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Christ doing the impossible: Missionary to Ukraine speaks at Campbellsville University

Mina Podgaisky, missionary to Ukraine, said God will use a need in our lives to demonstrate He can meet that need. (Campbellsville University Photo by Michael Hodges)

By Simon Baker, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Mina Podgaisky, a missionary to Ukraine, spoke recently at a Campbellsville University chapel about how Christ can do what seems impossible and the essence of following His calling.

Podgaisky read from Mark 6:36-37, the story of how Christ performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 people to emphasize how God can do what seems like the impossible.

Podgaisky said she and her husband, Gennady, “came to Kyiv 20 years ago” and noticed there were “17,000 and 24,000 street children just in Kyiv alone” and discovered these children were “sent into the streets to get some food from people or to get some money.”

“The task was overwhelming,” she said, “but the Lord sent us, and there was no mistake in that.” While in Kyiv, she questioned, “How can we feed them? How do we feed a hundred a day?”

Podgaisky compared the task of feeding all the children in Kyiv to the story in the Bible.

“This sounds a bit closer to our problem, where Jesus tells the disciples, you give them something to eat,” she said.

Podgaisky described the similarities between how the disciples felt and her husband’s feelings in Kyiv.

Podgaisky said, “The disciples were feeling inadequate. They couldn’t provide for the needs of the people, and Gennady and I feel inadequate to try to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people.”

Podgaisky said there are three lessons to learn from the story found in Mark 6:36-37. The first is “never measure the problem in light of your resources.”

 “When we went to Kyiv, we did not have the resources to feed or meet the needs of thousands of children, but we knew God sent us there,” she said.

 “God’s goal is neither easy nor understandable at times,” she said, “but following it is the best thing we could do with our lives. It gives us a sense of peace to know that we are in the place where the Lord called us, doing what the Lord calls us to do.”

She said lesson two is, “a little becomes much in the hands of Jesus.”

Podgaisky said they “did not know how we could help the street children at the time. But one of the first things we did is we helped create a coalition of organizations, individual non-governmental organizations and churches.

 “Nothing would have convinced us that in 10 years that problem would have been solved. There was no more need for the coalition.”

Podgaisky said, “A leader from our coalition was approached by the government and asked if he could become the adviser to the president on Children and Family Matters.”     

Podgaisky told students the final lesson: “God will use a need in your life to demonstrate that He can meet it.”

“There are many times when Jesus tests our faith,” Podgaisky said.

“Like in everybody else’s lives, in our lives, we have tests and challenges, but “God has helped us to go through them.”

Podgaisky said, “Now 40 million Ukrainians are suffering and grieving” because of the Russian and Ukraine War. She said about 200 Ukrainian men die every single day since the occupation by Russia.

Podgaisky said, “How God will use a need in our lives to demonstrate that He can meet that need.”

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