Kevin on behalf of Edik and Liana – Ukraine:
The war in Ukraine continues and the news is often hard to read just now. We continue to pray as a community in our twice-weekly prayer meetings for an end to this war. But still the war grinds on…
As we read this month’s Ukraine article – the stories of rescue, love and sacrifice and care; of baptisms and happy, Ukrainian kids receiving help as they head back to school – let’s allow the Holy Spirit to stir in us a sense of faith and hope for what Jesus is doing in Europe at this time. Enjoy the articles and be stirred (as King David was when he experienced a victory) to approach God with praise and thanksgiving for all that he is doing.
And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies…He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies...” (2 Sam 22:1-4)
God is good and so this is an article filled with good stories of rescue, salvation and joy. Be encouraged…God is good!
Testimony #1 – Lyudmila Nikolaevna Belenko, from Donetsk.
In 2014, I moved from Donetsk to Kharkiv to visit my daughter. My son’s family stayed in Donetsk and I travelled as far as possible and helped with everything I could. On February 2, 2022, I got a call that my apartment was badly damaged after the shelling. Arriving there, I tried to fix things, friends put slate over my apartment. But two days later, a full-scale war began, it was impossible to leave.
Our son died, and our four grandchildren are still small – there is no one to help. As far as possible, I began to try to fix the damage to our home myself. The electricity was cut off. The whole apartment was soaked with water and it was winter. We lived mostly in a common basement with constant shelling.
In the summer, we came under fire. We were standing in line for drinking water, because the water supply was often turned off. We were taken to the hospital, which are very overcrowded; and so as soon as we were able we left. I was trying to find an Internet connection, to find a way to get to my daughter, who was already in Uzhgorod.
I found Baptist volunteers from Moscow and they promised to get me to Uzhgorod. A medical volunteer took me straight from the bus to her home, fed me and treated my wounds. I rested for a day, and she bought me a ticket to Smolensk. Upon arrival in Smolensk, I had a fever. There, as a person with limited mobility and unaccompanied, they put me in a van for bedridden patients, with a doctor. We then went through Belarus to Brest where we were taken into the home of a pastor – his wife, Dina, is a nurse.
Dina helped bathe me; she treated the wounds, gave me a drip, and we rested for two days. They were very kind people and always they prayed for us This church helps refugees and takes them in. We were then taken to Warsaw, Poland. There I was taken off the bus in a wheelchair and then to the doctors. They treated my wounds, and my daughter and grandson came to visit me in Poland. We stayed there for 20 days, received medical treatment, rested and then went to Uzhgorod.
It’s time for my grandson to go to school now. I constantly pray and I thank our Lord Jesus Christ very much for sending me such God-loving volunteers who passed me from one hand to another, and always with God’s blessing.
Also, I am grateful to you for the help that I receive through the Rock of Salvation Church. This is very valuable and important to me. May Our Lord richly bless you!
Baptisms Hi dear Kevin! Today, (19/08/23) twenty people were baptised in Uzhgorod. Seventeen of them are refugees whom we serve with our charitable program which supplies them with food and shelter.
Testimony #2 – Mukhtarova Tetyana Mykolayivna. The city of Bakhmut. Donetsk region.
I am a native of the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region. I am 74 years old, with 57 years of teaching experience. I am a teacher of mathematics and physics. I am currently working.
In April 2022, when enemy rockets began to destroy the city, the first evacuation buses and trains left from the Donetsk region. The mayor of Bakhmut called on residents to evacuate. My grandchildren and all my relatives left, and I stayed with my daughter and son-in-law, conducting online lessons. Electricity and water supplies were cut off. I made a fire in the yard and cooked food. I believed that our industrial, beautiful, flourishing city would stand firm, the enemy would not set foot on it. But it was getting worse. Homes were burning, friends and neighbours were dying. When the enemy shells burst, I hid in the house on the couch, covering myself with two blankets and a pillow, because I did not have a basement. I prayed and turned to God for his salvation.
At the end of August, the mobile connection disappeared. In September, my daughter, who lived in the city centre, lived with neighbours in the basement for several days, ran to me and said that she had to leave, because it was no longer possible to live in the city. She said that volunteers would come for me tomorrow.
On September 10, we left the city, and on September 11, two neighbours who remained were wounded. Volunteers brought us to Pokrovsk, and then we arrived in Lviv by evacuation train. There, we were temporarily placed in a shelter where 156 displaced persons already lived. A month later, we moved to the city of Uzhgorod. Because my grandchildren had been evacuated to this city
.Thank you for your financial assistance and constant support, and to Pastor Edik, who brought me to the Evangelical Church “Rock of Salvation”, where I can praise Jesus Christ, pray for our salvation, the victory of the Ukrainian people and for the brave soldiers of the Armed Forces. And for a happy future. Amen.
Back to School – happy kids in Uzhgorod: Dear Kevin! This is a huge thank you to you!!! This is really a great joy for all the children and their parents and they are very grateful to you!!! We have done the first delivery of school supplies, clothes and bags and we will continue!!!❤️🙌🙏🎊
Many thanks to Newfrontiers for supporting us in this initiative, to provide children with school supplies, bags and clothing for their return to school.
Testimony #3 – Dmitry Stakanov, City of Rubizhne
This brutal war caught our family in my homeland in Rubizhne, in the Luhansk region. The city was cozy, surrounded by an extremely beautiful forest area, full of mushrooms and berries. Life was prosperous in all respects. Friends from Kharkiv, where full-scale hostilities were already taking place, helped us to leave the war zone early.
In two cars with their help, we headed to Volyn to a family near the border with Belarus, in the town of Manevichi, where we were under 24-hour alarms because of the military facilities and training grounds nearby. And there was a danger of an attack from the Lukashenka regime in Belarus.
We decided to run away from the war, since we had our girls (2 and 4 years old) with us. Thus, we found a leaflet in the city of Uzhhorod, and our friends went abroad. Soon, information came from our neighbours in Rubizhny (which was now occupied by the Russian Federation) about the events in the city, which was, by now, almost destroyed. My apartment, in which I was born and grew up, was inhabited by militants, where they stayed for 4 months, and after being hit by a shell, they moved out to a neighbouring house. We had a nice country house near Rubizhny, it was taken by the occupiers for storage. But, as they say in Ukraine: “Why get angry with God?”
We are very grateful to all of you, dear friends, and to Pastor Edik and the church he leads, which has given us spiritual protection. And they also constantly support us financially and pay for our housing. We now have a measured life in Uzhgorod, with the help of local authorities and the spiritual and material support of Christian churches and this gives us the possibility of at least the illusion of a peaceful life.
Together, we all have the opportunity to turn to the Son of God – to Jesus Christ – with requests to protect us and our people, and to show us the true path in life. Glory to Jesus Christ – let there be peace, because this is his mercy to us.