With bombs bursting only a few miles away in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, Tatiana Gumenyuk refuses to relinquish the peace that God instilled in her many years ago through her parents.
Gumenyuk, a prayer warrior, intercessor and avid Christian, fully realizes the implications of the Russian invasion of her home country of Ukraine, now in its fifth day. She realizes that, because of the bloodthirsty ambitions of Russian President Vladmir Putin, her life and the lives of her friends and family may never be the same ever again.
Whatever happens, Gumenyuk says, she knows that God is in control and that she is ready to meet Jesus at any time.
"I have the peace of God in my heart and, if you have that and a relationship with Jesus Christ, that's all you need," Gumenyuk says from a room in Gumenyuk Chapel in a city just outside of Kyiv. "He will take care of you. He will take you through everything in your life. Yes, we are a bit shaky and nervous from everything that is happening, but the peace that is in our hearts cannot be stolen by the enemy.
"I have survived communism, and I have survived Christian persecution in the Soviet Union," she says. "I found the peace of God that I saw in my parents, who brought up 10 children, survived World War II and communistic persecution, and instilled in us so much love and care. I am very peaceful and calm, even with the bombs exploding here. I want everyone to know that you only need Jesus. Nothing else satisfies like He can."
Last Friday in the early stages of Russia's invasion, Gumenyuk says approximately 60 people gathered at her church to pray "fervently" for a quick end to the conflict. On Sunday, she said, people gathered in subways and other underground venues for church services. Her own church gathered 130 people that day.
"We walked, we prayed and we sang to the Lord," Gumenyuk says. "We begged the Lord to deliver us from this war in Ukraine, and for the leaders to end it as soon as possible so we don't have much more bloodshed than we've had at this point."
Some prophets and ministry leaders have speculated that Russia's invasion of Ukraine could be the beginning of World War III. While Gumenyuk isn't quite certain of that, she does know that the spiritual implications of this event are extremely significant.
"This is a question that a lot of people have been talking about," Gumenyuk says. "I once thought that Putin might turn out to be the Antichrist himself. But one thing is for sure: The church here is strong and it is vibrant. The Protestant movement in Ukraine is probably the largest in Europe.
"People have kept the faith through communism," she adds. "They have stayed here and evangelized and the church has grown. The Orthodox Church is very popular here, too. What is going to happen? I honestly don't know. It might be the beginning of Armageddon. I am not a biblical scholar, but the church here is ready to fight and is ready to meet Jesus Christ at any minute."
Gumenyuk, who studied in the United States at Bob Jones University, has a master's degree in English. She has attended and participated in more than 10 National Prayer Breakfasts in the U.S. and once had "big dreams to work in the White House" before her mother passed away in 2006.
Gunmenyuk learned early in life how to become an intercessor through watching her mother, whom she says was a tremendous spiritual influence in her life.
"My mother was a prayer warrior, more than any I have ever known," Gumenyuk says. "Before we would go to school, she would cook a meal for us, and then she would have an hour of prayer. She would close her door and read Scripture and pray for us and for every person she knew. She would show me the power that is in prayer.
"I'm a prayer warrior because I saw the real example in the life of my mom," she says. You don't have to teach a child; you just have to live the life and the child will learn from you."
And prayer is desperately needed for the people of Ukraine—right now.
It is crucial, Gumenyuk says, for Christians around the world to continue to pray for not only the church in Ukraine but for the Ukrainian people and also the people and leaders of Russia. She isn't afraid to speak her mind, no matter what the consequences.
"The prayer of the righteous can accomplish the impossible," she says. "Please continue to pray for God's protection of Ukraine because many people at this point have already died. Many are scared and many are in need of food, health and warmth.
"We are paying a big price for this, but perhaps the Russian people want to wake up and be free from the Russian tyranny," she says. "I could be hanged in a few days for these words, but I'm telling them to wake up. I've lived through communism, and I don't want to live through it anymore. I'm willing to die for my faith. Every one of us is ready to fight and die for Ukraine. I'm not scared to die. I'm ready to go with Jesus at this very minute."
Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.