What a wonderful ministry report SGA-supported Pastor Peter has sent, and to see how God is working through the support of generous friends like you to help hurting Ukrainians. It is such an encouragement! The war in Ukraine continues, but God is faithful to provide through believers like you, so that churches we serve can continue outreach and providing the spiritual support and opportunities for growth that their communities need.
Please take the time to read through the report below and see all that Peter wants to share about God’s work through His people—especially how the distribution of food aid opens the door to Gospel-sharing opportunities. “The war has changed for the better Ukrainian society’s relation to God, to the church, to life,” Peter says. “Thanks to you and the ministry you do, people have begun to trust the church more.”
To SGA and supporters for the food aid provided to the Missionary Church:
We, the church members and all the people who come to our church for help, express our sincere gratitude. Through your significant support and care, our people were able to survive during the active military occupation. Thanks to your help, many people heard the Word of God! Tens of thousands of poor, unemployed, war-affected, and lonely people have attended our services during the war. There are many people who listened, and the Lord touched their hearts—they repented of their sins and were baptized. Before the war, our church constantly held such evangelistic services and still does now. Therefore, we quickly adapted to charitable work when the war started. People were not ready for such a full-scale war, and therefore did not make food savings for themselves. They just did not believe that there would be a war until the last moment!
Dear brothers and sisters, we really appreciate your care and your love, because all the food was always delivered on time and we tried to distribute it quickly. As you know, we did not have electricity, gas, water, or medicines. Sometimes we did not have bread, food, and even there were no shelters nearby. But our church held regular services in spite of everything. We also helped with the evacuation of people to western Ukraine and other parts of Europe. The church’s commitment to the needy has changed the vision of many Ukrainians. The war has changed Ukrainian society’s relation to God, to the church, and to life for the better. Thanks to you and the ministry you do, people have begun to trust the church more.
May the Lord be glorified through all the ministries that you and we do!
How does the church provide humanitarian aid?
We print invitations and distribute them to people. People come to the evangelistic meetings in accordance with the invitations and they get help such as food and hygiene items.
Has the food from this shipment been distributed in full or is some of it being stored? When and how are the food packages distributed?
Asa of August 16, 2023, the products from this shipment have been fully distributed. The food packages are distributed at the evangelistic meetings in our church, as well as during our visits to the villages [in our] region that have been occupied or affected by active shelling.
Who received the SGA food aid?
The Missionary Church distributed aid to both [our] city residents and rural residents who were under occupation, under artillery fire, and in migrants’ and socially vulnerable groups. The Missionary Church also organized separate trips to the villages, where we met with people, told them about God and gave them aid.
How many people/families received help thanks to the cargo delivered by the SGA mission?
1496 people received aid
How does this ministry affect the life of your church?
Thanks to the help we received, people hear God’s Word, change their mind about evangelical churches, and begin to trust in God, and some of them repent. People are no longer afraid to go to prayer houses to receive both spiritual and material help.
The church’s ability to help encourages people to attend church services where God works in their hearts and they grow in their faith in the church. Some of the new believers have already joined this ministry and are helping to distribute humanitarian aid.
Please tell us about your church before the war.
Before the war, the church was also involved in evangelism and helping people in need in [this city and region]. For at least five years in a row, until the war, the church held a program called “Two Loaves” in which the Word of God was preached and food was distributed. The Word of God is spiritual bread for the soul, and food is bread for the body. The church was involved in a variety of missionary work among adults, youth, and children. Every year the church organized tent camps for 80 to 90 children at a time. Camps were held for children, teenagers, and children with disabilities. The church has always been focused on outreach and evangelism.
How has the war affected the daily life of the church?
After the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many people from the church went abroad or to other (safer) regions. There was a problem with the lack of ministers and active believers. But God did not forsake the church and helped those who remained to continue serving people and the community. For many, the church became like a home and a new family. Thanks to the care the church provides for people, the House of Prayer is always crowded.
What ministry is the church currently engaged in? How does the church support people in your area?
The church’s ministry is aimed at uniting people around the Word of God. People attend Bible studies and prepare for baptism. During the week, our church holds three large services. There is a regular prayer group, Sunday school, and youth gatherings. Day camps for children are held during school vacations.
How has the war affected the spiritual life of people outside the church? How does the church respond to their needs?
