Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Poland.
Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who are being displaced from their homes yet continue to serve the Lord by helping others. In a recent testimony, a dear sister in Christ shares her family’s story as they leave their hometown and find shelter at a church in Poland…
Since 2014, Maya, her husband, who died of cancer in 2019, and their children have lived in the [Ukrainian town], he so-called “gray” zone, which was occupied back then. From 2014 through 2022, intermittent shelling took place in their hometown. However, the family did not leave their home, having survived many shelling and air raids.
On February 27, 2022, a missile hit the military unit in their hometown and shells hit the town’s beverages factory. After that, the shelling of the town with heavy artillery continued on a daily basis. It was at this time that Maya decided it was time to leave home but it took another month until they could leave. The shelling and the air raid sirens continued. Despite all that, Maya and her daughters would remain in their house (with no basement), while the seven-year-old son hid with several Christian brothers in the basement in the church. But they did not just hide there from shelling – they worked as hard as they could, helping older brothers unload humanitarian aid, shovel snow in the yard, and chop wood to heat the stove in the church. At that time, 19 evacuated children from different Ukrainian families found shelter in the church.
The young men continued to work, cleaning the huge basement in the church to arrange it for storing medicines, food, and water for all those IDPs (independent displaced persons) who came to the church for rescue. The seven-year-old said that he did not think that he did something extraordinary. He modestly said that he was just doing what he had to do as a Christian and as a man.
All that time, Maya and her two daughters continued to stay in their house. She recalls that during heavy shelling, they were hiding in a room with load-bearing walls with a bunk bed in it. They slept dressed and were tense, as under the shelling they could not fully relax and rest.
Faithfulness under Fire
For a whole month, from February 24 through March 27, the church would continue gathering in their house: on Wednesdays, Christian youth came to study the Bible, and on Fridays, they had prayer meetings. On Sundays, all the believers from the church who remained in the town gathered for worship services led by Pastor Viktor. He decided not to leave his flock but remained with his brothers and sisters to serve the Lord. Pastor Victor would hold home Bible groups, Sunday gatherings, and helped receive the IDPs from other war-affected spots.
A church in Poland helped evacuate people with their own cars to more peaceful Ukrainian oblasts. On the way back home, they transported humanitarian aid and distributed food and bread to villages where people had no access to goods. This aid by fellow Christians allowed these villages to survive. These brave brothers and sisters brought vital medicine and insulin to people in need. The sisters in Christ from the church are preparing hot meals, washing clothes for those in the shelter, and helping the elderly and helpless take a shower. They surround them with Christian care and love. An evacuation point set up at the church works 24/7: some people come to rest and move forward and others come in their stead to recover from the horrors of the war and receive help from the Christians in the church.
Maya recalls, “Our brothers and sisters from the church in our hometown minister to people, even though they are not safe. Bombing continues, but the church stands and continues serving!” She is telling her story with tears in her eyes and repeats all the time that she wants her town to be safe and peaceful again, and that she wants to return with her children to her home and the church. In the meantime, her family has been warmly taken in by a Baptist church in Poland, which ministers to the refugees from Ukraine.
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.