Editor’s Note: The testimony below was provided by an SGA storyteller Ukraine.
In times when we feel most alone, God is so ready to be our lifeline. In the story below as shared by Dima, an SGA storyteller, Natalia realized how much she needed God when she found herself terrified by war.
Natalia was weary from constant back pain and having no communication with the rest of the world. She prayed all day for protection and comfort. “God became especially close to me in those days.”We shouldn’t wait for these lonely times to realize that we“have nothing left but prayer,”but instead should fill our days with constant communication with our Lord!
Here is Natalia’s story . . .
“When there is no connection with anyone,
the connection with God is still the most reliable and stable one.”
Natalia is a little over 60 years old. She has lived most of her life in Mariupol, 15 minutes from the sea. All her life she has worked hard; she raised her children and loved her home city. Back in 2014, due to active hostilities in the city, she and her daughter had to evacuate to western Ukraine. After the liberation of [their city], the women returned home and started life anew. She had no idea that in a few years her city would experience such stormy war events again. This time, however, with more blood and cruelty.
On February 24, when it started, she recalls, “I was at home. I heard terrible news, but I was not afraid. It is not the first time that we have been through such events. So many citizens believed that the city would withstand and decided not to evacuate. The first thing that we lost most immediately was telecommunication. In a few days, gas and water supplies were discontinued. Fortunately, I had a small supply of food (a few canned foods, some vegetables, meat in the freezer and a pack of crackers) and some water, so I stayed calm. However, later day by day, it was more and more difficult to live there. A fragment of a rocket shattered my window, so the temperature in the house reached zero degrees. I have problems with my back, suffering of terrible pains and discomfort, so I could not protect the apartment from getting cold. I could not even go and hide in the basement. I survived though all these terrible days at home, hiding in the corridor, following the “rule of two walls.” (The safest place in the house in an explosion). When my water supplies ran out, I went outdoors to look for rescue. I was passing by the Baptist church. They brought water from the lake to the church premises, so one could come and take some. Sometimes they had a cellular connection — it was a real miracle.” On the way back home from the church, the woman was telling passers-by, acquaintances, and strangers, about the cellular connection near the Baptist church. She directed many people to the church.
In March, the building of that House of Prayer was destroyed. Natalia could no longer take water there. She learned that even in the first days of the war, all grocery stores and pharmacies were raided. Her food supplies were running low. She ate several spoons of porridge a day. Before that, she collected as many branches as her sick back would allow her and cooked some food on the fire. Since March 11, it was a real hell. It became simply impossible to sleep. Constant explosions and bombings shook the house and did not give people any rest.
One day, something the size of a fist flew into the room where I was sleeping. It pierced the window, the blinds, hit the ceiling and made a hole in the wall. Terrible shooting continued . . . It was very scary. Besides, I was in pain in my back. This was the time when I had nothing left but prayer. There was no communication, no television, no electricity, no gas and even no sleep. All I had was God and myself before Him. I prayed ten hours a day. I prayed for rescue, for life, for the hostilities to be stopped. And God answered to me miraculously. Every day I asked Him to protect every entrance of our residential building. But I did not pray fervently about the fourth, the last entrance. And eventually, the apartments there suffered the most. God became especially close to me in those days.
Now Natalia lives in [a different region]. She attends the church and testifies about her amazing God—the connection with whom was the most reliable and stable for her than anything else in the midst of danger.
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.
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The simple stoves that generous friends like you have helped to provide through our Ukraine Heat & Hope Campaign are more than what they appear. Watch the video:
One of our ministry team members in Ukraine recently recorded a video thank-you message for friends like you who have supported our Ukraine Heat & Hope Campaign. “Thank you
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