Reports for the Russia-Ukraine war
A report from Marek and Marta of Chosen People Ministries Poland
People stand in lines kilometres long at the borders awaiting clearance. Lines change into crowds at the train station, with 2800 people going out on each train but not knowing what to do next. Up to 150,000 refugees were going into Poland daily, and also many to Slovakia and Romania, Germany, Italy and other southern European countries.
The Polish government didn’t appear to have any systematic help however every single refugee is helped and taken care of by local people.
Our ministry has worked closely with the Cracow-based Polania Foundation with financial and logistics help. And together with them, and also help from Celebrate Messiah in Australia, CPM Canada and CPM Global Ministries, we are sending aid to our brothers in Lviv, Chmielnicki and Usgorot (near Slovakia). There are very well organised synagogues and few churches that not only receive help but also give help to others.
We are working closely with CPM Finland, who have bought a 9-seater car that will be used to help bring people out of Ukraine. The aim is to take Jewish people first, but some are stubborn or just don’t want to leave their homes.
Maxim and Slavna from Beit Sar Shalom (CPM Israel) are working with us in Poland with around 200 Ukrainian children, bringing smiles onto their faces.
Our congregation is uniquely situated just 300 metres form the Ukraine embassy, so we have about 400 Ukrainians visiting our place daily, with 40 people each night sleeping in the congregation’s building.
The scale of this operation is huge; my wife Marta coordinates up to 250 volunteers just to run this place.
So, If I may ask, please ask God to give us strength so we will be able to continue the good work. Your prayers and the help we have already received from you is wonderful.
Maxim and Slavna, from Beit Sar Shalom Israel, report from Poland
We were supposed to fly home back to Israel from Poland, but seeing how much our help is needed here, we changed tickets and stayed on for a few more weeks.
Thanks to your support and prayers our days were jam-packed. The camp remains 100 per cent full. As families leave, new ones immediately arrive. We have 189 people living here, and more than 200 come to the canteen. Last night, an 18-year-old girl gave birth to a little girl, who they named Anyuta. Her husband stayed in Ukraine; he’s in the Army, and there is no connection with him yet, so he doesn’t know about the birth yet, which upsets her. The child was born healthy, and she and her mother should be back at the camp this afternoon.
We communicate with people, listen to their stories, and pray with them. On Sunday, a family with five children came to us. An explosion destroyed their house. They miraculously escaped and travelled to Poland, which took almost a week. They don’t know what to do next; they have nowhere to return. They have many questions, and the most important thing is, what next? Back to Ukraine, or to another country? I don’t have answers; I didn’t even know how to pray for them and what to say to them. There are so many stories like this. It isn’t easy to listen to what these people have gone through. I thank God that He has prepared me. In Israel, I have already organised seminars and camps for child and adult survivors of the post-war syndrome.
I continue to conduct Bible studies, counselling, and organise various events. Only believers came to our meetings in the early days, but we managed to gather almost everyone on Tuesday. We celebrated Purim. I told the holiday story, shared a word from the Bible, and the children received gifts. Slavna and her assistants spent the whole day buying and forging 130 gifts for the children, and when we handed them out, the faces of the children shone with joy. For almost everyone, this was the first celebration of Purim in their lives, and while reading the book of Esther together, we prayed that the Lord would do the same miracle with the people of Ukraine.
In recent days, many have developed a cold. We bought a lot of medicines and vitamins. Slavna became a ‘nurse’, distributed medicine, and gave vitamin drinks to children to strengthen their immunity.
During these days, we have also provided a lot of practical help. The most significant need was to organise teenagers and youth. We are coping with this,and are already seeing fruits there. We regularly meet for fellowship; the older children now help in the kitchen. We took them to a bowling alley for a few hours, and had a great time with games and spiritual fellowship. The next morning we took a group of 12 children, without parents, to the store and bought them shoes and other necessary things. We pray and believe every day that we will have enough to provide people. There are negotiations with local authorities for help. We’re hoping the city authorities will give 40 zlotys ($10) per person per day for food from next week. Of course, this is not enough but still a help. In the meantime, all the donations feed 200 people. Therefore, the food is simple; there’s not enough meat and fruit. On Tuesday, I bought 25 kg of salmon and 25 kg of chicken and prepared a festive dinner. From 2pm to 6pm I was in the kitchen; tired but had a lot of fun when everything was eaten, and people asked if there was more?
