Ukraine (MNN) — Conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in 2014, drags on today. Despite many attempts for peace, both sides continue shelling military and even civilian targets.
Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association reports from near the disputed area. “It’s almost they’re shelling each other because they can. There is shelling from both sides. There is no sense of either side making progress.”
The shelling leaves infrastructure in ruins, and civilians in constant danger. But those who remain don’t have the option to leave. Mock says, “The elderly, a lot of them widows, have absolutely nowhere to go. And they are by themselves. They don’t have anyone to connect with, no means of support. And then many women are trying to take care of kids with really, again, nowhere to go.”
Mock traveled through the warzone, visiting people in these dire conditions.
He entered a severely damaged building and met a group of ladies holding a Bible study. “One by one, they told me of the despair and the difficulty of their lives. But as they were all sitting there at the table, they were all smiling. I said, ‘well, the difficulty isn’t matching your smiles.’ They said, ‘the smiles are the fact that in the midst of these difficulties, the church here ministered to us. We found a relationship with Jesus Christ.’”
Mock describes this conflict as a forgotten war. Neither Russia nor Ukraine have shown a desire to halt the fighting, regardless of the damage being done. The people living there have no hope of the situation improving on a political front.
Mock asked the people he visited how to pray. They said, “Please do pray for peace in eastern Ukraine. Pray that a greater number of people come to faith. Pray through the compassion ministry from these local churches that are actually in the midst of this conflict, that the Gospel goes forth.”
The header photo shows the Bible study. (Photo courtesy of the Slavic Gospel Association)