‘Unbelievable Revival’: God’s Power Moving Despite Unbearable Circumstances

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George Thomas and CBN News

TIRASPOL, Transnistria – A remarkable Christian revival is underway in a Russian-controlled part of Moldova, despite Moscow’s heavy hand. Very few foreign journalists are allowed in, but CBN News gained rare access to the Transnistria region.

Getting here is no easy feat. We began the 5,000-mile journey from the U.S. East Coast, stopping first in the tiny former Soviet republic of Moldova’s capital Chisinau. From there, we drove north along Ukraine’s southwestern border, where Moscow has recently stirred up political turmoil.

We made our way through several Russian checkpoints to Transnistria’s capital Tiraspol where a huge statue of Lenin still adorns the town square.

The Lord put a burden on Yuriy Semenyuk’s heart to move his family to this volatile region.

“In my heart, I really love people, that is my passion to serve people. I love God and I wanted to do something for Him all my life. And after a while, God told me, ‘Yuriy, I need you in one place that name is Transnistria’,” the pastor of Church of Christ Savior tells us.

“I was targeted by some people from the government, policemen, KGB, and gangsters. The worst of course was from the gangsters because they tried to kill me, they tried to kidnap my children. Once I was kidnapped, but praise God, God let me escape,” he recalls.

“Some of the gangsters became Christian, they became evangelical, their wives became evangelical, so they hated this, so that’s why they tried to stop us,” Semenyuk says.

In 1990, Transnistria broke away from Moldova to establish its own government, currency and statehood. And while it’s not recognized by the international community, the breakaway territory became economically, politically, and militarily dependent on the Kremlin. Russia has about 2,000 troops stationed here.

Moscow’s agents soon began harassing Pastor Semenyuk. But he was undeterred.

“Each morning, I wake up I say to myself, ‘Yuriy, you are still alive, and you have one more day to preach the gospel, one more day to do something for God’s Kingdom,'” he says.

From those humble, and at times nerve-wracking beginnings, Church of Christ Savior today is the largest congregation in Transnistria.

To read the full story, visit our content partners at CBN News.

Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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