Yesterday, we all went together to the neighbouring city to the water park; how much joy and fun it was. We paid to enter the park, and the city gave us free buses.
Today, with another group of children, we will go to buy necessities, and in the afternoon we are taking six people to the dentist.
In my last letter, I wrote about Masha, who dreams of rehabilitation. So, thanks to many prayers, we found a neurological clinic where they are ready to take her for 17 days. We received an excellent price of $1300, including accommodation, meals, and daily medical rehab. On Friday, by 2pm, we are already taking her there. Thank God for that!
Tomorrow we will celebrate Shabbat, and after that, we will hold a joint meeting with youth from Ukraine and the local church.
In parallel with everything, I helped several Jewish families get documents and passports to fly to Israel. Because many people arrived in Poland without documents, they can travel in Europe but can’t fly to Israel without a passport, and getting a new one takes a lot of time and energy.
I have a prayer request: we plan to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and we’ve been asked to collect medicine for the soldiers. They need bandages, tourniquets, painkillers, antivirals, antiseptics, and more. We’ll try our best to find and buy what is possible, but this will not cover all needs. Please pray that God would help the people in this. We, for our part, are doing everything possible to be a consolation for people. Thank you for your donations, and I want to say that every dollar is spent on the true purpose of people in need: all who were forced to leave Ukraine because of the war. May God show them what and how to do next!
A Report from the Chosen Peoples Ministry in Germany
In Berlin, we plan to open our storeroom to provide some much-needed necessities to the refugees who come to our worship services, and their friends.
A day in our life here in Berlin: I got to bed at 3:30 am and was up at 7:30 today to welcome four people just arrived from Warsaw by minibus. After giving everyone some breakfast, I sent volunteers to help two of them get to the station to catch their train. And as they shared stories, this refugee father and daughter were both were built up in their faith and given hope, a renewed hope in our God who loves to restore broken and damaged relationships.
Then I brought the other two, a mother and daughter to our flat, and we again saw God’s hand at work. Luda one of the team from Israel shouted, “I know her; we met in Israel last year!” And this dear woman, who had left her husband and brother in Kyiv and experienced Russian shelling daily, was comforted knowing that she had not been brought here by chance, but under the guiding hand of God to be met and greeted by a friend. They will visit each other later this week.
Last night we were at the Central train station and were able to see God at work. One family group of two mothers and five children had just been told that the only accommodation was in a mixed dormitory with camp beds, and they were desperate, choosing instead to stay in the cold train station. As the team prayed with them, out of the blue we heard about a train that they could catch instead, and we ran with the mothers and their children and caught the train just moments before it left. We were out of breath, but relieved and blessed to have been there to pray and wait with this family, who without our help would have heard about the train but not managed to catch it.
The train station opens up the carriages of a train each night and allows women and children only, to spend the night in its heated carriages. The challenge is to get them on it before it’s full. So, we need God’s help in every encounter and in every situation.
ALMIGHTY NEVER LETS ME DOWN
From the first day of the war, I made a decision, despite the heavy shelling, to stay in Kharkov and support those people who could not or did not want to leave. Moreover, I try to reach Jewish pensioners, and help them talk about Yeshua, with food. Little by little, a base is being formed with these people who, after the war, I will be able to invite to serve the community. Often I have to travel under bombing and shelling, but not once has the Almighty allowed any defeat in my life. Life! And I will never forget the grateful eyes of these elderly Jews whom I helped.
ANOTHER BATTLE TO GET TO ISRAEL
We left on February 24 after we learned that the siege of Mariupol had begun, and this was a red line for us; we didn’t wait until we found ourselves under fire from shells or bullets. The Lord clearly indicated to us in Proverbs 24:11-12 that we leave for Moldova and arrange transport for evacuation outside of Moldova. In the first four days, the Jewish organisations were not ready to accept Jewish refugees, but by February 28, the consulate began to take positive action. During these first days, our Jewish families, even those who had been rejected before, grouped up and began to leave. We considered various ways of crossing the border, since the law on the military mobilisation of men aged 18-60 had just come into force. Crossing the border was very difficult, but we found a way out for men, and they crossed with their children, and then, after a while, their wives crossed the same border. But this option was valid for only three days, and during this time, many members of our communities were able to cross the border. Some stayed to protect property from marauders, and with old people who did not want to leave their homes.
