GIVE TO HELP PROVIDE UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE!
You may have heard the news this morning (February 24, 2022) that Russia has invaded Ukraine. Over a dozen of cities are being bombed. Food shortages. ATM's out of cash. People fleeing. Martial law. War.
We received the following communication from one of our partners who is on the ground in Kyiv:
The pain of the local people is enormous. They do not show fear or despair, but anxiety about the unknown. They are well aware that their military strength can’t match that of Russia... Still, they will not surrender without a fight because of their solid national feeling and desire to defend themselves. People are preparing for war.
As I was writing this report, a new explosion was heard nearby. It turned out that a military base was attacked, and six soldiers were killed. They had just warned all residents to be ready for a bomb attack, and Misha began preparing the office's basement in case we have to hide here.
During a Russian occupation, Ukrainians will automatically become second-class citizens again like they were during the Soviet era. Russia will implement its rule over Ukraine. Russian ideology will have to be accepted.
The first time I went to the Ukraine, I fell in love with it. Ukrainians are warm, hospitable people and are very receptive to the Gospel. Our partners there, led by Misha, are exceptional. Please intercede for the people of Ukraine. May peace prevail. May this conflict end. Thank you for your prayers and support during this time of crisis.
Serving our Lord with you,
These two photos show ladies who repented just last week. They are part of one of the Bible study groups led by Alexander, a new church planter. Alexander continues to minister in Sloviansk and neighboring villages. Last fall, he started a new Bible Study group with material called "Who is God?" During the 6th lesson, three women from this group (a group of unbelievers) gave their lives to Jesus. For many unbelievers, a very relevant question is why did God allow this war? People have a difficult time experiencing war and its consequences. So only the love, care, and help of Christians help people realize that God did not leave them. That He is near, and He always hears prayers.
Many people have experienced psychological trauma caused by the occupation - panic attacks, depression, tears, and the desire to hide somewhere. And only with God's help do people open up during conversations with believers and share their life stories.
I want to thank you for your prayerful partnership with the ministry of Reach A Village around the world. I'm writing in regards to the ministry director based in Kyiv, Ukraine, Mikhail "Misha" Igorevich, for whom many of you have been praying. He suffered a heart attack on November 23rd and had emergency surgery during the Russian attack on the power infrastructure of Ukraine, which also impacted the hospital where he was being treated. We received word early this morning that he had passed away and entered into his heavenly reward with Jesus.
His was a life well-lived in the service of the Lord and we have no doubt that he was welcomed as a good and faithful servant by the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for his family as they make preparations for his memorial service and burial.
His picture is on the front cover of our 2022 Annual Ministry Report that you received a few weeks ago. Some of his story is told on pages 8-10. Misha, his four children and their families reflect the tragic and courageous story of the war in Ukraine. Some of his family are refugees and others stayed to serve their country and the ministry of the Gospel during this time of war.
Pray that his family members would be able to return home to Ukraine as they mourn. Pray for the ministry partners left behind and for all those impacted by his life and ministry. Only the Lord knows the full impact of Misha's life on the people of Ukraine. He has fought the good fight and finished the race. We have no doubt that he is enjoying his reward in the presence of our precious Savior.
In His service,
Misha, who leads our ministry based in Kyiv, Ukraine, is in a very critical medication situation. He recently had a heart attack, and his heart is only functioning at 15% because of medication. Misha will undergo another very serious operation today (11/23/22). You may recognize him as he is on the cover of our 2022 Annual Report.
It has been an extraordinarily difficult time there. Last month, the office in Kyiv was struck with a bad fire as a result of a drone or electrical malfunction. Some of Misha's family has fled Ukraine for safety. We have been praying for his health for months already.
Please join us in prayer for this deeply committed and faithful brother in faith. Pray for his family and the medical team who are overseeing his care. May the Lord be with Misha and miraculously heal his body.
When she was a child in Ukraine, Olga learned about God from her neighbors. They shared Bible study materials from Reach A Village with her family. “I remember the gatherings with my neighbors,” she says. “We read and studied the Bible together. During those studies, God’s Word became clear to me. But when I tried to do what was written, I couldn’t. I feared I would ask God for forgiveness, and then I would still sin again.”
Later, Olga’s father repented and became a Christian, and he told her even more about God. She liked hearing about the good God, but she didn’t like thinking about her sins. She always found a reason why she couldn’t ask God for forgiveness.
