REFUGEES / HOMELESS
“Dear friends, I was born in Kazakhstan in 1937. My family
consisted of both Christian and unbelieving family members. My
father died in World War II, when I was very young and I was
raised by my mom and grandmother. I had a delightful upbringing,
and my grandma was the one who taught me how to pray and took me to an underground church because of the
persecution by the Soviet regime. When I wasn’t attending an underground church, I prayed secretly, so my
family and I would not get into trouble with the government. Many years passed and I eventually moved to
When the war broke out in Eastern Ukraine, I lost everything in a moment’s notice. My sister begged me to
move to Kharkov a few months after the war broke out. Amazingly, I caught the last train out of my area before
everything closed down. My nephew died in the war after I departed, and my sister died of grief and an illness
six months later.
I was able to rent an apartment in Kharkov, but with the overwhelming events with my life and family, I felt
broken and lost. My sister was the dearest and most precious person in my life and when she died, I lost any
purpose for living; I became hardened and empty inside. During this period of time, I lost my hearing, so I went
to the hospital and I met another refugee, who encouraged me to visit Living Hope Baptist Church (the church
SCM partners with to help refugees).
The timing was too amazing and I knew this connection was from God. When I arrived, I was amazed by the
church atmosphere and how welcoming people were to me. They accepted me into their church family, showing
patience, mercy and understanding. It was evident that they loved people and worshipped God in this church. I
began to attend the theology courses and made relationships with Slavic Christian Ministries workers, who
brought me closer to the Lord and helped me recover emotionally and spiritually. Living Hope and Slavic
Christian Ministries have been God’s refuge for me for several years now and I am so thankful for them!
I am grateful to God for directing me to these wonderful Christians. I was baptized here and I believe Jesus is
doing a greater work in me. Thank you for helping in this area of ministry!”
Ludmila Mashkova’s Testimony
“My name is Ludmila and I was born and raised in the town of Horlovka, Ukraine, which is near the epicenter of where the
major battles happened between Ukraine and Russia. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian family, but at times, I did reach out to
God. Many years ago, when my daughter became very ill (she had 4th stage cancer), I repented of my sins before God. It was
at that moment, that I began to see our lives turn around for the better. I know that God was guiding my steps all along the
way. I fervently began praying and my daughter was healed from her cancer, she got married and now I have two wonderful grandchildren! I was baptized in 2008 and was attending Christian Word Community Church in the town of
Makeevka, which was near my home. When the war broke out in 2014, my town and the cities around me were bombarded with explosives, warheads, etc. We tried to remain in our home, but when things really escalated in our area, we decided to leave in 2015.
My husband was really sick when we escaped and unfortunately, he died during this time of crisis. After I came to Kharkov, I heard about Living Hope Baptist Church from other refugees. I initially received help with food and supplies, but then I began attending a service led by the church and Slavic Christian Ministries. They have provided me with so much hope over the past few years, which I am so grateful. I know what God’s ways are so different than our ways and I am learning so much. I now volunteer with the church and SCM in distributing food to other refugees. The war has settled down, but we still feel displaced. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!” I usually only share about our refugee ministry once or twice per year, but our SCM partners work diligently every week in distributing food, counseling people, and providing a worship service for them. Because of your ongoing help, we are able to serve a couple hundred refugees and homeless people. Thank you for your prayers and sacrificial giving to help use reach needy people, in the name of Jesus.