Friday 19th October 2022

A lot of work to be done 

Roman Kurbatskij, another SGA sponsored missionary, is active in distributing humanitarian aid in Rivne region.  He notes the contact details of people who are receiving aid, and then revisits them several weeks later.  Pray that many Gospel opportunities will develop from this practical ministry.  Pray for his wife and children who are abroad.

Roman writes: “There is a lot of work to be done during the war, although almost everyone is doing something as we care for refugees by providing food and other humanitarian work, etc.  We continue to minister at the church, rehab centre, and the distribution of Gospel literature at the special tent.   We are opening a volunteer refugee care centre in Rivne, near the Baptist church.  This centre will be filled with food and other aid.”

“Please pray for my older children and for their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Wednesday 17th October 2022

Moving forward

An SGA sponsored missionary pastor, Alexander Oryshcyn, and his team have been actively serving displaced and other people in need during the last months of war.  They have opened a humanitarian hub, a children’s project, joined a youth volunteer movement, and continue to work on planting two new churches in Lviv.

The establishment of an “Urban Care Centre”, has begun through which Alexander would like to organize cooperation between various churches, city authorities and public organizations. He would like to open such centres in other areas of Ukraine as well. The plan is to create 30 such centres and by September 1, such centres should begin working in Lviv, Ternopil, Gostomel, Rivne, Lutsk, Chernivtsi, and Cherkasy.

Pray that these centres will be established and developed to be places where the Church can be at the very heart of society.

Monday 15th August 2022

Ministering from a distance

Yevgen, an SGA sponsored missionary in Praskoviivka village, Donetsk region, witnessed his congregation scatter across Ukraine or abroad.  Yevgen continued serving the community until eventually, he with his family had to relocate.  They do want to return to their native country, town and the church that God had established in order to continue the work that God entrusted then to carry out. While in Germany he has a ministry among many war refugees as he conducts services in Ukrainian and Russian languages.  He preaches, has formed a choir, and participates in other ministries.  He is also reaching out to a small church located 70 km from the place they stay.

However, Yevgen’s heart is back in Praskoviivka village, east Ukraine.  His following reports underlines this and outlines his continued ministry.

I keep in contact with the church where I ministered before the war. I call brother Yuri who lives in a House of prayer at Praskoviivka village. I am purchasing online the bread that is being distributed to the needy in the House of prayer. There is another Christian brother who stays in Praskoviivka village and assists Yuri. I hope our time abroad is for a short season and we will come back soon. I am trying to support the church at Praskoviivka village the best way I can. I pay electricity and water bills, buy gas for the stove, etc. Often, people at Praskoviivka don’t have finances to buy food, so I am trying to assist them with what I can.  I thank you for your care, your prayers and finances. Please, don’t stop praying for the war in Ukraine to stop as soon as possible.

Friday 12th August 2022

Vasyl Okhvat.

SGA sponsored missionary pastor, Vasyl Okhvat, was serving near Kherson but had to move to Zakarpattia which is very close to Romania.  He fled with his family plus 3 neighbour’s children and 2 non-believing families. 

He has been involved in volunteer work as he delivers humanitarian aid and offers transport to those who want to flee their region.   He, with a team of helpers, has visited several areas in the Kherson region. They visited large families and brought them food, clothing, and Gospels to read.  As he travels a lot, he is faced with a huge problem of fuel shortages that is prevalent across Ukraine.  Fuel is both really difficult to obtain and very expensive to purchase.  

The following is a brief report from Vasyl. ‘We had a great trip to the edge of Kherson region – we visited military and brought them some medical supplies, food, and hygiene items. Also, we visited large families, widows and disabled people there, and distributed much needed food packages. We were also able to tell each one of them about Jesus Christ and leave them a copy of a New Testament.

Pray that through Vasyl and his team’s efforts, many people will hear the Gospel and obey it. 

Wednesday 10th August 2022

During the following days, we will upload information that was provided by missionary partners in Ukraine. 

Church growth in conflict!

Denis Haruk is an SGA sponsored missionary in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.  He reports about how God is working in his church.  He had six church members before the war began but now there are between twenty-five to forty people coming to the church services. 

He describes them as ‘non-churched’ with their understandings, questions, and ambitions. It’s not easy for us, but we are delighted to see the Lord bringing them to Himself. There are no displaced people from other churches but all from our area’.

Besides the Sunday service, they have Bible studies twice a week, with around 10-15 coming to those meetings too.

Denis defines the church as ‘alive’, and the ministries are targeted mostly for non-believers.  Sometimes they are also assisting needy people with food packages.

