Ukrainian Refugees Struggle After Towns Destroyed By War
Christians called to support refugees with prayer, financial assistance
Volunteers share food and water for residents in the town of Luhansk, Sept. 14, 2014./AP Photo by Darko Vojinovic
This heartfelt plea, pictured below, recently came to MIWC leaders from the Luhans'k region of Ukraine, an area suffering from the destruction of the military battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
In this letter, the current leader of the Evangelical churches in Luhans'k, Elisey Pronin, details the pain, death, illness and famine wrought upon the people of this area.
Pronin writes that his city has faced "more than 50 days without electricity, water, or gas." He continues, "We have no stores or food, we have no pharmacies or medicine. Bombs and shells are exploding. The numbers of the dead are in the hundreds. Our beautiful church, The Revival House of Prayer, has been burned to the ground. The city is deserted. Our ministers have been threatened with death. The church has been scattered."
In addition to prayers for the people and the church here, MIWC asks for your financial aid to support refugees from the Luhans'k region, as well as the Crimea region. MIWC will ensure your contributions, marked for Ukrainian Refugees, help these men, women and children whose lives have been upended by war.
To donate, visit our support page.
Read the impassioned letter in its entirety below. Your prayers and support are desperately needed!
"Dear brothers and sisters, deacons and pastors of the Church of Christ.
I am writing to you on behalf of the churches and ministers of the Luhans’k oblast [province]. Our cities and villages have been swept away by war and everything that accompanies it: destruction, pain, death, illness, and famine. I do not write about this from the position of an observer, but as an active participant in tragic events. God has allowed me to personally experience all of the horrors, terror, and pain of war. My city, Pervomaisk, has been completely destroyed, and has been more than 50 days without electricity, water, or gas; we have no stores or food, we have no pharmacies or medicine. Bombs and shells are exploding. The numbers of the dead are in the hundreds. Our beautiful church, The Revival House of Prayer, has been burned to the ground. The city is deserted. Our ministers have been threatened with death. The church has been scattered. People have been left homeless and have lost everything that they had. And all of this is just a small portion—just a drop in the ocean—of the suffering that is taking place in our lands. The situation in other cities is only a little bit better. Luhans’k has been destroyed. Thousands of people have fled as refugees. The House of Prayer in Antratsit has been captured, along with many other churches.
But, we are thankful to God that He is faithful and will not leave us!
I want to sincerely thank you, brothers, for your active participation in our sufferings and in our ministry!
I know that in many churches people regularly pray for us—THANK YOU! And I ask: Please continue to pray! So many of your churches and families have taken in refugees from our region. May God reward you! Money churches are collecting food and clothing, and I want to assure you that everything is very needed and very appreciated! (In some areas of our province there people are experiencing a true humanitarian catastrophe, living from day to day only on bread and water.)
I want to ask and call you to:
Not cease praying for us. Pray about peace and the freeing of our lands from captivity. Pray for repentance. Pray about the pastors in our church who are working to carry out their ministry in such overwhelming conditions. I ask you, open your hearts to those who are suffering, who have lost their homes, their jobs, their salaries, and their pensions. Please continue to open your hearts and your homes. Please accept and bless [the refugees].
I ask you, to continue to urge people to help the churches and refugee camps, to help the ministers who remain in the zone where armed military conflict is taking place. This is extremely sad, but we see how God is blessing our labors now among those who seek Him, who repent, and are baptized.
We know that God will tame the raging seas of life! We believe that He who is Mighty can transform the suffering and pain in our city into joy and peace!
We are praying together with you about this, rejoicing because through the Blood of the Lamb we have been united as one family, as neighbors, for the purposes of suffering together, encouraging one another, and helping each other.
May God bless you!
Your brother in the Lord, Elisey Pronin, acting head of the All Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christian-Baptists in Luhansk Oblast.