Stories in the Missional Journey of Bruce & Deborah Crowe

Corruption gets personal

Vlad posing after round of paintball

This week our dear Ukrainian friend Vlad was unjustly convicted.  He now sits in a Ukrainian holding cell awaiting transfer to prison.  He has a wife and infant son.

Over a year ago, Vlad was innocently involved in an auto accident.  There was a fatality involved in another car.  As police came on the scene, Vlad was present, and deemed innocent by the police.  During the ensuing court appearances Vlad was also found innocent, but this is Ukraine.

The victims family decided to press charges, and together their their lawyer continued to push for payback.  Vlad was charged for leaving the crime scene, something that he did not do.  The original reports were changed to give the bribed judge ‘something’ to find Vlad guilty.  After dozens of court appearances, and Vlad taking the ‘high road’ and not playing the Ukrainian game of corruption, the final verdict was handed down this week – Guilty, with a 6yr prison sentence.

Vlad chose to not get any of us involved, though regularly asked for prayer.  This process has taken a toll on Vlad, the continual battle for justice within the context of blatant corruption.  We are standing with Vica, Vlads wife and together as a church community lifting Vlad before the throne of grace for mercy in their families time of need.  We ask that you do the same.

I know very little about the actual conditions of this jail, but we know that the Ukrainian prison system is terribly inhumane.  The amount of food is fit for an 8yr old, they are cold, think war camps, over-crowded.  They are not the typical retreat centers we see in America.  Vlad has entered a very dark place, spiritually and morally.  He has a strong faith, this I’m sure of and know he’s already having a positive impact on those around him.

What can we do?  We are gathering facts right now.  In two months there will be an appeal process that Vlad can hopefully go through.  This is Ukraine, nothing is guaranteed, certainly not justice.  We will do everything we can do help this get turned around, including continual prayer, financial help for lawyers, and the right people to listen to the situation.  We can only do so much though, our brother is in chains, we grieve and trust God to shine light on this terrible situation.

We will let you know if there is a specific fund setup for “Vlad’s Release”, once there is  plan, I believe we can together see that justice is done.

This kind of thing happens every day across Ukraine.  Corruption is at every level, you sort of get used to it.  This however has hit home, and a reminder of the depravity of men, their need for a Savior.  In the end, God will shine His light of justice on every dark place, and in the end every knee will bow.  Until then, we seek for God’s will and heart to be done in this family, His timing, and for the church to unite both here locally and abroad.

Pray for:

– this verdict to be overturned.

– the corruption to be exposed in a way that brings accountability.

– Vlad’s family to be comforted and encouraged.

– Vlad to please God through this entire process by trusting and resting in Christ.

– Wisdom on our part, those that want to help beyond prayers.

Bruce & Deb


  1. Doug and Heidi Roumaine

    We have heard of Vlad from Conner M and will be praying for him and his family. May God bless you all.

  2. Jono Miller

    I shared this with my class today and was overwhelmed with the response.
    First – indignation.
    Second – what can we do? – can we do something to help?
    Third – an amazing time of prayer for Vlad, Vika and for the people involved.
    Praise God for the faith of kids!

  3. dorothy crowe

    I am very sad to hear this. Keep up the GOOD fight!
    Love Dad

  4. Ted

    Praying that God will use him as a beacon of hope for the men in that prison, let them not only see his human weakness but also his faith through fire. Maybe then they will see the courage of a Godly Man and begin to believe to warm there hard hearts.

  5. Danny Smith

    Concerning Vlad’s imprisonment. Be not surprised. Rather praise God and pray. Remember, it was Paul and Silas’ songs of praise that released God’s power to open the prison gates.

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