A first in Ukrainian!
Posted by Gary O’Rourke, 12 November 2020
Ukraine is a country that has a history of invasion, occupation, repression and revolution, and as one of the largest countries in Europe, with a population of 44 million, it does not have a contemporary translation of the Bible in the heart language of the people. Under the oppression of the Soviet Regime, Russian became the common language in Ukraine. In 1996 Ukrainian was once again confirmed as the official language in the country’s constitution.
In 2018 Biblica began the translation process for the contemporary Ukrainian translation.
Andrey & Tanya Shpygunov are the Directors of ServeNow in Ukraine. They can trace their journey to this point back to the 1990s when, after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, many missionaries came to Ukraine. It was during this time that they both made a decision to follow God and dedicated their lives to serve him.
Previously, and for 10 years, they served in Crimea working in another ministry to children. Reflecting on this time Tanya said “Everything seemed so stable, and we thought that it would be this way forever. No one could imagine that things might change. Yet, that is what happened in 2014. Russia occupied Crimea, and we had to leave the Hope Centre behind”.
It was a difficult time for Andrey and Tanya, but they can now see how God was working out his purposes for their family in what appeared to be a hopeless situation, leading them to ServeNow, and to becoming the Directors in Ukraine in 2014.
Partnering with Biblica, Andrey and Tanya obtained 1200 Survivors booklets – the first Biblica resource in Ukrainian for ServeNow! In Summer 2020, despite the COVID–19 pandemic, they were able to run two camps which were attended by 173 children. Each of these children got their own copy of the Survivors Booklet.
Tanya said “During our Bible study classes, we read this booklet and discussed it together. Most of the kids were not Christians, and so the accessible text with simple illustrations helped us to have meaningful conversations, as we talked about their fears and as we prayed together”.
What a great encouragement this is!
During our Bible study classes, we read [the Survivors Booklet] and discussed it together. Most of the kids were not Christians, and so the accessible text with simple illustrations helped us to have meaningful conversations, as we talked about their fears and as we prayed together
The contemporary Ukrainian translation is an opportunity to influence a nation. An opportunity to introduce people to the love of God. At Biblica we are excited to be working on this translation.