WHY UKRAINE? As with all former Soviet ruled territories, Christianity was outlawed and punishable by imprisonment or death.
Due to a high concentration of German settlements in Southern Ukraine, the Lutheran church has a long history in this once thriving country. As with all former Soviet ruled territories, Christianity was outlawed and punishable by imprisonment or death. In addition to these atrocities, Ukraine suffered terribly under the artificial famine (Holodomor) inflicted by Stalin, killing millions of Ukrainians by starvation. This tragic history has left Ukraine a target of ongoing subjugation from outside forces and Ukraine continues to struggle to gain its true independence and cultural identity. Unfortunately, this has had far reaching effect and has resulted in lack of resources by which the Lutheran church can rebuild and provide much needed outreach.
Since 2009, SON has hosted English Bible Camps (often in public schools) with as many as 120 students attending. Additionally, Ukraine has become a center where SON hosts conferences for pastors and church leaders who gather to learn many of the things that were lost under communism; namely outreach, mission and discipleship.View Opportunities
SON’s Work in Ukraine
Language Camps and Ministry Partners
SON Teams often come back to North America with a renewed sense of vision and understanding of what it means to do missions in their own context of ministry. Historically, English Bible Camps in Ukraine draw over 120 students at a time and are often held in local public schools!
SON Partners: SON Ministry Partner, Pastor Aleksandr Gross, and SON Full-Time Residential Missionaries, Pastor Scott & Lena Yount (Joy 4 Ukraine)
Where we work: Odesa, Kiev, and L’viv regions
What we do: English Bible Camps & Life Camps for teens (view opportunities above) Discipleship Education Conferences for pastors and church leaders
Regional Learning Center
In Early March 2019, SON Executive Director, Pastor David Breidenbach; NALC Bishop Emeritus, John Bradosky; and NALC Assistant to the Bishop for Missions, Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba hosted the first Regional Learning Center conference, focused on discipleship, for pastors from all three Ukrainian Lutheran Denominations (DELKU, SELKU, and ULC). In March 2020 the second annual conference was hosted in the L’viv region. SON will host the 2022 Ukraine ministry conference in the Odesa region, featuring Pr. Greg & Susan Finke, authors of “Joining Jesus On His Mission” book series. (In 2021, SON collaborated with Pr. Finke to have his first book translated and published into the Russian language!)
Pastor Scott & Lena Yount
Pastor Scott Yount has served as a missionary in Ukraine since 2014. Together with his wife Lena, who has a Master’s Degree in Special Education, they teach the Bible at the local orphanage for children with disabilities and organize and lead Bible camps for children with special needs. Other ministries include visits to the school for the hearing impaired and the Cerebral Palsy center. Additionally, they organize Night to Shine, a prom for special needs teens (in partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation), Bible studies, youth groups and much more. They currently live in Bila Tserkva (near Kiev) and are proud “parents” to their dog, Jack and cat, Black.
Pastor Scott is an ordained TAALC Lutheran Pastor. Growing up in Elk Grove, California, Scott first went to Ukraine to help run a camp for children with disabilities in 2007 with God’s Hidden Treasures. He began full time ministry in Ukraine as a chaplain with God’s Hidden Treasures, in June of 2014, and then founded Joy 4 Ukraine in 2020.
Read Pastor Scott’s Blog latest blog post here: Pastor Scott's Blog
You can support Pr. Scott & Lena directly through the SON Give page: