Profile: Rivne, Ukraine
October 27, 2017 at 6:00 AM
(Join us as we take a closer look at each of our ministry partners from the viewpoints of the ministry directors. Three to four ministries will be profiled per month, so check back often to learn more about the Luke Society's 42 ministry partners.)
Profile: Rivne, Ukraine
Q&A with the Directors
Q: What are the important components to your ministry?
A: The treatment and spiritual healing for addicted patients and their co-addicted relatives; prevention of alcohol and drug addiction among children and youth in local schools; supporting anonymous groups (A.A./N.A.), Bible studies for addicted people and their relatives; and charity service for poor, disabled children and other needy local people.
Q: What factors led you into a career in ministry work?
A: A calling from the Lord and the terrible situation in domestic state medicine towards addicted people and their relatives. There is a huge problem of addiction in the area among lot of personal friends, relatives, people around.
Q: Describe some parts of the culture in the region where you operate your ministry?
A: Ukraine is a former republic of the former Soviet Union. The communist past affected – and still continues to affect – the life and development of our country. For example, the communist period influenced to the spiritual aspect of the lives of many Ukrainians. Christianity, the church and lot of Christians were persecuted during the 70 years of the communist regime here. This led to people in future generations losing interest to the faith and the belief in God.
As a result, a lot of other false values have replaced God. People began to degrade, living with false idols and forgetting the true God. One of the obvious signs of the degradation is the pervasive alcoholism and drug addiction in our country. We can see how alcohol and drugs ruin a lot of families and kill many numbers of our people. Recently, this problem became more deep because of the war in eastern Ukraine. We see lot of soldiers, who return from the war. Our government provides them almost nothing. They become worthless in civilian life. As a result, a lot of them go into addiction.
Another reason for the strong spread of alcoholism and drug addiction in our country is the economical and political crisis, which has continued for many years. People don’t see in any better future living in Ukraine. It seems too gloomy.
But we Ukrainians have a hope for better changes. Our land has rich resources. Our people are hardworking. We have a difficult, but interesting history and rich cultural heritage. In the region where our ministry is situated, the influence of Christian values is still strong in comparison with some other parts of Ukraine. We still have a hope for better changes.
Q: How are you able to witness about Christ in your ministry?
A: Three Church Ministers from different Christian local denominations work with our patients regularly. There are group Bible lessons and spiritual talks for all our patients in the Doot Center. Also, our Ministers have individual service with all clients.
We have a special Bible group for all addicted people and members of their families in Rivne as an outpatient service.
Our preventive employees try to share about Christ among young listeners in local schools. We have a regular prayer meeting with our staff members. A Reformed pastor organizes Sunday school for disabled kids.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in your position?
A: To help people and to serve, and to feel our job is really necessary and helpful for many people.
Q: What is your vision for the future of your ministry?
A: To start a new Detox building, which will able to help more addicted people, and to prepare worthy Christian successors, who will able to take over the ministry when the time comes for the founders retire.