In different ways. Some people understand the importance of changing their lives, while others take offense. Many people live by the principle: “Once on shore we pray no more.” But in general, people are more likely to think about God. Since the beginning of the war, evangelical churches have united in a large team and were among the first to help people with food, bread, water, clothing, shoes, blankets, mattresses, wheelchairs, hygiene items, diapers, charging phones, power banks, and more. The church also provided shelter to people during the active fighting around [this city], and helped organize evacuations and transport people abroad and to other regions. Today, people know that the church will always help them.
What are your prayer requests that we could share with others?
– That God will send out more workers to God’s field in Ukraine, especially during the war.
– That God will strengthen the faith of Christians who have remained in their churches and continue to serve.
– Spiritual growth of new believers, and the awakening of people who have heard the Word of God.
– Restoration of the House of Prayer building, which was damaged during the artillery shelling.
– The end of the war . . . and peace.
People came to listen to the Word of God and after they got the food aid.
People, who came to the church and after they receive the food aid.
People who came to get a food aid outside of the church building.
People smile with the grateful hearts for the food aid.
A lady (IDP) who moved to our city from the border with Russia.
Gennady and his family (IDPs from Kherson region)
Gennady is married and has three underage children. They are IDPs from the Kakhovka district, Kherson region. Due to its occupation, the family was forced to leave their home, their relatives, and friends and move to the territory controlled by Ukraine. They arrived [here].
Considering that when they evacuated their home, they took only the most necessary things (documents, clothes and some things), they had to seek help. The family applied to the social service of [our city], where they were given the address and contacts of the [church], which constantly provides humanitarian aid.
After contacting the church directly, Gennady and his family received food packages and hygiene items. Seeing the believers’ care and concern for them, they began attending Sunday services regularly. Later, the whole family joined the service. Gennady helps with humanitarian work, and his sons help with children’s camps.
To date, Gennady and his family continue to receive regular aid, as they are short of funds due to additional expenses related to rent and rising utility bills. They said that this help is still very much needed, not only for their family, but also for many people [our city and region]. Their whole family is sincerely grateful to all the sponsors who help the Ukrainian people. They thank God that they have such a large family of believers who care about the lives of Ukrainians.
Yuri and Lyudmila (IDPs from the town of Lyman, Donetsk region)
Yuri and Lyudmila moved [here] the town of Lyman, Donetsk region. At the time of their leaving, the city was not yet occupied, but there was constant shelling of the city and the district, as well as an attack by the [invaders]. It was extremely dangerous to stay at home. A few weeks later, the city was already occupied.
When they arrived, they found a place to live with the help of their friends. In need of humanitarian aid, they asked their neighbors where they could get it. When they found out that there was a Missionary Baptist Church near their house that constantly distributes aid to people, they asked the church for help.
When they first came to the church, they met with the pastor and deacon. The ministers listened to them carefully, and after realizing their situation, they immediately provided them with food. From that moment on, the two of them started attending church services. Currently, Yuri has repented and is preparing for baptism, while his wife has not yet repented.
Yuri and Lyudmyla are very grateful to the supporters of SGA, who send humanitarian aid to people in need in Ukraine. This ministry reminds them of the ministry of Christ Himself, because He also fed people, responded to their needs, and preached. Thanks to a food package, Yuri and Lyudmila met believers, and learned about God and the importance of trusting Him. Now they have received not only material help, but also spiritual help! Glory to God!
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Olena’s son has taken her to his house. The son has a wife and two underage children. They all moved to the basement and lived there because of the constant shelling. On March 19, 2022, an artillery shell hit Olena’s apartment on the third floor (direct hit). A fire broke out and took a long time to extinguish. Fragments from the shell also damaged other apartments. Most of all, eight apartments in their building were damaged.
Almost from the very beginning of the war after her apartment was destroyed, Olena began to realize God’s call and started attending the Missionary Church. The church provided her with food, hygiene items, and later furniture and mattresses. Seeing how many people were asking for help, Olena decided to help with humanitarian work as a volunteer.
Today, Olena still attends church, helps and gets help. She works as a teacher at a music school, teaching to play the bandura. Unfortunately, most of her students have left because of the war, and she does not have enough classes. Because of this, she does not have a proper salary. Olena has been renting an apartment for two years now because her apartment has not yet been restored. The repair goes very slowly due to lack of funds. Therefore, even now the help she receives from the church is very significant and necessary for her.
Olena is very grateful to her brothers and sisters from the United States for the food and hygiene items they send to Ukrainians in such a difficult time for Ukraine.
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.