240201 Sga Ukraine War Stories 1 5 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Mar 18, 2024
Editor’s Note: The following stories and images were provided by an SGA team member in Ukraine.

The story below comes through two different perspectives—an older woman and a young boy. SGA team member Angela writes of her personal experience with both of these people in Ukraine. One has been ministered to at an SGA-supported volunteer center where Angela and her husband, Val, serve, and another sat in front of her at church. In all that these dear ones have experienced, there is still a greater peace. 

Please pray for Ukraine as the year begins. “These children don’t deserve their childhood to be stripped from them,” Angela says. “It’s been another Christmas in a war-torn country, and we’re starting the new year in basements and bomb shelters . . . how much longer, Lord?” Hearts are weary. May it be God’s will to bring an end to the raging war.  

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Never in her 83 years could Evheniya imagine that she’d ever have to live through what she did.

When the full-scale invasion began, Evheniya and her family were suddenly in the middle of all of the trouble. Located in the Kyiv region, chances of making it out of the city alive were slim as bombs flew from all sides. Yet food in the basement was getting scarce, and temperatures and living conditions were far from healthy.

Reflecting on that time, Evheniya says, “I should have died many times. For instance, I was supposed to be in the evacuation carriage of cars that had left a couple hours before us. We soon passed their bodies scattered on the ground as we evacuated in our own cars. We had no idea then, but the roads that we took were called “death roads,” as cars were shot down by tanks that lined the streets and snipers in bushes. Somehow, with bullets whizzing over our heads, we made it through there alive. What I recall most is myself, pleading and screaming into heaven, to a God I’d heard about but didn’t know then, ‘You gave us life, please just don’t let us die and be eaten by dogs, like the others we passed on the street.’”

And God heard; the Lord of the universe and Creator of all things answered that prayer. Evheniya knows that only God was strong and powerful enough to protect her life and the lives of her loved ones. Later that year, when it was safe to return to her region, someone told Evheniya about a volunteer center that opened and was giving aid to the residents of her small town. Not interested in receiving aid, she finally visited the center after she heard that the people there were Christians who prayed to God. That visit was the first step she took to find out more about the God who saved her. Soon, Evheniya was a regular attendee of every church service, Bible study, and women’s meeting that the volunteer center offered. Now, she reads the Bible, asks many questions, prays to the Lord, and witnesses to others. 

The volunteer center has really helped me understand who God is. We’re reading through the Gospels now, and I can finally say that I know what I’m reading about. I learned to thank God. Now, as I start praying, I understand that everything is from Him and everything that happens is His will. And this gives me peace to sleep, even when there is still so much to fear.”

And one of those things that we fear is how the children are being impacted by the war in Ukraine. Below is another personal story from Angela and what she observed while sitting in church recently. Yet, everything still happens in His will, and He gives peace in the details . . . 

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It was the last day of 2023. My husband and I were sitting in church, listening to the church announcements. In front of us sat a family with two boys. I watched as one of them, about ten years old, quietly sat and drew something in his sketch pad. Instantly, my thoughts took me to my own childhood, where mom and dad took all six of us to church, and also gave us paper and pencils to draw (anything to keep us quiet!). I smiled as I remembered what I loved to draw at his age; princesses and marshmallow clouds, trees and mountains and my dream bicycle.

When we all stood up to sing, the little boy left his sketch pad on the pew, and I was able to see his drawing clearly. Yet what stared up at me wasn’t a dragon or a robot or a dream car; it was far from it. What the ten-year old boy had drawn was the invaders’ missile attacking a high-rise building and a Ukrainian soldier attempting to intercept the death-carrying rocket bomb to protect the people.

I nudged my husband. “Look what children in Ukraine draw in their sketch pads,” I whispered sadly.

Children, whose childhood is filled with nightly terror as they wake up from the shrill of air raid sirens or the trembling of the earth from loud explosions outside their windows. Children who don’t understand why their favorite cartoon was cut off short because the power suddenly went out again. Children who see their father twice a year because they’re out on the front line, defending their country. Children who’ve lost their houses, their best friends, their schools and towns and cities. And the children, who will never open their eyes again, because the neighboring country has already decided their fates.

We soon all stood up to pray, and I took my heavy heart and pleas to God, again and again and again. These children don’t deserve their childhood to be stripped from them. It’s been another Christmas in a war-torn country, and we’re starting the new year in basements and bomb shelters.

How much longer, Lord?

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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