Ukraine: Offering more than just aid
Our local partners bring practical and spiritual support to their fellow Ukrainians
Local partners Valery Alymov and Anya Manchuliak, along with mission partner Alison Giblett, are part of the Tabernacle of the Living God church in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Over the past year, the church has gone to the edges by offering invaluable practical and spiritual support to people in desperate situations, and they continue to expand their ministry as God leads them.
Valery and Anya write:
Towards the end of last year we started travelling to previously occupied territories to minister to both locals and the military.
In Kupiansk, in the Kharkiv region, Russians had used the local church’s building as their base during occupation, causing a lot of destruction and even firing a missile through the roof before leaving. As a result, the church had not been able to meet since the war started.
On our first visit we helped repair the church building and on our second visit we brought 16 tonnes of aid supplies to distribute. We held evangelism services for three days running, which were attended by about 150 people. Initially, people came for the aid, but many said that what they gained what was more important: peace in their hearts.
We also visited neighbouring villages, where people gathered to meet us. As well as food and medical assistance, we shared songs, messages of hope and the gospel, and talked and prayed with people individually. We continue to visit these villages to encourage and minister to people.
In Kupiansk, the damage was not limited to the church building. Because the pastor of the church had been a chaplain in the Ukrainian army, he and his wife fled for their lives when the Russians invaded. When the Russians took over the city, some of the congregation supported them either out of fear or political persuasion. It wasn’t clear how they would react when the region was de-occupied and the pastor and his wife returned. But they have reconciled and now, the church meets regularly and members support each other despite ongoing attacks.
We continue to serve people in the Kyiv region whose homes were damaged or destroyed, strengthening families in their faith, serving practically and providing humanitarian aid.
We have also started visiting the families of the men who have died or gone missing in the war. There is a huge need to help these families to receive healing and find hope for the future.
This summer, we are planning outreach in the Kyiv, Chernigiv and Kharkiv regions. This will include children’s and youth camps and various forms of outreach. We are developing a partnership with others who are providing homes for those whose houses have been destroyed to help them rebuild their lives and future. We anticipate our ministry of practical aid and spiritual encouragement will also develop.
As a result of these different forms of ministry we hope to change the spiritual atmosphere from the negative, depressive state left by the war, to one where there is a future and a hope.
- Please pray for God to continue to develop our ministry among those in the military and their families, to work through us as we serve the areas that have been destroyed by war and change the spiritual atmosphere with worship, aid, and reconstruction support.
- Pray for our upcoming camps and other activities with young people and children. Please pray for the resources and equipment to provide fuel, food and aid for each mission trip and most of all for each child to meet with Jesus.
- Our aim is to focus on supporting the local churches to reach their communities, and where necessary plant new churches to provide ongoing spiritual support. Please pray for partnerships to develop and for God to raise up leaders for each one of these churches.