Imagine war becoming your new normal. Imagine getting used to things like airstrike sirens. Imagine sleeping through the distant bombs. Imagine passing through the rubble on your way to work, or school, or church.
Over the past year, war has become the new normal for Ukrainian pastor and theologian Fyodor Raychynets. Most of the expectations for how tthis war might go have fallen through. Worst case scenarios have come to pass. And the precarity and fragility of life outside of wartime—well, that continues too.
A year ago, 20 days into the war, Fyodor joined Miroslav Volf to catch up with his former professor for a conversation on the immediate impact of Russia’s invasion on Ukrainian life and culture. At the time, uncertainty filled the globe. Now, after 387 days of war, the shock has numbed into weariness. But a consistent message of presence pervades Fyodor’s mindset. Providing humanitarian aide, friendship, and surrogate family in the wake of so much destruction and loss, his church in the outskirts of Kiev has grown.
In this episode, Ukrainian pastor and theologian Fyodor Raychynets provides an update on life during wartime, in a war zone—which includes not only the pain of war, but the pain of losing his wife prior to the war, and his adult son just months ago. His faith persists in the face of all the cold reminders of how little control any of us exert on world events such as this. He now turns to the minor prophets—Nahum and Habakkuk in particular—to hope for justice, to complain and express his anger toward God, even with God. And he continues to minister to soldiers and civilians, holding their questions with presence and patience, while preaching a message of hope in the good and resistance to evil.
Thanks for listening friends, even on this 387th day of war in Ukraine.
About Fyodor Raychynets
Fyodor Raychynets is a theologian and pastor in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is Head of the Department of Theology at Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in Leadership and Biblical Studies, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. He studied with Miroslav Volf at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia.
Follow him on Facebook here.
- This podcast featured theologians Fyodor Raychynets and Miroslav Volf
- Edited and Produced by Evan Rosa
- Hosted by Evan Rosa
- Production Assistance by Macie Bridge & Kaylen Yun
- A Production of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School https://faith.yale.edu/about
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