Sometimes the cares of this world can become so overwhelming, seeming like everything comes at us all at once. Lesia, the wife of an SGA-supported pastor, writes in the story below of how she and her family are feeling the effects of the cares of this world. To grieve during peaceful times is hard enough, but to grieve while your country is at war, your husband is in great need of surgery, and all while being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of 14 children and a sick mother, carries even greater burdens.
Even with all that is raining down around her, she is still praising and thanking her Lord. “God’s blessings to you, peace and soon victory to all of us!” Lesia is looking beyond the heartache and trial of the day, to the victory that she has in Christ, while also counting on the family of God to help care for and pray for her family.
Dear friends in the Lord, please pray for Lesia, this “mother of 15” and her family, as they face the many challenges before them. The first letter is from a Food Aid Report. The second letter comes to us after asking for more information about her family.
“Greetings from Vinnitsa!
I’m so sorry I haven’t written for a long time. I just don’t have much time at all. My husband is ill, and we are preparing him for surgery, and there is a lot of work in the garden and around the house. We all work hard. Our family is very nice, we have 14 children: seven daughters and seven sons. We had eight sons, but sadly our oldest son Yaroslav was killed defending our country. It is very painful, very hard for us to go through this period of time right now.
Some of our children are elementary or middle school students, the rest are high schoolers. Our children sing in the church, praising the Lord. There is also my elderly mother who lives with us, she is 84 years old. She is also sick now. Today, we have two big prayer needs and I ask you, please pray for:
Thank you very much for your help, for your care about our family, dear friends in the Lord! God’s blessings to you, peace and soon victory to all of us!
Mother of 15 children
“Greetings to you, dear friends in the Lord! We are so sorry to keep you waiting. We are herding cows today, there is a thunderstorm in the field.
Sending our love from a large, friendly, and blessed family.
Father Anatoly – 51 years old
Mother Lesia – 43 years old
And also our children:
Diana – 23 years old (student, loves to draw)
Vasya – 23 years old (has mental disability, loves soccer)
Oleksandr – 18 years old (student, loves sports)
Ruslan – 16 years old (loves soccer, loves dogs)
Karina – 18 years old (likes to draw, sings, knits)
Margarita – age 17 (sings, loves sports)
Andrei- 20 years old (has mental disability, likes to play soccer)
Snizhana – 14 years old (plays bandura)
Dominika – 15 years old (plays violin)
Larisa – 16 years old (plays bandura)
Maxim – 14 years old (has mental disability, learns to play the trumpet)
Nazar – 11 years old (plays trumpet, saxophone, sings)
Dina – 11 years old (plays bandura)
Alexei – 10 years old (has complicated mental disability)
My mother also lives with us. She is 84 years old.
That’s our beautiful, cheerful, friendly, singing, music-loving family. And the most important thing in our family is that we love the Lord with all our hearts! The children are all very nice, all with different personalities, different destinies, and some of them have mental disabilities.
Briefly about the church: our church has 70 members. The church is located 50 kilometers away from us. We try not to miss the church services. My husband preaches. My older daughters Karina and Margarita teach at Sunday school, and our children sing and play music instruments every Sunday at church.
It is very difficult to write about my late son because it hurts so much. He was a real son, a true Christian. From the first day of the war, he went to the front-line volunteering. We all asked him not to go to the war and cried, but he said that we needed to be protected. He was killed on April 16, 2022, at 2 p.m. We could not take his body away immediately because it was in the occupied territory. The invaders buried them in a mass grave, and our Ukrainian soldiers dug them up on September 12, 2022, and all the bodies of the fallen soldiers were sent to the morgue. We are still waiting for their expertise in sorting the identities. There are a lot of bodies and very long queues to pick up the bodies. He was 22 years old. We really want to bury him. We know that he is with the Lord, that he is well in heaven, that he is in safety with Him. But we miss him very much and want his body to be with us. Yaroslav had a very kind and pure heart, he helped everyone and loved everyone, I can’t find the right words to tell you about him. Please, pray that God would help us to take our son’s body as soon as possible and bury him in our village.
About my husband’s surgery: the surgery needs to be done urgently, his left hip joint has been worn out, he needs a prosthesis, and it should have been done even earlier. The load on the right joint has increased, and the right one is starting to hurt. The surgery is very expensive. For this reason, we delayed the surgery because we do not have such funds. He is in a lot of pain, he can’t sleep at night, he can’t walk anymore, and one leg is shorter than the other, the left leg is shorter than the right. It’s hard for me to watch all this. I see him becoming handicapped. I understand that we have so many children, and I cannot cope with them alone. It is hard for me, but I cannot do anything. We ask only the Lord for help!
Of our adopted children, four have been baptized. All the others are still young, but they go to church with great joy. Of our biological children, three daughters have also been baptized. Today there are 10 church members in our family.
In His love,
Sister in Christ Lesia
In a time of great uncertainty, God is bringing help, healing, and hope to the people of Ukraine through SGA-supported pastors, churches, a seminary, and SGA-sponsored Compassion Ministry. Be a part of God’s incredible work with your generosity and prayer support.
Your gift of compassion helps struggling people with emergency aid that generally includes Scripture materials, food, medicine, warm clothing, and shoes.