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God Has Not Forgotten the Afflicted!

And we know that God causes all things to work
together for good to those who love God, to those
who are called according to His purpose 
(Romans 8:28). 

By Eric Mock
SGA Vice President of Ministry Operations

Suppose your church was receiving 250 fleeing war refugees every day? It is happening at the Baptist Church in Berdyansk, a city on the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine. These desperate families are fleeing the destruction of war in eastern Ukraine. They had been living in constant fear that the bombing and shooting would soon reach their homes.  

And this wonderful church is doing everything possible to help them. Through SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund, your support has helped provide much of the food and other aid that is being given to them. Church members tell the suffering people that it is God meeting their needs through the church. 

A church worker counsels a young refugee woman who received aid.

A church worker counsels a young refugee woman who received aid.

As I sat with several families, they told me stories of living hidden in their basements while artillery shelling and machine gun fire erupted daily above their heads. Tearfully, they said that they had to leave everything behind, and in some cases even their elderly family members who could not travel. Friends were killed. These families—especially the young children—are afraid, confused, and feel a sense of despair. They needed to hear a message of hope! 

Ministering Hope to an Angry, Hurting Young Man

As I talked to several younger adults that had come in, I found they all claimed to look to Jesus for answers and believed in Him. Trying to cope with their hopeless situations, they were trying to find answers from God and His Word. To my left, a young man named Sasha sat quietly while I talked with the others. He had come from a mixed Muslim/Christian family. Eventually I turned to him, and asked, “How about you? What do you think about all of this?” 

Sasha’s face flushed slightly, then he emotionally declared, I think God forgot us! If there is a God, He forgot us! Sasha then began spilling his heart out to me. My mom told us we must pray, and that if we pray, God will take care of us. We prayed and prayed. My father was a strong Muslim man, and now my father has been killed. My mom left us and moved to Kazan, Russia. My younger brother is still in Donetsk and I can’t go visit him, as I do not have money. My mom prayed, but now our family is broken. She is there in Russia, I am here, and my only brother is far off and we cannot reunite. I cannot see my brother and can’t help him to get here. That is what happened. God forgot us!

SGA's Eric Mock (second from right) heard many refugees' stories in Berdyansk.

SGA’s Eric Mock (second from right) heard many refugees’ stories in Berdyansk.

My heart broke for this young man, who then asked me how God could be a good God if He allows such things to happen. I explained that God did not cause the war or destroy his family, but rather it was wicked men driven by sin. But God is greater, and can bring good out of the most terrible situations. I asked him to consider that God had in fact heard his prayers, and brought him to the church. At the same time, God had brought me all the way from the United States to be sitting with him today. I added, It may be that God worked all these things together, even the most terrible and tragic things, so that He may tell you about true hope in His Son Jesus! There is peace that can be found in the middle of the storm. God has not forgotten you, for today you are hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Before Sasha and his wife left, I asked if I could pray for them. He agreed, his eyes filling with tears. When I finished, I asked if I could give him a hug. He held on to me for some time and did not let go. I told him again that God has not forgotten him, and that today, Jesus is calling out to him. Please pray with me that Sasha will repent of his sins and trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. 

There is a steady stream of young adults coming to these churches asking the same questions. Your support of SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund is helping our brothers and sisters to reach them with physical help and the love of Christ. Please keep praying for God’s provision, and for the salvation of thousands of war-stricken souls.

Please pray for peace to be restored in Ukraine.

Please pray for peace to be restored in Ukraine.

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