May 2017

The Village of Stanitsya-Luhansk, Eastern Ukraine

Rarely do missionaries really have to risk their lives for the Gospel. Sasha Andriyashina (pictured speaking at right) is not your ordinary missionary. Her missionary service includes being a volunteer chaplain on the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

Along with her fellow volunteer chaplains from various Ukrainian churches, they bring the Good News of Christ to the men and women in the Ukrainian army. Many visitors come for a few days to share the gospel and then return to the safety of their homes. Not Sasha, however, as she has moved to the region people have fled in search of a new life. She brings the life of Jesus to those who cannot flee or have nowhere to go.

Sasha is no stranger to gunfire, mortars, and artillery, and neither are the grandmothers, single mothers, and school children who still live there. Everyone is grateful when a week or two goes by without sporadic shelling. Sasha, in her humble faith, simply knows that God has called her to the people of this village, this region, and the soldiers in need of a hearing ear.

She shares, “Some of the soldiers I have been working with were relocated to different spots along the frontline. So to keep up the relationships and friendships, I go and visit them about once a month. Some of them are near Avdiivka, Volnovaha, and Mariupol which are very ‘hot’ spots with lots of shelling and bombing. Please pray for their safety and for the end of the war here in Ukraine. Pray that God would turn around Russian troops. Pray also for me to have enough wisdom and boldness to continue to preach Gospel and to be the best chaplain I can be.

Baby Sergei Killed in February

Sasha shares how the Lord used her to share the hope and love of Christ.

“In the end of February, the whole town was shocked that a two-month-old baby named Sergey was killed by his mother’s friend. Valentina, the grandmother, somehow found me and asked me to help with the funeral. It wasn’t easy, but since that time we regularly meet with Valentina’s family and some of her neighbors.

Valentina and her daughter bring Easter cakes to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. They now find hope amidst their personal tragedy.

Now we meet every other week to pray for their crops, their health, and for peace in Ukraine. This way God has used the death of a two-month-old baby to start another home Bible study so people would receive God’s comfort and encouragement as they learn that God is the god of faith, hope, and love.”

A Note from Jeff

I have known Sasha for many years. She worked for EEO / Mercy Projects, directing our Bible camps as well as translating and serving at Calvary Chapel Kyiv. I hope you are encouraged by her report as I am. Many of the people she serves do not have enough to eat; they depend on donations of clothing and food packages. Sasha never tires of sharing the gospel.

“There was an opportunity to come to two different local schools and talk to teenagers. We built good relationships with teachers and students and had a few opportunities to share about God`s love and grace. Now, some of those teenagers come to our Christian center.”

Your support of Mercy Projects allows us to partner with courageous missionaries like Sasha. As an organization, we are blessed to have your trust and support so we can share the Good News in the forgotten areas of Ukraine where Sasha serves. As she says, “Somebody has to be here, to be with these people and to remind them that God is here with them to protect, to save, to provide, to comfort, and to love.
Consider sponsoring Christian Workers and Missionaries like Sasha.

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Download the May Newsletter