Things were different before the war broke out in Mironovsk, Ukraine. For 15 years prior to the streets being filled with crumbling structures, a small church of 14 ministered faithfully to their city.
For 15 years, there was very little response to the Good News.
But the war changed all that.
Within the first days of the war, people became interested again. The church has sprouted up to 29 members since then! There are regularly 100 people worshipping God when the doors are open.
Even if there is no scheduled service! It isn't uncommon to find 150 people gathering to pray and sing at 1pm on a Friday afternoon.
Ukrainians turn to the Lord during tough times.
Sixty people have come to faith and given their lives to Jesus in recent months!
Last month, ITMI's Adi Ban, who lives and ministers in Romania, traveled with four other co-laborers to encourage the believers in the war-torn "Donbas" area of Ukraine.
So many in the region are hurting and grieving. They are traumatized by the war around them, feeling insecure and unsafe. They are suffering economically, wondering how they will feed and protect their families.
While the team was at the church in Mironovsk, a young woman asked the group to visit her mother at home.
But there was a catch.
Her mother hasn't left her home since 2014 and doesn't welcome visitors. She's suffering deeply, anguished by the losses of her husband, son and her own physical health.
What is the one thing that could give hope to an ailing widow in a war-torn region? God's Word. Adi and his friends read Isaiah 53 with her. Then together they talked to the One who "took up our pain" and "bore our suffering." (Isaiah 53)
She looked up after praying and said, "I've never felt so liberated in my life. I feel the peace of God in your presence."
Adi and his team's prayers and presence brings hope for a woman struggling with her health, painful losses and depression.
Sometimes the only hope for those in pain is knowing Jesus sees, Jesus knows, and Jesus cares.
The group visited 5 cities in the area, covering almost 3,000 miles in 7 days! They passed through 30 military checkpoints, sometimes waiting for up to two hours.
Tanks present on the roads in the Donbas area of Ukraine.
In addition to Mironovsk, the group visited Toretsk, Kamasovaha, Lysychansk and Severdonek.
In Toretsk, the drinking water tested at a reading of 1049. Over 100 is considered toxic. One of the men traveling with Adi was part of an organization that raised around $2,500 to dig a well providing clean water to over 1,500 people living in the area.
A water reading over 100 is considered toxic. Here's the water reading in Toretsk!
There is one small way we can bear the burdens these people are facing. Will you join Adi, Ema and others in remembering the people of the Donbas region of Ukraine in prayer?
Adi and Ema Ban live and minister in Romania, but as the needs in Ukraine rise, they have extended the reach of God's care to reach the suffering and vulnerable there, too.
Adi and Ema Ban have extended the reach of God's care to reach the suffering and vulnerable in Ukraine.