When the war in Ukraine began in February 2022, everything changed for her. “I couldn’t stop wondering about where I would end up if I died,” she says. “Then, I repented of my sins and asked God for help.”
Olga’s life has changed since she asked God for forgiveness. “I did not expect change to be so easy,” she says. “Now, I believe in God, and I am not so afraid of this war. I know I am a child of God. Before, whenever friends called and invited me to study the Bible with them, I looked for excuses not to go. Now, I can’t wait for these meetings. Reading the Bible and understanding who God is are great joys for me. I thank God that He does not leave me and allows me to serve Him."
From our ministry partners in Northeast Romania, which is close to the border with Ukraine:
"I am pleased to share some updates regarding the regional office in Northeast Romania. With God's help and your support, we have made significant improvements to our office. It was a year with a lot of turmoil on all levels. I believe that God has placed us here for this time to be close to our Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We thank God that before the war we developed strong relationships in the faith with our friends in the Ukrainian churches.
In the first days of the war, we were unable to accommodate the refugees who came in large numbers. With your help, however, we were quickly able to set up spaces for lodging and provide meals. We hosted many refugees, some only staying a short time and others who stayed longer. With God's help, we have carried out many projects in collaboration with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. These projects have provided assistance with food, clothing, sanitary items, and personal hygiene. During the last food project, 5000 food boxes, each box weighing 20kg, were filled. These boxes of food arrived in the war zones for the families who remained there.
We also initiated a project called "School Bag", providing 550 backpacks with supplies for students from refugee families in non-bombed areas.
At the moment we are planning to host 20 people who will work for a week to prepare another 5000 boxes of food. The volunteers will come from Italy, Germany, and Ukraine. Also, in the coming months, we will have a week of training for church planters. There will be Christian workers from Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Then we will have a seminar on Biblical Discipleship for brothers and sisters from Romania. We pray for God’s blessing so we can afford the rising prices of gas and electricity and hold these seminars. Thanks again for your help to support this work! God bless you!"
Summer, even in times of war, brings joy and blessings. It is a time when children's evangelistic camps are organized, and baptisms are held. Even though many children left Ukraine as refugees to other countries, those who stayed need to feel God's love and mercy more than ever. Our ministry partners supported many children's gatherings and camps this summer. There, many children who have seen and experienced the horrors of the war, heard for the first time about God. Some of them even received their first children's Bible. It was hard for our partners to see the pain and the fear in the eyes of the children that this war brought. Many of them asked the volunteers to pray for their fathers, uncles, and brothers who were fighting to protect Ukraine.
Our Ukrainian partners supported the ministry of its volunteers with Bibles and Bible study materials so that children's camps and evangelistic gatherings were held in Bogdanovka, Kozin, Ukrainka, Moshchun, Irpen, Bucha, Rivne and Gorenka. More than 18 small Bible study groups were started with refugees in Kyiv. They meet every Sunday.
The volunteers regularly travel to areas that were under Russian occupation. They bring necessities, such as food, clothes and other essentials, to the people there as well as Scripture materials, like New Testaments, Bibles and booklets. That way, God's Word reached people in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa regions.
During the war, many decided to accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him. So they received baptism, and each person received a Bible. Churches in these areas Fastov, Kyiv, Katyuzhanka, Tetiev, Skrygalivka, Motovilovka, Gorenka, Galavurov, and Voronkov conducted baptisms.
Unfortunately, on September 11, the office in Kyiv caught fire. We thank the Lord that none of the people there were hurt, and God kept our warehouse and Scriptures safe. Now, we are in the process of recovering the damages. We pray that God will give us strength and financial opportunities to continue our ministry.
Reach A Village continues to work alongside Polish ministry partners to help refugees from Ukraine. So far, over 5 million Ukrainians have arrived in Poland. There are currently about 2.5 - 2.8 million refugees still in Poland. Most of these people find refuge in the homes of Poles. Others are placed in hotels, dormitories, and other lodging facilities.
Every day, over 20,000 Ukrainians cross the Ukrainian-Polish border. We also see that many Ukrainians are trying to return to their homes. This applies to those regions of Ukraine that are not currently under Russian occupation. However, the conditions there often force them to leave Ukraine again.
Most of the Polish evangelical churches help by providing their chapels and accommodations. We support those churches that actively help refugees by providing them with food, clothes, and evangelistic materials. We also help them organize their temporary lives in our country by assisting with costs related to housing, water, electricity, and heating. Humanitarian transports for war-torn Ukraine are constantly organized.
