Ukraine (MNN) — The fight between Ukraine and Russia pushes on, making a greater economic crisis rise for people in eastern Ukraine.
“One thing that is very clear is the Ukrainian economy is still struggling. And the new leadership in Ukraine is doing everything it can to respond,” says Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association.
“With destruction of the infrastructure, even though the fighting is stopped, the political fighting continues, and the economic conditions are worsening.”
Ukraine recently ended its relationship with Russia’s global energy company Gozprom.
“[The] Ukrainian government is attempting to get gas from other countries. But the end result is: in the middle of the politics, there are still villages where people are going to be suffering.”
A lack of gas in the devastated country is making prices and poverty skyrocket.
Now with the dead of winter drawing near, families will be fighting a new type of battle.
Any cooking or heating of homes will become impossible or much more difficult, leaving those stuck in eastern Ukraine hungry and nearly frozen.
Mock recently visited depressed villages and witnessed the distress first-hand. Numbers of families lived in homes infested with mice. Children had no shoes, and many were sick after having hardly any access to medicine. In one home, “an entire wall was a beehive. And while living in the house, you’d have bees flying around. But it was the only shelter they had.”
Standing alongside civilians are SGA indigenous missionary partners who are also feeling the strain from rising poverty. “The increase in prices has increased the cost of doing ministry, or for the same amount of money, decreased the amount of opportunities they have to visit people,” Mock explains.
Yet there is some calm in the storm, and that is because of SGA supporters like you. “The good news is SGA established something known as the Crisis Evangelism Fund,” says Mock, “and American churches, along with churches in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, have been wonderfully providing support to help these missionaries reach these villages.”
Without this help, missionaries would be without supplies, forcing them to move west and leave behind those still stuck in the war zone of eastern Ukraine.
But with it, SGA is training and equipping missionaries with all the tools they need including Christian literature, counseling training, food, and other resources.
“We’re trying to keep these faithful shepherds in the game,” Mock says.
Every week, SGA indigenous missionaries from the local churches reach out to 29 villages in the east and 17 more in the west. People in the poorest of conditions are smiling again because of the support they’re receiving and the witness of provision from God.
“Never forget the importance of the local church living its life on missions for the sake of the Gospel.”
Help support missionaries risking their lives to share the Gospel in Ukraine.