Ukraine (MNN) — Russia has become a hotspot for COVID-19, with thousands dying every day.
Things are even worse than they look in the reports, says Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association. “We are hearing of hospitals being full again, of a high number of deaths. Many are not necessarily reported as COVID-related deaths. What you do is you look for something called an excess number of expected deaths. And you can see that the number is high.”
Ukraine war zone
In neighboring Ukraine, the virus continues to run rampant. Mock says, “More people have died in the COVID-19 pandemic than all who have died during the seven years of conflict with Russia in eastern Ukraine.”
Constant artillery shelling has damaged infrastructure near the fighting lines. Mock says hospitals in the area are running out of oxygen and medicine.
Additionally, the people left living in the war zone tend to be susceptible to COVID-19. Mock says, “The people that live in that environment are people who are predominantly elderly, or single moms taking care of children. A majority of the people are already at risk.”
Operation Winter Warmth
But local churches continue to bring help to these areas. You can support them through SGA’s Operation Winter Warmth. Mock says, “I have personally been there on several occasions, standing in the snow and seeing people are coming down coming out of their broken homes with broken gas pipelines. They had only the clothes on their back to stay warm. They desperately need wood or coal as well as food.”
Pray the witness of these local churches would bring the hope of Jesus to many. Mock says, “I’ve spoken with the people there that have been transformed by God’s grace and the care and the love that the local churches are able to provide.”
The header photo shows a destroyed house in the war zone. (Photo courtesy of NEWS UTR, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)