Dear Friends and Partners,
It has now been 4.5 months since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and there are now 16.4 million Ukrainians who have fled the country or have been displaced from their homes in Ukraine, with the vast majority of the refugees being women and children. We are helping support approximately 60 families across Europe, Ukraine orphans in Romania, and six ministries in Kharkiv, who are helping to feed over 150,000+ people. The shelling in Kharkiv continues daily and over 2,300+ buildings in our city of Kharkiv have been destroyed. There are about 8-10 rockets and many bombs and artillery shells exploding in the city daily. During the initial stages of the war the Russian army destroyed the city center and the large suburbs on the outskirts of the city. Now the Russian military is targeting all areas of the city.
As a reminder, all war updates can be viewed here: https://www.slavicchristian.org/blog.
Every month, I highlight a family or ministry we are helping, so you will continue to pray for them and families or ministries like them that have been devastated by this war. This month, I would like to share
with you the testimony of my friend Victoria (Vika), whom I have known for over 21 years. Here is her story.
Invasion Before Our 10th Anniversary
“Hello, my name is Victoria. I have been married to my wonderful husband Ruslan for 10 ½ years. We have three beautiful children. My oldest daughter is Ruslana (9 years old), my son Matvey (7 years old), and my youngest daughter is Bogdana (14 months old). We were married on 25th of February 2012. The war began one day before our 10th anniversary! Prior to the Russian invasion, we lived in the peaceful city of Energodar, which is about 200 miles north of Crimea. This city boasts one of the largest nuclear power plants in all of Europe, not just Ukraine.
For many years my husband has been a pastor and I have partnered with him in serving within the church. When I wasn’t helping my husband or raising my children, I was an English translator/teacher. My husband also worked in a factory that helped serve the nuclear power plant. We lived a modest, but joyful life with many friends. At the beginning of the war, my daughter Ruslana was in the 3rd grade and my son Matvey in the 1st grade.
In the initial stages of the war, my husband received a message that the Russians had targeted our nuclear power plant. We were deeply concerned and continuously praying until we decided that it was too risky to stay in our city. To save the lives of our children, we made the very difficult decision to leave many of our friends and all of our earthly possessions behind. As we were fleeing, the Russian military stopped us, checked our passports and thankfully let us leave. I was very scared because we heard other reports that some Russians were targeting and killing civilians as they fled the country, but thankfully we were able to safely pass through this checkpoint. We were stopped at a second checkpoint and had more difficulty passing. These Russians were not as open at this at this location. Eventually, we talked our way past them too, but we had to weave our car through anti-tank mines that were placed on the road.
During our journey toward western Ukraine, we saw many despondent women walking with their children, destroyed cars and buildings, and the just the overall destruction and aftereffects of this horrible war. Due to the debris on the road, our car got a flat tire. As my husband was changing the tire, shelling began and landed very close to us and my daughter almost got hit by shrapnel. There were other friends in a car behind us, so my children and I ran to their card and sped away as quick as possible. We had to leave my husband behind with our car and I was so scared and concerned for his life. I prayed from the depths of my soul for his safety. Thankfully, we were reunited a short time later.
It took us seven days to reach Germany, where we are currently located. Through this entire nightmare, I have sensed God’s presence, seen his faithfulness, and felt his protection. We had no destination within Germany and our future was unknown. God let us know about a family in Germany that was willing to help us with food, clothes and whatever documents were needed – it was a blessing from God. We are now living in a government sponsored apartment, my children are enrolled in school, and we are trying to learn German.
Please pray that my husband can find employment and help provide for our family. Of course, we miss Ukraine, but we are trying to make the best situation that we can make under these dire circumstances. We are thankful for the prayers and financial support; you have been a blessing to our family. I cannot stress enough what a blessing Slavic Christian Ministries has been for so many hurting and hungry people. I feel so encouraged in knowing that friends like you in America, have such huge hearts for people like us from Ukraine - thank you very much!” – Victoria Ivanova
Friends, please keep Victoria and her family in your prayers, as well as, the thousands of others we are helping directly or through our ministry partners. Please also pray for our entire ministry and all of our efforts to show the love of Christ in tangible ways – food, money, and biblical resources. And if you would be willing to pray for my health too, I would appreciate it; I am still dealing with the after effects of having covid.
Lastly, if you could pray for our ministry finances - our donations are down dramatically since the beginning of the war, but our expenses of feeding and providing financial aid will remain the same for a long time. If you or your church would be open to donating to our ministry, please reach out to us or make an online donation at slavicchristian.org/donate. You can also sign up for recurring donations on our website too. Thank you for your prayer and gifts. God bless you in every way!
In Jesus’ love,