The children of war will be affected long after the fighting stops. Their young lives are being threatened to the reality of growing up way too fast. What little eyes should never see is now at the forefront of their minds. What little ears should never hear now resounds in their hearts with fear and trembling. Please pray for these little ones. Pray that they won’t know only fear and heartache, but that they will also know their Savior and pray to Him for the peace and hope that only He can provide.
Although we don’t have a photo of Sasha, the young boy in the story below, we have included a photo of the pastor and his young children. Here is more of Sasha’s story as shared by SGA-supported Pastor Mikhail . . .
“I greet you, dear Friends!
My name is Mikhail. I have been serving as the pastor since 1998. My wife Svetlana and I have five children. Our oldest son lives separately with his family. In November 2022 we joined a small church in Simferopol. It has recently celebrated one year of its founding, and we were invited to help with its building. There used to be eight members, but now not less than 40 people attend Sunday services.
We regularly visit the border with Ukraine. We serve refugees there, who run away from the horrors of the war. I will write about one of our latest visits there. Our church people visited the border on the 26th of January and brought spiritual and physical aid to refugees. Arriving at the place, we saw several buses waiting for their passengers. Residents of Kakhovka and Oleshka were being evacuated . . . people were fleeing from the war, fleeing from those stories that will now be with them for the rest of their lives. Simple questions (How do you feel? What are you worried about?) They open their hearts, and there is inconsolable pain. . . .
A woman who recently buried her husband with a child.
A man telling how his throat was cut by a splinter about a month ago: “another couple of centimeters and . . .” he pauses.
A family that was waiting for their dad to be released, while he was being filtered.
And then, courageous 8-to-9-year-old Sasha, pursing his lips, trying his best not to cry. It was not enough that he still cried, but his mother also could not calm his younger sister either.
– “Sasha, you’ll have hot tea!”
– “No.” The boy hesitantly squeezed out with trembling lips, hiding his eyes.
– “With a pie, let’s pour it.” I push him a little.
– “Well, pour it.” Sasha gives up.
– “Do you know we still have buckwheat with meat that is also hot?”
After running hungry eyes over our table with containers and thermos flasks, Sasha nodded his head.
Oh, Sasha, what have we adults done, that you have to go through all this? That you will now shudder for a long time when you hear clapping, be afraid of any flying object, know about the war not from movies and books, but after sitting in the basement for more than one week and having learned such words as “front”, “arrival”, “two hundredth/three hundredth”. . .
I appeal to him in an adult way. “Alexander, remember one thought. There is a God, who created this world, and we have spoiled it with our sins. That’s why everything is so sad, and so much pain right now. But God does not want us to live like this, so He sent the Savior Christ into the world. God through Christ wants to save us all. Pray to Him, and He will definitely help, okay?”
Sasha nodded his head; he knows exactly what prayer is. I have not yet met a single refugee at the border who does not know what prayer is.
And people keep coming and going. Everyone with their own grief, everyone has a bag in their hands, that holds their entire past life. Many people go to Poland, then to Germany, with the hope that they will be able to start their new life there. Others hope to get help, and when this whole nightmare is over, to return to their homeland, to a country that is dear and loved to them, where they felt good and comfortable.
Our mission is to speak to and show these people the love of the Heavenly Father, who is compassionate to them. We tell them about the true source of all hope. We try help them in meeting their physical needs. Otherwise, we hope for God’s grace, which will lead these people closer to Him.
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.