God keeps Ukraine by his mercy. God blesses Ukraine with your prayers and your help. We sincerely thank all our brothers and sisters, friends and partners.
The nature of the multi-faceted ministry of our churches today resembles the work of an emergency service. The Baptist Union is trying to respond to challenges that are constantly changing. We are focused on the practical manifestation of Christ's love and the effectiveness of the Gospel.
1. Churches of Kherson region learn to live under occupation
Literally, from the first days of the war, the Kherson region was under the occupation of Russian troops. All 74 churches of the regional association had to adapt their ministry to the conditions of occupation. Settlements on the front line had the hardest time.
Regional pastor Pavel Smolyakov says: "Now the situation in churches is ambiguous, most of them, continue to hold church services despite the occupation." But the attendance has significantly decreased. Seven churches temporarily suspended meetings because all church members were forced to leave".
In recent days, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated the villages of Kochubeyivka and Novovorontsovka. "With great difficulty, we managed to deliver aid to Kochubeyivka and visit Novovorontsovka," says brother Pavel. Let's remember all the churches that are still forced to live under occupation in our prayers.
2. In the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk region, 69 churches operated before the full-scale war
Before the war, 49 pastors served here. As a result of the invasion of Russian troops, the south of the Donetsk region was occupied. The north-western part of the region remains under the control of Ukraine. About thirty percent of evangelical believers stayed there. For example, in the village Chasiv Yar, 40 members remained out of 150.
Today, ten pastors and other brothers who have not evacuated continue to serve in the region. One minister leads the church services in three or four churches. In Bakhmut, Chasov Yar, Soledar, church buildings are crowded during worship – many non-believers come here.
3.Luhansk region – breaking through under the shelling and delivering aid
The Russian army has been firing precisely at Severodonetsk in recent days. The city is without any communications and utilities: electricity, water, gas and cellular network. Only a few people remained from the Church in Severodonetsk.
Recently, senior Presbyter for the Luhansk region Gennady Shulzhenko led a team of ministers to deliver humanitarian aid to the Luhansk region. The brothers brought cereals, canned food, flour, water, bread and sweets for children to Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.
4.Homemade bread and meat in jars with Bible texts
There are 130 thousand officially registered IDPs in the Ivano-Frankivsk region and 20 thousand in Ivano-Frankivsk itself. The helplessness of these people, their uncertainty and despair, require much more from the church than a reaction to pain. Therefore, we systematically form and build-up Christian values here.
Local churches prepare 200 servings of food for the territorial defense servicemen twice a week, bake 50 loaves of bread, and make 100 cans of stew. Bread is delivered to schools where internally displaced persons are temporarily located. Evangelism teams and church youth deliver cans of stew with biblical texts written on the containers to military units and checkpoints.
5.Lysychansk. Continuous pain
Pastor of the Cherkasy Church "House of the Gospel" Myroslav Komarov once again visited this long-suffering city. He was born here. And he was formed as a minister here. From here he went on a mission to Luhansk, then to Cherkasy.
The pastor regularly tries to deliver aid to the church in Lysychansk. "There is no electricity, water, communications, medicines. Food shortage. Shells fly. Destroyed houses. The dead are buried in the yards, in mass graves," says Myroslav.
People stayed here for various reasons. And they try to survive. A few evangelical believers continue to serve other people at the limit of their abilities: they share extremely scarce water and food, repair damaged buildings, and support people with a kind word and prayer.
"Remember them in your prayers," the pastor asks.
6.Listening, making friends and helping 120 people a day is the task of the Church in Zaporizhzhia
The occupation forces do not abandon their attempts to advance in the Zaporizhzhia region. For most evacuees, the city of Zaporizhzhia is a temporary shelter before moving on to safer places. In total, almost 120 thousand refugees from places of combat activity passed through Zaporizhzhia.
Verkhnyo-Khortytska church in Zaporizhzhia serves 120 people who come to get humanitarian aid every day, except Sunday. It is with this number of visitors in the church that they can slowly communicate, establish contact, get to know each other better, listen and tell them about God's love and hope.
7.Mykolayiv without water
In April, due to Russian shelling, a water pipeline was damaged and the city Mykolayiv was left without centralized water. You can get water for free, it is delivered both by volunteers of the city and from neighboring Odessa. Also, brothers from the Mykolayiv church "Reconciliation with God" bring water from city wells and distribute it to people. People disassemble a half-ton barrel of water in a few minutes.
On May 12-13, drilling of a well with a depth of 60-70 meters began near the church "Reconciliation with God". The church aims to deliver water from the well in large containers. To do this, Christians from Odessa brought special containers with taps.
"We are very grateful that our brothers and sisters, and various caring people, made sure that there was a well next to the church. Also, these containers, which were brought from Odessa, will serve to deliver water to different areas of the city from our well," says Viktor Zolin, senior presbyter of the Mykolayiv region.
8.New alley in Ternopil
Christians in Ternopil organized the planting of a memorial alley. The alley was dedicated to the new hero-cities of Ukraine. It will serve as a reminder of the indestructible, unconquered, free Ukrainian cities. Among these cities: Bucha, Volnovakha, Gostomel, Irpin, Mariupol, Mykolayiv, Okhtyrka, Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv.
This action helped to unite churches, citizens and displaced persons around a common idea and hope for victory.
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