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Jan 31, 2023
Missionary Pastors
Editor’s Note: The testimony below was provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine.

In this ministry report shared by SGA-supported Pastor Dima, you will see how God is continually providing for those who are in need of food and compassion. He is doing that through the ministry of a small church with a heart to serve. Through God’s leading and direction, this congregation has now established the first humanitarian aid center in the region!  

Our brothers and sisters in Christ are continually amazed at how God provides through the generosity and prayer support of believers like you in His perfect timing and ways. Read more from Dima . . .

“[Our church] started its ministry five years ago, ministering mainly to one of the commuter districts of the town. The church has 22 members, with three of them being servicemen. When the war broke out [in Ukraine], this small local church community had a great desire to serve the people, and God graciously granted them such an opportunity. At first, the church members hosted transit refugees in their homes for a few nights. Later, when people started settling in [the city] for a longer period, the local evangelical Christians realized that they had received a great responsibility to support and provide aid to those who had to flee their nests. The church did not know exactly where to start: how to get the necessary supplies, what people with whom to communicate, or how to organize the distribution process. However, the Lord had already planned everything. Every day the needed food supply and other relief items were delivered seemingly from nowhere, and the church was able to provide the aid to 500 IDPs [internally displaced persons] on a daily basis. The church could not possibly gather so many people in the church building, so they served the people outdoors. They also arranged speakers and microphones, so that the Gospel preaching would reach those who thought they had lost their last hope. 

Over time, this small Christian church became the first humanitarian center in the region. Currently, 12,000 people from different households in need have been registered. The total number of people being helped is even greater when including their family members. The pastor of the church shared with the people in attendance about the miracle of feeding 5,000, since that story is a vivid repetition of that wonder in our current days. In addition to the receivers of the aid, the testimony was also shared with the non-believing volunteers — friends, relatives, and acquaintances. They could witness repeatedly of God providing exactly what was needed and in a timely manner. 

People who come to get aid would witness God’s miracles in their own lives. A woman from another occupied town, came to get the food gift. Taking the package, she burst into tears. The pastor asked her why she was crying, and the woman replied, ‘It is such a treasure. I managed to call to someone in this town, which is now under occupation. People there had to leave the town and live on their dachas. They have had no food at all for two weeks now . . . If only they could have fish, but the dam was bombed, the water receded, and they are just starving.’ The pastor called for prayer about those people and the situation. That woman came again to the next service in the church, in tears again. She asked to hold the service for a moment, shouting out loud, ‘Everybody, you know what? I heard from the friends of mine, and it turned out that right after you prayed about them, they were evacuated and were given food!’  Later, this woman, who had never read the Bible before and who had never been around Christians, shared, “I feel that God not only exists, but that He is near. He is real; He is a living God.” 

With greater number of people in need and limited amount of food supply, during the fall months, the church distributed food packages only one time per person. However, there were exceptions. 

Once, a woman who was displaced came to the humanitarian center. Her husband is a former military man and has a first-grade disability. That day she learned that they had no home any longer. A rocket hit their house, and demolished it to the ground. The couple was in despair. But her husband could not stand to see her weeping, and she brought her grieving feelings to the church. One volunteer, not a churchgoer, had on his heart to do at least something for this family. So, he helped the woman by delivering another food gift to her home. In such sad circumstances, God comforted her greatly through this small gesture of compassion. Moreover, the church witnessed how God touched the heart of that unbelieving man and performed the important work through him. 

God sees men’s desire and provides the resources. Glory be to Him for all His works! We thank God for every donor, for their gift of giving and beneficence!” 

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