News from Europe

Thousands of Ukrainian pastors’ wives are terrified of May 18


All Ukrainian men aged between 25 and 60 are liable for army service since the 18th of May. This new law also affects thousands of pastors.

The new law includes major changes to the country’s mobilization rules. They lowered the minimum age for conscription from 27 to 25 and introduced military training for men aged 18-25. All men between the ages of 25-60 have to carry their military registration documents with them at all times and must present them if requested.

Men who have been medically unfit for service are required to retake the medical examination. The Ministry of Defense updated the list of diseases, conditions and physical disabilities used to determine military service eligibility.

Thousands of Ukrainian pastors’ wives live with the terrifying thought that their husbands may be called in at any point and they may never see them again. An estimated 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died since the war started, leaving behind thousands of war widows, many of them still young in their 20s and 30s.

Natalia, a missionary pastor’s wife helps her husband, Vlad to put on his body armour on a daily basis before he goes to the front line to assist families, bring them food and supplies and pray with them. Vlad suffered injuries by heavy shelling. Fortunately they were non-life-threatening and the doctors confirmed it was a miracle that had gotten away with less severe wounds. He could have been killed quite easily.

There are many pastors’ wives at the retreat run by the Slavic Gospel Association near Kyiv. They all put on a brave face whilst dealing with anxiety and terror. The only hope they have is their strong beliefs in God that He will never forsake them.



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