28 years later, Wayne Zschech is still in Ukraine.
After being turned away for a year due to a failed medical, Wayne put his dreams of being a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force on hold.
Wayne decided to head to Ukraine to volunteer and help start a bible based English schooling curriculum in former communist government schools.
“I gave God a year of my life and the rest is history” Wayne told 96five’s Alex Milne.
“I arrived just before I turned 18 and at that stage, life is about what you want to do with life.”
“It was my adventure but God can use that, and he did.”
For 28 years, Wayne and his wife Olya have been having an impact in Ukraine. Wayne is the field leader of OM is also the pastor of a church plant in regional Ukraine. His vision is for community transformation. He is passionate about seeing Christian enterprises established and being catalysts of change in their communities.
Wayne shared with Alex Milne how despite the devastation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, he can see God at work.
“It was pretty full on. It was overwhelming. The first days and weeks and your heart is breaking.”
“We had contingency plans up but we decided to stay with the people that God had called us to”.
“I think one of the major reasons we actually stayed [in Ukraine] despite the threat was the fact that… God had been miraculously preparing the people to withstand certain levels of pressure. How could we leave these people?”
Wayne went on to explain how the church has become extremely active during this time, rising up to take in hundreds of refugees.
“We have the sad privilege of being with these people”.
Listen to the full interview in the player above.