240325 Sga Ukraine War Stories 2 29 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
May 06, 2024
Editor’s Note: The following report, testimonies, and images were provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine.

We pray you will never tire of reading ministry reports from pastors and congregations who are grateful to God for the support you provide through SGA. God is using your generosity to make the Gospel known, as believers in Ukraine reach out with food aid and encourage displaced people to come and see Jesus Christ!

Pastors like Oleh, whose report you can read below, take great joy in sharing the Lord’s work in the lives of suffering Ukrainians during the war. As you consider the testimonies Oleh shares, please pray for Natalia’s heart to soften as she sees God’s Word changing her—and pray that Alexandra will continue to bear fruit after deciding to follow Jesus. Read more from Oleh . . .

Dear brothers and sisters, dear SGA partners!

We express our sincere gratitude for your constant and vital prayer and financial support! Thanks to the close and fruitful cooperation with you, the Association of Baptist Churches [of our region] was able to continue to serve in several directions for the sake of developing and building the Kingdom of God!

[Our association] continues to work with internally displaced persons [IDPs]. Currently, one of the churches in [our region] hosts the following programs for them:

  • Teenage club (every week the Lord brings about 30 internally displaced and local teenagers aged 13 to 18).
  • A separate ministry for IDPs (80 to 130 people gather every Sunday). Over the past year, we have completed the Gospel of Luke and are moving forward with the study of the Scriptures. These people also received food and hygiene packages for which they express their sincere gratitude. Along with the adult ministry, children attend Sunday school classes.
  • Every month the Lord blesses us with children’s gatherings for internally displaced children and their parents. This time, the motto of the event was “Don’t give up!” It was dedicated to the anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Every time we try to organize a separate program for parents. They have almost identical children’s locations where they can study the Word of God, get answers to their questions, spend some time with each other and communicate. This time, after the program, children and parents received food aid and hygiene sets. 
  • The Lord also blesses us with several small groups for IDPs to study the Bible and prepare them for baptism. About 30 people attend these groups every week.
  • Individual meetings are held to provide counseling and emotional support.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve so many people! Thank you for your support and extremely important resources! May the Lord richly bless your generous hearts and hands! Let’s work together for God’s victory!

Oleh, Senior Pastor

I Will Follow Jesus Testimony 1

Testimony #1

My name is Natalia. My family and I lived in eastern Ukraine. I grew up like everyone else: parents, school, sports. As a teenager, I achieved high results in gymnastics. But, unfortunately, I later got an injury that not only ruined my professional sports career, but also made me walk with a cane, and I became a disabled person. All my life I worked in the penitentiary system. My husband worked at an industrial plant. We have a nine-year-old son. Unfortunately, he also has a disability from childhood. One eye does not see completely, but he grows up curious, smart, and very active. 

We left our city with our neighbors in the same car: the neighbor, his wife, my parents, my husband’s parents and our family. I still don’t know how we all fit in! We came [here] because many of our friends said that kindergartens were available for free. So we lived in a kindergarten, in one room with 20 other people. It was very hard to live, but we had a roof over our heads, free food, and we could have a bath and laundry. We all could not even imagine that we would stay [here] for so long! Everyone thought we would return home in a month. 

Unfortunately, my parents’ and my husband’s houses are no longer there (they lived in the private sector). Everything is ruined, destroyed. We lived in a two-story building, now the inside is completely burnt out, the roof is destroyed. So, we have nowhere to go back to. Here we rent an apartment from a friend. Our parents rent an old private house together. Because of their age, they can no longer walk up the stairs. My husband’s mother died a few months ago. My parents can no longer go shopping. They are all in our care. It is very difficult for me to walk, so my husband lives with them, and my son and I live in the apartment, near the school and his activities. We try to give our son everything we can, even in such difficult circumstances, because he is the one for whom we live. 

We were invited to church for a children’s service about a year ago. Since then, we have been attending not only the children’s service, but also the Bible study group and Sunday worship services. If the weather is slippery or really bad, we stay home, but otherwise we try not to miss. It is very important for me to study God’s Word. I can’t say that I’m ready to make any major decisions, but studying the Scriptures has changed me, my child, and our family in general. I take my son with me to the group—he loves sandwiches and sweets. On Sundays, he attends Sunday school. In such an environment, it is easy for me to open up and talk about what concerns me. Thank you to everyone who gives us this opportunity! Thank you for your care and food aid!

I Will Follow Jesus Testimony 2

Testimony #2

My name is Alexandra. I am 62 years old. I am from the suburbs of a city in northeast Ukraine. It so happened that after school I had to go to military service. My parents were also in the military, and where we lived at the time, there were few options: to go far away from home to study or to go to the army. So I spent my whole life in the army. 

My husband died very young. I was left with three sons. It was obviously not an easy life for us, but I did my best to raise my sons on my own and give them what children in normal families had.

When the war began, we got under fire. On February 24, 2022, at 9 a.m., all three of my sons went to the military enlistment office. The older ones volunteered back in 2014, but were injured and stayed at home, and this time all three went. For two years now, all my sons have been defending our country. Only a few times in these two years they had a vacation. Very often we have no contact with them for a whole week. But I am incredibly proud of them! They are real heroes! People on whom our nation stands!

Now I am displaced and live [here], because our house is destroyed and uninhabitable. [Here], I was invited to serve IDPs. As a mother of three soldiers, I am very grateful to the pastor for the fact that every Sunday we all pray together for our soldiers! These prayers give me peace for a few hours at least, because my heart is always breaking with anxiety about my sons! Later I was invited to a Bible study group. Here I can find answers to many of my questions.

From childhood, I was never interested in God, because I was taught that God does not exist. However, today I can say for sure that I have repented. The Lord changed my life! I have a lot of work to do, but I have definitely decided that I will follow Jesus! Now I am preparing for the baptism ,and I am very grateful to God for such a wonderful pastor and church! I am grateful for all the help I have from kind, loving people.

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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