The wife of a Ukrainian American pastor abducted by the Russian military from Melitopol City on March 19 announced on Facebook the great news that her husband is now free.

CBN News reported that Helen Bodyu announced on Monday that her husband, World of Life Church Bishop Dmitry Bodyu, has been freed. Helen expressed online her great joy for the answered prayers on his release.

"Dear friends! Thank you all so much for your prayers!!! Dmitry is home. He's doing well. Thank you for your participation, for your concern, help, and love! God is good!!! Praise the Lord!" Helen announced.

Burleson's Open Door Church Pastor Otis Gillaspie affirmed the power of prayer, especially in Bodyu's case in an interview with NBCDFW. Gillaspie has been a family friend of Bodyu for a long time. Gillaspie, through his church, sponsored Bodyu's family in 1990 when they left the Soviet Union and resettled in North Texas.

"I really feel like prayer makes a difference and it's made a difference in this case. You can't meet him and not like him. I felt like he (captured) those who captured him," Gillaspie said.

Though it is still unclear at the moment how Bodyu was released, Olesya Griffith, Bodyu's sister from North Texas, expressed relief and happiness that the pastor is now free. Griffith, a nurse practitioner by profession, said she and her brother's friends in North Texas have not been able to talk with him yet. Griffith explained that Melitopol is controlled by Russians who have disrupted mobile and internet connections.

Christianity Daily reported that Bodyu was aggressively taken away by ten Russian soldiers before his very family. The soldiers took away all of the family's mobile phones and gadgets along with Bodyu's American passport when they left with him. The soldiers returned the day after for Bodyu's Bible and sleeping mat.

During his abduction, the pastor's daughter, Lily Bodyu Ogawa, recounted how the Russian soldiers seemed to know that they were American citizens based on their questioning. This made Bodyu's family believe that the pastor was particularly targeted by the Russian military either because he was sheltering 50 Melitopol residents in his church and feeding them daily or out of his influence as a pastor.

Bodyu Ogawa said they also thought that the Russians wanted to silence his father before he spoke against them being a preacher with many following. Accordingly, Bodyu has set up several churches in Ukraine when he returned there with his family.

Before his capture, co-missionaries Valentin and Tatyana Sviontek revealed with NBC 5 that they pleaded Bodyu to leave Ukraine as soon as the Russian invasion began. Bodyu accordingly refused to do so. Gillaspie said that he foresees Bodyu will remain in Ukraine despite his abduction. Gillaspie shared his belief that his friend will continue to support his community and minister to them.

"He won't leave his people, his flock. He feels a mandate from God to do what God has told him to do, no matter what is happening around him," Gillaspie remarked.

This was affirmed by OpenDoor Church Senior Pastor Troy Brewer who shared to the Cleburne Times-Review his discussion with Bodyu the last time they talked. Brewer said Bodyu told him in a thirty-minute call how he witnessed ballistic missiles destroying everything in Melitopol. Bodyu also narrated that SAM missiles come in with helicopters full of Russian soldiers.

Instead of fleeing in fear for his life and his family's, Brewer recounted that Bodyu stressed he'll be "completely occupied within the next couple of days" in feeding "thousands of people." Brewer said OpenDoor was able to send several thousand dollars to Bodyu for the help he needed there before the city was overtaken by the Russian invaders and communication was disrupted.