And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).
As winter’s icy grip tightens across the former Soviet countries, thousands of needy individuals and families face serious difficulties. Poverty is rampant in many regions, and SGA-sponsored churches have seen the heartbreaking conditions firsthand. We also receive regular reports from SGA-sponsored missionary pastors who visit the needy with food and other aid you help provide through Compassion Ministry.
Eastern Ukraine War Zone
Among the regions where the need is greatest is the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine. In both the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts (states) over the last several years, thousands of families have had their homes destroyed by mortar and tank fire. Pastor Dima Matyukhin leads teams into the dangerous region on a regular basis, and he recently shared a brief report about the impact of the help you provide . . .
We are thankful for your continued support of needy people in eastern Ukraine. We have been able to distribute hygiene kits, medicine, and fan heaters to 150 homes in the towns of Andeevka and Kamianka—both of these towns are suffering from the lack of essentials for normal living. The medicine supplied included heart medicine, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and topical pain relievers. In bad weather, families who have used most of their coal and wood are very grateful for fan heaters. Along with the aid, we also distributed Christian literature. On behalf of all the families, we would like to thank you again for your support!
In the Caucasus nation of Azerbaijan, evangelical churches are under significant pressure and we must be careful in reporting to protect their security. Even so, an SGA-sponsored missionary pastor sent in an encouraging report about the eternal impact of Christ’s love:
[W]e can bring warmth and mercy, and build bridges through Compassion Ministry. It brings the love of God to believer and unbeliever alike, and helps build trust toward Christians. One young mother of two lives in a dormitory. She and her husband have no work, and when we brought food to them, they had no words other than “The Lord answered our prayers. We had nothing at home to feed our children!” We also reached out to a widow who has three children and whose health is very poor. We were able to help her with both a food parcel and medicine.
Emergency Provisions—and the Gospel—in Central Asia
Earlier this year in Central Asia, another SGA-sponsored missionary pastor wrote to tell us about his Compassion Ministry outreaches. He has been visiting people with serious physical challenges, homeless individuals, retirees, and those who struggle with alcoholism. Food parcels were distributed, containing items such as cooking oil, buckwheat, rice, sugar, tea, soap, and medications. Pastor S said that each visit is a ministry opportunity:
Through this ministry, the Lord is making known His love and concern for the poor, and through the Word of God, knowledge of Jesus Christ is imparted. We have regular opportunities to talk with them about eternity, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, and the forgiveness of sins that He made possible. They respond with gratitude for the love and mercy of God toward them. Their hearts are open to these discussions, and they are realizing that with Christ, it is possible to be freed from a sinful life. They understand they need salvation and are open to believers!
While winter is certainly the harshest season, Compassion Ministry is a need that lasts year-round. Please pray for God’s ongoing provision, asking Him to open many hearts to hear the Gospel and trust in Christ for salvation.