Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Ukraine.
For some, the sufferings from the war in Ukraine have become almost commonplace. In this account below, one SGA-supported missionary pastor speaks of the war becoming “normal” for he and his family. Yet, in the midst of war, God is building his church! Read the report below of “normal living” despite ongoing challenges in Ukraine and be encouraged what a difference your support has made! Thank you for giving to our brothers and sister in Christ overseas who are working to reach others with the message of hope found in Jesus Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am very happy to be able to greet you again! In spite of all our prayers and support for community of Ukraine, the war continues and most likely will not end soon.
There were only a few short periods during the entire war when we would not hear the shots, bomb explosions, shells, and rockets that are regularly fired upon us. Today, I noticed that our children have already begun to get used to war and constant explosions. There were three explosions not far from us today. Our girls at that time were playing in the yard near the house. When the first explosion was heard, they immediately ran into our house saying, “They are shooting. Let’s pray”, but a few minutes later, after the explosions stopped, our girls again went out into the street and continued to play as if nothing had happened…
Almost every day in the news bulletins we hear about the dead and wounded civilians who came under fire. My friend, a church pastor, has been living with his family for the last two months without electricity, without communication, with a very limited amount of food. Thousands of people died nearby as a result of shelling, about 2,200 residential buildings and more than 150 educational institutions were destroyed in three months. -Our children have not been to school since winter.- The university where our eldest son studies was bombed in the first weeks of the war.- So, all children study online, which is not as effective as offline learning. Our son David is finishing school this year, taking his final exam and wants to go to university.- Now he is finishing the school program on his own.
I don’t go to villages now since most of them are impossible for me to reach. Now the whole ministry is mainly focused around our church. At the very beginning of the war, when many people began to flee from shelling, many settled like us in other safer regions. But there were no grocery stores here. And we began to find out where you can get groceries. Some churches began to bring food from other regions. And together with other churches, we began to make food bags and distribute to people in need; the word about it quickly spread throughout our town. And a lot of people started coming to our worship services, so much so that some of our church members during the services had to stand outdoors so that unbelievers could be in the meeting and listen to the Word of God. And although most of them came only for food packages that we handed out after the services, they all sat in the church listening to singing, prayers and sermons. Every Sunday at the end of the service, I invited people to be reconciled with God through repentance. And every Sunday a few people come forward to pray. Now there are already those who want to be baptized.
Only now I began to understand why the Lord did not let me to leave. Before war we had to look for people and make plans and events to invite them to church. And only few people would come. And now God, having allowed these circumstances, Himself leads people to the House of Prayer. We don’t hand out food packages every time and warn people about it. But some come even when we are not handing out food packages. And watching people during the sermon, I see in the eyes of many of them a genuine interest in the Word of God. And I rejoice in it.
Recently, a church nearby offered us to take several tons of humanitarian aid from them. And we decided to go for these products. But in order to go there, I had to stand in lines at gas stations for three days, and gas is rationed related to the lack of fuel and due to the fact that fuel was available at only a few gas stations.
Last Thursday, we started a home group of newly converted people in a neighboring village. People listened with great interest and asked many questions and we agreed to meet weekly. We also want to organize another home group for new people at the other end of our town. And we hope that at the end of the summer we will have a baptism.
Recently, I noticed that many people who are unable to come to church call us asking for help and we deliver food packages to their homes, thereby testifying to the love of the Lord. People thank us with tears.
But unfortunately, last week my car broke down again. And the most unpleasant thing about it is that the necessary spare parts cannot be bought in Ukraine. I will have to order the spare parts abroad, and as I was told, the delivery of the part I need to Ukraine will take 16-30 days.
Please support us in prayer for:
– Continued salvations of the people we come into contact with.
– On the organization and conducting of home groups for unbelievers.
– About baptism this year.
– About the fast repair of her car.
In conclusion, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayerful and material support. For us now it is not only valuable, but vital. May the Lord richly reward you for your generosity in His name!
-Pastor Evgeny and family
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.