Urgent prayer has been requested for Nick Leonovich, 84, a senior missionary with the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), who is now in a coma following an serious accident in Ukraine where he fell down a flight of stairs during a visit.
Dr Robert W Provost, President of the SGA said in a message to supporters, "I want to express my deep thanks on behalf of the SGA family, and the family of SGA senior missionary Nick Leonovich, for the many expressions of concern and prayers sent our way in response to the news yesterday of Nick's accidental fall in Irpen, Ukraine.
"Nick, age 84, had travelled from his California home to Ukraine for graduation ceremonies at the SGA-sponsored Irpen Biblical Seminary near Kiev. While visiting with Irpen's Benjamin Brinza, Nick accidentally fell down a flight of stairs and sustained a serious head injury.
"Nick's family recently updated us that Nick remains in critical condition at a Kiev area hospital. He is in a deep coma and is in intensive care. Right now, instability in his blood pressure is preventing him from being moved for surgery or to a larger facility.
"Nick's son Jim is preparing to leave California for Ukraine and has a very long flight ahead of him, and on his arrival will immediately go to be with Nick and help make decisions that need to be made for his care."
Dr Provost added, "Please continue your intercession on behalf of Nick, and for the doctors who are treating his injury. Pray for Jim as he travels, and for wisdom in the days ahead. And please also keep lifting Nick's beloved wife (and fellow SGA missionary) Rose in prayer. This is especially difficult for her as she is unable to travel to be with Nick. Their daughter and other family are with Rose at this time."
Since that message was sent out, ANS has received a further update from Joel Griffith, Communications Manager at SGA, which said, "A bit more on Nick Leonovich. The family informs us that he is in intensive care and in a very deep coma. Condition remains critical. Apparently his blood pressure is changing and because of that, they cannot move him for surgery or to a larger facility ... Nick's wife Rose especially needs prayer as this is very difficult for her, not being able to be by Nick's side."
Before leaving for Ukraine, Jim Leonovich told ANS, "My father is in a very deep coma with a bad skull fracture and is also on an respirator. We have evacuation plans to try and bring him back to California, but at the moment he cannot be moved. Please continue to pray for him and also my mother, Rose, who is unable to make the trip with me."
Rev Nick Leonovich has had many years of experience in Russian Christian radio ministries. Born in eastern Poland of Russian parents, Nick grew up speaking Russian in a small New Jersey community when his family came to America in 1929. He began active missions involvement in 1951, working in Germany at Russian refugee camps; there he met and married his wife, Rose. In 1958 he began his radio ministry, starting in Tangier, Morocco, with Trans World Radio ( TWR ), then in 1962 moving with TWR to Monte Carlo, where he was Russian Radio Director for 27 years. He then moved to Wheaton, Illinois where he served as Vice President of Radio Ministries at Slavic Gospel Association for many more years.
His wife, Rose Leonovich, was born into a Russian family in Canada and became a missionary in 1948. Her first assignment was to Russian refugees at the displaced persons camps in Germany. After her marriage to Nick, they continued their ministry to Russian refugees in Germany, France and Italy. From 1962 on, she was actively involved in Christian radio broadcasting to the Soviet Union. She has extensive experience supervising the follow-up to those responding by mail to the broadcasts. She has also been helping to develop Russian women's ministries, including writing a book entitled "The Christian Woman in the Whole Armor of God." She has traveled throughout the former Soviet Union conducting seminars and workshops to encourage women in their Christian walk.