After the Shabbat service of June 28, 2014, the senior rabbi of the Kiev Jewish Messianic Congregation, Boris Grisenko, took the part in International conference-call entitled ICU - “Interceding for the Crisis in Ukraine”. The rabbi prayed for Ukraine together with several pastors from the United States and Brazil.
Rabbi Boris told about the main recent events in Ukraine and what Jewish people of Ukraine feel about them. He also spoke about the spiritual atmosphere and specified important prayer directions for believers to intercede for our country: “According to the information I have and I have connections with tens, tens of churches and congregations in different areas of Ukraine… This morning I came back from Odessa, a famous Jewish city, sea port on the Black Sea. We have daughter congregations in Donetsk, in Gorlovka - another place, another center of activity of these separatists. Some very dangerous things happen in this place, Gorlovka. We also have brethren congregation in Lugansk. It is another big city, another place, another center. And another one is in Kramatorsk and some other places of Eastern Ukraine. So, I have relatively fresh reports from these places, and not even one report mentioned any special anti-Semitic actions. Still, it is a unique conflict in the history of Ukraine. It is a unique situation when we have such tense conflict and, at the same time, not even one side proclaims anti-Semitic mottos and principles. And there are no concrete anti-Semitic actions we know of. Maybe what I say right now is in contrary with what some of you got and get from some missions. But it is true. And for me as a rabbi of Messianic congregation would be very profitable to tell about anti-Semitic cases, but we do not know about such things. But what is becoming more and more dangerous is pressure against evangelical believers in Eastern Ukraine. Recently, two days ago, one of good pastors was arrested in small place Druzhkovka. He was taken from the church together with his wife. They were arrested and put to underground prison. There was no conviction, nothing was spoken against them. They were just taken and arrested. Those people with guns took everything belonged to the church: computers, all money and documents without any explanation. They threaten people in the church. It happened on Thursday. Until now, they were not released. I know this man very well. He is very kind person who is not involved in any political actions. He is the person who is so committed to help people. He was suggested to leave this dangerous place, but he said that he needs to stay here, in order to help people in need. And now he is in such condition. Some other evangelical churches, mostly charismatic ones, were taken and occupied. The members of these churches were forbidden to attend the churches in four or five different places. This is a real problem. And this pressure against evangelical, especially charismatic believers is becoming stronger and stronger.”
Also, Boris Grisenko, together with the other pastors, prayed for the president of Ukraine - Petro Poroshenko: “He is now in a really difficult situation. He experienced pressures from different sides. Of course, from one side, there is a pressure from Russia. It is very obvious and maybe I don’t need to comment it. From the other side, he is under pressure from pro-Russian population in Eastern Ukraine. But even pro-Russian population in Eastern Ukraine became very tired from what these groups (who are becoming more and more criminal) are doing and they are acting terribly, with no bounds. From the third side, there is a pressure from Maidan activists, those who were standing on the Maidan, the central square, where these demonstrations against former government and former president took place. And they are not satisfied with those changes that already happened. We understand them, because the corruptive system in Ukraine is not broken. And many very corruptive and unclean former politicians are still present in the modern Ukrainian politics. There are some other sides from where pressure comes on him. And I believe we need to pray for him, because, according to what we know, he is a very sincere Russian Orthodox Christian. He is a member of Russian-Ukrainian Orthodox Church and, at the same time, he is not pro-Russian person. He really wants the independence for Ukraine. And yesterday he signed the association agreement with the European Union in Brussels. Moscow tried to stop it, but finally it happened yesterday. We understand that this association is not such a great blessing for Ukraine, because we know some weak threats that are coming from Europe. At the same time, in our situation it is some kind of exit and small protection for Ukraine from Russia. So, the situation is ambivalent, and we need to pray for him, so he would be open for the Holy Spirit and not for the religion spirits. So that really the Holy Spirit would lead him and direct his heart to God’s way. I believe it is the main thing. I think the mentioned pressures are not godly ones. Let Godly pressure be on him, but not ungodly pressures. And let his heart be only for Yeshua and not for other gods and religion spirits.”
The rabbi also mentioned the significance of the spiritual support of America in this tough time for Ukraine: “Despite during the last decades America is becoming more and more non-Christian and sometimes anti-Christian country in different areas of politics, American churches, American evangelical Christianity still plays the prominent role in the world, especially in the Christian world. Without doubt, evangelical churches, protestant churches from across the world look to American churches for examples, models, new relations and new steams. It is a great responsibility. And, of course, many Christians look for American material help. Praise the Lord for American churches and missions that help thousands and thousands of churches, as well as many unbelievers across the world. Praise the Lord for American Christian help for Israel, etc. I don’t know how to call it, but I think the restoration of balanced fundamentalism is an urgent need for many American churches - the restoration of real graceful fundamentalism. Not legalistic fundamentalism, but faithfulness to the Word of God as absolute standard, and the incredible commitment that changed many countries of the world through American missioners. I think that American body needs this great restoration. And from my personal point of view, one and half terms of the current president helps American church not to revive yet, but to wake up. This is my observation and my feeling that president Obama helps many American churches to begin to wake up. I think in this respect we all need to thank God for the president Obama. And of course, this wakening up and understanding of great danger for America in general and also for American Christians came now. Of course, the spiritual activity needs to be provoked first. Not the activity in the outside world, but spiritual activity in different areas. And the prayers like this and many other prayers and genuine spiritual activities can really restore God’s foundation of your nation, and it will influence the whole world and it will influence Israel directly. And maybe not directly, but it will influence Jewish people in diaspora. And maybe it will influence Europe, especially Ukraine. Because it is not only evangelical believers in Ukraine, but I think maybe the majority of population looks to America as an example. It is a reality. Many Ukrainians look at bad sides of American life as an example. But in general the majority of Ukrainians looks at America, and wants to imitate America. And American churches can do a lot for changing Ukraine and for the revival that Hudson Taylor and many others prophesied about mostly for Russia, but now we understand more and more that it should begin in Ukraine.”
At the end of the international conference-call Boris Grisenko prayed: “Dear, dear Daddy, please let the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit become a stronger reality for all brothers and sisters, all friends, all churches, all intercessors, all new believers of these churches. Let the outpouring of Your Spirit become not just an exceptional action, but every day growing process. And may through this outpouring America will become a new country b’shem Yeshua HaMashiach – in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”