On March 12, 2022, Maria’s life changed forever. As an invading army pressed closer to her home she made the decision to flee from Ukraine with her son Roma, 11, and daughter Dasha, 6.
They haven’t been back since.
“We are desperate to return home and can't wait for the war to finish,” she said.
“It's still surreal sometimes, and it's hard to believe it's happening in real life. We had a wonderful, stable life with everything we needed. And then everything changed.”
And the past year hasn’t healed Maria’s wounds.
She now lives in Moldova, where she sought refugee status with her kids. Her community is gone. When she thinks about her friends and neighbors who have died or were injured by shelling in her hometown, her heart breaks. It breaks daily.
But in the midst of this tragedy she is seeking life, life to the fullest.
“It's not easy; I sometimes have breakdowns. The feeling of fear and hopelessness constantly haunts me. But my children support me and motivate me to keep fighting. I keep thinking ‘no matter what,’ we must try to live our lives. Not just try to survive, but fully live.”
In the midst of the devastation that constantly surrounds her, God’s Church was there to give her comfort. At Christmas she attended a children’s event put on by a local church to support people who had been displaced by the war.
While Maria’s kids watched the concert she did what most other adults did and waited in a different room. There, volunteers with our ministry partner spoke to her about Jesus. They held her hand and prayed for her. Maria finally felt something she had been searching for for nearly a year—complete peace and safety.
When the concert ended, Maria greeted her kids with a smile on her face. Her kids were also smiling. Big genuine smiles she hadn’t seen on them for the longest time. Her son excitedly held a book up and exclaimed, “Mom, look! We received children's Bibles in our language. Now, when you don't feel good, I will read it to you! They told us that Jesus helps us to go through all the difficulties."
Maria’s life changed forever that day thanks to people like you. She felt peace, and saw smiles on her kids faces she hadn’t seen in a year because someone like you shared the Gospel with her.
But the work isn’t done. There are millions of families like Maria’s. They’ve been displaced. They’ve gone hungry. They’ve lost friends and family. Everything is being taken from them, and they need the one thing the war cannot take away—God’s love.
But they need your support.
Paul tells us in Ephesians to put on the full armor of God. Faith, truth, hope, righteousness, and the gospel are all given to us as objects to defend ourselves. But the Word of God was given to us as a weapon—a sword. By arming the church with the skills and resources they need to bring comfort to people like Maria and her kids, we are waging a spiritual war that cannot be lost!
The Church in Ukraine is fighting to provide care, and comfort, to people who have lost so much during this time of heightened aggression. But their resources are running thin. And as the weather turns warmer, the expectation is aggression will increase. The Church needs your support now so that they can shine God’s light in this dark time.
This is how we can fight back. Not with earthly weapons, but with every word that has come from the mouth of God.
You can make a difference, by spreading His message of love and hope:
- $60 will bring hope through the Bible to 10 families like Maria’s who have seen too much loss and felt too much despair
- $150 means 25 people will feel the love and comfort that only God and His Word can provide
- $240 will equip a local church with the Scripture resources they desperately need to continue making a difference in the countless lives of people who have been affected and displaced by the war in Ukraine