231002 Sga Ukraine War Stories 9 25 Social Post 3 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Dec 20, 2023
Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Ukraine.

Pastor Serhii shares how the church is standing for victory and helping refugees who come to the region. Every day, faithful servants of God are working with the people to try and help with the most basic necessities such as food packages, clothes, hygiene supplies, medicines, clothes and more. Here he shares stories from some of those who have been helped through this ministry:

Proclaiming Salvation Faithfully Story 1 Zoya

My name is Zoya. I am 65 years old and I live with my husband of 67 years. We are from Lysychansk, we left the city on 28 March 2022 to my mother’s place in the Donetsk region. It was a little safer there, but not for long. At the beginning of May 2022, the attacks began, and we got hit in the backyard. We did not leave because my mother was 91 years old. She could not move well. We were hiding in the basement. In early June 2022, my husband was wounded and taken to the hospital by the soldiers. At the same time, we decided to escape from there. In July 2022, we were taken by an armoured car and sheltered in a church. We were very well welcomed there. They fed us, gave us diapers for my mother, spent the night, and took us to Pokrovsk. This move was so well organized. We were given a wheelchair for my elderly mother who could not walk. Later we were taken to Dnipro by train. The train conductor gave us an application form to fill out and when we arrived in Dnipro we were given some money, as we did not receive a pension and were very grateful for this help. Church people met us at the station and brought us to the church. They fed us, provided medical assistance to my mother, and gave us clean bed linen. In the morning we went to the railway station again, I had the phone numbers of the Poltava volunteers. From Poltava, we went to the Runivshchyna village to the ambulatory clinic, and later my husband arrived from the hospital, and they did a bandaging here, although everything healed very slowly. My husband had a heart attack and had a heart stent inserted. Now he has a 2nd group of disabilities. My mother died on 14 October. She wanted to die in her own house. But it did not happen. We were invited to the Salvation Church in Poltava. We had good conversations that inspired us so much. Thank you very much for the food packages and sweets. Thank you to the church for their help, for all the kindness. Thank you to the supporters for their help. We could not afford to buy such wonderful and tasty food.

Proclaiming Salvation Faithfully Story 2 Lilia

Hello, my name is Lilia, I am 18 years old and I am from Kharkiv. During the first two months of the war, we had to live with my family because of the shelling. We all lived together in the basement of our building. There were a lot of people there, so we took turns sleeping on chairs. It was bombed every day, very often. We could not even leave the basement. All the stores and pharmacies were closed, so we couldn’t buy anything. Then volunteers started bringing food. It became a little easier. But later the shelling became more frequent, and people started to leave the city. Only our family stayed in the basement. The explosions were shaking our whole building. The explosion also shattered the windows in the apartment and damaged the tiles. It was very scary. The worst thing was when bombers were flying over the city, the noise was so loud that it was deafening, we fell to the floor and covered our heads with our hands. When a bomb fell near our house, making a huge crater, we decided to leave. My mother, my grandmother, who is 85 years old and completely deaf, traveled with us. We drove out in my sister’s husband’s car. It was very cramped, because the car is designed for one passenger and a driver, but there were six of us: my sister and her husband, their 10-year-old daughter, me, my mother and my grandmother. We came to a village in the Poltava region (as we could not afford to rent an apartment in Poltava). There was no place at the school, so we were settled in an old empty house whose owner had died seven years ago. It was very cold in the house and there was almost nothing there, but the neighbors helped us and brought us the most necessary things. We are very grateful to these people. There is no work in the village. We have to walk some distance to the nearest market. My father died just before the war, my mother lost her job in Kharkiv, and I am still studying. At the moment we are still in this village, and we are waiting for our victory. I also thank the “Salvation” Church, which takes care of us every week. Thank you to all the good and kind people! They give us humanitarian aid, emotional support, and tell us about God. This is a very significant help for our family. It is my faith in God that has opened up for me in a different way recently. Because of the war, I started to wonder what will happen next. It is good that we can talk about this in our groups with believers who truly love God. Our conversations have a positive impact on my life.

Proclaiming Salvation Faithfully Story 3 Bogdana

Good afternoon. My name is Bohdana, I am 22 years old. I am from the Chernihiv region, the village of Dmytrivka. Before the full-scale invasion began, I entered the university in Poltava. On 24 February, at night, I had just returned to Poltava from visiting my mother after my younger brother’s birthday. I went to bed and woke up not from the alarm clock as it should have been, but from a knock on the door and the words of the class president: “Get up, the war has started”. I could not leave the same day. On the 25th, I packed up and went back to my mom’s home. Maybe it was a bit crazy, everyone was going from there and I was going there. Some towns along the way were already occupied, transport was not running, and I had to get there in a mysterious way. I became very scared for my loved ones, I couldn’t sit in the distance. My mother and my younger brother were there alone, and then my older brother arrived. My dad volunteered from the very first days, went through a lot, was in hospital for a while, but still continues to be in the war. He said he will return with victory. And we are waiting for his return! We were very lucky during the occupation. The invaders only passed through our town in armed convoys and looted stores. Due to the location and shape of our town, it was inconvenient for them to base themselves there. However, it was very convenient for our soldiers to “cover” them in the wasteland near our house. Neighboring villages were less fortunate, there was occupation and violences. Several evacuation vehicles from my village were being shot at. We had the opportunity to leave, but my mother decided that it was less risky to stay.

The hottest moment was when our defenders were chasing away the invaders and clearing the territory. For about two weeks, we were caught between two fires and lived in the basement. Before, we would only hide there during shelling. It was very loud and dangerous, but we survived, and so did the house. I returned to Poltava in the summer. When everything was already stable there, the main household work was done, and I needed to prepare for the new semester. In the autumn, I was told that I could get an IDP status, which helped me quite a lot. Because it was becoming very difficult to find a job. Now I work only on weekends, balancing work and study. I heard about the Salvation Church in one of the groups for IDPs. Since 6 May, I have been attending youth meetings. Thanks to the Christian youth, we have a good time talking and playing games. I have learnt a lot about God and faith. I have thought about what role God has in my life and what I can change. After each meeting, we receive a package with humanitarian aid, these are the necessary food products, and this is a great help for a student. I am very grateful for everything. Thanks to all the caring people who sponsor these wonderful products for your always timely and necessary support. Thanks to all the organizers, the church, volunteers and sponsors. It is so wonderful to have the opportunity to meet new people. This is invaluable work and support for all IDPs. Thank you very much!

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.

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