2022 WOLBI Alumnus of the Year: Andrew Moroz
“No matter what. No matter where. No matter the cost. I said, yes.”
Andrew Moroz made this decision to follow God with his life as a first-year student at Word of Life Bible Institute. Eighteen years later, Andrew serves as the Pastor of Teaching and Vision at Gospel Community Church. He and his family live in Lynchburg, Virginia, and they are currently pursuing domestic infant adoption. While Andrew could not have anticipated where God would lead him in his journey of faith, his story shows that God can use one willing servant to impact countless lives for eternity.
Answering the Call
In 2004, Andrew Moroz arrived at Word of Life Bible Institute as a first-year student. Although he was originally planning to transfer to another college after one year, the Lord led him to stay for second year (class of 2006) and complete a staff internship (2007). Describing his experience, he says, “[In] my first year at the Bible Institute, I experienced personal discipleship, I enjoyed diving deep into God’s Word, and I was able to stretch some leadership muscles as an RA.”
During his first year at WOLBI, tragedy struck this student’s life—his father passed away from brain cancer.
Andrew recalls, “In the midst of grief, there was a deep intimacy with the Lord and an invitation from Him into full-time ministry. No matter what. No matter where. No matter the cost. I said, yes.”
After completing his internship at WOLBI, Andrew married Samantha, a good friend from his home church. The newlyweds then moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, where Andrew attended Liberty University Seminary in preparation for vocational ministry. He reflects, “I never imagined my ‘yes’ to God at the Bible Institute would lead me straight into pastoral ministry and church planting.”
That “yes” has also given Andrew an especially important calling this year—the call to return home to Ukraine.
Andrew was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. When he was in middle school, the Moroz family permanently moved to the United States. He still has many friends and loved ones there. In 2019, he even brought his children to Ukraine so they could experience their heritage and meet their relatives.
In February of 2022, Andrew received the news that echoed across the globe—Russia had invaded his homeland.
Describing his initial response to the crisis, Andrew says, “I knew I was going back—I just didn’t know when or how. Ukrainian airspace was closed, and the US State Department urged Americans to leave Ukraine.”
After a lot of wrestling with the Lord and conversing with his wife, kids, and friends, Andrew was on a plane to Europe in March. A friend picked him up, and they drove across the border together.
“Those early days of the war were very stressful and intense,” Andrew says, “but God has never stopped working in Ukraine. His presence was very evident through His people.” During the beginning of the war, churches throughout the country became havens for those who need a safe space to live. Many are still opening their sanctuaries as refugee centers and are ministering to the souls of those in turmoil.
As of August, Andrew has visited Ukraine twice since the war began and has plans to return soon. While there, he partners with local churches and charities to provide medical supplies, life-saving equipment, and emergency assistance to refugees.
“We’ve helped with food, water, and items for personal hygiene. We’ve contributed financially to help evacuate people from dangerous areas. We’ve delivered tourniquets, wound care kits, first aid kits, and various other items requested by those who are living and serving in Ukraine.”
Praying for Peace
Even through the pressures and pain in Ukraine during these times, Andrew reports that the church is alive and well. “I’m deeply moved by the faith and courage that is being displayed by Ukrainian Christians and many ordinary Ukrainian citizens… This war has united the country, clearly displaying to many people a need for God’s help, and it’s allowing many people to encounter God in the midst of suffering. ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).’”
As we praise God for the work that is being accomplished in Ukraine by Andrew and others, we must remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living on the front lines of the war every day. Andrew shares a few insights and ways we can be praying for the church in Ukraine:
“We need to pray for endurance for our brothers and sisters, for their protection and healing… We need to pray for the power of the Holy Spiritto work through the saints to bring the good news of the gospel to people who desperately need hope. We also need to pray for an end to the conflict,and [for] the healing of the nation.”
As a pastor, Andrew knows that conflict and pain can either harden people or soften hearts. He says, “I am praying for soft hearts that are sensitive to God and to the needs around them. I am praying against further loss of life and against the bitterness that can come from experiencing injustice and pain. I am praying for Christians in Ukraine and around the world, to engage with this war in a way that brings healing and points people to Jesus—our Prince of Peace.”
Leading the Next Generation
Eighteen years ago, a Bible Institute student said “yes” to following God with his life. That commitment has led Andrew on an incredible journey of serving, loving, and leading the body of Christ, both here and abroad. A whole new class at WOLBI will be confronted with that same invitation ahead in the year ahead. Andrew leaves some closing thoughts for these students:
“My encouragement to every student would be [to] stay humble and curious. Let the Lord reveal Himself to you in the pages of Scripture, through His Creation, and in the midst of serving others… Begin now to establish your primary identity in Christ, and let that identity shape how you view the world and live.”