Ukraine (MNN) — The fighting in Eastern Ukraine has been ongoing for over four years. It’s being called Europe’s bloodiest conflict since the early 1990s when the region faced wars of the former Yugoslavia.
Enter present day: the continued unrest is affecting thousands, leaving them in dangerous living conditions. Many people in this region are elderly or don’t have the finances to leave their war-torn homes.
“More than 10,000 people [have been] killed as a result of this conflict and the fighting continues to break out,” Joel Griffith with Slavic Gospel Association reports.
“Not too long ago, within the past couple of weeks you had at least on the military side, two more casualties [who] died at the hospital. Then there was a 15-year-old girl near the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, where the conflict’s going on. She was killed, a shelling incident that took place. So…this is a very real crisis.”
Villages have been subject to bombings, shelling, and shootings because of this conflict. Infrastructure has been destroyed, both homes and commercial buildings, as well as basic community necessities like plumbing and roads. Rebuilding at the moment is not an option.
Crisis Evangelism Fund
Yet, this crisis hasn’t been getting much attention and it’s fallen off the radar for many. But, SGA hasn’t forgotten. The ministry is specifically reaching out in Eastern Ukraine and meeting the needs of the people still in the area.
“The Evangelical churches that SGA serves are continuing to go into these very dangerous regions and try to assist families with…humanitarian aid that they need. [This] could be food parcels, it could be bed linens, mattresses, housing, the different needs that they have,” Griffith explains.
But it takes financial resources to reach these people. With the Ukrainian Crisis barley being broadcasted on major media, fewer people have been giving to SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund, and now it is running dangerously low.
“We’re basically putting out an appeal that people would prayerfully consider this as something they might be able to give toward. The result certainly is not only that people receive immediate help for their needs, but also the Gospel goes forth,” Griffith shares.
“Part of the Crisis Evangelism Fund is not only helping families with their material needs, but we have evangelistic literature that goes in. Pastors and church workers are going in just to be able to visit with the families as they deliver this aid.”
Meeting Physical and Spiritual Needs
These pastors and church workers are tangibly living out the love of Christ during the Ukrainian Crisis. SGA’s goal is to help as many churches as possible reach out to individuals and families in Eastern Ukraine. And through the resources provided by the Crisis Evangelism Fund, provide support.
“The work of the Gospel still goes on. They still want to reach the unreached with the Gospel. They want to plant new churches and congregations and that just makes it all the more important for peace to be reached,” Griffith says.
So please, will you help by giving to SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund? Even $10 is impactful and every little bit helps.
It may seem impossible to bring peace or help from far away, but it is possible to intercede with prayer. In fact, since its founding, SGA’s motto is “much prayer, much power”.
Pray for the Christians who are working to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of those in Eastern Ukraine. Also, pray for the people these churches are ministering to. Pray for those engaged in fighting to encounter the love of Christ and for their hearts to be transformed.