I want to introduce you to the town of Krushinka and Pastor Max. Max went to Krushinka to lead a rehab ministry. But as he met people in the community, he saw a lot of need and decided he wanted to help the entire community. So Max, and other volunteers, started doing whatever they could to help people This has led to a growing community of believers.
The last time I was in Ukraine, Andrei and I made a visit to Krushinka. We decided to visit people in their homes and give out food and blankets. I remember one home clearly because it was the first time in a long while that I’ve been shocked so deeply.
We drove up to a bare-bones cement structure that Andrei and Max were pointing at and chatting about. I was sure that we were there because Max wanted to show us this house that had never been finished and how sad it was that it had been vandalized with spray paint.
However, shortly after the car stopped, Max and Andrei got out of the car, took out some bags filled with food and diapers, and started walking up to what I thought was a storage container in the yard beside this house. It was covered in long pieces of sheet metal. It looked to me like a makeshift construction trailer.
I was totally confused as we started walking up to the door of this building.
But then, out of the door popped the head of this young woman. You see, living inside this “trailer” was a young lady named Renata and her two beautiful six-month-old twin baby girls. Renata was alone with the girls. This was a tiny one-room home. There was only room enough for a bed, a crib, and a small table for an ancient kettle and hotplate. There was no bathroom and no kitchen. Renata had to pay rent she couldn’t afford for this home.
Renata needed two things immediately. She wanted us to pray for her to find a job. She had lost her job previous job due to the twins. The second thing she needed was a double stroller. She couldn’t even go outside because she had no way to carry the girls. It’s difficult to fully express my emotions at that moment. Shock, disbelief, unbelievable sorrow! We gave her some food, some diapers for the girls and I left enough money to buy a double stroller so she could leave her home.
We’ve been able to help Renata a few times since then. I also know that Pastor Max still helps Renata with basic needs and continuously disciples her as well as the other members of this growing local church.
I want to help families in villages like Krushinka and countless others just like this. Situations like Renata’s break my heart over and over. Each of these situations is unique. People have desperate, diverse needs that are all important. If they need a stroller, or warm clothes, or cooking implements, that’s what I want to give them. And I always want to give the local leader the tools they need to introduce people and the elderly to Jesus and to disciple them as new believers.