Stories gathered and shared by the Ukrainian Baptist Union on the 34th day of war:
1. The enemy destroyed our house, but the Lord has saved our family Another large Christian family has lost their home in Irpin city. There are tens of thousands people in Ukraine whom houses were destroyed by Russian occupiers. Irina and Alex have six children. The whole family works diligently in the church service. Their home was a great example of hospitality, and love. Telling about their destroyed house Irina says:
We have cried enough already, and now we have to soberly assess the situation. During our 33 years of family life, we have seen God's blessing constantly. We have never had great wealth, but the Lord faithfully has been sending us ‘a portion of manna’ every day. Running away, I looked back at Irpin – there was my heart.
And now I humbly bow down before the Lord and ask for His guidance for the future. We do not ask Him for streams of blessings, but just appreciate every drop of the morning refreshing dew. The enemy destroyed our house, but the Lord saved the lives of us all. Therefore, I can raise my eyes to heaven in heartfelt prayer to God and trust in His strong hands our weak souls.
2. The rocket has shattered the pastor's house and did not explode During the shelling of Kharkiv, a rocket got into pastor’s Sergiy's house. It broke the roof and ceiling. And did not explode. At that time, there were six brothers on the ground floor. According to the sapper [papers], in the event of an explosion even neighboring houses might be destroyed.
My brothers and I were having dinner in the dining room, when the rocket fell a meter behind us and broke up into three pieces. For us, this would be the fastest and most desirable transition from life to death. But God said, not now. He knows when it is our time. We can continue the ministry here in Kharkiv," pastor Sergiy says thanking God for His mercy and miracle. God shows once again that He controls every movement of the angel of death.
3. Checkpoints in the morning, and the transportation of refugees in the afternoon Ivan Z. is a youth leader and evangelist of the church in Mykolayiv. He and his wife Olga are raising four children and expecting the fifth. Un/l recently, Olga did not want to leave, trying to help her husband in the ministry. But when the occupiers began shelling their area, Ivan was forced to take his family to a safe place. Every morning Ivan prepares tea, takes small gifts, sweets and visits 15 checkpoints. And in the afternoon takes refugees to Odessa, which is in 160 km from Mykolayiv. Once Ivan comes to the soldiers as usual, and they were exhausted both morally and physically after the battle. Ivan gave them chocolate. Just a small thing, but the boys started smiling... After the fights, they willingly agree to pray, communicate and ask to continue to visit them.
4. Food is being transported by boats Chernihiv has been cut off from Ukraine for four days now. Access to humanitarian aid is difficult here, and there is no possibility to leave the city as well. Employees and volunteers are working to use alternative means to provide food for the people in the besieged city.
5. Adoptive families came to Poltava from Kharkiv In Poltava, a family-type orphanage has hosted several new families - IDPs from Kharkiv. Crowded, but not aggrieved - may love dominate in all Ukrainian families aYer our victory in the same way!
6. Toys for little IDPs in Chernivtsy There are 18,000 displaced children in Chernivtsy region at the moment. To facilitate their psychological adoption, children from local Christian families bring their toys to such children.
7. Thanks to generous Christians, Sumy has food The shelves of the most supermarkets and shops in Sumy are completely empty now, but God gives the local church what it can share. And God replenishes these resources with each new day. The pastor of the Grace Church, thanks all the sacrificial Christians in the churches of Ukraine and abroad who send food to the city. Millions of people in Ukraine and abroad experience suffering. Thank you, God, for the opportunity to touch the hearts of some of them and share Your love.
8. A group of Georgians from Mariupol Zaporizhzhya churches continue to relocate people from various cities of the region to western Ukraine and abroad. Recently, a group of Georgians managed to walk out of Mariupol and come to Zaporizhzhya where they have settled in the church building. Twenty people have left Mariupol, but five of them were lost near Berdyansk. In Mariupol, the group was waiting for evacuation buses near the building, which was attacked half an hour after the Georgians left the city on foot. They were able to get to Zaporozhye soon. The Church members in Zaporizhia say they are very friendly and responsible people. They have survived four wars and understand that only by God's mercy they were saved.
9. The church building was bombed in Mariupol The church building of the Evangelical Baptist Church ‘Bethany’ was bombed in Mariupol. The church, which in peacetime was marked by active social and evangelical work, was left without its important resource. The Russian aggression caused the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the city. Russian invaders constantly shell civilians and block humanitarian aid. According to the city mayor, there are more than 100,000 civilians in Mariupol waiting to be rescued.