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Located in Western Ukraine, the city of Ternopil has been mostly untouched by the Russian invasion. In the midst of the chaos of war, Ternopil has been a safe haven. It is here that the music ministry of Room For More has been able to flourish under the leadership of Calvary Chapel missionary Jon Markey. Jon and his family make their home in Ternopil, where Jon writes and produces powerful worship songs in the Ukrainian language that speak to the current situation. By releasing them on YouTube and every major streaming platform, he makes these songs of hope and comfort immediately available to people all over Ukraine.

Last month Room For More toured central and eastern Ukraine, encouraging believers through worship nights in six different cities. The situation in Ukraine is far from stable, with frequent air raid warnings in much of the country. For many, shelling, missiles, and drone attacks have become a normal part of life. People in some areas live with the constant threat of bombardment without warning. They are so close to the front lines that there is no time to activate the air raid warning systems before it is too late. But despite the challenges of life under these conditions, people are not giving into fear or despondency. Many are tired, burdened by the extraordinary stresses of their life. Some are overwhelmed. But over and over again in each city, the Room For More team met inspiring people who refused to abandon hope and joy in the face of oppression and uncertainty.

One of the first cities they visited was Zaporizhzhia. Located a mere 20-minute drive from the frontlines, this is one of those cities where people have no warning about incoming missiles. One would expect such a place to be dismal, depressing, and destroyed by the war, but Jon said that they were amazed to discover that Zaporizhzhia had “so much life, so much joy”!

The worship night was characterized by a “refreshing simplicity,” as everyone recognized their need to gather “to exhale, to sing, to encourage each other.” Over and over again, people expressed how much it meant to them that Room For More had come.


Many musicians have left Ukraine, and of those who remain, none of them travel to Zaporizhzhia anymore. The Room For More team realized that their mission to use music to spread the hope, peace, and joy of the gospel is desperately needed.

The visit to the city of Nizhyn in northern Ukraine was possibly the highlight of the whole tour. The Calvary Chapel pastor there has a harrowing evacuation story that is, sadly, not uncommon. He and his wife had to flee through a minefield with their children while Russian fighter jets swooped above them. They returned home last autumn and have been very active in reaching out to their city and serving displaced people. When Room For More visited, they arranged two worship nights in different churches on the same day. Despite the hardships they are facing, people worshiped God with enthusiasm. A van full of kids even came from a church within artillery range of the Russian border. Shelling is a part of their daily life. It is painful to imagine what it must be like to live under those conditions. They were so excited to meet Room For More and pose for a group photo with them, and they shared that Jon’s songs have been a profound source of comfort and encouragement in the midst of everything they have suffered.

The worship night in Kyiv was hugely significant for the Room For More team. Some of them grew up in this city and still have close ties to people there. But as the evening approached, it was not clear if anyone would show up. Kyiv had been targeted by nighttime missile and drone attacks almost every day for the past week. Between the danger of being out at night when there was a greater risk of air raids and the fact that no one had gotten a full night’s sleep for days, it would have been understandable if everyone stayed home.

But they did not.

They were exhausted, but they came. As they sang, their tension melted away, and these courageous people found joy. They rejoiced in the face of the darkness, defying the forces of evil to quench their praise.

While Jon and Aaron had been away from their families on tour, their city had been hit by rockets for the first time since the start of the war. As a result, many who came to the Kyiv worship night asked how their families were. Jon was moved to tears by their concern. “These people live with explosions as the background music of their lives,” he said, “and they were worried about us.”

Everywhere that Room For More went, people were so grateful that they had come. Things like these worship nights are vital right now. The Body of Christ in Ukraine desperately needs encouragement and rest, and they find both as they worship together at the feet of Jesus.

One of Jon’s songs that Room For More has been sharing widely is a passionate prayer for Ukraine. Click the link below to listen. The English translation is below also. While you listen, pray for Ukraine and her people!

Prayer For Ukraine

Verse 1:
Yahweh, Savior,
Maker of all we see,
Listen to our prayer,
Raise us from our knees.

Lord, You alone
Are the Almighty Good One.
Lord, come and save us, heal us,
Deliver us from pain.
Lord, give us freedom,
A future.
God, You are mighty.
God, come defend us.
You are the only
One who can heal us.

Verse 2:
Just One, Strong Tower,
There is none like You.
Come down, show Your power,
The oppressed cry out to You.


May Your glory shine upon us,
May our God never forget us,
May Your hand be always on us,
And Your grace be ever with us.
Give a future to our children,
Fear and evil, all forgotten.
Let them know the joy of Your life,
Let them always walk in Your light.

Chorus variation:
Lord, You have spoken
Your care for the poor one.
Lord, You are near to the broken,
The orphan is Your son.
Bring back the smiles
To all of our faces.
God, You are mighty.
God, come defend us.
You are the only
One who can heal us.

Sharon Markey and her husband George are Calvary Chapel missionaries in Eastern Europe. They and their six sons were displaced from their home in Kyiv, Ukraine by the Russian invasion. They are currently serving Ukrainian refugees in Hungary through BridgeUA Europe. Sharon writes very vulnerably about her experience at