Some of the pastors in the UMC who receive Christmas Blessing packages each year are men and women with whom we have more active partnerships. I want to introduce you to Vasily & Irina and their team at God’s Gift Church. We have worked closely with this team for several years now. This team and their life-giving ministry are one of the primary reasons we decided God was opening new doors for us in small village ministry. By God’s grace, together we've changed the lives of families in countless ways.
We are amazed by what God has been doing through God’s Gift Church. During a recent online video call, they shared this incredible story with us. I hope it encourages you as much as it did us.
We want to thank you for the love and support you show us through Mission Partners. We are so grateful that God uses us together to accomplish His purposes in the hearts of broken people in Ukraine.
This summer, something truly miraculous happened! We were approached by a lady who we will call “Alla.” We cannot give you Alla’s real name or her location because it could be dangerous both for her and for us. We’ve known Alla and her common-law husband for some time. We counselled them about God’s view of marriage, but they were not ready.
This summer, Alla came to ask us for help. She and her husband have school-aged children. Sadly, her husband is unemployed and drinks all the time. When he drinks, he beats Alla. Not only does he abuse Alla, he often drinks with a son from his first marriage and encourages his son to hit Alla too.
Alla came to us and begged us to rescue her and the children. Alla was not born in Ukraine. She came from another country to find a better life. Now she was desperate to escape. She told us that many times she was beaten until her head was bleeding. Alla was living in constant fear and pain. She told us that she just woke up one day and realized it would never get better. She was afraid that one day she would be killed and there would be no one to care for the children.
Alla had been saving money from her meagre income so she could escape. She begged us to help her get travel papers from the consulate of her home country and then leave Ukraine. We prayed and struggled through the decision, but we felt God prompting us to help Alla. During our entire involvement, we experienced God’s favour. Alla was able to secretly get the paperwork she needed to get home. She even experienced a miracle at customs because she did not have the proper paperwork proving she was the mother of the two children. The customs agents just took her at her word and waved her through.
Alla is now safely with her extended family in her home country. She reached out to us after she arrived. We offered her further financial help wondering if all along that was what she really wanted. But she refused any money. She just wanted to thank us, to tell us she was safe, and to say how grateful she was that God had protected her and the children in such a miraculous way. Beyond safely arriving home, God had also provided an apartment and a job for her.
We are deeply thankful that we were obedient. We also are humbled that God was able to use us not only to get Alla and her children to safety but to guide her heart to His amazing love and protection. Please pray with us that Alla will find a local church that will continue to disciple her.