A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Chisinau, Moldova, to visit Steven and Teresa Yeats, friends of mine who have been missionaries in Eastern Europe for many years.
Steven is a pastor and a church planter, but a few years ago he started a business in Moldova, and in this episode of the Theology for the People podcast, he talks about the spirituality of money and the reasons for considering doing business as a form of mission.
We talk about sustainable church planting and unique needs that exist in the developing (majority) world for jobs to be created so that Christian people who want to be part of what God is doing in their home countries can stay without feeling the need to emigrate.
Additionally, Steven and Teresa share about how the war in Ukraine has affected their lives and their ministry, and how we can be praying for them and for the church in Moldova.
Steven and Teresa Yeats have been missionaries in Eastern Europe for many years. They currently live in Chisinau, Moldova. Steven is a pastor and a church planter, but a few years ago he started a business in Moldova, and in this episode he talks about the spirituality of money and the reasons for considering doing business as a form of mission. We talk about sustainable church planting and unique needs that exist in the developing (majority) world.
Additionally, Steven and Teresa share about how the war in Ukraine has affected their lives and their ministry in Moldova. Finally, they share how we can be praying for their ministry and the church in Moldova.
Make sure to check out the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org
February 24, 2023 marked one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I remember being at home, in my bedroom, when messages started appearing on my phone from friends in Ukraine, that what we had all assumed would never happen, had actually happened: Russia was invading Ukraine.
I had tickets and was scheduled to fly to Ukraine on March 3, 2022, as I had been doing for several years, every March, for an annual pastors and leaders conference with Calvary Chapel churches from across Ukraine. We were scheduled to go to Irpin, of all places – a city which soon became famous as one of the locations of early atrocities committed by invading Russian troops. The Baptist conference center we had reserved for our conference became a bomb shelter: the very room where we had often held meetings to train pastors and elders was now filled with civilians hiding from bombs and home invasions.
Days later, I was on a plane to Hungary, in order to help receive friends and ministry partners who were fleeing Ukraine as refugees.
Over the past year, a lot has happened. Many people have died. The civilians who have died have all been Ukrainians, many of them women and children.
On this one-year anniversary, I asked two friends who are long-time missionaries in Ukraine, to share their memories and perspectives after one year of war:
Jon Markey – Ternopil, Ukraine
“I was woken up around 5AM by a call from one of my best friends Nate Medlong who lived in Kharkiv, Ukraine. “We’re coming to you guys, Kharkiv is being bombed. Kyiv too.” I didn’t have the capacity to process what he just said. It stood in stark contrast to the now eerie silence in Ternopil (Western Ukraine). I immediately grabbed my phone to see what was going on. Missile strikes all over the country. On local telegram groups there were false reports of our city being hit and invaded. This had the effect of creating panic. I watched my 6 kids sleeping peacefully, oblivious to what was going on. The weight of responsibility for their safety seemed an impossible burden given the magnitude of the attacks and the number of people that would be making their way to the borders. I started going into shock and nearly passed out. I could barely form complete thoughts, let alone words to pray.
The next few weeks are still a blur. It is still difficult to process or analyze it all as the trauma of this war is ongoing. I drove my family and my brother’s wife and 6 kids (15 of us all together) across the Hungarian border early the next morning. The church body across the globe was mobilized. We were ministered to by several pastors, missionaries and volunteers in Hungary who came to help in whatever way they could. Most of our Ukraine church family stayed in Ternopil. I decided to go back in to Ukraine to help bring aid and to evacuate people a few days after the initial attacks. I have to admit, that my motives at this point were all over the place. I was worried for my friends, I was overwhelmed by a sense of guilt that I was in safety, I was excited for how God was already using our church in Ternopil to minister to refugees.
I was probably more of a liability on that first trip back in to Ukraine than a help. I did end up evacuating a van load of people, but once back in Hungary, I knew I needed to take care for my family and figure out at least temporarily where we would be. We spent two months in Europe – Hungary and Poland. I did visit the church in Ternopil several times. For us as missionaries, this was an utterly disorienting time. Our hearts were in Ukraine, our home was in Ukraine, our friends, our memories. None of my kids had lived anywhere else. Many would encourage us to ‘take a sabbatical’, rest. How? Where? We’ve never lived anywhere else as a family. We aren’t Americans. Not really.
The greatest lesson we learned over the course of the next few months won’t sound like anything profound. Patience. I kept probing, seeking, trying to find my place in all of this, but God wanted us to slow down. What am impossible idea during a time of war. Slow down? This is a crisis! But the more I pushed, the more frustrated I became. My wife’s mom was diagnosed with lymphoma around the time the war broke out and we spent several months in the states until she went to be with Jesus in August. In September the Lord called us back to Ukraine. Without the time, prayer, counsel we received in those months, there is no way we would be able to back in Ternopil long-term. The Lord continues to grow us in patience, in waiting on Him. We are learning to say “I am your servant”. This frees us from the sense of guilt, the pressures of what others expect, or simply reacting emotionally to needs. It doesn’t mean we have everything figured out, but it’s putting one voice, one will above a million voices and opinions. This is what it means to pray ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth…'”
Nate Medlong – Kharkiv, Ukraine
“I remember going to bed late on the 23rd of February, 2022. It took hours to fall asleep. We had finally made the decision to leave Kharkiv, and drive to Ternopil in Western Ukraine. It was still hard to believe that Russia was actually crazy enough to attack Kharkiv, but the Lord was making it clear that we needed to be ready to go. The desire to be safe and far from this danger was pushing up against our concern and care for those in our church and school that God had entrusted to us.
I slept for 3 hours until around 4AM. I checked my phone and saw that Putin had announced the invasion of Ukraine. Suddenly everything went into fast forward. I woke everyone in my family up and told them to finish packing, we were leaving, Russia is invading. We packed as fast as we could while writing and calling everyone possible in our church and school. The order we gave was for everyone to leave the city as soon as possible. Pretty soon we started to hear bombs and shelling in the distance. The stress started to overwhelm me and I was fighting back a panic attack. We finished loading our vehicle. I locked the door of our house and took one last look at our home that we had only finished building 5 years earlier. We prayed some very desperate prayers that God would spare us and our friends. This was the start of the longest 72 hours or my life.
Within a few few kilometers of our house there were already helicopters and fighter jets flying low over our car and the thousands of other cars clogging up the road out of town. I will never forget the desperate prayers for protection of my family in those moments as we waited to hear if the sound of those jets would be followed by bombs and gunfire.
During those three days driving to the Hungarian border, prayer took on a different dimension than I had experienced before. Mainly short prayers begging, demanding even, that God would honor his promise to be a shield to us. The closest I can compare it to was just one year earlier, laying in the ICU in a Kharkiv hospital, begging God to keep me alive so I could see my children grow up. Only this time, my children were on the same danger as me.
God is faithful. He led us every step of the way. He kept His promise. We went through some very difficult moments, but that experience equipped us to help many more people get to safety.
In the first few days of war, all the news we were hearing was that all hope was lost. Russia was destroying everything, it was going to be over soon. Thank God that wasn’t true! We saw His faithfulness. As dark as the days were, we saw so much of God’s work. Many have been saved.
After several days in Hungary, we evacuated to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
After a month of getting settled, I started the first of many trips back into Ukraine to serve the people I love so much. We continue to serve and come along side those that serve others during this difficult time. It is a privilege to be a part of God’s continued work in Ukraine. My family and I are also working towards returning full time in the Lord’s timing.”
Ben and I got to know each other when I was I pastoring in Hungary, and we have kept in touch over the years. I have had the opportunity to serve with him in Ukraine, and he has visited our church in Colorado many times as well.
When the war began in Ukraine last February, Ben and his family decided to stay in order and try to meet the needs of the many displaced people who were coming to the region where he lives seeking refuge and safety.
This safety is somewhat relative, as Ben’s city has also come under attack from Russia.
In this episode of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Ben about the significant humanitarian aid his church has been providing, as well as how the war has affected people’s view of God.
We also discuss other ethical and theological questions related to the war, including the conundrum faced by Christians in Russia regarding how to respond.
Benjamin Morrison is a missionary in Ukraine and the pastor of Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk in Central Ukraine.
Ben is also a leader with City to City in Europe and Ukraine.
To support Ben and the ministry he is doing, visit bit.ly/give2ukraine
Visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org to read articles, suggest topics, or ask questions.
In this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, Michael Payne and I speak with George and Sharon Markey, who are missionaries in Kyiv, Ukraine. George has been in Ukraine for 30 years now, and is able to give unique insight into what is happening there right now in the midst of the war.
In this discussion, recorded when George and Sharon visited us in Colorado in June of 2022, George tells the story of how his family moved to Ukraine in 1992, and Sharon tells her story of meeting George and joining him on the mission field.
They talk about their family’s experience in evacuating from Ukraine when the war began and how they are continuing to reach out with the love of Jesus to the Ukrainian people, and how the mission of God is progressing even in the midst of the current calamity.
Check out George and Sharon’s new website, mentioned in the episode: BridgeUA.org
In this episode, Michael Payne and Nick Cady speak with George and Sharon Markey, missionaries in Ukraine. George tells the story of how his family moved to Ukraine in 1992, and Sharon tells her story of meeting George and joining him on the mission field. They talk about their family's experience in evacuating from Ukraine when the war began and how they are continuing to reach out with the love of Jesus to the Ukrainian people, and how the mission of God is progressing even in the midst of the current calamity.
Check out George and Sharon's new website, mentioned in the episode: BridgeUA.org
This episode was originally recorded for the White Fields Community Church YouTube channel. Please visit and subscribe to that, and you can visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org
On Women’s Day, March 8, 2012, we left the beautiful city of Eger, where all of our kids (up until that point) had been born, and boarded a flight bound for Germany, on route to San Diego.
We left part of our hearts there. People often ask me if I miss living in Hungary, and the answer is: Yes, I miss it so bad it hurts, every day. This isn’t to say that I’m not content where I am, or that I am planning to move back – it’s just the truth. I spent my entire adult life in Hungary up until we left. When we moved to Colorado, I had never been an adult in America before, and there was a learning curve, for sure.
Not only did we leave behind our beloved city, more significantly, we left behind a ministry we loved: one we started and nurtured.
We moved to Eger in 2005 with a vision to start a church which would be self-sustaining, that would be focused on evangelism and discipling those who became Christians through our outreaches, and we hoped that someday that church would have a Hungarian pastor, preferably someone who had been raised up through our ministry. Additionally, we hoped to start a “daughter church” out of that church, and to take the people of that church on mission trips themselves.
By God’s grace, all of these dreams came to fruition.
In January 2012, I handed over leadership of the Eger church to Jani, and he celebrated his 10 year anniversary as pastor earlier this year.
I had the opportunity to preach at the church when I was there this year, exactly 10 years to the week of my departure. I preached in Hungarian, which I miss doing.
The church recently moved into a new location, about 2 blocks from where they used to meet, and still in the heart of the city center, right on the main walking street, with a balcony overlooking it.
Pray for Eger, and pray for Pastor Jani. He has been faithful. Pray for a fresh work of the Holy Spirit, for vision, guidance, and effective ministry.
This week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast is a discussion I recorded in Budapest, Hungary this week with Pastor George Markey of Kyiv, Ukraine.
This was originally recorded for KWAVE Radio in Southern California, but I am putting it out here as well, so more people can hear it.
George has lived in Ukraine for the past 30 years, and is the overseer for the Calvary Chapel churches in the country.
In this episode, George shares his perspective on what is going on as Russia is attacking Ukraine, as well as stories of how God is working in the midst of it. We also discuss needs, what is currently being done, and how you can get involved and help. Finally, George shares how he personally prays for Ukraine during this time.
Recorded in Budapest, Hungary this week with Pastor George Markey of Kyiv, Ukraine, originally for KWAVE Radio in Southern California. George has lived in Ukraine for the past 30 years, and is the overseer for Calvary Chapel churches in Ukraine.
In this episode, George shares his perspective on what is going on as Russia is attacking Ukraine, as well as stories of how God is working in the midst of it.
We also discuss needs, what is currently being done, and how you can get involved and help.
Finally, George shares how he personally prays for Ukraine right now.
Please share this episode with others, subscribe to the podcast, and check out the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org
I arrived home last night after a whirlwind trip to Europe to help with the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Many people have been interested to hear about what we did over there, and what needs and opportunities there are for help in the future, so the night before I left to come back to the US, Pastor Michael and I sat down to film a video sharing with people some of what we accomplished, and what some of the ongoing needs are.
