Ukraine

Irina’s Story: A Heart Transformed at Summer Bible Camp

God can transform even the hardest of hearts in an instant, and at our summer Bible camps each year, thousands of young people surrender their lives to Jesus. For the last four years, the village of Andreyevka, Ukraine has endured the violence, destruction, and despair of war. In order to share the eternal hope and peace of Christ with the children and youth living in these tragic circumstances, our School Without Walls (SWW) students from Berdyansk have been hosting summer Bible camps in war-torn Andreyevka since the war broke out. Last year, Irina, a young woman from Andreyevka, was invited to camp by one of her friends. At first, Irina and her group had no interest in Christianity and just wanted to hang out together, but then God started working in Irina’s heart. “I wanted to relax and get away from my everyday worries, but then I saw a completely…

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The Wonderful Gift of Mobility

For many years, Svetlana worked on a collective farm in a small village in the Chernigov region of Ukraine. This was very challenging, because she was often in poor health, but didn’t have time to take care of herself. For 15 years, the only thing that kept her going was her dream of retirement. She longed to spend time with her grandchildren and have a small farm of her own. In Svetlana’s words, “Life is so unpredictable.” When she was finally able to retire, her health worsened and she needed help with even the simplest of household tasks. Her husband lovingly cared for her, but sadly, he died not long after Svetlana’s retirement. His death was too much for Svetlana to handle, and she suffered a stroke, which left her bedridden. Since her children were working and unable to stay with her during the day, Svetlana just laid in bed…

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A Story of Hope in Eastern Ukraine

Like any mother, Angelina wanted the best for her children. When war broke out in eastern Ukraine, she and her husband had three children and a fourth on the way. While her husband was off fighting for their country, Angelina’s hometown of Andreyevka was targeted in several bombing attacks, so she made the difficult decision to move to Russia, where she had many relatives, so her children would be safe. Not long after the move, Angelina gave birth to a baby girl. She went back to work as soon as she could, and thankfully, she was able to afford all of the food and clothing that her children needed. But sadly, things changed very quickly. After Angelina’s neighbors found out that she was from Ukraine, they started treating her and her children with great disrespect and hostility. At first, Angelina tried to be patient, but eventually her neighbors’ behavior became…

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A Miracle for Inessa

The Inessa that our School Without Walls students visit today is unrecognizable as the same child that they first met two years ago. Today she is full of smiles and loves to have fun, whereas two years ago at a refugee camp in Verovka, Ukraine, she looked completely different. She was scared of everything, her hair was messy, and she would mumble under her breath about bombings and the toys she had to leave behind. Inessa and her family are originally from Yelenovka, a village located in the war zone in eastern Ukraine. Her parents were very involved in their local church, but sadly, after the conflict erupted and bombing attacks became more frequent, they were forced to flee the village, along with the rest of the congregation. They didn’t make it far, however, as the bombing attacks intensified, so Inessa’s family, and 26 other adults and children, were forced…

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Lena’s Testimony: Undying Faith in the Midst of War

 There are over one million internally displaced people and refugees in eastern Ukraine today, each with their own story. There is so much pain and tragedy there, but stories like Lena’s show that God is still working out His redemptive eternal plan of hope and healing, even in the midst of circumstances that seem hopeless by human standards. Lena lives with her husband and son in a village near the front lines of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. When the war broke out, the family found themselves right in the middle of the violence. They were unable to sleep for many horrible nights due to the shelling, and Lena’s husband, Valeriy, witnessed several people die and had many missiles explode right above his head. When Valeriy began having psychological problems because of trauma and loss of sleep, the family knew it was time to leave their village. Recently, Valeriy also…

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Tatyana’s Story: New Life Through God’s Word

  Tatyana, who lived in Gorlovka, Ukraine with her husband, Vitaly, and their two daughters, never dreamed that war would ever come to her homeland. After the fighting broke out in Ukraine, Vitaly felt called to defend his country, so he joined the army and left to serve in the war zone. Two weeks later, Tatyana learned that her husband had been killed in the fighting. She was shocked and couldn’t bear to break the news to her children, Nadya and Alina. After receiving the news about Vitaly’s death, Tatyana and her daughters fled to the village of Granitnoye in the Donetsk region, where Tatyana’s mother lived. For the first four months after the move, Tatyana couldn’t find work, so she helped her mother with the household chores. Her family only survived because of the help they received from School Without Walls (SWW) students, who brought them humanitarian aid and…

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