In the three stories below, SGA team member Lyudmila shares three different accounts of how God’s hand was so evident in very difficult circumstances during the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Each local family who attends the SGA-supported churches represented has played an important role in restoring not only buildings and infrastructure, but also in the restoration of hearts, as broken and hurting people heal from the visions and memories of tragic days. Please continue to pray for Ukraine, as many are still hearing those sounds of war even today.
The day before the planned evacuation, there was no food in the basement. The girl was hiding there with her 75-year-old grandmother and several other neighbors. Then she and a group of volunteers decided to go and find some food. Suddenly, Victoria got lost and distracted. In the middle of the square, she met two guys who were running and warning her that the invaders’ tanks were coming. At first, the girl froze in fear. Then she remembered a shelter nearby and ran there. She waited for the convoy to pass and decided to return to her grandmother. Thankfully, she made it back safely.
“In those days, God became my Support and Guardian. There was an evangelical Christian in our shelter. He prayed every day. I was sure that a protective dome, a shield, had been formed around us, which saved us from death,” she says.
Now Victoria likes to attend meetings held by Baptists in her town. She likes to play volleyball and do things with her hands. A month ago, she graduated from college with a degree in cooking. At first it may seem that Victoria is living the easy-going life of a young person. But this is not true. The war continues, and her community still hears the sounds of air raid alarms every week. And every day she is reminded of what she has been through by the destroyed and ruined houses in her small hometown.
Yuri and Valentina
One evening, Valentina asked her husband Yuri to sleep in the living room because it was warmer there than in the bedroom. They will never forget that night. In the middle of the night, there was a massive explosion, and a wave threw them off the couch. God saved them that night. They had just a couple of bruises, but their bedroom windows were smashed, and everything was riddled with fragments. It was the fragments from a shell that hit the yard.
Valentina’s emotional condition was shaken. She could no longer sleep and was crying constantly. Although the family did not want to leave their home, they made a difficult decision to move out into the uncertainty. Before the war, Valentina and Yuri lived in their hometown of Lysychansk for 50 years. The city survived the invasion for three months. In those days, Valentina and Yuri were very scared—all the shops, pharmacies and ATMs were empty, and the money on the card was not accepted. Bombings and shelling kept them awake every night and became part of their daily lives. This family survived by hiding in the basement. They lived without electricity and water for a month. Now their town is occupied, and they managed to evacuate. When the occupiers entered Lysychansk, they completely destroyed the infrastructure.
Yuri and Valentina traveled all over Ukraine in search of safe shelter and hope for a better future. It’s hard to imagine what they were going through, as all they had for a new life were two travel bags. When they arrived in the town where they now live, they found shelter and support at a local church. The help of the church and volunteers were extremely important to them. This support allowed them to recover from the horrors of war. They cried a lot. But little by little their hearts are warming. They see God’s action through people who showed care and love and became the embodiment of His grace.
Two frightened pensioners who dreamed of a quiet and peaceful life in their home are now constantly forced to think about where and for what they will live. But during this time, their trust in God had grown. They began to realize their imperfections and the need for His guidance and support. They are confident that God is holding them in this period of complete uncertainty and guiding them through all their trials.
This is the story of 73-year-old Maria, a resident of a small town. When the war started, she was sheltered in her cold basement and stayed there for days, not coming out. One day, she decided to go upstairs to her house to cook for herself and rest on her comfortable bed. At that moment, there was a loud explosion, a roar and shrapnel flying around. The Lord saved Maria—she was lying on her bed and the shell fragments flew over her. If she had stayed in the basement, the wall would have blocked the entrance to it, and there would have been no way out.
Maria decided to flee the town. For six months she was looking for shelter and survived on a miserable pension. When the Lord finally blessed the region where Maria used to live with the release of the territories, people began to come back. And all the horrific memories of torture and abuse of local residents became public.
Across the street from Maria’s house is the Light of the Gospel Baptist Church, where she had never been. This summer, young people from the church volunteered to help clear the rubble and rebuild the house, which had been in ruins for a year. They spent a week working together, praying, discussing important issues, supporting her, and helping her. Maria felt God’s great love and care. Now the yard is cleaned up, the garbage is taken out of the house, and the roof is repaired. After that, Mrs. Maria came to church for the first time to attend a worship service. She thanked God and the church! We believe that this is the birth of her living faith and knowledge of God.
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-supported 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.