Don't Be Afraid, Lyuba

By Peter Marshall

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  • Don't Be Afraid, Lyuba

Longing for her home in Serbia, you could see the pain in Lyuba’s eyes as she described the shelling and ongoing war in her village. I assured her that pain is only temporary—and that when we die, God has prepared a place for those who love Him and put their trust in Him.

I met Lyuba and her husband while travelling with our ministry partner in the Former Soviet Union, Mission Eurasia. This lovely couple is suffering greatly because of the war, which has cut them off from their family and many basic resources.

Lyuba (which means “Love”) and her husband, Vladimir, live in Avdiivka, Ukraine. Avdiivka is a village located just a few kilometres from pro-Russian occupied Donetsk.

Last year a mortar blew up in front of their home, killing one person. The explosion caused a tree in their front yard to crash into their home. The windows were shattered because of the blast. Without the resources needed to repair their home, Lyuba and Vladimir had to endure last winter’s frigid temperatures with only a thin piece of plastic covering the windows. 

I met Lyuba while she was walking down a street in her village. She smiled from ear to ear when I gave her a parcel of food and a Hope magazine. Her smile brightened up the dreary atmosphere in Avdiivka.

Lyuba’s face just glowed as we walked down the dirt road together toward her home. She introduced me to her husband, Vlad, who was sitting in the front yard, smoking a cigarette—but not before she instructed him to “Go put a shirt on.”

Longing for her home in Serbia, you could see the pain in Lyuba’s eyes as she described the shelling and ongoing war in her village. I assured her that pain is only temporary—and that when we die, God has prepared a place for those who love Him and put their trust in Him. Fear etched across her face when I mentioned the word “death.” Don’t be afraid, Lyuba. Heaven is going to be beautiful. There will be no more suffering, no more war.

With great pride, Lyuba showed me her coloruful flower garden. Roses and hollyhocks filled her front yard. She wanted to send me home with some roses and hollyhock seeds. We went to her garden where she picked a handful of fresh, blooming roses for me.

Thank you for your gift to bring God’s Word to Lyuba and Vladimir. Your generosity provided Lyuba and others who are suffering from the war in Ukraine with God’s Word—a Hope magazine, filled with 50 Psalms and the Gospel of John, set to peaceful images of nature, many of them from Ukraine.

Jesus said there will be war and rumours of war until He comes again. Though we can’t stop the wars, we can offer people peace with God. Our hope is in our risen Saviour, Jesus Christ.


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