Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Romania.
One SGA-sponsored missionary pastor has served for two months in Romania. Daily, he strives to encourage as many refugees as possible at his church. Though their lives have been devastated by the war, these refugees hear the message of hope found in the Gospel. Recently, this pastor’s wife was able to join him. She spends most of her time cooking to help feed the needy.
The stories below reveal the struggles of many refugees this couple has served. They also reveal God’s goodness and provision! Vladislav, a young man in his 30s, recently spoke with the pastor. The pastor said, “He told me that he had come into contact with the evangelical church for the first time and was very surprised at how people helped and supported them.”
How many refugees are encountering the church ‘for the first time’? The war in Ukraine has increased the harvest…and the workers…thanks to you! Your support enables SGA-sponsored pastors and churches to be the hands and feet of Christ to many who have never encountered the church before!
A mother brings her worries to the church
Larissa arrived at the church in a depressed state. A tall woman standing with a crutch, she had recently suffered a heart attack. She was tired and broken. It was clear that her health was not good. During the prayer meeting, the word touched her and she cried. As it turned out, the pain of her soul was many times greater than her physical ailment. Her son is in the military and is now in a hot spot and hasn’t been in touch for more than ten days. The woman cried and asked for prayer for her son that he would be alive and in touch. The same night we prayed for her son, he called. He is alive. Larisa also said that her husband found a job in Ukraine. She thanks the Lord and is very grateful to the church.
A pastor stays behind to serve
Pavel looked like a large, stocky and stern man. But upon meeting him, he turned out to be very kind and open-minded. He was standing at a train station when one of the volunteers from our church approached him and offered help. He got into the car and saw a Bible. When they drove up to the church, he was surprised to find he had been brought to a Baptist church. It turned out that he was a believer and was serving in a small Baptist church.
He said his little town in Ukraine was one of the first to encounter the war. At first, they didn’t fully realize what had happened. He and his family hid in the basement of their house. Pavel and his wife are raising five children. He was very worried about them and after a few days under the bullets he was able to get them out of the city and hand them over to the volunteers in the evacuation convoy. He himself stayed in the city and served the people from the church, and in his house he sheltered several people who were in danger of death because they were from the law enforcement agencies. Pavel stayed behind for more than a month serving people. When it became too dangerous and his house was almost destroyed, he decided to join his wife and children, who were already out at the time. Paul was going to visit them, but he wanted to return because his elderly mother and sister had stayed behind as well. He thanked God that he found himself in a church that sheltered him and helped him. He asked for prayers for his relatives and some people from the church who never made it out.
A mother and son find comfort at prayer meetings
Elena and her son Andrei were able to escape their war-torn home. Elena worked all her life in a kindergarten, and Andrei has two college degrees and worked in teaching. After the war began, life in the city changed. Elena and Andrei decided to leave everything they had to escape. Andrei is 38 years old, but has very poor eyesight. The journey was difficult, but they were able to leave by a miracle. It then took them several days to get out. While in church, they were overwhelmed with gratitude for their help and support. Elena and Andrei are flying to another country where they plan to start a new life. Elena attended prayer meetings every night and was open to the Gospel. She constantly cried during prayer and said that unlike many people, they were lucky to be safe. She always asked for prayer for those who remained and also for their journey into the unknown.
The church encountered for the first time
Vladislav, a young man in his 30s, and his mother recently arrived to Poland as refugees. Vladislav shared that they had miraculously escaped. Vladislav is fond of ancient history. So once after a prayer meeting there was a very good conversation with him. He said that while studying the history of antiquity and the Middle Ages he had encountered the emergence and development of Christianity. He told me that he had come into contact with the evangelical church for the first time and was very surprised at how people helped and supported them.
Refugees seek shelter at the church
Yulia is a woman of about 35 years old with three children. They managed to get out of the dangers in their hometown safely. They didn’t come to us right away. At first they lived with some people who could no longer provide them with housing. Julia heard about the church and came to ask for shelter. Now she and her children are living in the church. They plan to live in Romania until the war is over. Like many who have experienced love, support, and help here, they are asking to stay in the church for a long time.
Please pray for spiritual revival – so many refugees do not have a personal relationship with Christ, yet so many are searching and asking questions because they see the love of God shown to them by the volunteers.
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.
God is taking what you give — your gifts and your prayer support — and opening hurting hearts to the hope of the Gospel. Through your generosity, He is
Through our Winter Heat and Hope Project, believing friends like you have the opportunity to give generously — so that SGA-supported churches throughout Ukraine can turn their buildings into
Your donation will help change lives in former Soviet Union countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.