Local church has ties to Ukraine
A local congregation has special ties to Ukraine through a church partnership program. Circlewood Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa has been partnered with Yunzy Bethel Baptist Church in Odessa, Ukraine, for nearly a decade.
“Several years ago, our Tuscaloosa County Baptist Association encouraged the local churches to partner with churches in Ukraine,” said Circlewood Associate Pastor Rod Cain. ” We partnered with a church called Bethel, and the pastor, Pastor Oleg. ”
Bethel’s pastor, Oleg Guzik, has visited the Druid City several times throughout the churches’ partnership.
“Pastor Oleg is very positive,” Cain said. “He’s very energetic. He and his wife and several family members have been to our church. When he speaks, he speaks with the joy of the Lord. It’s a joy for us to benefit them and to send help, not only financially, but we’re certainly covering his church and him and the whole Ukraine situation in prayer.”
Cain said Circlewood has sent monetary resources to Oleg over the years to help start a ministry called In The House of Hope. Oleg and his son are cardiologists and use that ministry to provide spiritual and medical care to residents in their area.
“In The House of Hope is medical outreach,” Cain said. “It’s the ability for them to minister medically to their community and that’s ongoing and what a more needed time than now for that to be available. They’re very excited because he and his son now have a place to operate from in Ukraine, in that area to minister from.”
Cain and the entire Circlewood congregation are praying for peace for Oleg, his congregation and their homeland.
“It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on,” Cain said. “To watch the death and the destruction and where cities are standing up for themselves, but when it’s over there’s nothing but ruins left. It makes it very personal, and we certainly want to lift them up in prayer.”
Cain said Oleg’s church in Odessa is still standing and has been opened as a refuge for anyone who’s been displaced by the attacks.