Ukraine (MNN) – The chance for resolution of the Ukrainian crisis is looking bleak. Despite the implementation of a ceasefire in late February, fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers continues. The most recent major attack came last week when pro-Russian separatists deployed soldiers and heavy artillery on Ukrainian lines.
The attack threatens to send the countries back into full-blown war, but one Christian ministry is working to restore unity.
“The fighting has intensified, especially in the village of Maryinka, where the ceasefire was violated; 21 were killed and 120 injured,” says Bob Provost of Slavic Gospel Association, a Christian organization dedicated to bringing Christ to Europe. “In this village, war victims are being supported through SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund. Families are being fed and receiving needed clothing.”
But despite this assistance, the realities of war are still harsh. Russian Separatists are in control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine. Eighty-five Baptist churches have been isolated. Many able-bodied church members left the region, while those who remained are too sick or old to travel. Pastors are not being paid.
“The church offerings across the country are down 50% because the members are giving money to support refugees,” Provost says. “So many church members have taken in refugees, people they didn’t even know, into their homes
“Over a million people are homeless, and the government is bankrupt. And so the churches are rising to the occasion. It’s a very, very challenging situation for everybody.
But many are finding hope in the face of suffering. This time of vulnerability has opened people’s hearts to new beliefs, and many are turning to the truth.
“Many war victims are very open to the Gospel,” Provost said. “In fact, in general, across Ukraine today, great harvest conditions are developing.”
“In the churches that have been directly affected, where they typically lost half or more of their members who have fled, in most churches, an equal number so far of seekers and new believers are coming in and filling up the churches where the members had left.”
Don’t let the cries of our brothers and sisters in Christ go unanswered. There are multiple ways you can help SGA serve war victims in Ukraine. Provost asks that you pray for SGA workers risking their lives to bring Christ to the suffering. Pray also for encouragement and safety for war victims. For $15, you can also feed an entire family for a week. Visit SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund to see how.