The past 18 months have been a challenge for the Mercy Projects team in Ukraine. First was the sudden loss of director Irina Skrypnik from pancreatic cancer. A few months later the Covid-19 pandemic arrived. Irina, however, had put together an amazing staff and recommended that Yulia take her place.
Andrey and Yulia Khoroshylov were born in the Soviet Union to atheistic parents. They are first-generation Christians in their families and are strong evidence of how the Holy Spirit continues to work in this formerly communist part of the world.
“I was born in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine,” Andrey said. “I was so quiet as a child that the other kids called me ‘a monk.’ They said I never talked. Growing up I was more of a thinker, and I remember questioning Darwin’s theory of evolution in college. Some Christian students gave me a Gideon’s New Testament and talked to me about God. I knew evolution did not make sense, so I was interested.
“Then in 1999, my uncle invited me to a Salvation Army youth meeting. He said there would be lots of girls there, so of course, I wanted to go. God touched my heart and I repented at that meeting.”
Andrey knew right away that he wanted to serve God, to join the Salvation Army, and to tell other people about Jesus. No longer known as a “monk,” he actively fed the homeless and shared his faith. After several years he was accepted to a Salvation Army officer’s course 400 miles away in Kyiv. The Lord spoke to him that he would meet a special girl at the officer training school.
Andrey instinctively knew that chocolate was the key to a woman’s heart. He bought a chocolate bar, and when he saw Yulia at the meeting, he gave it to her. Actually, Yulia was not interested, but Andrey’s persistence paid off.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Michael Ireland