Sasha’s Story of Church Planting In Ukraine

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Written by: Olivia Meade 

Olivia Meade works as a content editor for Acts 29. She’s a member of New Heights Church in West Virginia, where she leads women’s ministry and discipleship. She’s the author of Ordinary Faithfulness and contributing editor for Church Out Here. Olivia is married to Matt and they have two daughters.

This following content was originally published on Acts 29’s website, linked HERE.


Since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 11 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Many are left picking up the pieces of their disheveled lives and are scattered throughout neighboring countries. Sasha Lyakhovyy is an Acts 29 church planter in Chernihiv, Ukraine—at least he was until his family was uprooted from their home and forced to leave the country. 

When Sasha and his wife, Alina, left Ukraine with their three young children, Sasha intended to return alone and continue pastoring in Chernihiv. After temporarily settling in Hungary, it became clear that Sasha would not return anytime soon. Although displaced, his family needed to stay together. They began praying about a more permanent place to call home while awaiting the day they could return to Ukraine. 

Sasha and his family relocated to Nitra, Slovakia, and connected with another Acts 29 church planter, Bohuš Vasil’. Bohuš and his wife Natalia welcomed Sasha and Alina and offered them a safe place to land. But Sasha’s goal was never to remain stagnant—he wanted to serve and learn, even amid such uncertainty. Sasha began serving in various ways at Bohuš’s church in Nitra, which has a growing Ukrainian population. While Sasha longs to return to Ukraine, he’s spending fruitful time in Slovakia with a loving church family. Through his connection with Acts 29 leaders in the area, he’s receiving essential training in theology and language studies while in Nitra—which will serve him well in future ministry.I believe that the emptiness a lot of us from Ukraine are now feeling needs to be filled with the gospel. I believe that the gospel can bring fullness of life. –Sasha LyakhovyyCLICK TO TWEET

Sasha’s wife, Alina, said, “God is all-powerful, and I believed he would provide us with a place to go.” God continues in that provision for their family as they serve amid profound loss, hardship, and war. Sasha continues, “I believe that the emptiness a lot of us from Ukraine are now feeling needs to be filled with the gospel. I believe that the gospel can bring fullness of life.” Indeed, it can—and by God’s grace, it will.

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