ROOTED IN THE GOSPEL: Boyd family travels from Mississippi to Ukraine sharing Christ’s word
Published 3:13 pm Friday, June 3, 2022
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Bolton farmers the Boyd family traveled to the war-torn country with the goal of keeping spirits lifted, delivering supplies and preaching the Gospel.
Locals may recognize the Boyd Family from the Vicksburg Farmer’s Market. Every weekend, the family provides the farmer’s market with fresh produce, grass-fed beef, local honey and most recently, iced coffees. Vicksburg Farmer’s Market manager Rebecca Sigh described the family as similar to a light that shines on Vicksburg.
“They all have kind hearts, understand the value of hard work, and are one of the most well-mannered families you will ever come across,” Sigh said.
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Coleman Boyd, the father of the 12 Boyd children, has made three trips to Ukraine, offering ministry to people there and others in Eastern Europe willing to open their hearts and minds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Obviously they are at war. There’s all kinds of physical needs. People are scared, and so many people when that type of stuff happens, run away,” Boyd said. “And the people stuck there feel like they’re abandoned.”
Whenever the family travels, they make sure to bring supplies that will prove useful to their destination’s occupants. Boyd said his family wants the Ukrainians to understand that everyone does not run away.
“Christians run to where the battle is,” Boyd said. “We want to go stand with them, go pray with them, go encourage them.”
The Boyds have a reputation that speaks for itself. Boyd said that the bulk of their ministry started at home, and grew into something large and empowering.
Sigh said when the family originally told her some of the older siblings and Mr. Boyd were traveling to Ukraine that she wasn’t surprised.
“Really, if it would be anyone that I knew that would do that, it would be the Boyd family,” she said. “Their morals and values reflect in their everyday lives. They are some of the most dependable people I have ever met and I admire their love for others and kindness.”
Even though the family is no stranger to traveling, Boyd said their biggest challenge is the language barrier. The Ukrainian people they encounter speak Russian, but having translators helps. However, language is far from the only challenge the family faces. Boyd explained that the Ukrainian people they minister to are not always receptive to the Gospel preached.
“There’s a large Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox group, and they do not like the evangelical gospel preached,” Boyd said. “So there is a lot of resistance. But then, there were a lot of people open to what we’re saying.”
Boyd said because the Lord saved him from sin and transformed his life, he is thankful and blessed to have a constant opportunity to share with other people.
“Our calling is to preach the gospel to all creation,” Boyd said. “The bottom line is our sin, our pride, our selfishness causes these things and brings us to this place.”
Even in war, Boyd said he takes time to think about others and ways to help. Boyd said the physical things are only temporary frustrations and what really matters is connecting with others’ hearts.
He also encouraged other Christians to share God’s word, whether abroad or in their own backyard.
“With all of your heart, seek the Lord,” he said. “Seek the Lord with all of your heart and just be willing to obey whatever he calls (you) to.”