On Thursday, we received this update from Missions Door missionary Sasha in Ukraine.
I greet you and all supporting the Help to Survive Ministry in Ukraine. I pray for you and wish you all God’s blessings.
Forgive me, I have been very remiss in writing to you as I am in a war bustle. Sorry – my fault! I redeem it.
The president of Russia hates Ukraine and Ukrainians. Therefore, he promised to “liberate from life” or destroy everyone who has Ukrainian citizenship. To do this, he uses missiles and many other weapons, and we cannot shield ourselves from them.
Ukraine is located on the border of two opposite systems of government: democratic and totalitarian. We, Ukrainians, live in a democratic and free country. There is no persecution of Christians for their faith in Ukraine. Our government is trying to get rid of the Soviet past. A person decides how to live and what to do here.
The Russian president and his entourage want to make us slaves and return us to the Soviet past. To do this, he captured part of the Ukrainian territories, destroyed the economy of Ukraine, and makes people in the occupied territories slaves of the “Russian world.” The values of the “Russian world” are violence, blood, and death, therefore, people have to go through filtration camps and experience violence in the occupied territories.
As you know, we live and serve a frontline city in Ukraine. In the first days of the war, our people were in shock.. There were huge queues at petrol stations and at the borders with Europe. People have been leaving our region until today. Almost all the believers of our church left for western Ukraine and Europe, but new people came to take their place. At the last meeting, there were more than 80 people and 95% of them are unbelievers.
In our city, the economy is completely destroyed, almost all business has stopped, and many shops have closed. The Russian army has destroyed the entire infrastructure of our city. Everyday, missiles arrive and destroy schools, colleges, universities, factories, kindergartens, and markets. They intentionally attack by fire, district by district, and destroy houses of civilians. There are many killed and wounded civilians and military people.
The entire population of our region no longer has gas due to shelling and the destruction of the gas system. Due to the lack of gas, the bakery has stopped. People in our city are going without bread, and those who worked at the bakery are now unemployed and hungry.
From the first day of the war, God made me a pastor — a volunteer for many people affected by the war and inspired to preach the gospel to them. I take people out of the city to other safe cities by my car, bring bread from other cities and distribute it to people, visit the hospital and bring something to eat for the wounded soldiers, visit families and give them “help to survive.” I gather people to worship God. There is no public transport in our city, so we have to bring older people to meetings and take them home.
There is an ecclesiastical law: when we act, God cooperates. Thank God, 16 people came to Christ in our church during the war, they prayed a prayer of repentance, and some of them want to be baptized.
It is very dangerous to live in this city. At any moment, a missile or a mine or some other burster may arrive. However, we trust in the Lord, pray, and thank you for your prayers. Thanks to your prayers, we are still alive. We plan to serve here until the Russians come, as we are very needed here. The Lord protects us from death every day. Glory to Him!
I will describe a few examples of how the Lord answers prayers. One day, brothers from another city came to us and brought pasta for people to survive. Our people are hungry and looking for places where they can get any help. Many people knew about it and about 170 people gathered. The meeting took place outside in the park. We conducted a service, people listened to the word of God, and after the meeting the brothers began to distribute pasta. At this time, the Russians were watching us from a drone and fired a missile at us. They do it where there are crowds of people. The missile fell 50 meters from our meeting and, thank God, it did not explode. We saw the hand of God in this and all the people thanked God for His protection. Praise God!
There is another case of God’s protection. One day my wife and I were driving home after a bread distribution in a village. Suddenly, on the road, we saw a man who showed us a sign that it was impossible to go further, and that we had to turn around and go back. I stopped and asked him why. He said that the Russians had just bombarded this district with cluster bombs and there are a lot of them on the road. It was dangerous to go further, since we could explode on one of them. We thanked God that God sent this man on time. Thanks to him, we were able to take a different road and stay alive. Praise God!
I will describe some of the repentance of people. Nina has been looking for God for a long time. She had kept company with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a long time, and thanks to them she began to read the Bible. When she read the Bible, she saw a lot of inconsistency with their teaching and stopped communicating with them. For a long time she sat at home and read the Bible. Her sister Valia was the first to come to our church and invited Nina. She took the Word of God and the church very seriously. Once, during a call to repentance, she announced that she wanted to invite Jesus Christ into her heart, and she did it. Now she has meetings to prepare for baptism. Praise God!
Sophia had lived an ordinary life, working and raising children. She bought a cow and looked after it to survive. The cow gave a lot of milk, so Sophia went to the market and sold the milk. One brother from our church was her regular customer, got to know her, and invited her to the church. It turned out that she had been looking for God for a long time, but did not know where the church was. She began to attend church, listened to the Word of God, repented of her sins, and accepted Jesus Christ into her heart. Praise God! Now we pray for the salvation of all her family.
One day, a guy accidentally came to our meeting. We got to know him and he really liked our service. We communicated over a cup of tea and talked about the Help to Survive Ministry. It turns out that he lives in a nearby town. When he returned home, he told his wife and children about our church. Then he called and invited me to visit his family. We arrived and had a spiritually edifying communication. His neighbors found out about our meeting and also invited us to visit them. Then a third family found out about us and also wanted to communicate with us. As a result, God gave us a new opportunity to carry the gospel and help people survive in the neighboring city. Now many people hear the gospel, and some have prayed the prayer of repentance. Praise God!
Rick, sorry for not writing for a long time due to war fuss. Our God is almighty. He can turn evil into good. Thanks to the war, many people heard the gospel and accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts.
Thanks to you and to everyone who supports the Help to Survive Ministry. I get monthly support on my bank account without any problem. Together, we will save people not only from hunger, but also from eternal death.
We need your prayers and financial support.