Reach A Village ministry partners in Poland are working hard to care for and meet the physical and spiritual needs of Ukrainian refugees. This report was recently shared with us:
“It has been more than a hundred days of war, but we see how God cares about women and children, refugees from Ukraine in Poland. From the very beginning of our refugee center, we have provided assistance to 25,000 refugees from Ukraine. Every week refugees come to us for food, hygiene products, clothes, shoes, food for children, toys, and just to talk to someone who cares. Thanks to your help and donations we were able to buy all those necessities.
God keeps bringing helpful people – volunteers, who generously provide their service. We have opened a hairdressing room in our help center. So it has become possible to provide haircut services for refugees from Ukraine free of charge. Also thank you for responding to the call to help refugees buy summer shoes and underwear. We bought some underwear and shoes, and people were surprised that they could find all those necessary things. Then we were advised that it would be better if people could go to the store themselves and buy what they need (and in their size). That's why we bought a large number of gift cards from a shoe store and a supermarket where people can buy what they need.”
“Here is one story from a refugee family we served. "I am Irina Plahotniuc (left). I fled from the war with two children from the Kiev region, the village of Brovari. All we managed to take with us running from home was the winter clothes we were wearing and the documents. Russian missiles were flying over our heads, it was very scary. Our house burned down, my husband is at the front, we are in Poland. We were able to reach Wroclaw, where we received food and clothes in your center. Thank you for helping us buy a suitcase, now we have somewhere to put our new things."
“We also invite refugees from Ukraine to our worship services and communions, which we hold in Wroclaw and its regions. People see that God is helping, He is there for them to heal their bodies and souls. Churches in Wroclaw are united in helping suffering people from Ukraine: special events are held for adults and kids. For example, last Saturday games and entertainment were organized for children of refugees from Ukraine. Pray for the refugees so that the Lord will be their consolation and salvation in their lives. And thanks to your help, we will continue to serve and spread the gospel to those in need!”
Thank you for your support of Reach A Village to help make this possible!
The whole world learned about the cruelty and monstrous events that took place in Bucha. A tremendous amount of evidence of torture, abuse, and killing of civilians has been presented to international courts. After immense destruction and violence, the city has been liberated and demined. People returned to their city, even though not everyone had a house to which they could return.
Many Christians are involved in helping those who survived or returned to Bucha. Reach A Village ministry partners help with food, clothes, medicine, necessities, and Christian literature. In a beautiful answer to prayer, on May 29th a church service in Bucha was held for the first time since the beginning of the war. More than 1200 people came to the service. Most of them were unbelievers who had not previously been involved in a local church. People listened to the Word of God and had personal conversations with the ministers in the church. Many asked for Bibles.
Please pray for these new believers and all the citizens of Ukraine who want to return to their homes, or what’s left of them. Pray that the Lord will allow Reach A Village partners to minister to many more Ukrainians. Finally, we ask you to join us in praying for the food supply and those working hard to maintain it. Many fields have been mined, damaging equipment and hurting innocent people. May God watch over, protect, and deliver Ukraine from every attack and scheme of the enemy.
Thanks to Reach A Village partners in Moldova, ministry efforts continue for Ukrainian refugees in that region. Food has been purchased to deliver to churches housing refugees in Ukraine. Our ministry partners risk their own personal safety to deliver this food, knowing how desperately it is needed. One church planting partner is taking care of 30 refugees from Odessa. He is able to provide children’s Bibles to help refugee parents share the Gospel message with their children.
Some refugees are coming to faith in Jesus as they experience the love and care provided by Reach A Village ministry partners during this horrific time. They are truly studying the Bible and receiving copies of the Bible in a language and translation they can easily understand. We even heard the testimony of one young teenager who accepted Jesus as her Savior and immediately began teaching Bible lessons to the younger refugee children in the village she was in. Thank you for helping to make this ministry possible with your faithful and generous support. Your gifts and prayers help us share God’s love with those who are suffering.
