Internally displaced orphans receive blankets and children’s Bibles.

UPDATE: Music mission braves Ukraine war zones to share the good news

Wes Janzen: “The Lord has called us for such a time as this, and we are grateful.”

UKRAINE—An invasion and war was not something Wes and Kim Janzen expected to face after they left their positions at Trinity Western University to serve as missionaries in Ukraine.

Wes Janzen, previously a music professor at Trinity Western and now president of Music Mission Ukraine Canada, moved to the Ukraine in 2014 with his wife, Kimberly. There he works with Ukrainian musicians and serves Ukrainian refugees.

Janzen’s music team recently performed in the south of Ukraine, near the current war zone and the region where his grandparents came from. Janzen says his grandfather is an inspiration to him, as he also saw conflict in the south of Ukraine in 1919, but chose to follow Jesus despite a traumatic experience.

“We see the terrible consequences of war every day...internally displaced people, wounded, grieving families,” says Janzen.

Music Mission Ukraine Canada currently cares for thousands of refugees who have fled the ongoing invasion and violence. There are now well over a million internally displaced people in Ukraine.

“Our team is averaging three truckloads of relief supplies per week: food, blankets, diapers, candles, medicine, and always Bibles,” says Janzen. “These deliveries are made possible through the generosity of Canadians.”

In the fall of 2014, Janzen and his wife led 42 members of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (the musical arm of the mission) across Canada to tell the stories of God’s grace through music. They are thankful for the ongoing support and generosity of Canadians, which allows them to continue work in the Ukraine.

The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is currently putting on concerts in the Ukraine in the language of the people, with a special emphasis on internally displaced people. “We bus them to our concerts,” says Janzen. “They come and they hear the gospel, the good news, and a message of hope.”

Janzen says they are able to help people like a widow with three children whose husband was killed by terrorists and a woman who was tortured for six days by terrorist. The mission provides them with the care they need, including food, medicine, Bible activities and programs for children.

“Serving during a time of war has been very humbling,” says Janzen, also mentioning that to make some deliveries of supplies to orphanages in the east, their staff have to wear helmets and bullet proof vests as they drive near the war zone.

Janzen says, “The Lord has called us for such a time as this, and we are grateful.”

To learn more about Music Mission Ukraine Canada, visit www.musicmissionkiev.org.

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About the author


ChristianWeek Correspondent

Allison is a writer, editor, and graphic designer with a BA in English from Canadian Mennonite University and a Certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University. She currently manages Area of Effect magazine and is a missionary with Geekdom House in Winnipeg, MB.