Written by Dr. Wes Janzen, Artistic Director & Conductor, Kyiv Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Music is an international language, given by God that communicates, remarkably.
Scripture encourages music, indeed God commands . . . music.
Music is an exceptional vehicle for proclaiming the glory of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Music is a beautiful and delightful gift from God, to be enjoyed and shared.
In Ukraine, and beyond, we have seen the Lord touch many hearts through our Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (KSOC) friendship-evangelism outreach concerts. Planted seeds, young growth, maturation are clearly evident. To God be the glory. We have seen countless hearts released from darkness into the light of Christ.
There is a clear receptivity to the sacred classics in the former Soviet Union. There is a strong desire among many to know Truth. Timeless sacred masterpieces declare:
“In the beginning, God made heaven and earth.”
“The heavens are telling the glory of God.”
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”
At all of our KSOC concert, including international tour concerts, we share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is our calling.
Where do we perform?
In recent years we have toured America, Canada, Estonia, Georgia (the country) and throughout Ukraine. Many of our concerts are in the capital city of Ukraine, Kyiv. All of our KSOC musicians live in Kyiv, Ukraine. We have very recently shared friendship-evangelism concerts in southeast Ukraine in the war zone, at the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv, and in Kyiv’s largest Protestant church.
In fall, 2018 we tour America, starting in Chicago, down to Texas, and then back to Chicago. You can see our tour schedule, to date, here.
What is our motivation?
Inna, a KSOC soprano writes, “KSOC is a unique group. It is based on sacred, spiritual, eternal truth. Texts are taken from the Bible. It’s very valuable to me because it compels us as musical artists to ascend to a different spiritual level, as we consider the texts and sing them. The words ‘live’ within us, so that the music does not only affect the listener, but also we the artists.”
When asked how she sees the mission of the choir in the context of the war in Ukraine, a war that has prevented her from seeing her parents for years, she answers, “people need both physical and spiritual food. Today, we invite people to our concerts who have lost their homes because of the war. We minister to young widows of fallen soldiers and their children. Our mission, in all that we do, is to bring forth an example of God’s love and comfort.”
Denis, another singer in the KSOC writes, “I can tell you the reputation of the choir is one that is unique within the artistic and greater community. Our concerts have developed a reputation in Ukrainian society as inspired by the Christian faith and providing hope. We sing works, which praise and glorify the Lord. We sing songs that inspire people to do good, to live in peace, and to love and have faith in God. Our purpose as artists is to proclaim an eternal story, sharing the words of scripture so that people will understand God’s will for their lives.”
According to a UN report published in 2017, Ukraine has seen 10,090 of its citizens killed in war. Since the beginning of Russia’s aggression in 2014, 23,966 have been wounded. The ongoing war has seen 1,589,014 people displaced from their homes. We are called to share the gospel of Jesus, the gospel of peace, in the midst of this trauma.
“Our country lacks peace,” says Dima, a tenor in the KSOC. “In our concerts, people experience love and peace. We sing with the hope that our audience will feel respected, that they will feel cared for and know that they are loved because so many in our country have never experienced a genuine sense of happiness and warmth. It is thanks to our friends in North America that many people can attend our concerts and hear about God and Christ, who Himself experienced enormous suffering to save our world.”
“We are ambassadors of peace in the world,” he confidently concludes. “Thanks to the people of North America, we can fulfill our role and mission as Christ’s representatives of a message of peace.”
You can hear Inna and Dima sing a duet, below
Will you join us in prayer?
- Pray for those who attended our recent KSOC concerts in the war zone and heard the gospel.
- Pray for orphan children who attended these same concerts and will be attending our MMK summer orphan Bible camps in the coming weeks.
- We are in urgent need of more quality venues for our fall 2018 tour to America. Pray for the right open doors. You can see our tour schedule, to date, here.
- Pray for the musical artists in the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and their families. 42 members of our KSOC will soon come to America.
- Pray for our next KSOC friendship-evangelism concert in Kyiv, Haydn Creation, on June 18, 2018.
- Pray for all of those involved in planning our fall 2018 tour to America.
Thank you for your prayers.