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Whitney Cravens

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While in college, I used to stare up at the oversized map of the world in my room and ask the Lord to send me (Isaiah 6:8) and wonder where He would one day. I always carried with me a passion for the nations, even as I attended the University of Alabama, where I had given my life to Christ and decided to follow Him completely. Little did I know that Jesus was serious when He said that I would be His witness to the ends of the earth. I intended to faithfully serve the Lord in government and dreamed of being a diplomat, and while the Lord led me to Ukraine for public service with the U.S. Peace Corps, I realized there that He ultimately had different plans. 

I was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine when God called me to full time ministry and missions. He gave me a heart for the Ukrainian people and specifically for disadvantaged families and youth in one of the poorest neighborhoods in one of the poorest regions of Ukraine: the Shumensky neighborhood of Kherson, in southeastern Ukraine.

Ukraine is a country that has been devastated for generations -- by war, oppression, famine, corruption, poverty, addiction, disease, divorce, abuse, and cyclical pain and despair. But God has promised restoration for Ukraine and its people to Himself, and He has declared Ukraine to be "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession..." that they too "may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9, NIV). This is indeed good news and a blessed hope for Ukraine!

As an ACTION Missionary, I am returning to Ukraine to partner with a team of ministers in the local church in beating back the forces of darkness and proclaiming the light of Christ. I will join Restoration Temple Church in ministering to the poor and at-risk kids, youth, and families through daily clubs, outreach programs and ministries, camps, street evangelism, community and economic development, and most of all, through consistent dedication humbly serving in love those in both physical and spiritual need. 

I believe Jesus has called me to follow Him to Ukraine to help restore the broken, make disciples, and to build the Church - all to the glory of God. I am ecstatic that, through ACTON, I’ll be pursuing what the Lord has called me to do while bringing the hope of the Gospel to Ukraine through evangelism, discipleship, and development. 

Jesus has called us to bear fruit that lasts and to “not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, NIV). The harvest is ripe in Ukraine, but the laborers are few; the task is massive, and the Church is currently underdeveloped and ill-equipped to meet all the present physical and spiritual needs. It is an honor and joy to labor for the harvest in Ukraine, but I need co-laborers! 

In order to go back to Ukraine and effectively minister to the people of Kherson, I need to raise a monthly budget of financial support through donations and giving. If you are interested in becoming my co-laborer and supporting me on a monthly basis, please sign up to give a recurring donation, or you can mail a check to ACTION’s address. One-time gifts are also welcome. Whether it is financially or through prayer, thank you for joining me as a co-laborer in the harvest fields of Ukraine!