Hope, peace to be found in Ukraine, despite war

By December 25, 2015

Ukraine (SGA/MNN) — Despite recent news accounts of peace agreements, Ukraine remains in deep crisis. Violence continues in the eastern part of the country between separatist militants and Ukrainian government forces trying to restore order and control.

Several cities and towns in the east have sustained heavy damage from the violent battles. Refugees fleeing from the violence have flooded into other parts of Ukraine, to Russia, and other nearby countries. Individuals and families who have remained behind are facing enormous economic challenges. A lasting peace remains very uncertain.

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

Why talk about this at Christmas? Not everyone is free to gather with family or celebrate the birth of Christ with gifts and food. There are some who are hoping to survive one more day. They need hope.

Faithful Evangelical churches–both Russian and Ukrainian–are reaching out to refugees from the violence and other victims in the love of Christ. Time and again, they’re one of the few that are keeping their doors open. With nowhere else to go, people are flocking to the cantina’s set up to make sure people are fed.

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

That’s why Slavic Gospel Association created the Crisis Evangelism Fund: to help them seize this opportunity. Many resonate with the story of Jesus, the refugee who identified with their suffering. As Christians reach out to hurting people with the Gospel and meet their deep physical needs, hearts thaw. SGA recently shared a video where church members spoke with some of the displaced they’re serving.

From one man who expressed hearty appreciation for the home-style cooking in the cantina, he considered his response further before saying, “If not for Alexander Ignatyevich [church pastor], probably all these people would have died already. May God bless him. Praise God! Nothing’s changed [regarding fighting]. Everything is expensive. Medicine is expensive. People are sick, and they can’t buy anything. Praise the Lord there is such a pastor. May God bless him.”

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

(Screen grab courtesy Slavic Gospel Association)

Another man, Artem, was given a New Testament. The Gospel worker who handed it to him said, “We want you to read it. If you have any questions, you are welcome to ask. We don’t know everything ourselves, but if we know the answer, we will help you.”

Here’s what Artem had to say about the church. “I was born in this city. I am thankful for this church. They’re taking care of people in this hard time. During the war in Donbas, people didn’t agree, didn’t understand each other. Different people come here: disabled, injured, normal people. This Church receives all people equally with love.”

SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund helps local pastors who have few resources and enables their churches to distribute vitally-important food aid, as well as Bibles, Christian literature, and other essentials. Most important of all, distressed families and individuals will hear the life-changing Gospel and experience the love of Christ–the only true hope for ultimate peace and reconciliation.

The Crisis Evangelism Fund will help Ukrainian Christians make an eternal difference in the lives of men, women, and children whose hearts have been broken by what has happened to them and to their country. Click here if you want to help.

 

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