230426 Sga Ukraine War Stories 4 21 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
May 18, 2023
Ukraine Relief
Editor’s Note: The images and report below were provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine.

As you read the recent report below from SGA-supported Pastor Eugene, we hope you are blessed in its thankfulness for the care and support of the church and also with the fruitfulness. Consider the challenges in several of the towns, as well as God’s faithfulness in several lives.

Eugene writes, “War is often a challenge for the churches. People around us are watching how the church will act in such difficult circumstances. Therefore, it is up to each of us depending on what impressions our neighbors will have, what authority Christians will gain during the war.”  And so he exhorts us all in such days to display Christ in all of our circumstances.

War is often a challenge for the churches. People around us are watching how the church will act in such difficult circumstances. Therefore, it is up to each of us depending on what impressions our neighbors will have, what authority Christians will gain during the war.

It will be good if at this time we really show the true and effective love of Christ not only in words, but also in works, in practical help to those in need, in our sacrifice and willingness to respond to the need. Today we have great opportunities to preach the Gospel in word, deed, and life. People need consolation, hope, and people need God. And our mission now is not to ignore these needs, but to be as effective and useful as possible.

Therefore, from the first days of the war, our church has been actively involved in participation in the lives of people affected by the war and other vulnerable categories of the population. In particular, through the sponsorship of many dedicated people and organizations, we have been able and are still doing the following:

  • Evacuate people from the areas of ongoing military operations;
  • Collect and deliver humanitarian aid to the border and frontline locations;
  • Work with IDPs (providing temporary or permanent housing, physical and material assistance with the arrangement, distribution of food packages, etc.)
  • Evangelistic trips to border and frontline locations;
  • Evangelistic ministries with the distribution of humanitarian aid;
  • Organizing children’s, teenage and youth clubs;
  • Counselling;
  • Targeted assistance

We are very grateful to the Lord and everyone involved for the opportunity to serve people and God in this difficult time for Ukrainians. 

We are especially grateful to SGA, to the Polish churches, and all the sponsors for their support. Your participation is extremely important to us!! Through this cargo, we were able not only to support IDPs or even our church members, but also to witness to many more people about God during our evangelistic outreaches. We appreciate your sacrifice, your concern for those who suffer and your willingness to respond to their needs. We pray for the opportunity to continue the ministry initiated during the war and to further support those in need. May God bless you and your ministry!

Churches in the Region

In total, 19 churches in the Sumy region have received humanitarian food and aid within the project. Aid was also sent to the hospice in the village of Znob-Novgorodske.

Each of these churches actively spread the Gospel during the war and the received humanitarian aid has expanded the possibilities of evangelism, because often the received food packages speak louder and brighter than any words.

Krasnopillia is a town located about 15 km from the border. From the first days of the war to the present time the village has received ongoing shelling, so the civilians are in great need of support.

The shelling is damaging critical infrastructure and civilian homes, educational and cultural institutions, and industrial facilities. There is a constant need for materials to repair and rebuild damaged buildings. Many people have found themselves in a difficult financial situation and are happy to receive any help.

Many members of the small church in Krasnopillya were forced to leave their homes and move to safer regions of Ukraine. Currently, there are many elderly people left in the church who need support themselves. But the church is doing its best to support those who remain in the village. Regular prayer and evangelistic ministries are regularly held here. People pray that God will send protection and a speedy end to the war. Thanks to the humanitarian aid we have received, we are able to witness to many more people about God’s love.

The situation is similar in Belopillya, a small town, located a little further north, 10 km from the border. Again and again, local citizens are always shaken by explosions. Thankfully, there are still ministers in Bilopillya, who are able and willing to glorify God through their ministry in such a danger zone.

Praise God, the city regularly receives food and other humanitarian aid. The church organizes special services where people can talk to each other, ask questions, hear the Word of God and also receive a food package or other necessities. The ministers also help low-income families, families with many children, and people in difficult life situations.

Putyvl is a town that has witnessed fighting since the first hours of the military invasion.

Due to the bridges around the city being blown up, there were difficulties with food delivery for a long time, so humanitarian aid was and still is very important here, which was also delivered through churches. Despite the tense situation and the proximity to the border, young ministers with their families and children have remained here, inspiring church members and all the locals by their example.

The church tries to be active in the public life of the city, responds to municipal needs, and provides financial and physical support to those in need. Even in such circumstances, the church is working with children and youth, and evangelizing, because today, more than ever, people need hope and consolation that only Jesus can give.

How The Church Will Act In Difficult Circumstances 2

Zinaida has been a leader in women’s ministry for many years in Lebedyn Baptist Church and the district. In the local church and far further afield sister Zina is known as a kind-hearted, sensible and compassionate person, and people admire her wisdom and endurance.

Zinaida has been a widow for many years, and after her husband’s death she remained with two sons, to whom she did her very best to raise in them a love for God. However, the loss of her husband was only the beginning of her struggles and trials. In a short period of time, both of her sons died.

The grief took a huge impact on her health, making even simple everyday life a challenge. However, she walked with dignity through the path God had set for her, trusting Him completely and growing stronger and stronger in her faith. She understands the value of a close relationship with her Heavenly Father better than anyone else as through this she was able to survive her grief. Many people walk through the valley of grief and despair. Zinaida has not only learnt to rise above the pain herself, but also helps other sisters to grow spiritually by coordinating women’s training in the area. The trials she has gone through are reflected in her face and eyes. But she is not used to complaining and feeling sorry for herself, instead she tries her best to support others, sometimes hardly walking, visiting her sisters who are ill and helping them in their everyday life. When she gets help, she is a little uncomfortable, but she admits that any support is important and appropriate for her.

How The Church Will Act In Difficult Circumstances 3

Vira has faced many difficulties on her path since she was young. She became a widow at the age of 32, with three children, the youngest being just five months old, the middle one 1 ½ years old, and the oldest three years old. But the biggest hit was when, shortly after her husband’s death, his sister kicked Vira out of his house with her little children in her arms and on the street. The young woman had to survive difficult times, poverty, uncertainty of the future, and illness. Thanks the Lord, her friendstook care of her family and together they helped to buy a house for Vira and her children. Now she is 58 years old. Looking back, she says that it was only the responsibility for her children that kept her going in such circumstances. She raised her children to be good people, and now they help their mother. However, the church, remembering what she had to go through, supports her in all possible ways.

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.

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