As you read through this recent ministry report and consider the stories shared by SGA-supported Pastor Pavel below, will you rejoice with us? We are blessed by God to serve a network of so many faithful churches, striving side by side with them for the sake of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27).
Please pray for Pavel and his congregation as they continue their outreach to Ukrainian refugees, who are fleeing Ukraine and arriving in Belarus searching for food, shelter, and emergency support. May the hearts of those in unimaginable crisis be softened to the Gospel, and may they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Help to Refugees
I was able to talk to many people. Only the stories often fail to convey the horror of what is happening. It’s just bombing. And the fear. And the stories are similar.
A woman and a man were among the group that came once again. You can see that they are very confused. They do not know where to go. They have no relatives abroad. Their relatives stayed in Ukraine. It was evident that she was afraid. Their mother remained in occupied territory.
Since the beginning of the invasion, the invading military has been occupying the best houses. When they see that there is no gas or water or other conveniences, they don’t move into such houses. They choose the houses with conveniences. They take away what they like from the houses. They openly steal washing machines, microwave ovens, refrigerators and other household appliances. There’s nothing they can do about it because they are armed.
A lot of people die. Constant shelling. Because a large number of weapons have been brought in and masses of soldiers are settling in the houses of locals. So everyone gets under fire. A neighboring family of a mother and her daughter decided to hide in the attic of their house, and that is where the shell hit killing them both. They left on a nervous breakdown.
Another man, Benjamin, with his family of eight children. Six are traveling with him and his wife. There seemed to be lawlessness going on. A building was taken away from Baptist believers in one area of the city. It was the authorities, not the military. They just took it away. If you don’t support the regime, they can take everything away. They kicked everybody out. They even pulled out all the plugs and wires. Then they gave the building back. The military moved into one building. There was a comfortable place with a basement. The leader of the congregation went to the mayor, the military, the police. But they answered that if it were up to them, they would put him in prison right then and leave him there.
When the building was no longer needed, the believers came back. They put up windows, everyone brought what they could, someone brought a piano from home. But two months later the military took it away again. Now they are going to Germany. But they would like to come back.
Pyotr came to visit us. He took part with Dima in the reception of refugees. Testimony of Pyotr:
“I am thankful to God that I had the opportunity to have a meeting with refugees and to witness for Christ. There were 76 of them. At the end of my testimony, I said that I never regretted when I did what the Bible says and mourned a lot when I didn’t.
After our fellowship, a man came up to me and thanked me with tears in his eyes for the encouragement. He was a believer, but had not always acted according to Scripture. He said to me, “Now you’ve confirmed to me that this is the only way to live. And there’s the unknown ahead, and I’m already an old man.”
Viktoria, Vladimir and son Yaroslav, 10 years old. For three days since the start of the war, they had been sitting in the house and were afraid to even move. Viktoria had never experienced such fear. Then they lived in a cellar and in a hole in the ground for three weeks. They wore their sheepskin coats. She and her husband froze their feet off. Then they got 14 kilometers away from the place, where there was a little less shooting. They lived in rented accommodation. They couldn’t leave earlier because their mom was sick. Mom died recently, and they are now in a state of confusion. They go to Warsaw, and they are drawn back home where everything is destroyed.
Vladislav goes with his wife Julia. Half a year ago, their daughter left for Germany with her family and kept calling them over, but they didn’t want to leave home.
The first shell also hit their yard and did not hit anything. The second one flew into their barn and nothing was left of the barn. Julia was cooking a meal and sat down on a chair next to the stove for two minutes. And then a shell flew into the roof and snapped two meters away. The shock wave shattered the closet, the walls, the furniture, but Julia remained seated on the chair, unharmed.
Vladislav heard that the shell hit the part of the house where Julia was sitting, and immediately started screaming and calling for her. Julia answered and said she was okay.
Afterwards, military correspondents came to them, filmed what the shell had left behind, and questioned them about what had happened. When they found out she was sitting two meters away from the shell, they told her: “Julia, you were not born with a shirt, you were born with a bulletproof vest.”
Next they needed to fix the roof, and Vladimir began to try something. But he was not good at it at all. His neighbor saw this and offered to help. Half an hour later neighbors from around the neighborhood came and helped fix the roof. They made it through in a day.
After that Vladimir and Julia decided to go to their daughter. They didn’t tell her what had happened and what made them change their decision, because she was eight months pregnant.
Each time there is a one-hour meeting for refugees to preach God’s Word and instruct them on how to move across the border and abroad.
Organizing the arrival and departure of two buses to Poland and Germany.
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.