Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has everyone wondering what’s on Vladimir Putin’s mind. They wonder why he’s attacking the country for seemingly no reason. Many have painted him as a villain, but one pastor wants people to pray for him instead of vilifying him.

90-year-old Connecticut pastor The Rev. Ed Nadolny, whose family is from Ukraine, has launched a billboard campaign in at least seven communities throughout Connecticut, asking God to change Putin’s heart. One billboard reads, “Please, Jesus, change V. Putin’s heart,” with a picture of Christ.

Nadolny told a local news station that he’s spent $16,000 so far on placards and newspaper ads urging requests for the Russian leader. He also explained why he’s embarking on the campaign. Nadolny said, “I don’t care what church you go to or what synagogue you go to; each one of us has a terribly important responsibility to pray. Kids are getting killed, hospitals and orphanages are getting hit. So, this [Putin] is a madman. And I’m praying that the people of Russia will rise up.”

This sort of campaign isn’t new to Reverend Nadolny, as he spent $336,000 last year through his Good News Fund to spread messages about praying for important causes. He said he created these billboards to help people realize that they’re not alone.

According to a GoFundMe to support Nadolny’s cause, more than 2 million cars pass his billboards each day. The priest also includes his phone number on some placards to offer an avenue for anyone in the community who might need help.

This cause is special to Reverend Nadolny’s heart because he still has family members in Ukraine. You can also tell that this campaign means a lot to Nadolny because he’s included his personal phone number on the billboard.

After 60 years of being a priest, he continues with his “Parish Without Borders” spirit by helping so many more people who pass by those boards and call for help, for prayer, or to say thank you for reminding me to pray.

Nadolny’s call for prayer comes amid Russia’s ongoing deadly assault in Ukraine. More than 1 million Ukrainians have reportedly fled the country over the past week as death and destruction have intensified. Vladimir Putin swears that there’s a reason for this attack, although no one else can understand it.

It can be easy to criticize someone like Putin, attacking innocent people and children with no regard in a situation like this. However, instead of vilifying him, we should all pray for him. We should pray that Jesus touches his heart and helps him see the error of his ways.

According to the GoFundMe page, the campaign has raised $30,745 of the $50,000 goal. As the horrific images of war-torn Ukraine continue to permeate everyone’s mind, let’s keep the people of Ukraine in our constant prayers. The families, children, and those fighting to protect their country. We should also pray for other world leaders as they try to navigate this situation and find a resolution.

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