Sometimes ministry happens in brief moments of time, as it does at an SGA-supported camp in Belarus. During the summer camp season, the facilities are packed with youngsters who are excited to be outdoors and also learn more about Jesus. But this camp’s year-round outreach also includes pouring into the lives of Ukrainians who have fled their country during the war and need shelter for a day or two.
Most are just passing through on their way to Europe. But each are experiencing the love of God and hearing the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ as they see the truth of Scripture demonstrated in and through the lives of caring believers.
Pastor Pavel, who oversees the camp, recently shared six stories of Ukrainians he met with this spring and ministered to while they stayed at the camp. Will you lift up each one in prayer today as you read their stories of heartbreak and pain? Their wounds of suffering will take time to heal, but we pray the time they spent in the care of God’s people impact their lives for eternity.
Help to Refugees
Greetings, brothers and sisters, I want to share the testimonies of refugees to whom we help thanks to you.
Lyudmila from Mariupol, 62 years old—She lived in Mariupol all her life before the start of hostilities. She had three children (two daughters and a son) and was married twice. At the beginning of the war, they were taken to Voronezh. The son worked for the Ministry of International Affairs, so he stayed in Ukraine. His department from Mariupol moved to Vinnitsa, where he died of a heart attack in March 2023. Her eldest daughter lives in Denmark with her husband—she moved there a year ago. The younger daughter stayed in Voronezh. Lyudmila is currently on her way to Ukraine to do the paperwork, and then she is going to Denmark to join her daughter. Lyudmila has only the walls of her house left.
Igor from Mariupol, 57 years old—He is going to Germany. His wife is waiting for him there. He was very worried that they might not let him out of Ukraine. The saddest thing was that he had to leave his mother in Mariupol. She is 81 years old. If he had taken her with him, they would have been separated, he believes. And she will only get worse there. They would send her to a refugee camp or something like that. So, he left her in the care of a neighbor. They lived on the ninth floor and were at home during the fighting. Given his mother’s age, it was impossible to go down into the basement. They saw neighboring nine-story buildings burning down. If a sniper was stationed there, a thermoballistic missile could have burned down the entire entryway. The first floor was hit, but the ventilation system works and spreads everything to the upper floors. The sniper would either have to leave or die. Igor is a pacifist by conviction. He is not against anyone. He just wants everyone to live in their own territory.
Yuliana, 29 years old—She is from Mariupol. She is going with her son Danil, seven years old. The house was right near Azovstal. She has been married twice. Her ex-husband serves in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The son is from her first marriage. Now she is seven months pregnant by her second husband. But his parents are very much in favor of the war. Therefore, she had to go to Norway herself to stay with relatives. Her grandfather is a pastor of a Baptist church. He is now, if she may say so, in captivity. Yuliana says, it is impossible to live in the city now. There are so many newcomers. They have jobs. Locals are working on the rubble. They clean the city. Everything is very expensive, even groceries.
For several months this man stayed at home to avoid being drafted. Although they used to take everyone—students and the elderly. Now there is a deferment for students. His mother, grandmother, and other relatives stayed at home. The most difficult thing was that there had been no water in Donetsk since February 24. All this time. He is going to the Netherlands. He hopes he can at least get a job.
Marina with three children—Thisis a family from Kakhovka. Her husband and one nephew died four months ago. They came under fire on their way to work. One nephew survived because he was in the back of the car, but he was wounded. Marina and her husband had been working on construction sites before, installing roofs. And this time her husband was going to work at a construction site, too. They used to earn good money and were able to build a house on the edge of town near the woods. They weren’t going to leave. But the death of her husband changed everything. They quickly ran out of food and money. There was nothing left to continue their existence for. To survive, they went to their brother in Poland. Both husband and Marina grew up in a large family.
Lyuba is a believer—She was never married. She lived in the city of Alchevsk, Lugansk region. According to her words, they only bombed where the military was concentrated. “There was a case where we drove away from the place where the service was held. Something was hit near the bus station and there was a big bang. It sounded like rockets were hit. At that time the believers were coming out of the prayer house after the service and were getting into a minibus. The believers were wounded. We had just left a minute before. Many people were killed on the shuttle bus. There was an explosion just a few meters away.”
Her brother remained in town to take care of the elderly. But if you don’t have to watch someone, people do like one farmer who lived in the town of Popasnaia. The farmer gave water to a large herd of cows. Then he left everything and went away.
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.