SGA-Supported Missionary Pastor in Ukraine
Greetings in the Lord! By the grace of God, we are among the living and can serve with you in the field of God. I am writing to you how God has blessed me and my family during this difficult period.
During this period, I—along with my wife and ministry team—were in the Kherson region six times. Immediately after the Ukrainian army took the city back, we began to travel around the villages and cities. We collected money, someone baked pies and various pastries. People learned about our ministry and donated bread, various products, and knitted socks. The help of SGA partners has been a major contribution in this ministry. I thank you for your participation in this ministry. Every time we go out, we bring 500 loaves of bread, window film, nails, glazing beads, food, and medicines. We go back to the Kherson region, pray, get acquainted, distribute to people, often under gunfire. We evacuate people from hot spots.
Recently, people were taken out of the village of Sadov. There are two children in a young family. They survived the occupation, lived for three months in the basement, but four days before my arrival, four-year-old Artem could not sleep. His parents and grandparents were nearby, and he said, “I’m afraid that if I fall asleep, I’ll never wake up again!” Eleven-year-old Andrei is his brother.
The children got upset and started crying, started looking for phones, asking to be taken somewhere. When I was taking them out, Artem had a wish to see other children after not seeing any for six months. On the way out, he explained to me what kind of weapons the invading forces were shooting with now. I was terrified. Small children—they understand what flies over us. We pray for our people, for the revival of our nation, for healing. Children are afraid, frightened, begin to stutter, and other health problems appear, as they survive the horror of war.
We go to 11 villages and towns, distributing food, clothing, and hygiene items. We communicate with people. We perform volunteer services through local churches and believers who stayed there. We help a pastor in Chernobaevka, and support their hands in ministry. They constantly receive people, feed them, and pray. Recently, the pastor said that people come to church, knowing that help is not always available, but they go so that God saves them and their families. In January, we were at a service there, and the church was completely packed. I preached and the brothers sang to the sound of shells, rockets and fighter jets. Nearby is a broken airfield, which still contains burnt equipment, shells, mines, and cartridges. But despite all this, life goes on.
One final joy to share—Oksana works as a school teacher. She recently started attending church. She came up to me two weeks before and asked for literature. She said that she was interested and she wanted to understand everything. And then she came forward for repentance, and said that during this time of visiting the church, she learned more about God and life than in 47 years. They have three children, now her husband is at war, in Bakhmut.
Another woman also repented. She began to attend church after her neighbor, who was a member of our church, passed away. They were friends, and after the funeral, she began to attend worship services constantly. Thank God, now these sisters are preparing for baptism! We pray for peace in Ukraine. Thank you for your support, for your love and prayers!