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We see God's love every day: Ukraine, ten years on

Hear about how Ukrainians are seeing God's love every day!

Ten years, not the two that most news outlets will be marking this weekend. That’s how long it’s been since Russia invaded Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine. And it was 10 years ago that you first supported Ukrainians suffering the twin devastation of war and winter. You have stood with Ukrainians and their neighbours for the last ten years – and you stand with them now.
Churches have been supporting Ukrainian refugees during the bitter winter months since the war began ten years ago.

Since the end of December, the Russian bombardment has left 3,000 families homeless. Millions of Ukrainians have no access to clean water and electricity, and one third of the poorest Ukrainians are unable to heat their homes during a winter where temperatures have dropped as low as -15°C.

Thanks to your support, Baptist churches are aiming to meet the needs of 100,000 people across Ukraine this winter. Churches are opening their buildings so that people have a warm place to stay when they can’t heat their homes. They are providing hot meals and hygiene items, as well as a safe space where people feel welcomed and cared for. Even in the depths of this terrible war, your faithful giving and prayers are helping Baptist churches bring hope to the people of Ukraine.

A welcome in Moldova

Your generosity hasn’t just helped those that stayed behind but also those forced to flee across borders. For example, churches in the neighbouring country of Moldova have welcomed many refugees. Two years ago, Good News Baptist Church set up a hall with food and hygiene items, providing humanitarian aid to up to 370 families a day. There are still 150 people who receive weekly support from the church.

A group of people dressed in coats and winter gear standing outside in the snow. There's a white van with boxes on the floor filled with items of clothing

This winter, Baptist churches in Moldova are putting their faith into action by providing Ukrainian refugees with hot meals and clothing.

Bible studies and language lessons

They now offer refugees Bible studies, themed sessions covering various topics, and language lessons, as well as humanitarian aid. One mother took a Bible study book after a session and said that she wanted to read it with her family. “If people live according to what the Bible teaches us,” she said, “it would be like heaven on earth.”

A listening ear

Inessa and her team were able to offer Valentina a listening ear, comforting words, and prayer. They also directed her to a Christian counsellor who could guide her on her journey of healing. Despite her challenges, Valentina finds strength in living with her granddaughter and grandchildren. She left the refugee assistance centre encouraged, with a glimmer of hope in her eyes.

Several Ukrainian women standing together on a platform, surrounding them are boxes wrapped and decorated like Christmas presents

Inessa and the women from her support group are finding hope as they share life together.

Psychological and spiritual support

BMS World Mission also supports a refugee assistance centre in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau. One of the women who attended was 71-year-old Valentina, who fled the city of Kherson after two missiles destroyed her home. If she hadn’t been at the store buying food, she likely wouldn’t have survived. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she shared her story with the volunteers, expressing a deep sense of hopelessness.

Valentina suffered from serious health issues, had no appetite, and struggled with insomnia. As the war continues, Baptist churches are providing refugees like Valentina with psychological and spiritual support, as well as food and shelter. Inessa, who leads the women and families’ ministry at her church, now runs a support group for Ukrainian women.

Author: Chris Manktelow and Matty Fearon

Photos: © Chris Hoskins/BMS World Mission

Published: 20/07/2024

How to pray about this

Our partners in Moldova are deeply grateful for the vital help and support you have provided. Your faithful prayers and generous giving enable them to reach out to hundreds of families every month. Please pray for churches and volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time to minister to refugees, for those who hear the gospel to become followers of Jesus, and for peace to prevail in Ukraine.

For daily prayer points from all our partners on the ground, why not sign up to receive Engage magazine, and get the BMS Prayer Guide delivered free, three times a year?

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By completing this form, you are confirming that you are happy for us to contact you. You can change your mind at any time by emailing supporterservices@bmsworldmission.org or phoning 01235 517638. We will never sell your data and we promise to keep your details safe and secure. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

For more details on how we use and protect your data, visit www.bmsworldmission.org/privacy