240312 Sga Ukraine War Stories 2 26 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Apr 26, 2024
Editor’s Note: The following story and images were provided by an SGA team member in Ukraine.

Be encouraged by these words from Pastor Roman…

“We are very pleased that God’s children around the world have responded to help us. We wish you all God’s blessings, His protection and care. “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, by having served and by still serving the saints.” (Hebrews 6:10)”

From Pastor Roman…

A Letter of Gratitude

We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters. We would like to thank you all for your participation in the life of Ukrainian churches and the Ukrainian people in general during this difficult time when this terrible war is going on in our country.

The village where our local church is located is geographically close to the borders of Belarus and Russia, so from the very beginning of the war our area was occupied and cut off from communication with the rest of the country. These circumstances caused a humanitarian crisis in the region, but even in such circumstances, God sent us the opportunity to serve people. Of course, in such circumstances, people needed the most basic necessities for life, and the church began to help with this and to share the message of Jesus Christ.

Later, when our region was liberated, the situation began to change. Things were gradually getting better, but we, as a church, realized that there were still many people around us who were in difficult circumstances and needed the basic necessities. Also, people from the frontline areas, internally displaced people, began to come to our region. We tried to find ways to serve all these people.

Thank God we saw this important truth that the Church is the body of Jesus Christ. So many brothers and sisters responded to help us. Some of them called and offered to bring food, others offered to help us with clothing. Therefore, thanks to such sacrificial efforts, we organized various charity events and invited these people.  We are very happy to have the opportunity to serve God together in serving people. Every time we receive help, we invite people to church to serve them and be a blessing to them. Usually we hold charity services where we tell people about Jesus Christ and share some truths from the Scriptures, and then provide food packages. We visit some people individually to deliver food aid. 

We are very happy that we can be instruments in God’s hands through our joint work. We don’t know how long this war will last, but we are grateful to God for His care and His children who help us. On behalf of all our churches in the region and all the people who receive help, we express our sincere gratitude to SGA and all the sponsors and organizers of the food pallets for their sacrifice and dedication to this good project.

We are very pleased that God’s children around the world have responded to help us. We wish you all God’s blessings, His protection and care. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, by having served and by still serving the saints (Hebrews 6:10).”

The following are testimonies from people who have been helped through SGA-supported ministries in Ukraine.

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Testimony #1 (Maria)

Mrs. Maria is 34 years old and now lives in a northern city in Ukraine. During our discussion with her, she told us how she survived the occupation. She recalls that it was a very stressful time because the invading soldiers stopped right in their village and used artillery to shell the city. In the village, it was constantly loud with gunfire and it scared the children. They and another family gathered in one house and somehow tried to calm the children down. But it was also difficult because the troops went from house to house and took away people’s food, small motorcycles, in other words, what they could take with them. For this reason, they had nothing to eat, and her husband fled the village through the outskirts, through the fields, so that he would not be seen. . They thought they might find something in another village. When they found out that our local church was helping, Maria’s husband came to the church and received food aid. Mrs. Maria recalls, “We were so excited and could not believe it was real.” They were even happy to get a box of matches, as they always used the gas stove at home, and sometimes had nothing to light it with to cook food or make tea. She says, “I am very glad that all this is over, but I realize that the war is continuing and that somewhere today life is even more difficult.”

We met Maria during another charity event. Today her husband is at the front, and she stays home with their two little children. Her father, who has also been to the front, but was released because of his age, is helping her to do the hard work. She is very happy that she was able to get help with food and says, “This is a great help for our family and so I want to thank all of you who organized this project, as well as those who made these donations in America and Poland. Please accept my gratitude from the bottom of my heart.”

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Testimony #2 (Larissa)

Mrs. Larissa is 59 years old and she lives in northern Ukraine. She is currently unemployed. When the war broke out, she, like many other people, could not imagine that all this was true and happening in real life. But day by day, the realities of life made everything clear. The occupation of the area had its immediate impact when everything around them changed and their basic needs became very acute. But in these circumstances, Larysa says, “I tried to do something to help people in this situation.” One of the farmers who had cows, asked her to deliver milk to people and she gladly agreed. She adds, “From that day on, I kind of realized that I had to become a volunteer to help people in this time of war.”

When we were inviting people to the church service, she wanted to come and participate. During our meeting, she was very pleased with our social ministry and expressed her gratitude to those who do such good work. Larysa says, “I am very happy to receive help, as it is very difficult to find a job in rural areas, especially during the war. There are still people in need, and the economic situation in the country is difficult because of the war, so I am grateful that you, as Christians, are helping us to cope with this.” 

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Testimony #3 (Volodymyr)

Volodymyr is 57 years old. His past life was very difficult because he did not know Jesus Christ and made bad choices in the past. But today he is a Christian and lives to follow Jesus. He returned to the region after the war started, and because of the war, the economic situation in rural areas has become very bad and it is very difficult to find a job. Volodymyr has a disability and this makes it more difficult, but he has hope in the Lord and that God will take care of his needs. He started attending church and has received help from other Christians. Volodymyr says, “I can really see God’s care for me and my heart rejoices that other Christians care enough to help us in these circumstances. I want to thank everyone who is involved in this ministry and ask you to pass these words on to our brothers and sisters in Christ.” 

We were very happy to hear his testimony and rejoice with him because only God could change this man and that he sees this ministry as God’s care for his family.

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Testimony #4 (Olga)

Mrs. Olga is 38 years old and lives in northern Ukraine. When we spoke to people during the service and invited them to tell us their stories, Olga was one of the first who gladly agreed. We have been seeing her for a while and during the occupation, she came to the church for help many times. The fact is that she has a small child who has a specific problem with digestion of milk, and when the war started she could not find the necessary cereals for her child anywhere, as they were physically gone because of the occupation. When she found out that people were receiving some help at the church, she asked us if we could help in some way, and we were able to help. She shares, “I would like to thank all of you and everyone who brought such help to us. I really realize now that if it wasn’t your participation, I don’t even know what would have happened. But thanks to your help, we were able to go through this period of life.”  

Today, after  the region was liberated, the situation has changed, but Olga remains unemployed and always happy to come and listen to God’s Word. She says, “Please send my gratitude to all these wonderful people who are doing such good work and understand the people of Ukraine who aresuffering. . We know that such help comes to us from the sponsors and the mission from abroad, and that the team in Poland organizes and delivers everything to us, so please pass on our gratitude to them.” 

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