Despite the cease-fire the situation is Lughansk region is beyond words in terms of the human loss and suffering. There have been reports of at least two more churches being seized this week in Eastern Ukraine, one in Lughansk and one in Krasny Luch.
This week I talked with one of the ministers from Lughansk region whose church has been seized by rebels. We have given some aid to his church through our missions Ukraine Crisis Fund. He thanked me for the helped and said that despite the fact that they have no church building the Church continues to minister to the needs of people!
Below is a letter I want to share with you from the overseeing pastor for Lughansk region. You can sense the pain in his words as he writes about the situation in Lughansk. You can read the original in Russian here.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, deacons and pastors of the Church of Christ!
I writing to you on behalf of the churches and ministers in Lughansk region. A real war has filled our cities and our villages inevitably bringing with it destruction, pain, death, sickness and hunger. I’m not writing about this as someone who is looking on from a distance but as someone who is directly involved in these tragic events. God called me to personally to experience this horror, fear and pain of war.
My city, Pervomaisk has been terribly destroyed, for more than 50 days there has been no water, electricity, no gas, no stores and no food, no pharmacies and no medication. Explosions, bombs and rockets. The dead are counted in the hundreds. Our wonderful church building “Revival” has been burnt to the ground. The city is empty. The lives of the church leaders have been threatened. The Church has been scattered. The people are left without even blood, they have lost everything they had. This is only a small part of what’s happening – it’s a drop of water in a sea of suffering that is storming our area. The situation in other cities is a little better. Lugansk is destroyed. Thousands of refugees. Church buildings in Antratsit and many others have been seized.
But thanks be to God, He is faithful and he has not forgotten us!
I want to thank you brothers for your active participation in our suffering, and in our ministry!
I know that in many churches they are regularly praying for us -THANK YOU! I ask you to continue praying! Many churches and families opened their homes to refugees from our region -may the Lord take care of you! Many churches gather food and clothes and I assure you that these are needed and valued! (In a few areas of our region the humanitarian catastrophe is such that people are waiting days for bread and water.)
I ask you and I exhort you to do the following:
Don’t stop praying for us. Pray for peace and for freedom in our area. Pray for repentance. Pray for the ministers and the churches that are carrying out this ministry in such difficult circumstances.
I ask you to open your heart to all who are going through tough times, to those who have lost their house, their work, their pay and their retirement. Open your heart and the doors to your homes. Accept these people and bless them!
I ask you and I call on you to help! Help churches, help the refugee camps, help the ministers who stayed behind in the conflict zone! This is extremely difficult, but we see how God is blessing our toil through those seeking God, repenting and being baptized.
We know that God will calm this stormy cruel sea! We believe that He is powerful to transform the suffering and pain of our people into joy and peace!
This is what we pray for with you, rejoicing that through the blood of the Lamb we became close family in order to suffer together, support each other and come to the aid of one another.
May the Lord bless!
Your brother in the Lord
Elisha Pronin – Area Association of Churches, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Lughansk Area