Jews for Jesus European director Avi Snyder (first row, third from left) met with branch leaders from Russia and Ukraine to discuss tactics for evangelism during these tumultuous times.

Back in February we were urgently requesting prayer for the situation in Kiev and for our missionaries who were out in the Maidan Square, trying to share the love of Jesus with people who were angry and frightened by the violence. This month’s strategic meeting of Jews for Jesus leadership in Russia and Ukraine takes place in Odessa, where violence has recently erupted.

Igor Barbanel, who oversees our work in Russia and Ukraine, recently reported from Odessa:

“My youngest daughter warned us that the activists of Maidan had planned to hold a peaceful demonstration about at 4:00 pm in downtown Odessa on Friday, May 2. But once the demonstration began, pro-Russian separatists started firing automatic weapons into the crowd of demonstrators and beating people with baseball bats. The demonstration was just two blocks away from the place of our Sabbath meeting. The special forces had cordoned off the demonstration area. My wife, Galya, and I prayed and proceeded to our Sabbath meeting by car. Praise the Lord, our meeting place remained quiet and our Sabbath service went as planned. On our way home, we noticed black smoke rising next to the railway station. Later we learned that fire had been set to the tents of pro-Russian separatists as the supporters of a united Ukraine took revenge on the pro-Russian separatists for attacking them earlier that day. The special forces were in no hurry to intervene and stop the armed conflict in either case. As a result, 42 people were killed and 170 injured.”

Please pray God’s blessings on our brothers and sisters in Russia and Ukraine, and especially for Jews for Jesus and others seeking to bring the gospel of peace.