and have friends who live there. This morning, Russia launched four high-precision Kalibr missiles (allowed deviation from the target is only 3-4 meters / 10 feet). Two of them were shot down by the air-defense forces, and two hit the city center, one of the busiest intersections. They hit an office center, a diagnostic clinic, and a parking lot. As of now, 23 people (including 3 children) have been found dead, but only 6 of them have been identified – the heat from the fire and the explosion wave tore bodies to pieces leaving them unrecognizable. 66 people (including 3 children) were hospitalized, 34 of them are in serious condition, and 5 are in critical condition. 39 people are missing.

In today’s picture, you see 4-year-old Liza. Her mom really wanted to have kids. During one of the prenatal screenings, the doctors discovered that the child has Down’s Syndrome and recommended her mom terminate the pregnancy to avoid “unnecessary torture.” But her mom kept the baby, loved her, and was doing her best to help her child’s development. They went to Vinnytsia from Kyiv, hoping to escape the war. This morning, they went to a speech therapy class. An hour later, Liza was killed by the Russian missile. You may have seen a sensitive content picture from today with a lifeless child’s body next to a stroller – that was Liza. Her mom lost a foot and was taken to a hospital in critical condition without regaining consciousness and unaware of her baby’s passing.

As one of the missiles hit a neurological diagnostics clinic, most seriously injured people are the doctors and patients of that clinic.
Such terrorist attacks are meant to cause panic, fear, and despair. Instead, they cause anger and resolve. We grieve the losses, but that makes us long for justice even more.

Please pray for Vinnytsia today, pray for our team. Pray for all of Ukraine in this reign of terror that inflicts the people with fear.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

It’s amazing what God will do when we choose to partner together with Him and with others. It’s wonderful how often it happens all the time between YWAM, churches, other missions and people that are out there.

Yaroslav (Ternopil)
Couple days ago I asked God to lead me to do some people that need my help, but also that I could get to know someone closer… and just enjoy ministry…due to constant busy days and 42 days without single free day I stoped notice people around me…all I saw is crowd that need so much help and we all try to help them.

…Today I met this amazing christian family at the base. Few days ago soldier took them out of Bucha. On the way, he asked to close everyone’s eyes and not to look out the window so that they would not see the horror around them. Kids told me that it was a game that they played with parents…like hide and seek.

Their house is destroyed, they have nowhere to return. they have a fellow pastor in Bulgaria and wanted to get there, but could not find how.
Long story short… 6 am I’ll take them to Romanian border, in another side of border amazing people from YWAM Romania will meet them and they will continue their journey.
They smile and crying.
Glory to God and respect to everyone who is helping us to make this sstory.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Yulia (Kyiv)
The War is not over
I saw this photo today and my heart started beat faster.
All those lights are bombing and shelling that is going on every night and day on the front lines.

This reality is not letting us to give up because so many people need help and aid, so many people need a transportation to leave, so many need to hear and know that they are not alone.

On the second picture I marked with yellow dots our current humanitarian aid locations and where we bringing aid to.

We are not afraid of those “lights” because God is with us. We are so grateful for such opportunities and trusted people who make it all possible, grateful for amazing team who’s working together, grateful for you who’s reading this, praying and supporting us.
I will write this again and again

As I make my departure from Ukraine, these are the words that I take from my dear friends here, I cannot say it any better…

We had a launch meeting of the new DTS that starts next week. Many of the students are a whole group of young new Christians from Mariopol who fled the disaster there. Other new students are volunteers who were ministered to here at our center and found Jesus and decided to stay. There is so much excitement here at all that is happening. Please pray for them….

Al Akimoff and Slavic Ministries Team (Ukraine)

Ternopil, Ukraine
The story of the first days of the war and particularly the first night are told often by the dedicated staff here at the YWAM Center in Ternopil. An hour after the initial attack by the Russian Army, a call went out to the pastors of the churches of the city. Within minutes they gathered at YWAM together to discuss the happenings and what would be their response.

Within a few hours a call came form the mayor of the city. A train had departed from the Eastern part of Ukraine and would arrive in Ternopil around midnight with 1500 people, what can we do. The response was quick, we are ready let them come.

The YWAM Center became the staging area and a couple of the girls instantly created an app that would register each new refugee. The pastors had mobilized hundreds of their people to bring their cars and to take people into their homes .

Within days, vehicles were procured, busses rented and hundreds of Ukrainians were transported to the borders of Poland and Romania. The flow of refugees has subsided now but the dedication and creativity of the staff toward their needy guests continues. Feeding stations are situated around the city. A large warehouse takes in donations and shipments of food and supplies from all over Europe and YWAM and church vans come from all over to fill them, often to overflowing with the supplies that are taken out to the affected villages.

The Center here has settled into a rhythm of ministry to countless people coming through seeking help. There are doctors who are themselves refugees but are offering their services. There are cooks, a masseus and a trained councilor who give their time. Some have found God here and they and they have joined the volunteer staff to serve in many different ways.

The Staff here has decided to begin a Discipleship Training School here in a few weeks. Applications are still coming in and half of the school is made up of refugees who became volunteers and stayed on to work full time.

Life is different since the war started. Our priorities have changed, our ministries and outreach are different and we are learning to lean on the Lord in new ways every day. This has been the same response from all of our centers here in Ukraine.

Young leaders are rising up to the new challenges thrown at them daily and they are growing in confidence and leadership abilities. I just left a meeting where they discussed the picking up of a load of water filters to be distributed to the villages without water or electricity.

