Editor’s Note: The report images below were provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine.
God indeed takes what the world turns to ash and makes all things new. As you read through SGA-supported Pastor Mikhail’s recent missionary report that details both the hardship and suffering, take notice of how the churches band together to rebuild and start anew. And be encouraged for God is at work taking what the world means for evil and making it good and for His glory.
Here are excerpts and images from Mikhail’s report . . .
Greetings, dear friends. I sincerely thank you for your prayers and help in these difficult times for our family, and the church.
This spring was different from all previous ones. It was very unusual and heavy. The war brought a lot of grief and pain to our people. But the Lord did not leave Ukraine, and He is with us!
From the day the war began, our church actively continued to serve people. On February 24, [the opposition] entered our city, and then, setting up checkpoints at the exits, controlled the city. Our city was under siege. And at that time, the city was also subjected to aerial bombardment. One such moment was the night from March 7 to 8, when a plane dropped several bombs on a residential area. An entire street of private houses was destroyed and 22 people died, including children.
During this occupation, our community continued to provide people primarily with spiritual support. We prayed for people, encouraged them and preached the Message of Hope to them.
And also during these four months, we bought products, household chemicals, and medicines where possible. But we distributed this among the most needy of the population. We started forming grocery sets, supplementing them with medicines and hygiene products. And in the first two months of the war, we also helped with the evacuation of people who wanted to leave. We joined forces with other churches, and people were taken to safer places.
Then, when our troops began to liberate the cities and villages of the region, we began to carry humanitarian aid to other cities, helping people who suffered from the occupation. These were food, hygiene products, medicine, blankets, and other things. The church team and I visited dozens of places to preach the Gospel and distribute humanitarian aid. A team from the church carefully prepared the food packages, including the New Testament and other spiritual literature in each package. And when distributing aid, we always lead to spiritual matters, talking about spiritual bread, which saturates the soul and gives eternal life.
During the war, our church became a special place where people could get help, a kind word and basic necessities. On the basis of our church, we also held courses in tactical medicine for everyone. A Bible study group for new people has started. Immigrants and local residents come to us, in the house of prayer, for help. Every service is full, as many new people are now visiting the church.
Our brothers and sisters visited cities where it was necessary to dismantle rubble after bombing and hostilities. One of these houses, where the ruins had to be dismantled, belonged to the family of a minister, who died a year before the war due to complications from the coronavirus. When the troops captured their city, the minister’s wife and adult son evacuated to the west of the country. The city was under occupation for about a month. There was also looting and abuse of residents. From this city, Russian soldiers shelled [another Ukrainian city], which they were unable to capture. During one of the shellings, a mine landed in the yard, and a fire started. The house burned down and became unfit for living. And the minister’s son Sasha was planning to get married and for this he was doing repairs in order to bring his wife to a nice [home]. But the war destroyed everything.
When the city was liberated and we started visiting [the city] and the church, Sasha returned with his mother and his bride. And they turned to me with a request to give them guidance and pray for them, as a young family. Thus, a wedding took place on April 16, in a church that was also shelled. It was a great joyous event for the church, for Sasha and Oksana, and for the residents of the city, because it was a special reminder that God has not left Ukraine and life goes on. And they are rebuilding the house together with religious brothers and sisters and benefactors. And God helps them in this!
Today, we plan to continue visiting the border villages of our region, which are suffering from enemy shelling, with help. We plan to hold several church day camps. We pray for a car for our services, because the bus we used is already old and needs to be repaired very often. We pray for the end of the war and the reconstruction of our country.
Thank you very much for your prayers and financial support for our family and ministry during this difficult time.
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-sponsored 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.