230331 Sga Ukraine War Stories 3 24 Storytelling Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview V2
Apr 21, 2023
Editor’s Note: The story below was provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Belarus.

I want my children to be healthy, that’s all.” For Maya, the war in Ukraine began one morning as she was getting her children ready for school. Friends from Poland called, the kindergarten teacher wrote, and Maya’s mom came to her home and told her to turn on the television. From that point on, Maya’s life was filled with explosions and rockets that forced her to leave her home, no water or electricity, no money for groceries, and transportation difficulties. 

Yet in the midst of all of the chaos, there was a church nearby. This church performed a skit talking about how our sins turn our hearts dark. Maya’s children have taken those words to heart. As Maya states her account below—as told to SGA-supported Pastor Pavel—all she wants is for her children to be healthy. Please pray that their spiritual health is taken care of as well. Pray for the salvation of this family as they wait to return home. The church is nearby for a time and purpose.  

Maya, 39, Mariupol

We didn’t know that the war began. My acquaintances from Poland called, and I was just getting the kids ready for kindergarten. “Maya, are you at war? No, come on. And then I pick up the phone and the teacher wrote in the kindergarten group: “I hope everyone is alive and healthy”. And then my mother comes and tells me to turn on the TV. Yes, the war has started. “That’s it, Mom, we’re packing. You’re coming with us.” That same day we went to our friends in Yalta. The explosions started. We thought, as usual, that there would be explosions for a week, and we’d go for a week and then come back. We didn’t even take our things. 

In Yalta it was not so calm either: many bangs, windows were shaking and we had no basement there. We were always looking for a corner of the house so that if it went off, there wouldn’t be any windows nearby. When we got there, there was no electricity, no water. At first, we pulled water from the well. Then they started bringing big trucks with barrels and jugs and we had to carry 10 to 15 jugs. They gave us light, but there was no water yet. I decided that I would do my laundry in the machine by hand. The kids run dirty every day and washing by hand I ended up with blisters. I’d rather pull water. There were groceries in the store, but there was no money. We received humanitarian aid. Before, children ate bananas unwillingly, but then it was as if they had never seen candy. 

By the way, we have a church nearby. It must be yours. People came from Russia, Minsk, Voronezh . . . missionaries, as I understand it. They brought trampolines and a room where you can climb and slide. We don’t have any entertainment: all the parks are beaten up. So, we started going there. The kids were walking around. The adults had all sorts of conversations. Before the New Year, there was a skit. A man was talking about bad things, about a red heart and why it can turn black (because you do bad things). Maxim (my oldest son) memorized it all, and if the youngest son indulges, he tells him the heart goes dark. 

There are people who support Russians, and there are those who are still waiting for Ukraine. I’m not a fan of either Russia or Ukraine. I just saw how this war started . . .  I’m going to go back if the war is over. I don’t know how life is going to work out from here. But I’m always drawn home. I want my children to be healthy, that’s all.

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.

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