Those who were denied Aliyah in the past were denied again, both in Chisinau and in Bucharest. We started trying to figure out how to get to Eretz Israel, and took the risk of sending people to Poland for another meeting with the consul, and praise God, it worked. Then we learned that a member of our community who stayed in Odessa, knew the consul in the neighbouring country, and he talked to her, and another miracle: the family was allowed to leave, and only today she will land in the Promised Land. Out of nine families, and this is 23 people, so far only two have been refused, but we are trying to appeal this.
BROTHERS & SISTERS STAND TOGETHER
Since the war began, we got involved in humanitarian mission, helping out Messianic believers throughout Ukraine with evacuation, food and medical supplies and financial support. We were thrilled at the good Purim wishes we heard from our Jewish brother Oleh of Poltava. He called us Esther and Mordechai who are saving their people now. It is an honour to stand together in the time of adversity with our beloved brothers and sisters who are facing tremendous physical, psychological and spiritual pressure.
GOD CARES AND DOES NOT LEAVE US
We were forced to flee on the third day of hostilities by Russian troops near Kyiv. Our whole family left everything behind; just with the clothes we were wearing and a few meagre possessions. We were from the city of Malin in the Zhytomyr region, but after two days it became very dangerous there. We came under air attack, bombs exploded from 1.5 kilometers away, all the windows blew out in the house, we spent four days in a bomb shelter. After that, I decided to take my family to western Ukraine in Transcarpathia. We left early in the morning through the forests, the road was very difficult, we traveled to Transcarpathia for two days. Arriving in Transcarpathia, we found a family who offered us a place in their house and they gave us one room. At the moment we are safe, but without anything: no clothes, no income, no house, etc. One family from our community were also under fire, and we helped them abroad to Poland, and another person was taken to Israel.
Thank you very much for financial assistance to our community as well as your prayers, it is very encouraging to all of us that we are not abandoned by God, and that God cares about us and does not leave us in a difficult time for us.
MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE A BLESSING
In the time of World War II, my Jewish grandmothers died in the city of Vinnitsa at the hands of fascist invaders. Their names and photographs are stored in Yad Hashem, and I hope the Lord has their souls. Because of the beginning of this war from Russia, I had to leave my home in Kiev and escaped from Ukraine. Now, I am in Spain and my soul cries out: “Purim will come, Haman is defeated! Hashem is coming!”.
PEOPLE SO KIND TO EACH OTHER
I saw and I watched people, and they rallied together. I would say, like never before. People rallied, and people became very kind to each other. For example, in line in one shop which did not accept credit cards, but only cash, people collected money for an unfamiliar old woman and bought her groceries. She hadn’t eaten in three days. Certainly, people have become kinder and more attentive to each other. There are many people here, like my mother, who did not leave the city, could not leave the city, people of the older generation. My mother, who was born in 1940 and survived the Nazi invasion, could not have imagined that she would live to see the next war.
THE HAND OF GOD FORMS LOVE
In these terrible days of war, like never before, I see the Almighty, blessed be He. One day our lights were turned off, and I went to the subway to charge my phone. And I saw a powerful volunteer movement. Each person was fed and given tea. A car stopped at my house, and a man was looking for a basement where people hid, in order to distribute bread. Also, when I was standing at the store, a man came up and began to distribute loaves to people for free. I have never seen such love of people for each other. What is this if not the beneficent hand of God?!
Also in the queues, on the Internet, people talk about God, blessed be He. There is a formation of a new, united people.
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!
WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
God is working miracles in Ukraine. You ask: “What miracles? There is a war.” I personally know two believing families who had serious family problems. And it seemed that in this world they were insoluble. One family had peace but no unity. The husband lived in his apartment, and the wife lived in her apartment with her mother and daughter. When the shelling began, the wife moved in with her husband, because it is safer to live in his area. There has not been such unity for many years. Although the other family lived together, the husband and wife had constant conflicts. The war brought them together. Like this!
Join our mailing list today and stay up to date with all the latest news!
Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter
Sign up for Celebrate Messiah email newsletters to receive more information on our ministries, events, and outreach to the Jewish people around the world: