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Mark Posey preaches in Ukraine.
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American preacher escapes Ukraine amid Russian bombing

'If we wait for ideal circumstances, then we’ll never go anywhere or do anything,' says Alabama minister Mark Posey.

In 1989, the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. The Berlin Wall came down and the doors to Christianity began to open.

Mark Posey knew this was his chance.

Mark Posey preaches in Dnipro, Ukraine, in early February.

Mark Posey preaches in Dnipro, Ukraine, in early February.

The minister began to make plans to travel to Eastern Europe. Five years later, he was on the ground in Ukraine, sharing the gospel.

And that’s where he was when Russia began its latest incursion into the former Soviet nation. Now back home in north Alabama, where he preaches for the Winfield Church of Christ, Posey spoke to The Christian Chronicle about his harrowing exodus from the besieged nation.

Despite the turmoil, he plans to return to Ukraine as soon as it is safe to do so.


How long have you been involved in Ukraine?

I’ve made 43 trips to Ukraine that take me back more than 30 years. I love the country. I love the people. I’ve spent time in Belarus and Poland and other countries as well, but I have a deep love for Ukraine.

Mark Posey preaches for a Church of Christ in central Ukraine.

Mark Posey preaches for a Church of Christ in central Ukraine in mid-February.

 


How long do you stay on these trips and what do you do?

I travel for a minimum of 30 days. I preach and teach Bible classes. I’ve been working with 10 congregations in the central part of the country. My work in Ukraine has carried me from the southern port city of Odessa to many of the places you’ve seen reported in the news lately.

Mark Posey stands with Ukrainian Christians in Odessa before the attacks.

Mark Posey stands with Ukrainian Christians in Odessa before the attacks.


On your latest trip, you went to Ukraine while Russia troops were amassing on the border. Why did you go?

I arrived Jan. 31., Weeks later, I was awakened at 5 a.m. to the sound of bombs going off around me. One of the brothers in the church called me and told me it was time to leave.

I knew, before I (went to Ukraine), that it could be dangerous. In 2014, when Russians moved into the area, I knew things were bad and could get worse, but I just wanted to launch out in faith and do whatever I could.

(On this latest trip) I had the mindset of “full steam ahead” and go. If we wait for ideal circumstances, then we’ll never go anywhere or do anything. So I chose to go to Ukraine.

The severity of the situation was obvious once I started getting texts stating, “GET OUT NOW. GET OUT NOW!” But I was already there … for a purpose — God’s purpose. They got me on a bus and through the grace of God … I made it to safety.

A line of vehicles waits on the Ukraine/Poland border.

A line of vehicles waits on the Ukraine/Poland border.


Take a moment to describe the people and the Churches of Christ in Ukraine:

The churches, the people, oh the people. The level of their faith and the depth of their faith … is truly inspiring … in the face of sheer persecution. War was looming … but they kept the faith.

As the world has seen, they are so dedicated to their country. They are committed to the Lord and the church. They will see things through.

This overall situation has strengthened their faith. I believe they could face almost anything. They inspire me to be a better Christian. They lift me up with their faith, hope and love for the Lord and his church.

Members of the Winfield Church of Christ in Alabama welcome minister Mark Posey home.

Members of the Winfield Church of Christ in Alabama welcome minister Mark Posey home.

TIMOTHY HALL spent most of his career as a TV news reporter and anchor. He works for FEMA in external affairs and worships with the Twickenham Church of Christ in Huntsville, Ala.

Filed under: Alabama Christianity in Ukraine Churches of Christ in Ukraine Conflict in Ukraine Crisis in Ukraine Dialogue Funds for Ukraine International Pray for Ukraine Russia Ukraine conflict Top Stories Uncategorized

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