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Vineyard Pastors in Ukraine

Updated: Jul 30, 2022

Recently I (Russell) had the opportunity to visit some of the church pastors in Ukraine. It was a good time to eat, speak and pray together. Each church has its own unique culture, opportunities and challenges that it is facing. In the following articles I will try to introduce you to those men and women who are working hard to grow and develop healthy Vineyard churches in Ukraine. Please hold them in your prayers as you read.

We currently have 3 Vineyard churches in Ukraine; one in Kremenchuk, one in Kyiv and the other in Lviv. There is also a homegroup that is meeting in Odesa and a charity that looks after disabled children and adults in Zhytomyr. It would be great if in the future there will other new churches and charities in these and other regions of Ukraine. Perhaps you could look at the map below and pray for the expansion of God’s kingdom over these cities and regions.

Alexander Goncharenko – Pastor of Kremenchuk Vineyard

Alexander (Sasha) Goncharenko was born and raised in Kremenchuk. He is the father of 2 daughters, and husband of one wife. He was formerly a photographer and an electronic department salesman. Currently, he is full-time pastor of the church in Kremenchuk.

It has not been an easy ride since he became pastor of the church back in 2016. He remembers distinctly how before this he had promised God in prayer that he wanted to serve, and was willing to do the jobs that even others didn’t want to do. Then in 2016 he was asked to take on the role of pastor of the church. It was then that God reminded him of those prayers and promises that he had made. Despite many difficulties and hardships he has faithfully served the church, and continues to do so in these difficult days of war in Ukraine.

The best parts of the job for Sasha are seeing people grow in faith and in their giftings. He loves the opportunity to pray for people, and help people to see the gifts they have been given by God. Although Sasha often seems inconspicuous, it is because he is busy serving those members of the church and wider community.

The biggest challenges that he sees in the near term are ones that will affect the entire city – a lack of heating. Several Russian missile attacks have left the city’s heating system inoperable, and so it is looking set to be a long, cold winter in Kremenchuk. Another big challenge is the loss of jobs and the increase in internally displaced people. Whilst I was visiting I had chance to see how the church had furnished the local bomb shelter, and also how Sasha was serving the church and the community through support and distributing humanitarian aid, as well as helping elderly members of the community fill in paperwork and applications for support.

Sasha’s biggest prayer now is for wisdom, and also for time to enjoy the greatest gift of God, which are his family and relationships that God has given him. There is also a dream of being able to rent a place where the church can meet on a more stable basis.