230228 Sga Ukraine War Stories 2 23 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview V2
Editor’s Note: The videos below were provided by an SGA team member in Ukraine.

One of our team members recently travelled to a region in Ukraine to visit several SGA-supported churches. Over four days, Lydia interviewed many displaced Ukrainians who had to flee their home during the war this past year. Not only did they receive emergency aid at houses of worship, but they were also were fed spiritually as they heard the Word of God preached.

As you’ll see in the translations of their video interviews below, they have endured great trauma and loss. But all are grateful for the outpouring of support from faithful servants of the Lord. Please pray for these hurting people as you see their faces and hear their voices. Ask the Lord to encourage their hearts and renew their strength. Lydia also sent videos of two SGA-supported pastors.

SGA-supported Pastor Anatoly

“May Jesus’ Name be glorified!  My name is Anatoly and I am a senior pastor in the Khmelnytsky region. We are currently involved in the process of unloading the cargo that was sent to us through SGA. This is food aid that includes 33 pallets. We will distribute this aid to those churches where there are IDPs [internally displaced persons] and those who serve such people. There are churches that welcome such people on the church property where the refugees stay. Many refugees have moved to villages. Our Christians visit such people at their homes, provide them with physical (food) assistance, witness to them about the Lord and invite them to the church! Church pastors come here and take the help.

“Today we have 20 such churches where the aid will be distributed. Here we have two large containers (rented), where we unload the cargo beforehand. Our team sorts and prepares all the aid to distribute it to people. People are all grateful for the attention and help we provide them. Personally, on behalf of our association and all the people, I want to thank SGA partners for this contribution, for your care and hard work. Through such support, people learn how to be grateful, which has not been seen before, and God teaches them a lot.”

Tetyana’s Story

“My name is Tetyana, I am from Mariupol. What can I tell to you now? It’s hard to imagine even in a dream what I experienced and saw with my own eyes. When I think over and over again about all that horror, I wonder if I really dreamed it or if it was really so terrifying. Then I realize again that there is no return. We had no communication there: no television, no electricity, no water, no heat. At first, people were terrified, and I was afraid to go outside, to my yard. But later, after some attacks, some people dared to go outside and make fires with the branches that fell from the shells that hit them. But sometimes even those branches were not enough to make even a tea. It was very hard! Our son lived separately from us. He was not married. A shell hit his house and it burned down. My son was not at home, and he was alive at the time. 

“My husband and I lived on the 14th floor and the connection was very poor. Our daughter lives in Kyiv and she called me and begged me to come at least to Khmelnytskyi, and she would meet me there. My husband held my hands and said: ‘ You go, dear, and I will stay with our son here.’ Those were his last words. On March 15th I went by car with our friends, they had just one seat in the car. So we never saw each other again, neither my son nor my husband. When I left, my husband decided to check the condition of my son’s house after the shelling, thinking that something else could have survived . . . Later I was told that my husband was later collected in pieces. My son went to look for him and did not return alive either.

“Now I go to church here, I don’t know how I could morally and emotionally withstand such grief without God! Only in church I get some relief when I listen to the Word, when the pastor reads and explains it well. It is an escape for me! Thank you for being with us and helping us with food and prayers!”

Marina and Alina’s Story

“My name is Marina and my daughter is Alina. We came here from Kharkiv on April, 12

I am raising my daughter alone. When the war began, we were hiding in the basement for 12 days. It was very scary. We decided to try to leave the city after mines landed in my brother’s yard. My brother came to us and suggested that we should go with him. We got to Khmelnytskyi by chance, and we were very well welcomed here. In the summer, my daughter came to the camp here. Then we started attending services every Sunday. In Kharkiv, I went to the Orthodox Church for a while, but I didn’t have that kind of faith. In this church, I repented and received the Lord into my heart, and I really like all the pastors and the church staff, they treat the IDPs very well and take care of us. Alinka goes to Sunday school, and I go to Pastor Anatoly to study Bible. My daughter and I would like to thank everyone involved in our stay here for their care and love. Thank you!”

Oksana’s Story

“My name is Oksana. We came here from the Sumy region. The occupation started from the first day, because we live 10 km from the border, so we moved to our parents’ place further away. We survived the occupation at our parents’ place. God protected our family; we were not affected. After the de-occupation, the enemy started shelling, and we decided to leave the region altogether. I am a Christian, I was a church member in one of the Baptist churches, and when we came here to Khmelnitskiy, we decided to be in this church. We are very thankful to everyone who took us in, who helped us settle here, provided everything we needed for housing, food packages. I am grateful to the Lord that He cares about other people through His children!

Yulia’s Story

“My name is Yulia, I am from Kharkiv. Specifically, from the district that is 30 kilometers from the border with Russia. My husband, daughter, and I spent eight days in the basement since the beginning of the war. My mother was sitting on the 9th floor in the apartment, in the corridor. It was very loud, scary, it was always the air forces. We managed to get to Khmelnytskyi, where we were well welcomed by the people, who were kind and sincere, and we thank them for that. It took us four days in a row to get to Khmelnytsky with huge traffic jams, but thank God we got our child out and that is the most important thing we did for our child, we saved his life. I am grateful to those who are still helping us here in these difficult times. Thank you!”

Wednesday Worship Service

From Lydia:

“I took this short video, because I just liked pastor Viktor’s passion, preaching . . . so inspiring.

His message was from Proverbs 4:23: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life.” And he says: ‘When you lose your desire for prayer, then at that very moment look at Calvary, look at the cross, at the crucified Christ, all for your sake, for your sins, He was hanging there. When you will realize this, you will immediately jump out of your bed, fall to your knees, and cry out, Jesus, “I should be hanging there! You died for me, and I am too lazy to get down on my knees and thank You for this day.”

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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