COVID and Conflict: The Ministry of Survival in Ukraine

While Coronavirus has impacted the entire world, some countries are hit much harder than others. Before the pandemic, Ukraine was already in an ongoing war with Russia since 2014.

When Russia invaded eastern Ukraine, it became an occupied and militarized region. Though news coverage has decreased, it is still an active war zone.

As Guidelines devotionals are broadcast in Ukrainian on the radio, we also support local pastor Alex Moseychuck, who together with his family, serve the community in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Alex recently sent us an update on the situation there:

At this time, the majority of news is about the Coronavirus. The media tells less about the war, but the war is still going in the eastern Ukraine. Every day we hear shelling, and as a result, military people, as well as civilian population, regularly get killed and wounded. Recently, there was a response at the request of the separatists and the shelling started at the suburbs of Donetsk. Several civilians were injured from shell fragments as the result of the shelling.

It’s hard to imagine living through a Pandemic at the same time there is active war in your neighborhood. Yet the Moseychuks choose to live here and continue ministering to their community. Alex then shared how Coronavirus affected them:

Coronavirus came quite unexpectedly for everyone. Suddenly, at one moment, everything collapsed. Today people speak about one thing: how to survive in this time of hunger. In Ukraine, a lot of people have lost their jobs and do not have resources to continue living.

Even though the situation is dire, Alex is finding ways to share the love of Jesus both physically and spiritually:

This situation also allows us to continue our ministry “Help Them Survive” by giving people bread and some other food. We believe that now this is a very favorable situation to witness about Christ, and we try to use every opportunity to do it. This is best done by means of our social service.

He has a ministry that is literally called, “Help Them Survive,” a very direct name that describes the harsh realities that people in Donetsk face. Alex also shared how he is also ministering to his church, which in a previous update, had been shut down by Russian forces:

Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who live in occupied Ukraine suffer financially, they don’t have enough food to eat, and they suffer spiritually, not being able to meet and have Christian fellowship. We decided to have church service with them via Zoom program on the internet. This is very encouraging for brothers and sisters in Christ who lack communication.

Even though people in Ukraine are suffering in ways we cannot even begin to imagine, there is still a connection that we have with them through the body of Christ. Like many of us, the Church continues to meet online and lift each other up. Even war and a pandemic cannot sever those ties.

Yet even as they face such extreme difficulties, they are thinking and praying for us. In closing his message to us, Alex asked us an honest and very humbling question:

And how do you survive there in this difficult time? Do you have enough food to eat?

While they are struggling so much, the Moseychuks and their community in eastern Ukraine still think about us and pray for us.

Will you help Alex Moseychuk and his family continue serving their community in these difficult times? Our Groundwork fund provides the support Alex needs to minister, along with local pastors and ministries around the world who are tangibly serving their communities.

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