Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine.
It may sound strange, but it is a gift when a brother in Christ shares honestly and openly from a weary heart. We hope you will receive these excerpts from SGA-supported Pastor Oleg’s most recent report as an opportunity to lift up this faithful servant even now as you read — and stand with him and God’s people in war-time Ukraine.
Greetings in the Lord!
We greet you all with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and wish you God’s blessings in everything! We are alive by the grace of God. God sends health, and with God’s help we continue the ministry entrusted to us in Ukraine, each in his own place, where God instructed.
Today, when the Ukrainian land is flooded with the blood of our compatriots, my eyes and face are filled with tears, looking at this tragedy. Now for all of us, the words of Jesus Christ, spoken to the disciples at the Last Supper, are especially relevant, “I have said this to you, that you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have sorrow; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
Despite the full-scale war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine on fictitious accusations, and being witnesses to all this tragedy, we, as the Church of God, are called especially at this difficult time to continue to be a light in this world, and to serve people by directing their eyes to God, as well as perform social service, supporting each other in any way we can.
Currently, our area, and [a different Ukrainian region] is in the zone of occupation. We are cut off from Ukraine, but with God’s help we continue our ministry and we will work as much as God allows. We understand that despite everything that happens, God controls the whole situation. In the first days of the war, we had big battles. [The enemy’s] military equipment was knocked out everywhere, as well as the wounded and killed.
There are shell craters on the roads. The roads are practically empty. Only there are [the opposition’s] checkpoints everywhere. It is very difficult to get through. They find fault with everything. In many settlements, there are armed [opposition] soldiers and equipment. The streets are almost empty; the movement is dangerous.
Basically, everything is closed and nothing works. Schools are closed, banks, social infrastructure institutions. Ukrainian flags hang on state institutions. Our people will not accept the imposed bloody [opposition] policy. There is almost nothing in stores.
If something is brought, then there are long queues. Gas stations do not work. There is no gasoline. Several times they brought a little. The queues were 2-3 kilometers long. Work has stopped. People have no money either.
Every day the cannonade rumbles, the cities of Ukraine are shelled. By the grace of God, our local churches continue to serve. We gather in the Houses of Prayer, and by groups at home. I continue to travel to church services in [two different Ukrainian cities]. It is very dangerous leaving. I don’t know if I can return home. I entrust everything into the hands of God and completely trust Him. Thank God for help and protection.
Dear brothers and sisters, pray with us for peace in Ukraine, as well as for the needs that were mentioned. Thank God that He is together with us, that He keeps us and helps us in life and ministry. We sincerely congratulate you on the feast of Easter and wish you God’s blessings in everything. Hearty greetings from all brothers and sisters from our local churches. May God keep you and help you in everything, we pray for you!
In a time of great fear and 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 food, medicine, warm clothing, shoes, and Scripture materials.