Churches that remain in the war zone are anticipating to be visited
It is very important for residents of the frontline territories of Donetsk region to feel that they have not been forgotten or left behind. Therefore, evangelical Christians who managed to evacuate from Mariupol to peaceful territories are trying to go to churches in the Donetsk region.
In the last week of May, brothers that are IDP from Mariupol visited settlements near Maryinka. They brought food aid, visited the believers and took part in church services.
This has become a huge support for local believers and non-church people. It's hard to say what made them most happy – the aid they brought or the visits themselves.
Every Saturday, the first Rivne Church invites children of IDPs for chess, guitar, and art classes. Teachers, who pass on their skills to children, don't only strive to develop their creative abilities. But young Ukrainians also need help preparing for adulthood.
Classes are conducted by members of the local church. Such a ministry is an important component of the educational and creative development of local and displaced children. Thus, adaptation and individual psychological characteristics will be easier to overcome.
Special services for internally displaced persons
In the village of Chervona Sloboda, Cherkasy region, the Word of Life Church organizes separate services for internally displaced persons. They are willing to visit them, showing interest in listening to the Gospel.
In recent days, residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been coming here, where intense fighting is taking place.
The pastor of the church, Ruslan Uroda says that 500 displaced people stayed in the village. And 60 out of those are received by the church in familytype orphanages. Some displaced persons are returning home to the liberated territories, but most of them have nowhere to return yet.
Small churches of the Ternopil region do great things
We have heard many fascinating stories about how large churches actively volunteer. But the war shows that not only churches with a big number of members have the resources to serve people. To help thy neighbor with the vital needs, the church can have even just 20 members.
The small church "Grace" in the village of Pidvolochysk, Ternopil region, has been taking care of those in need since the first days of the war. They were able to receive 200 refugees.
The church was also able to transfer medical materials, turnstiles (tourniquets) and bandages to the military. At the same time, believers are active in helping local pensioners (retired), single and large families. Any social ministry is accompanied by preaching the Gospel.
Today, the church is going through another happy stage: four people are preparing for baptism.
Times of trials have become times of opportunity for the Kyiv church, "God's design"
Meeting the urgent human needs helps to reach more people with preaching the Gospel.
"Christ could teach people in an accessible and interesting way, gathering thousands of people around the Word. We also learn from the Lord to convey spiritual truths, so we use God's talents to serve adults and children. We combine dozens of boys and girls into different interest groups," says Oleg Larkov, the church's pastor.
Thousands of Ukrainians made room to accept displaced persons
Especially noteworthy are the ministers who were the first to open the doors of their home without having the proper conditions or enough money for this.
26 displaced people lived in the house of a missionary pastor in the Poltava region, where he also lived with his wife and their seven children. "A little later, we managed to find additional housing and make it suitable for the life of displaced people," says Pastor Viktor Lesnikov.
Back in 2011, he moved to the Poltava region from the Luhansk region. Here in Velyka Rublivka, he serves in the small church "Blagovist".
This small church was able to receive four dozen displaced persons, and it provides humanitarian aid – clothing and food-to more than 300 displaced persons who settled in the village.
If you visit the Church in Nadvirna, you will get acquainted with several dozens of displaced people living in the House of Prayer since the beginning of the war.
Each family has its own history, as do millions of other Ukrainian refugee families.
Five families who now live in the House of Prayer in Nadvirna hid in bomb shelters for 9 days, after which they went to Ivano-Frankivsk region, their travel took 4 days. In one family, a 10-year-old boy needs constant care because he has cerebral palsy. In another, a 4-year-old girl gets scared every time she hears a siren and runs away somewhere.
Most of these people lost their jobs. There are also elderly people for whom it was physically difficult to move.
In addition to the 44 displaced persons who live in the church, there are 25 people who were accepted by the believers into their homes. All of them really want to return to their homes, but unfortunately, there is nowhere to return yet.
More than 20 churches in Khmelnytskyi region on a permanent basis provide for the needs of displaced persons and take spiritual care of them. Weekly meetings are held over tea, Bible study, joint prayers and discussion of issues that concern displaced people today.
"Increasingly, those who were far from God are beginning to pray and read the Bible, take an interest in spiritual topics and attend church services. Such positive developments please and inspire," says Anatoly Melnyk, senior Presbyter for the Khmelnytskyi region.
There are circumstances that no one is ready to change quickly
Someone is already returning home, and someone still can not leave the dangerous territories. All these circumstances can be mitigated by the care and prayers of caring people.
In the Donetsk region in the town Chasiv Yar the church tries to provide any possible assistance to the residents of the region. Konstyantynivka and Stepanivka – here pastor Andriy Pavlov and a group of volunteers conducts Evangelistic and charitable events with the distribution of food aid, and they also visit the Society for the blind.
At that time, in the Donetsk direction, the invaders are trying to break through the defenses, using a lot of everything that brings destruction and death.
But we are strengthened by God's word: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm" Psalms 20:8-9.
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