Throughout Ukraine, local pastors and ministers are going door-to-door in their communities. As food continues to be delivered through SGA-supported Compassion Ministry,there is much fruit from conversations about the Gospel! Because of these local visits to communities in hardship, more and more people in turn are walking through the doors of churches in Ukraine to hear God’s Word. Hearts are softening and opening up to the truth of the Gospel.
We are so grateful to our generous friends like you who help to make this incredible local impact possible. Please continue to pray for the SGA-supported missionary pastors and church teams who are faithfully knocking on doors and hearts of people in times of crisis. In the report below, Pastor Vladimir from Russia visits and ministers to the Russian-occupied side of Ukraine to encourage those who are suffering, homeless, hungry, and hurting—and in need of Gospel love and hope.
“Greetings to you, dear brothers, and sisters. Due to your support, we continue our ministry of preaching the Gospel in times of crisis. Here below are stories of some of those with whom we communicate and provide assistance…
We have known Karina since she was a child. She came to our Sunday school. At first, everything was fine, but then her mother lost her parental rights and Karina, along with her brother, was sent to an orphanage. Today, Karina is a single mother raising her two-year-old daughter, and living with her mother who abuses alcohol and gives noisy get-togethers at home.
This time, when we came with a gift of groceries, we were able to talk not only with Karina, but also with her mother, who for the past 8-10 years has not wanted to change anything in her life. She still thinks she is on the right path. However, the conversation with Karina was surprisingly delightful for us. In general, each of our meetings with her makes her more open to God’s Word and the Gospel. This time, Karina wanted to talk about whether she would be able to change her life, and whether she would have enough strength for that. We reminded her that without God, our strength is insufficient. We also said that each of us ended up in the church only by God’s grace and we live our Christian lives only thanks to Him. On the next day after our visit, Karina came to the church for the youth fellowship and said that she would try to come on Sunday, to the worship service. My prayer is that this girl, after having such a difficult childhood, would have a better life, and that her household would be saved. We are very grateful for the help that you provide. May the Lord bless you, your ministry, and your loved ones!
Lyudmila (and her grandson Igor)
After Igor’s mother and father abandoned him, the boy’s grandparents took up raising him. It was not an easy decision for them, as Lyudmila, the grandmother, had already endured several strokes, and the grandfather, due to his advanced age, had some chronic conditions. For this reason, a major part of their minimal pensions has to be spent on medicines. There is not much left for life and essential foods. The family accepts the food assistance that we bring them with great joy, and this, in turn, encourages our friendly conversations. This time we managed to talk about of salvation, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His blood, which He shed on the cross for our sins. Even though we had talked about this not long ago, the couple could not remember much from that time. We gladly repeated it again and made clearer for them what was said before. Nevertheless, we see a good progress with each visit to this family. Igor is a great joy and encouragement for us. He likes attending children’s activities in the church. On Sunday, and in the middle of the week, he comes to us to his delight. We continue to work with this family and hope that salvation will come to this household. Thank you very much for your beneficial work that you do. It is very valuable for us, believers, and for our townsfolk.
Natasha (and her son Artyom)
We praise the Lord for being able to attend to the needs of Natalya and her son, named Artyom. As the family was displaced by the war to our town, fleeing active hostilities and shelling, they are now having a very difficult time. They could not take many of their belongings, because they had to evacuate fast, and they took only the most essential things. Now they have been settling down here for several months now, and they still lack necessary clothes and other stuff. In addition, the situation with housing is not easy, as it is quite expensive for Natalya to rent a living space—despite the town’s standard of living being quite poor, the cost of renting housing has increased a lot. The reason for this is high salaries for the military. A very large part of the budget goes on rent and utilities, leaving almost no money for food. Natalya was embarrassed to accept food aid from us, because back home she worked and had a decent salary, but here she fell into the category of people in difficult life circumstances. Having come to this family again, I was able to testify of God’s love. I also told her that when one lives without God, all kinds of difficulties may happen, and ultimately, it will end with a terrible judgment and eternal torment. Natalya listened attentively and it was clear that the words touched her heart in a special way. The next Sunday, Artyom could finally come to the children’s activities. For us it was a great joy and the answer to prayers. We hope that this family will be seeking to connect their lives with God and the church. Glory to Our Lord for His great and wondrous deeds!
Svetlana (and her children: Pavel, Anya, Bogdan, Vika, Nikita)
Svetlana, a mother of five, still finds herself in a strained financial situation. One needs a decent amount of money in order to feed the kids. And, given the fact that the youngest son, Nikita, is often sick, they have to cut back on food. Food assistance for this family is of vital importance. The children at our meeting do not hold back their emotions, and happily meet us at the very doorstep and sincerely rejoice of some goodies. It greatly affects the way we are received in this home, because as we bring grocery gifts, we are able to communicate for quite some time. Very often, we end up discussing the important issue for this family of raising children. Svetlana has five of them, and everyone has their own character peculiar features associated with character. We encourage the mother to turn to the Lord for help. First, as she reconciles with Him, she then can start attending the church and taking the children with her. This will serve as a good example for them and be the best investment in their education and the future. This time, Svetlana was especially disposed to talk and to understanding of God’s Word. On Sunday, almost the whole family came to our worship service. We are very grateful to the Lord for such immense changes that are taking place in the life of this family. Thank you so much for providing opportunity to attend to the needs of our townsfolk and to preach them the message of salvation.
Alyona (and her children: Tanya and Rostislav)
It is not the first time that we have come to visit Alyona, and they greet us now as their good friends. We can spend hours, talking on different matters. This time it went the way that Alyona herself steered our conversation into a biblical topic. She was interested to know where a soul of a good person who is doing good deeds, but who does not go to church, will eventually go. We talked about this the entire evening. We talked about salvation and the very meaning of the word “church.” We mentioned, as well, that a person by his deeds could not earn eternal life with the Lord. Alyona seemed a little surprised, because she thought that all good and evil deeds would be weighed, and based on that, men would be judged. We, probably, would not even think to start talking about this, as for a believer, everything is quite clear in this matter.
It is very delightful to notice that the older daughter of Alyona, Tanya, also shows interest in the Christian life and, together with her brother, Rostislav, comes to the church. They became friends with other children, and now have common interests. Alyona is going to come to the church, but at present, due to her health issues, she is unable to come, as for more than a month, she has been having back pain and having a hard time moving around. She has to buy injections, which do not always help. We pray for Alyona, for her healing, and most importantly, for the salvation of her entire household.
Thank you to everyone who helped make these stories possible. We never forget your kind generosity!”
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.