Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported network of churches in Ukraine.
More than two months since the war in Ukraine started, the church has not stopped serving! See how different congregations throughout the country continue to serve God and people in this difficult time.
Up to 70 volunteers live, eat, and work in building of this church. Every evening they talk about the emotions of the day, followed by a prayer of thanksgiving. Each of them has its own area of work:
A team of builders goes to the damaged houses to cover the broken windows with husk, repair the roofs, and repair the doors. The boys also help the owners to take out the surviving things from half-burned or half-destroyed houses or apartments. As lunchtime approaches, the boys deliver hot food to people.
During the day, people go to church to wash and dry clothes, charge their phones, get basic necessities, vegetables, clothes, and basic building materials.
Every morning and every evening the citizens are invited to pray. Pastors and deacons are waiting to listen and be there.
We pray that the church will be able to expand its ministry to restore life in the city, helping spiritual revival, emotional healing, supporting the elderly who remained in the city during the war.
This region has been living near the front line for eight years. The hardships of war motivate people to reach out to God and go to church. Because were to find acceptance and support today? “How valuable it is to be with the church,” says local missionary Ilya, recalling the celebration of Easter.
“This is the best Easter of my life. There are so many people coming that there is not enough room for them.”
About 40 percent of the inhabitants of this city left in connection with constant attacks of the [opposition’s] troops. The city is preparing for the siege of the [opposition]. On the eve of Easter, explosions were heard all day — fighting took place on the border. But the service took place in all churches of the area which are in the territory controlled by Ukraine.
Churches are serving God and people in this difficult time. They need our prayerful support because the threat here remains great — the [enemy is] trying to get closer to [this city], continuing to shell the city.
In [this Ukrainian] region, Sunday meetings did not take place due to shelling. Church leaders said that churches didn’t gather together on Easter. Those churches that planned to gather in the evening could not come to their church buildings in the morning due to heavy shelling. Only one church was able to hold Easter worship.
The period is difficult, many have limited resources, and the majority of the population has become displaced. Those who remain distribute humanitarian aid, visit basements and, if possible, help all those in need.
This region has new people joining the Church despite the fact that public transport has not been restored, the church is visited by many people.
One church has 75 percent of non-church people in the church. That part of the hall, which received a direct hit of a projectile in the window sill, has not yet been repaired.
At one church on Easter, eight people prayed the prayer of repentance. Also on this day, 45 people gathered for worship in a village in the region, and 15 of them accepted Christ into their hearts.
Villagers are helping to rebuild cities. Ukrainians do not yet know the plan for post-war reconstruction. And although our victory is still on the way, we all want to rebuild and develop Ukraine now — in the little ways we have. Baptists from one village have joined a volunteer local fire team to help rebuild the suburbs of Kyiv.
This group came to [another Ukrainian city] at the invitation of the city government and has been working for several days.
The people of one city brought Easter bread to two other cities. Volunteers distributed 600 loaves of Easter bread to the residents. From morning till night they handed out the Gospel to the people, testified of Christ, and called for people to turn toward God.
One pastor said many people still live in basements. There are empty streets. Residents hang a white handkerchief at the gate, indicate their phone number and wait for help in the basement. People say: we are afraid that there will be shelling now. They are very frightened by the horrors they have experienced. This is their second trip. Baptists brought people gas cylinders, medicines, generators, mobile phones and Ukrainian food.
In one church, meetings are filled with non-church people. On Sunday, another church was able to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ together. Thank God, the church was able to gather at such a difficult time. The hall was filled with people, and many non-church people in the area began to come to church regularly to seek consolation in God’s Word and fellowship with Christians. After the worship there was a tea party. All children received sweet gifts.
Churches were able to hold Easter worship in one region. On Sunday, the churches of the region, despite the temporary occupation, gathered to serve together to glorify the Risen Savior and encourage each other.
Meetings took place even in those settlements located on the front line, under fire. Brothers and sisters gathered together in the homes of believers, the Word of God and songs of praise and hope were heard. Intimidation and provocation could not deprive believers of the joy of resurrection.
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.