Ukrainian Ministry Center sees lives changed

Olga was pregnant when she and her husband, Arcadi, and their children had to leave their Russian-occupied hometown and flee to another area of Ukraine. The couple sought refuge at a ministry center for internally displaced people (IDP) launched by local pastor Anton Burmistrov.

Since they arrived in Lviv, they have not only welcomed the new life of their son, but they’ve found eternal life through the gospel.

Women meet for fellowship at God’s Design Church in Kyiv, Ukraine. The building used to be a night club and is now a church. Church members and the pastor, Oleg, uses table tennis to draw people into the church. They distribute food to needy people and currently disciples 20 new believers for baptism. Send Relief partners with Oleg and his church to provide food and basic needs for people affected by the war. IMB Photo

“Their lives changed greatly,” says Pastor Anton. “Previously, they liked to drink alcohol, and this had a bad effect on the situation of their family. Today, they are believers. The whole family has joy through the service of Jesus Christ.”

Since the center opened a year ago, about 20 IDPs have lived there. Three of the men, including Arcadi, have also worked on renovations of the outdated building while living there. So, the center has provided both housing and work for them. Pastor Anton and his family also live at the center to oversee the ongoing ministry there.

The family has invested much of their own money, not to mention free labor, in the ministry center. Because of your gifts, Send Relief has been able to resource them to expand their work.

The center has become a meeting place where people can spend time with friends. Olga often brings the children to play on the playground, trampoline, sandbox and volleyball field.

“This is a wonderful multifunctional place where you can find refuge for a while, spend leisure time with friends, just relax and enjoy nature and conduct retreats and seminars for spiritual enrichment,” says Pastor Anton. “There is still a lot of work, but even in this state, the center serves people, and this is very pleasing. The situation is difficult, and everyone needs help. But along with the food parcels and physical help, we always share the gospel.”

Published November 9, 2023