The Ukraine-Russia Love That Knows No Borders: Churches Unite to Minister in Heart of Deadly Crisis
Share This article
As war rages in Europe, there's something else extraordinary happening in both Ukraine and Russia right now: a breathtaking display of unity between two peoples, even as their countries are at war.
In my role with Slavic Gospel Association, I've personally experienced many times this incredible, unbreakable fellowship among followers of Christ.
It's a love that knows no borders.
I know many Christians in Russia at this very moment are praying passionately for their brothers and sisters in Ukraine. And those in Ukraine are on their knees in the snow, praying for their fellow believers in Russia.
No one can separate them. There are Russian pastors in Ukraine and Ukrainian pastors in Russia. Pastors on both sides of the border continually meet and pray together. Many evangelical churches and families in the two countries are interconnected. It's a picture of God's perfect Kingdom in the midst of man's broken one.
You might think that with the machines of war growling and artillery shells exploding that local churches would be beating a hasty retreat.
Quite the opposite.
Photo showing the devastation in Sumy, Ukraine. (All images courtesy: Slavic Gospel Association)
They're courageously rushing toward the danger into the very heart of the crisis to help uprooted families, refugees, abandoned and traumatized children, those on the margins of society, and others who've lost all hope.
With SGA's support, these congregations and pastors are distributing food, warm clothes, blankets, and medicines. But they also bring "treasure in jars of clay," as the Apostle Paul says in. When all hope seems lost, the real treasure – the light of the Gospel in local believers – shines all the brighter.
Faith Tested Under Fire
On both sides of the border, faithful followers of Christ know how to endure the most intense suffering with joy and even thanksgiving. Decades under communism trained them to embrace severe hardships as divine providence. Their faith has been tested in the fire and under fire and found to be genuine.
An elderly refugee in Poland with SGA supplies.
Recently, a local missionary pastor supported by our organization developed gangrene in one of his legs. As he laid on the operating table with the surgeon and his team readying to amputate the limb, the pastor told them, "God has placed me here at this very time in order that I might share the wonderful message of his love with you all." Right there and then, he proclaimed the Gospel to them.
In this very hour, that same passion for the Gospel and unrelenting love and concern for others are propelling local Christians into the war zone armed with nothing but Christ's compassion.
Over decades, SGA has built strong partnerships with evangelical pastors and churches in both Ukraine and Russia, preparing a ready-made relief force for times of crisis such as this.
Partnering with a network of more than 2,200 Ukrainian churches and 100-plus Ukrainian and Russian missionary pastors, our organization aims to supply 175,000 free meals in the next month alone.
Our "Winter Warmth" outreach provides shivering families with warm clothes, while our "Family Survival Packs" containing blankets, medicines, and food will be a lifesaver for families forced to flee their homes under fire, including Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries.
SGA relief supplies arrive in Sumy, Urkaine.
As rockets explode near orphanages and children's homes, thousands of unwanted kids brokenhearted by abandonment now tremble with fear.
Who's there to comfort them? The faithful followers of the One who took the little children in his arms.
This is the fearless love of Christ's church on display even now, in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
This love challenges you and me to give of ourselves without holding back.
This is the love that knows no borders.
Michael Johnson is the president of Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association, a Christian mission that serves local churches in Russia, Ukraine, and across the former Soviet Union. Go to www.sga.org/ukraineaid/ to support relief efforts in Ukraine-Russia.
Share This article