While Tatyana and her son’s family were enjoying a lakeside picnic near her home in eastern Ukraine, an explosion of artillery fire ripped through the air. They managed to get home safely, but the fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian separatists turned Tatyana’s city into a war zone.
“Every day, I saw dead and injured people in the street, others hiding in basements with children crying for something to eat and drink,” she said. “On the bus going home from work, I often saw buildings on fire, and people covered with blood.”
Shrapnel damaged Tatyana’s roof and blew out her windows. She went without power, gas, water, and heat for 11 months, until she finally fled to a safer area of Ukraine. Tatyana was fortunate to find a small room in a dormitory, and a young lady told her about a nearby church that was providing relief aid to refugees.
Using money provided by ABWE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, the church gave Tatyana free hot lunches and groceries, and the pastor told her about a God who loved her deeply.
“The pastor’s words lifted the veil from my eyes,” Tatyana said.
Tatyana began to attend the church regularly, and after a few months, she began to feel God pulling at her heart. She was burdened by the full weight of her sin until she prayed to God for forgiveness.
“After that, I felt light, as if I had wings,” she said. “Now I want to do everything in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Tatyana’s new found salvation began with the help of the Ukraine Crisis Fund, which was established by ABWE missionaries in partnership with local church leaders to strengthen their ability to share Jesus’ love by ministering to people’s physical needs during these uncertain times. Over the past two years, the fund has helped provide relief and hope to thousands of people through churches ministering to refugees and those in the conflict zone.
“Now, I serve God with joy, but I still miss my home,” said Tatyana. “I hope to return someday so I can share Christ with my friends and neighbors.”