Ukrainian pastor released by Russian captors, “prayer makes a difference”

Thursday, March 31, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Friends and family of a Ukrainian pastor kidnapped by invading Russian soldiers said his subsequent release from captivity was a result of their prayers to God, that prayer makes a difference, Christian Headlines (CH) reports.

Pastor Dmitry Bodyu of Word of Life Church in Melitopol was abducted by around eight Russian troops on March 19 but was released and returned home on Monday.

Bodyu, 50, was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the US in 1990, CH said. He and his family were sponsored for American citizenship by Pastor Otis Gillaspie of Open Door Church in Burleson, Texas, a good friend of his.

In time, Bodyu moved first to Crimea and then to Ukraine, in order to plant churches, CH reports. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the pastor refused to leave his congregation. "He won't leave his people, his flock," Gillespie said in a statement to the media. "He feels a mandate from God to do what God has told him to do, no matter what is happening around him."

Concerning Bodyu’s speedy release, Gillaspie said he believed in the power of prayer. "I really feel like prayer makes a difference, and it's made a difference in this case," Gillaspie said.

Bodyu’s wife Helen also publicly praised God for her husband’s safe return, posting on Facebook: "Dear friends! Thank you all so much for your prayers!!! Dmitry is home. He's doing well. Thank you for your participation, for your concern, help and love! God is good!!! Praise the Lord!"