An American missionary serving as a pastor in Ukraine with Melitopol’s Word of Life Church was kidnapped by a number of Russian soldiers on Saturday.
The 50-year-old pastor, Dmitry Bodyu, was reportedly taken from his home. Esther Bodyu-Ogawa, the pastor’s daughter, reported that the soldiers inquired about whether he is American and took his passport. The soldiers also took their phones, she said. Christian Headlines reports:
“They came in, took our phones, [electronics and] took him somewhere – I don’t know where,” his wife [Helen] said.
His daughter, Esther Bodyu-Ogawa, told NBC News the Russians asked if he was American. They also took his passport.
“We’re praying for him. And we’re praying that he’s strong,” Bodyu-Ogawa said. “They just took him against his will.”
The pastor had told Ukrainians they could shelter from the war at his church.
“They walked in, and they just started kind of questioning him right away, like, ‘Are you guys American citizens?’ – that’s kind of, like, one of the first questions they had,” Bodyu-Ogawa said.
The pastor’s sermons, delivered in Ukrainian, can be viewed on the church’s Facebook page. His father lives in Texas.
The pastor said in a 2017 interview with Ignite Europe that “we do everything that God is telling us to do.”
“That’s the most important thing,” he said.
The mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, was also kidnapped from the same Ukrainian city earlier this month and was later released as part of an exchange with Russia.
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