He shares about a woman in the church, who works with the military, who had а cancer relapse. She received some very expensive treatment.  But praise the Lord she recently came to faith in Christ and now serves in the church. Pray for her as she believes the Lord can change her health situation.

Monday 8th August 2022

Trauma Healing

We can understand that many refugees will be deeply impacted due to the disruption, destruction and death that they have experienced.  The growing challenge for those offering help is to be able to deal with these issues and be able to offer counselling.

For our teams in Slovakia, a special seminar on Trauma Healing’ was organized in cooperation with Medical Ambassadors International.  Those who were able to attend the seminar learned how to help those who have suffered trauma. One of the participants said: “I have learned that often it is more necessary to listen very carefully rather than give advice and evaluate their situation no matter how good our intentions are.  As a result of this seminar one of our team said, ‘I am now enabled to talk to those suffering from some kind of trauma.

Pray that through this special training, believers will be better equipped to deal with many issues that refugees carry with them. 

Friday 5th August 2022

During the following week, we will upload information about ministry among refugees in Slovakia.

Ministry Opportunities

The following report is from one of our team in Slovakia.

At the beginning of the war the refugee ministry was very intensive. Families that came usually only stayed for a few days before moving on, and new families quickly took their place.

As time went on though, the turnover of refugees slowed down. Now that the first, very intensive wave of refugees has passed, the families that are coming to us usually stay for longer than the first families did. Unlike the first families, they often do not know where they are going, as they do not have any family or friends in other parts of Europe.

A positive result of this change is that now we can get to know these families better (mostly mothers with children). We have more time to talk and to share the Gospel with them. We also have more time to help them find new homes. The logistics of our ministry are the same as before.

We provide food, shelter, and sometimes a fun trip. Most importantly, we share God’s love with them through His Word and through prayers for their lives, their future, and for their spiritual journeys. We meet with them regularly to pray, read the Bible, and to share a short message. In this time of uncertainty, these people are very open to hearing God’s Word. We see their openness as a huge opportunity from God for us to speak into their lives, and we pray that we would not waste this opportunity, but that we would use it according to God’s will.

A great blessing has been that every time we have shared the Gospel, there has been at least one born again Ukrainian available in the group who has been able to further explain the Gospel in Ukrainian. We see this as God’s confirmation that it is truly on His heart for every person to be saved.

We are very thankful for the new contacts both in Slovakia and abroad where we can send these families. Please pray for these contacts, as their care for these families is more long term than our care, and it will therefore require longer-term effort and love than our care does.

Wednesday 3rd August 2022

During the following week, we will upload information about ministry among refugees in Slovakia.

Summer camps in Slovakia

For many children, camps are the highlight of the summer. SGA support a number of camps in several Eastern European countries and Central Asia. Thank you for making this ministry possible.

This summer, many Ukrainian children are taking part in camps organized by Cirkev Bratská, a group of churches in Slovakia. There are also two camps intended solely for Ukrainian children. The locations are Prešov and Hermanovce.

Pray that they would be a means of healing and that hope will be refreshed in the hearts and lives of these children, many of whom have had traumatic experiences.

Monday 1st August 2022

During the following week, we will upload information about ministry among refugees in Slovakia.

Light of the World -Salt of the Earth

‘More than five months of war have passed, and we still face the reality of never-ending needs and at the same time the reality of a decreasing number of people willing to help.’

This is how one of our Slovakian team members summed up the current situation as they offer help to Ukrainian refugees. He went on to explain about the disruption experienced by these families.

Most of the families who stay in our city have no home left to return to. Often they lack the very basic things. Children miss their bicycles, they do not have their own footballs. Many lack food supplies. They are very thankful for fruit that is too expensive for them to buy, or for the baked cakes because they do not have equipment to bake at their rented apartments.

There is also some resentment building up toward the refugees from some sections of the community. People tend to see them as those ‘who steal their jobs’. However, our partner in mission went on to explain that Gospel opportunities are being created.

However, this “problem” is also an opportunity for us, Christ’s church. We organized an event for children in cooperation with other organizations in our town. Many people from our church joined in helping with this event which was a huge success.

Children were playing together, and adults were talking, building and deepening their relationships. To add to our joy, one older man who attends our church got saved! We also sent three fully loaded vans with humanitarian aid to Kostopil, Poroskovo and Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine.

Pray that the church will be the Light of the World and the Salt of the Earth, that many Ukrainians will come to faith in Jesus Christ and that Slovakian believers will develop a deeper walk with God.