Pray for YWAM Ukraine! They will shrug off any compliments that you throw their way that they are some kind of heros. No, we are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. You can’t help but love these wonderful ywammers who have chosen to serve God and others in these incredible times.

Picking up goods at the Ternopil warehouse to take to Vinitsa

Please continue your prayers for these volunteers and workers , pray for more to come. Pray for the Shelter program that is beginning soon Pray for an end to the war.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team

Japhin is with Marie John in Borodyanka.

She said, “A few days back, I went to my son’s tomb. I told God, If my son were alive, he would have fixed all the broken windows. Now, there is no one to help me. Two days later, here you are, fixing all the broken windows. God heard my prayers. I am grateful to God”.

We went back to replace a few broken windows in that village.
We keep all our tools and other raw materials in Masha’s house. When we went to pick those up this morning, she was ready, waiting for us with many gifts. She spent hours embroidering this and gave it as a token of her love.
We said, “this is all too much to accept.”

Masha says, “Nobody ever comes to my home. Now that God sent me a son and a daughter to fix my windows, I need to bless them.
We had a day filled with so much joy. It’s an honour that Marie and I get to serve together in all this.

Meet Japhin and Marie, Some of you have probably already met them. They appeared on a CBN special and I have posted many of their wonderful posts. Today they are my next door neighbors here in Kyiv. I can truly attest to the fact that they are wonderful servants of God. I am awakened each day to the delivery of a wonderful cup of cappuccino. Anything that needs doing around the YWAM center here, they are doing it or they are out feeding, rescuing or as you read above, ministering to the needy. They are just a couple of the wonderful people who are serving Ukraine here at this time. Pray for them!

We are launching a program to help repair a hundred homes in three villages and to build another 100 temporary dwellings. These are simple, insulated shelters that are cut and packaged and then sent to the site where they can be put up by a team in a day. Many elderly have refused to leave their homes, most now destroyed or damaged. Many others are now returning to their villages desperately wanting to be home. These will not be their permanent houses but will provide shelter for the coming winter and possibly longer.

For more information on this project: teams@ywamkyiv.or

Thank you for praying for this need, you can give at the address below.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team (Kyiv)

Yestereday we went to the newly liberated villages outside of Kyiv, Bucha, Irpin and a number of smaller villages. We had a very enlightening time with many of the villagers. They were typical Ukrainians, jovial, animated and very much wanting to tell their stories.

Two posts from Ira (Kyiv)

The first one is from an oncologist. Her elderly patient and his wife are from Bucha. Unfortunately, they lost precious time because of the war and occupation, and the doctors are desperately trying to make up for it. Their conversation:
– Were you scared?
– We were at first. But we stopped thinking about it. Our neighbor kept saying that the Russian soldiers were the good guys and they wouldn’t hurt us. In a week, once they realized they wouldn’t be able to take over Kyiv, they got wild. They killed that neighbor and then another one. They shot the hands and feet of some neighbors just for fun. I am a nurse, so I was called to help.
– Do you have any pictures?
– Pictures? No, those whose phones weren’t taken away were keeping them safe; otherwise, you could be killed for keeping them. They were shooting everyone because they felt hopeless. You should have seen how we kissed and hugged our soldiers once they came…
A simple hospital room seems like a luxury suite after the time in a basement amid ruins. A simple hospital soup became a high delicacy after meals cooked in secret over a fire.

The second post is from a blogger and children’s writer. She shared some conversations of her children:
* Her 3-year-old son said, “Thunder is when there’s an air raid warning, a siren, and then the “boom!”
* Her daughter studies geography from the messages of her friends scattered all over the world.
* Mom, meet my new friend. She is from Mariupol. Their car has holes. And they have a funny dog. And they don’t have a home.
* Mom, I read the news. It’s so complicated. It’s easier in books. In a book, there is a villain who does something terrible, but then someone nice always comes to undo the damage. The news said that a Russian missile killed many people. And I know that no nice person would ever be able to undo this.
The hardest part is to realize that these children will have to live with this experience, and all we can do now is to make sure they will never have to talk about war ever again.

These two posts show how this brutal war comes into the lives of both old and young. There is so much pain between the lines; it’s unbearable. So I can only pray for God to intervene. Come, Lord Jesus. Come soon!

Please pray,

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team (Kyiv)

Anya/Al/John/Sasha/Tanya//Yura/Florin, Kyiv, Ukraine

Today we see what is the loss, the devastation, the pain, the need. We see the real consequences of war

Behind me around me is just a speck of Kyiv region – area that was a real battle field, occupied for over 40 days, shelled first with a war on foot to follow. Over 30 villages left with ruins, thousands of people left with destroyed homes, some partially, some completely gone.

But we came to walk these streets to enter broken homes and to look at devastations with Hope. As much as our hearts are breaking with grief and compassion, we are filled with Hope. There is the One who cares and who CAN

We Walk with Hope, holding His hand and introducing this Hope to people in tears.

We take a step in Boldness. It is boldness to claim that God cares that God has not forgotten, that He can provide. It is boldness to look at this overwhelming devastation and need and to say that God will help!

Pray with us for 100 new homes and 100 fixed homes. Little by little we will see Ukraine in care again.

I spoke to two different people today that were telling us their stories and both pointed out not the devestation of their homes but that the rose bushes along the house did not burn. Both of them said “it was a miracle.” God was showing us hope.

Pray with us as we seek the Lord for His next steps in the rebuilding of Ukraine in the Kyiv area. Our goal is to see hope restored in the people that have come back or remained in their villages. We are looking at temporary structures that will protect them this winter. More to come on this project…

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team (Kyiv)