240524 Sga Ukraine War Stories 5 15 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Jun 24, 2024
Editor’s Note: The following testimony and images were provided by an SGA team member in Ukraine.

SGA Team Member Kristi shares this story from an SGA-Supported Pastor and Pastor’s Wives Retreat:

SGA Storyteller Angela was with us (Eric and Kristi) at the SGA-supported Pastor and Pastor’s Wives Retreat that was held a couple of weeks ago in Ukraine. Angela was able to gather many stories from the couples there. Even in the midst of this retreat, the men and women shared of the hardships that they still daily face at home. Their faithfulness in standing on a sure foundation is a great example to many. Their faith has been greatly tested, and yet they remain steadfast. Over and over again, we heard how these couples have endured through the battle and have no plans to retreat until their “deployment” is finished. They have all been strategically placed right where God would have them, standing shoulder to shoulder, fighting the good fight for the sake of the Gospel. There are many of these men and women throughout Ukraine. Please continue to pray for them as they daily honor God in their calling.

Life in the tiny village in western Ukraine, where about 5,000 residents live, drastically changed with the full-scale invasion. Never before had these areas seen so many people from all over the country. Yet the war turned a small village into a haven of safety for hundreds of needy people traumatized by the realities of war. Pastor Oleg and Anna’s family were there from day one. When the government had nowhere to place the large number of refugees, their church became a type of hotel, especially for the lowest class.

Holding Onto Gods Promises 1

Pastor Oleg recalls, “God taught us to be sincere, open, and very flexible to all types of people and the great needs that they have. Those first months were spent getting rid of hair lice, dealing with the addictions that the refugees had, and showing the kind of sincere and human love that Jesus displayed when He walked this earth…”

Now, on the third year of full-scale war, the small church consisting of 30 members continues to be active in serving the Lord and serving their community. They recently started a ministry to serve the widows and mothers whose husbands and sons were killed at war. The list of individuals they reach has already grown to 28 families.

“We are very close to the worries that the wives and families feel, we have the same fears that they had. Every family in our church has someone at war- a son, a brother, or a grandson… Both of my brothers serve in the military, and our thoughts and prayers are always with them as we beg God for their safety,” Anna says, her eyes filled with pain. “It hurts a lot because we really don’t know if they will return from the war alive. Yet when you help others, you are sharing in their pain – and you realize that you are not alone in it. So, we gather our strength from the Lord as we serve those He has given us. And we will continue to wait and hope, and put our trust in God no matter the circumstances…”

Every Sunday before service, the church comes together to pray for 350 people by name: the close relatives and friends that are currently serving in the army from their community. They know the power of prayer: because their Rock, their Foundation is Jesus Christ.

Amidst the hardships and worries, Pastor Oleg talks about the importance of continuing to be faithful, especially on the days when there isn’t any strength left. “God is always faithful, and we hold on to that as we stay true to our calling…

“And we believe that everything will be good in the end, and if it isn’t, then it isn’t the end,” adds Anna. “No matter what, God promises good in eternity, where we will be all together. That is our foundation!”

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, and hygiene supplies.

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