Ukraine (MNN) — Earlier this month, the United Nations came out with a report on the rising violence in Ukraine.
Rise in Violence
In 2014, the fighting in Ukraine caught civilians right in the middle.(Photo courtesy of SGA via Facebook)
From February to April, the violence related to the Ukrainian conflict rose 48 percent. This means there’s been a significant increase in civilian injuries and even deaths.
“The Ukraine conflict really has been going on and on since it broke out. I think it’s going into its fourth year now. And there will be these little lulls in the conflict or fighting from time to time, and then it flares up again,” Slavic Gospel Association’s Joel Griffith explains.
“They’ve had periodic peace talks that other nations have tried to broker. Eventually, those cease-fires get violated by one side or the other. So, the conflict never really has stopped.”
Although the increase in violence is not a surprise — the violence is still of concern. And this is a reason why SGA has a Crisis Evangelism Fund used to help churches in Ukraine reach out to the Ukrainian people.
Helping Ukrainian Refugees
The Ukraine conflict has created millions of refugees within the country. The conflict has forced many people to abandon their homes and towns in efforts to survive.
These same people need food, clothes, and other physical needs which Ukrainian Evangelical churches strive to meet by using the funds supplied through SGA. However, the most important need is the Gospel’s good news.
“So it really is just a humanitarian tragedy that continues to impact lives to this day. And our concern is certainly to help the churches reach out in the name of Jesus Christ, not only with physical help that’s needed by these people effected, but also with the Gospel,” Griffith shares.
With hearing the Gospel and knowing Christ comes a peace and joy that may never be possible living in the circumstances that have become everyday life for these Ukrainians. But through the Crisis Evangelism Fund, Ukrainian Evangelical churches can meet people in the darkest days and share a bit of Jesus with them; not just in word, but also in action.
“The way it works is we help provide the funds to the churches and then the churches get whatever aid they need there and they’re basically what we would call ‘regional hub’ churches,” Griffith explains.
“They’re in different locations in Ukraine and they will send out teams of missionary pastors and church workers who like to go out and assesses the needs and then distribute the needs as they arise.”
The Crisis Evangelism Fund
Although the Crisis Evangelism Fund is used to help a number of countries in need — its resources have been focused in Ukraine because of the great needs the country has.
However, with the Ukraine crisis not often in the media, a significant amount of incoming funding from SGA supporters has diminished for the Crisis Evangelism Fund. This has made it harder to send out teams to care for the physical needs of the Ukrainian people, as well as give them the hope of Christ.
SGA Crisis Evangelism Fund
“That’s something that we’re definitely hearing from the churches and the teams that go out. The Church is the one in the name of Jesus, rendering help to these shattered lives. We’ve seen people come to Christ as a result of it and that certainly gives us much joy,” Griffith shares.
So please, would you consider donating to the Crisis Evangelism Fund? Even just $5 can go a long way and open a door to share the Gospel.
Intercede With Prayer
However, regardless of donating, please pray without ceasing.
“Our motto is ‘much prayer, much power’, as it was the model of our founder Peter Deyneka. Keep this in intercessory prayer. Pray for peace to come to Ukraine, for this conflict to be settled, and that the ministries of the churches can get back to normal and that peoples’ lives can get back to normal,” Griffith asks.
“And pray for openings for the Gospel. Even as we help the churches distribute the aid, our prayer is always that we’ll have open doors for the Gospel and that people’s lives could be changed, and that new churches could be planted, and that we could continue to see revival in Ukraine.”
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