We filmed this at the kitchen table in Michael’s old apartment in Budapest, using a broom as our camera stand!
There are many needs. Just today we have been working on wiring money to people in another city in Ukraine to help buy another van to transport food and aid, and to evacuate people. If you would like to give, we will put that money directly into the hands of people who are serving on the ground. Donations can be made here: Ukraine Relief Fund
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was scheduled to be in Ukraine this week to visit ministry partners in Kyiv and Kharkiv, and speak at a conference in Irpin. Instead, many of the people we were going to work with are hiding in bomb shelters, basements, and metro stations because of the Russian attack. Others have left their homes for safer locations in western Ukraine or in neighboring countries.
I am so impressed with the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people, as well as with the leadership of their president. I pray for justice to prevail, for an end to these attacks, and for peace in Ukraine.
Today I am flying to Hungary with 2 other pastors who served for many years in that region as missionaries. We are going to visit our missionaries who have fled there from Ukraine, take gifts and supplies for them and their kids, and explore potential opportunities for outreach to refugees, as well as ways to help those within Ukraine who are serving displaced people.
So far over 500,000 people have fled Ukraine, and that number is expected to reach up to 4,000,000 according to the UNHCR. This is a time for the church to shine, and for us to step up and be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Those I am in contact with in Ukraine and Hungary are doing just that, and it is noteworthy and beautiful. In addition to the immediate needs now, there will likely be many opportunities to help in the months and years to come.
How to Help
If you would like to give to our Ukraine Relief Fund, those funds will go to purchase needed supplies, fuel, medicines, and provide shelter for displaced people.
Many people assume that the Protestant Reformation was something that only affected the Western, or Roman Catholic Church, but in this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, Shane Angland (Mdiv, Dallas Theological Seminary) shares the incredible story of how the Reformation reached the East.
Shane explains how Martin Luther actually referenced the Eastern Orthodox churches as examples of Christianity which were not subject to the dictates of Roman papal authority, and he tells the story of Cyril Lucaris, the Greek Orthodox theologian and patriarch of Constantinople, who was highly influenced by the Reformation and its principles.
Shane resides in Ennis, Ireland. He spent years working in Ukraine as a missionary with IFES and serving in a Calvary Chapel church in the city of Kharkiv, before going to Dallas for seminary.
Next month, Shane will be back on the podcast, sharing the true history of Saint Patrick of Ireland, explaining which parts of the commonly-told stories about Patrick are myth, and which parts of the story are often not told, but deserve to be. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for that!
Did the Reformation Reach the East? The Surprising History of Cyril Lucaris and Eastern Orthodoxy's Reaction to the Reformation – with Shane Angland –
Theology for the People
Many people assume that the Protestant Reformation was something that only affected the Western, or Roman Catholic Church, but in this episode, Shane Angland (Mdiv, Dallas Theological Seminary) shares the incredible story of how the Reformation reached the East.
Shane explains how Martin Luther actually referred to the Eastern Orthodox churches as examples of Christianity which were not subject to the dictates of Roman papal authority, and he tells the story of Cyril Lucaris, the Greek Orthodox theologian and patriarch of Constantinople, who was highly influenced by the Reformation and its principles.
Shane Angland resides in Ennis, Ireland. He spent years working in Ukraine as a missionary with IFES and serving in a Calvary Chapel church in the city of Kharkiv, before going to Dallas for seminary.
At the end of the episode, listen for a preview of my forthcoming book, The God I Won't Believe In: Facing Nine Common Barriers to Embracing Christianity.
Visit the Theology for the People blog site for articles and more.
I am deeply saddened by what is happening in Ukraine. Already people have been killed in the Russian attacks.
I’ve been in touch with several pastors and friends. Some are fleeing their cities, others are going into basements and shelters for refuge.
Pray for the people of Ukraine, for divine intervention and protection. Pray for God’s presence to be with them in those places, as a shield and a comfort. Pray for God to ultimately redeem this situation.
This post from Eugene Cho shows a picture of Christians praying in the center of Kharkiv, which was one of the first cities attacked in the early morning today.