It has been over 50 days now since the war in Ukraine began. Thousands have died, over 4 million people have fled the country as refugees, and widespread bombings and attacks have destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and medical facilities. Apart from the loss of human life, survivors also find their lives destroyed by family separation, homelessness, financial ruin, unemployment, mental health concerns including PTSD, and lack of church support for so many. In this dark time, Reach A Village partners have truly acted with love and compassion to help ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
In Ukraine, church planters voluntarily risk their lives to transport refugees from war zones to safer places. Said one volunteer church planter “This war is like a test of our readiness to sacrifice ourselves and serve others.” Our wonderful partners are passing the test with flying colors. Some provide food, lodging, and transportation westward for the steady flow of refugees. They also teach the people how to pray and provide cards with the Lord’s Prayer and a prayer of repentance in the Ukrainian language. There have thankfully been many testimonies of people being saved and protected through the power of prayer. At least 30 people from one refugee center have accepted Jesus as Lord and are now attending church. Another church planter visits smaller churches, providing them with much need supplies, training, and encouragement. Our Ukrainian partners send their sincere thanks to all those who have offered prayer or financial support.
Reach A Village partners in Bulgaria continue to offer shelter and support for many refugees. They find joy in helping Ukrainians slowly regain a sense of security by finding homes and jobs and learning the Bulgarian language so they can better adapt to a new land. Our partners here also support other ministries in providing humanitarian aid.
In Moldova, partners continue to help by providing financial assistance and Christian literature to meet the physical and spiritual needs of refugees. The flow of refugees into this country has mostly stopped for now, but many remain who came earlier in the war, often living in churches.
Romanian partners also assist in efforts to supply Christian literature. 30,000 copies of the Gospel of John have already been distributed, and soon another 20,000 copies will be printed. 20,000 New Testaments are also being printed in the Ukrainian language. Many of these resources will be provided to some of the nearly 50,000 refugees in Lithuania. Reach A Village partners there work with local churches to provide care and ministry for these refugees.
Please continue praying for an end to this devastating war. Pray for protection for each person in harm’s way, for our ministry partners to have the perseverance to keep serving others, and for the physical and spiritual needs of the refugees to be met. Thank you for your partnership with us in the Gospel. Together we are the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth.
In Cherkasy, Ukraine, a Reach A Village ministry partner cares for refugees in his missionary center and helps support many others staying in the homes of believers across the city. He prepares daily Bible studies to minister to them both virtually and in person. Funds provided by Reach A Village are also supporting 8 other missionaries who are also caring for refugees. This funding helps provide food, shelter, and medicine along with Bible study materials. Many have already accepted Jesus as their Savior!
Sadly, three Evangelical Bible schools in Ukraine have been destroyed, including one in the city of Irpin that was hit with 30 bombs. Thankfully, no one was killed in that horrific attack. In Kyiv, the lack of food and rising prices for all basic necessities is making day-to-day living increasingly difficult. Christian literature from our ministry partner in Kyiv is being distributed to refugees in multiple cities throughout Ukraine.
Our ministry partners in Moldova serve the refugees by providing transportation from the border to shelters or other checkpoints. They prepare food to refresh and nourish them on their journey. Meeting basic needs and providing the children with simple gifts bring smiles and hope even amid their suffering. Our partners in Moldova and Romania also supply Christian literature and scriptures, including 30,000 copies of the Gospel of John, for the refugees.
Ministry partners in Poland are also actively involved in caring for refugees. Over 2 million people have arrived in Poland from Ukraine since the war started. Our ministry partners have welcomed refugees into their homes, provided transportation, and sent supplies into Ukraine to help meet the needs there. These efforts are made possible because of the generosity of our wonderful donors and friends. Thank you for your faithfulness. You are making an incredible impact.
One of our ministry partners in central Ukraine continues to receive many refugees at his ministry center. Fifteen families arrived and were accommodated at the center and in the homes of church families. With funds that were sent last week, he was able to purchase much needed food and necessities.
In Moldova, our partners are helping refugees in five locations - four close to the border and the fifth is at the national office in the capital, Chisinau. They are helping to provide fuel to help refugees move from the border to refugee centers. Volunteers are providing food and helping to provide other necessities, such as medicine, diapers and baby food. They are also providing Scripture materials.
Our ministry partners in Romania will print 30,000 copies of the Gospel of John and 10,000 New Testaments in the Ukrainian language. One partner is hosting 30 refugees and another is accommodating 40.
In Poland, our partners have purchased essential hygiene products and have provided funds to small churches along the border. They have translated some of their Scripture materials into Ukrainian in order to print and provide them to refugees.
When one of our ministry in central Ukraine heard that funds were being sent, he said, "I'm crying considering the goodness of the Lord." Thank you for your support during this time of crisis, and may the Lord bless you!