We have all seen horrific images of the war in Ukraine, how people’s lives and communities have been severely damaged or destroyed. But those don’t tell the full story. The people of God are shining forth as lights in the brutal darkness of war, providing for the physical and spiritual needs of the Ukrainian people.
The suffering and carnage are real, but what is rarely reported in the Western media are stories of compassion and care extended to people in need by Christians, and even supernatural deliverance. In accounts that read like Old Testament stories, during the first days of the invasion, Christians in L’viv reported seeing Russian missiles disappear in mid-air and Russian columns getting lost.
Stories abound of the Lord working through His people. One group of people, including a Christian, took cover in a two-story building. During the bombing, he prayed for protection. A rocket broke through the house, exited through the wall and landed in the yard without exploding. No one lost their life.
In the first days of the war, before international agencies arrived, churches all across Ukraine responded to the cry for help. Within 48 hours after the war began, they were transformed into refugee centers, bomb shelters and warehouses for food and medicines. Vans and buses were mobilized on evacuation missions, driven by church volunteers.
Those seeking help were welcomed into churches, where they experienced genuine care among Ukraine’s Christians. Unseen before the war, an unprecedented collaboration arose among various denominations. Receiving the physical aid they needed, refugees developed a hunger for the Gospel. In countries where the refugees have arrived, the gospel is spreading, certain proof that God can work all things together for good. Small prayer groups and bible studies are growing at an explosive rate as people’s hearts are opening to hear about how to have a relationship with God.
In his sovereignty, God allows man to sin and to war against each other. Christ didn’t come to eliminate suffering; He came to fill it with His presence. The task ahead to rebuild lives is monumental, but it becomes feasible when we know that God is at work through His church. Even in the midst of war, His love overpowers the rage of Satan. Let us go forth to minister to those in need, knowing that the light of Christ always shines most brightly in the darkness.
Source: Dennis and Anya Melnichuk, missionaries in eastern Europe
To God be the Glory