Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported pastor and church.
This SGA-supported pastor in Ukraine is refusing to be discouraged by the ongoing war. “Something happened in my life,” he says, “when God gave me a clear understanding that He did not leave Ukraine; He is here to continue to do His work through people faithful to Him.” We thank God for the moving testimonies he shares. They remind us that, just as this pastor says, God did not leave Ukraine when the war began. And we thank you for your generous support, without which testimonies like these would not be possible!
Greetings in the Lord!
Peace to you, our dear friends!
The Lord prolongs His mercy and gives enough of His grace for our life, our movement, and existence. In this difficult time for us, we have great opportunities to expand the Kingdom of God in our city. And this is the time of salvation for many people.
Since the outbreak of war, most of the members of our church have been forced to leave the city and even the country. It was very difficult to know what to do next – because all plans and all dreams were destroyed in an instant. Almost the entire team, with which we had served for many years, who had made plans and did a lot to preach the Gospel both locally and abroad, left. There were many questions to which there were no answers. But the Lord did not leave; and how difficult times were in the life of the Apostle Paul, about which he says that he was left alone, and then he adds that the Lord appeared and strengthened him. Something similar happened in my life when God gave me a clear understanding that He did not leave Ukraine; He is here to continue to do His work through people faithful to Him. And all those who remained, we cheered up, regrouped, prayed and began to do everything possible that was in our power to preach the Gospel. God began to manifest Himself, and I again became convinced of one simple truth, that for Him it is important not how many people there will be, but how faithful and dedicated these people are to Him. As Jonathan said to his servant, “…it is not difficult for the Lord to save through many, or a few.” (1 Sam. 14:6)
As elsewhere in our country, there was a great need among many people in our city, and thanks to you and many of our other friends, we were able to show mercy to those people who were left in need. We started making hot meals, giving out food parcels, and meeting many different needs to the best of our ability while preaching the Gospel to them. A lot of people began to come to the church and not everyone who wanted could fit into our premises.
Many people, seeing a manifestation of kindness on our part, began to be interested in the Bible. We were able to organize for everyone a daily study of the Scriptures, where people began to come very actively.
It was a great joy for us to see many of them pray and seek God. Many peoples’ lives have changed, and they are happy to have found Jesus. And despite the fact that we practically no longer distribute food packages, many people come to the service every Sunday, and we have no empty seats in the church! Here are a few testimonies from people who now regularly visit us:
– “Together with the grocery set, I took your little book (New Testament) and constantly read it and realized that it was high time to take it and read it.”
– “When I began to come to you — then there was a desire to live, otherwise I did not know what to do next. I’m drawn here like home.”
– “I really wanted to eat, but there was nothing and my neighbor told me that there are believers, and they help with food, and I ran to you and now I am with you. I came for bodily needs, but I found faith.”
– “One girl, her name is Alena, lives not far from our Church. She told me that she often passed by us, but she had no desire to come to us. But when the war began, a desire arose.”
– “Life was very difficult from childhood to the present day. When I came to you, I realized that there is another life, life with God. I’m very happy.”
– “Thank God for everything. You have such an atmosphere here that we don’t even have at home. Thank you very much.”
– “I am 80 years old. When I first came to you and heard your sermon, I really liked it, and something happened in my heart. And I realized that I had lived wrong all my life; but thank God that now I am reading and studying the Bible and have joy from it.”
Exactly a month ago, we started a ministry in one of the districts of our city. And we started by feeding people and, if possible, distributing food packages to them. A lot of people began to come, but we immediately told them that our goal, first of all, is not to meet your physical needs, but to take care of your souls and tell you about the Gospel. And what we have noticed is that many people today are not just looking for bread, they are looking for comfort, finding hope, and friendship. And, today, no organization can give this except the church. And we are witnesses of the fact that people began to come not for bread, but simply for fellowship and study of the Bible.
One woman came up to me after the service and, with tears in her eyes, asked me to pray for her and said that she did not come for bread, but for consolation and the search for God. She simply told me that there was emptiness in her soul, and she did not understand what and how to do next.
Now we have many plans and we want to make the most of this favorable time for preaching the Gospel.
One of the joys and blessings with which the Lord has blessed us is the birth of a granddaughter. Our eldest son has a daughter. They named her Olivia, which means the bearer of the world. We are immensely grateful that in the midst of sorrows the Lord sends and gives joy.
Please pray for peace in our country, and greater opportunities for evangelism in our city.
God bless you!
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.