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Ukrainian Churches: Shelters in Stormy Times

I would hasten to my place of refuge
from the stormy wind and tempest
(Psalm 55:8)

While the conflict in Ukraine continues, so many tragic stories are being reported from the battle zones in the east. Yet, even in the turbulent storm of conflict, there are also deeply moving testimonies of God’s people demonstrating His love to broken men, women, and children.

Church workers are visiting wounded soldiers and their families, praying with them and bringing them things they need during their hospital stay. Pray for many Gospel opportunities!

Church workers are visiting wounded soldiers and their families, praying with them and bringing them things they need during their hospital stay. Pray for many Gospel opportunities!

Last week, SGA’s Sergei Omelchenko wrote to tell us of an unplanned yet God-ordained visit to a military hospital in Vinnitsa, which is located in west central Ukraine. Ukrainian evangelical churches have been doing all they can to help the many refugee families who have fled the fighting, plus the families of army soldiers who have been gravely wounded on the battlefield. As Sergei relates, their visit began with an unexpected phone call . . .

The local church announced that any of the family members of wounded soldiers are welcome to stay for free at the church. While we were at the refugee camp, we got a phone call from one couple that had come to see their wounded son. But when Pastor Alexander tried to call back, he was unable to reach them. We ended up going to the hospital to see if we could find them. While there, we met some ladies from the Central Church who were visiting soldiers, bringing them things they needed, and witnessing to them. And they in turn made us aware of another soldier whose wife could only come on the weekend. Alexander and I visited him, prayed for him, and Alexander told the nurse to call him in case she learns of other families needing a place to stay.

We saw many wounded soldiers, some with missing arms and legs. A doctor from the hospital was scheduled to leave via cargo plane for Dnepropetrovsk to pick up more wounded soldiers and bring them for treatment at Vinnitsa.

We are thankful to the Lord for these opportunities to bring comfort to hurting people in His name. Pray with us that many hearts will be opened to the Gospel and the love of God.

 

A Treat for Refugee Children

Even a simple treat of ice cream can bring smiles and joy to these children whose lives have been turned upside down.

Even a simple treat of ice cream can bring smiles and joy to these children whose lives have been turned upside down.

Sergei and Pastor Alexander also went to a nearby village where 107 refugees are being housed by local authorities in a dilapidated old building that used to be a vocational school. These refugees are from the Crimean region and many of them are Muslim Tatar families. Sergei and Alexander bought cooking oil, candy and cookies, and as a special treat for the children, purchased 46 small containers of ice cream. At the moment, the government is only providing grain for porridge and canned vegetables, and one meal a day is cooked outside for the whole group. Again, it was another opportunity for Christ’s ambassadors to point the way to the Gospel—the only true source of healing and reconciliation. And the simple gift of ice cream brought such smiles to the children’s faces!

Through the years—and not just in Ukraine—we have heard testimonies from young adults who remembered the love and kindness shown to them by faithful church workers. It might have been through the SGA-sponsored Orphans Reborn ministry. It might have been through summer camp ministry or at Christmas through Immanuel’s Child. But godly love—seeing the reality of the Gospel lived out before them—made an indelible impact on their hearts. And as a result, today they are part of the family of God. Thank you for all that you do to make these ministries possible!

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