Editor’s Note: The following stories were sent to us by SGA-sponsored missionary pastors who are regularly traveling into the war zones in eastern Ukraine—often at great risk. They are examples of the ministry you help make possible.
She recently came to faith in Christ. After the horrors of the war in 2014, she gave her heart to the Lord. Her life is full of challenges. At the beginning of the year she suffered a stroke, resulting in paralysis of her right side. She has buried all her relatives. Her husband and daughter died. So there is absolutely no place from which to expect help. This is why the body of Christ exists. Valentina has a really small pension, which is only enough to buy medicines for 10 days. We support her as much as we can, visit her often, and buy her medicines. We pray for the best and will not abandon our people in trouble.
He lives in a poor and dysfunctional family. His mother works all day long, and when comes back home, she does nothing but get drunk. She spends all her money on alcohol instead of food—a common situation. They live in a strange house that resembles a barn. Vanya’s clothes are in terrible condition. He literally lives like a little tramp. He can be away from home for several days, just wandering around the city. And when he returns, he gets regularly beaten—not only by his mother, but also by his elder brother and his mother’s frequently changing drinking partners. Vanya has never seen his father. They say he was killed because of a gambling debt, but no one knows the truth.
Although Vanya is only 9 years old, he is already working. People had been paying him some money and giving him food for his work, but the COVID pandemic and related quarantine ended that. This past winter, Vanya started visiting church, where he got new clothes and food packages a few times. Also, church members invited him to a cafe and entertainment center. But what this young boy really needs is loving communication, especially with men. Here in the church, he has received what he lacks at home—love and acceptance. Each time when there is an opportunity, he comes to church himself, helps everybody, packs the tables, and cleans up. We hope that God will change the life of Vanya and his family as well. The greatest need for now is food (we know that he starves) and spending time with him.
She studied to be a salesperson. Lera has two children. Her son Sasha is five years old. His father was killed during the war in 2014, and his body was not found until 2017. Her daughter Lilia is four years old, and her father is alive but does not live with them and does not help. Lera has worked as a janitor for a long time, being paid 2,000 rubles a month ($28). We began to help her with food. Her son visited our Christian camp recently. Now Lera brings her children to Sunday school and began to attend church herself!
Her parents have gone to Moscow to work and are not planning to come back home. In this photo, she is holding three cans of stew in her hands and the Gospel under her arm. This is the main point of our ministry. Not only delivering food packages, but sharing the Gospel with people and leading them to Christ. Your generous support of Christ Over COVID has helped make all this possible!