Today a few of us guys were able to visit with Vlad for a couple of hours outside the prison. It was a fruitful time of encouragement in Christ. I was able to personally catching up on his short term hopes pertaining to his situation.
Essentially Vlad is hoping for an early release, which becomes more of reality at the 50% mark of his term. His ‘mid term’ is around October/November of this year. At that point, there is a pathway, albeit thru the shady justice system that is Ukraine, which will enable Vlad to pursue freedom. He knows some former inmates that have been able to successfully acquire freedom, and is doing his utmost to keep on good terms with the authorities.
Without going into a lot of details, we will be updating our friends and supporters of Vlad later this summer regarding ways we can all pray, and potentially give towards his release. Vlad is focused on Christmas and the thought of spending it with his family this year is keeping his hopes alive.
It’s an interesting time in Ukraine, and for Vlad who is in the belly of the beast so to speak when it comes to the corruption former governments have enabled. In one sense the hope is that he can just get to the mid-way point and get out prison. On the other hand improvements to the corruption through the new governments efforts could actually work against Vlad and keep him in even longer. It’s just terrible that our brother is subject to such a situation.
What I admire most about Vlad is his steadfastness, and desire to trust God. He has suffered, and continues to be the aim of persecution for his faith. He mentioned how being ‘weak’ or viewed as such in prison is a recipe for strife, and yet he doesn’t want to tarnish the reputation of Christ by being fleshly either.
Pray for Vlad that his faith would impact those around him. That when reviled or aggravated, he would respond with wisdom and the Spirit. That his silent suffering would reflect His Savior’s pattern, and that of the Apostles who were God’s instruments of mercy to a violent and mean world. May Vlad continue to run well, finish his race, and bring glory to God through this trial. This is his heart, his request and aim. We would bless him the most by praying with him for these results.