Stories of Hope & Rescue
The Incredible Story of Sasha and his Family
This family of 11 in a small rural village named Mala Antonivka south of Kyiv. The father (left) Sasha supports his family by baking bread and selling it at the local market. That is how we met him.
We learned that Sasha has 8 children living with him! Six of the eight children are fostered. Sasha found them abandoned and felt moved to rescue them from living on the streets.
We decided to visit them at their home to see if there was any way we could help the family. We found the kids to be well-behaved, clean, and decently fed.
But this family lives in a very rural area. They have no indoor plumbing at all. Grandma Larissa bathes the kids with buckets of cold water. All of the kids use the woods to go to the bathroom. This means that in summer they are covered in bleeding bug bites.
The ministry team gave the kids some gifts and some food. We are putting in the plumbing they need to get running water, a toilet, a sink, and a tub. The three girls also got the opportunity to go to sleepaway camp at God's Gift Church.
Heat for the Winter: Refugee Help in Kremenets, Ukraine
As a part of the humanitarian outreach of our church, we visited a displaced family from the Donetsk area. We met with Valery and his family. We gave them an electric heater to stay warm and prayed with them. I was deeply touched by their story and want to share it with our friends and partners at MPI.
Valery and his wife are retired and lived in Ugledar of Donetsk oblast. Their two sons worked at a coal mine nearby. The area is known for fierce fighting and mass destruction of residential properties and objects of infrastructure.
When a missile hit Valery’s house it destroyed it, but by miracle Valery and his wife survived. They got out of the house a moment before it got hit. Wearing pajamas and slippers. The next missile completely leveled the ruins of their house, garage, and barn. In a very short time everything they owned: home, car, and personal belongings were gone before their own eyes. Their son’s houses were also destroyed.
They left their hometown and went to the western part of Ukraine. They came to our town of Kremenets. They were offered a room to stay. I met with them and invited them to our Church. At first, Valery cried during services. It was very devastating for him to lose everything he worked all his life for.
Someone from Kremenets gave them a room to stay in his house, but he controlled the heat in the room. He had it turned off. It was very cold inside that room. With your help, we provided them with a large heater. We also take food to them and encourage to grow in faith. I would like to thank Canadians for helping Valery and his family to stay warm, but most of all to share the Love of God through acts of kindness.
Pastor Alexey, Krementets
War in Ukraine: I am Alive
This is Ksenia and she and her two sons have lost everything! They fled the city of Severodonetsk in the Lugansk region of Ukraine. Ksenia’s husband is in the Ukrainian military and is fighting on the front lines so they had to leave without him. They are now living in Kremenets (Western Ukraine) at a hostel for displaced people. Our good friend Alexey, from Water of Life Church, has been caring for this family.
Alexey was told that this family needed help. When he went to meet them, he was so surprised to see how humble and positive they were. He was almost in tears when he heard their story.
This is what Ksenia shared about her experience.
“We did not leave right away. To the very last moment, we hoped for at least a little stop to the bombing so we could gather some things before leaving. But it was not meant to be. The first shell hit our apartment on March 8th. Our apartment was burning. The second shell hit our apartment in June. After that, our apartment was completely destroyed. There was nothing left, so we made the painful decision to run away from home. I was crying so hard I had hiccups. I just started driving, but I didn’t really know where I was going. I blindly drove across the country and somehow my heart brought me to Kremenets where we found ourselves a temporary home. I thank God that on my way I met good people because to go to a strange city where you don’t know anyone is very scary. I believe that God brought us here, to meet Mr Alexey from Water of Life church because he helped us when we desperately needed it.”
Children Devastated by War
The Story of Darina
This is Darina. She is almost ten years old. I thought she was very sweet and I quickly learned that she is also very smart. We both played checkers and snakes and ladders and she won. She loves art and music and can speak multiple languages.
Darina, her Mom Ina, and Grandma Tatyana are from the town of Zaparozhia. When war broke out, Ina and Darina were visiting Kyiv. When the shelling began, Ina’s friends called her. Instead of returning home, they fled from Kyiv with only a single small backpack of belongings. They had only packed for a day trip. Ina’s only goal was just to get across the border to someplace safe. Ina’s husband was in the army, and he had died. They were on their own. Tatyana, Ina's Mom joined them later from Zaparozhia.
By God’s grace, Ina found a place on an overcrowded evacuation train to Poland. She felt that she should just stand in the middle of the train platform, even though everyone was running back and forth around her. It was chaos. Miraculously, when the train stopped, there was space right in front of her for herself and Darina to get on. The train was filled with other frightened Moms and terrified children. Yet, even in the midst of their own trauma, Ina caught her breath and was able to direct the other ladies, share her unshakeable faith, and bring comfort. The children were huddled together at the edge of the open door, so she asked some of the other adults to make room for the kids on the seats. She even made tea for some of the older ladies in one of the compartments to calm them. She told me that she felt like a mother to them all at that moment.
A Warm Blanket Gives Hope
Vika and Anya Receive a Blanket
This is Vika (left) and Anya (right). They have a brother, Denis. Vika lives in a highly dysfunctional family. The children's mother, Alla, often drinks with her husband. Because she abused alcohol during her pregnancy with Anya and had poor nutrition, Anya was born with six fingers on one hand.
With financial help from our church, in 2020, this little girl had surgery. Now Anya, thank God, has five fingers on her hand. We pray for this family continually, especially for the children.
The blanket we gave them from the Mission Partners is a great blessing. Vika always comes to children's meetings with great joy. On behalf of all the children and families who received blankets, we want to say, "May the Lord abundantly bless Mission Partners, meet all your needs, and support you in all your plans.
Vasily, Irina & Olga
Blankets for Winter
A Refugee Rescued
Olga receives food and Christian community
Olga is an elderly lady who has fled her home city of Kharkov. The building she once lived in was damaged because of artillery bombardment.
Olga and her son came to Borispol several months ago. Here they are only able to rent a small one-room apartment. It is only 3m x 4m.
Olga didn’t know anything about Evangelical Churches. Out of sheer desperation, she came to Hope Church looking for help, food, and fellowship. “There is nothing to return to,” she says.
She was very grateful to MPI for the food packet. We invite people from the community to Church services, meet with them, find out about their needs and help, pray for their needs, and invite them to dinner.