Since the war against Ukraine began last February, Square One's partners at The Bible Today-Ukraine have been instrumental in distributing almost 100 tons of humanitarian aid, partly due to support from the Square One community. Far right: Natalia Chernomor, Director of The Bible Today in Zhovti Vody, Ukraine, with husband Nikolai and some of their partners and volunteers.
On February 24, the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we received a letter from our in-country ministry partner, Natalia Chernomor of The Bible Today in Ukraine. We thought we’d share the letter with you.
Dear Square One team,
It's hard to believe, but today is one year since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of our country. An incredible year, full of tragedies and miracles at the same time. Your prayers and help are extremely needed because suddenly millions of people have found themselves in a crisis situation.
When Russia invaded our country, we chose not to give up, to fight for our freedom and independence. We said a decisive NO to imperial evil! That is why we would like to express our gratitude to you and everyone who is in any way standing by us at this time. Yes, the war is not only along the 1,500 km front line where active hostilities are taking place. We are all under the pressure of terror - human, power and energy, and infrastructure. Yes, during the winter we are often without electricity, internet, heat and water, but we go through these difficulties consciously and sometimes even creatively. It is not easy, but it is part of our choice to not give up.
Many cities and towns, residential buildings, infrastructure facilities, and cultural monuments are destroyed and will never be restored. But our greatest pain is for the human lives of military, civilians, children and adults who are lost in this war. This is the highest price we pay and it is painful to accept the delay of the civilized world in helping to bring an end to this insane war and reduce our losses. After all, behind each loss of life stands a single mother, a young widow, or an orphaned child.
The war has touched everyone. People have lost relatives, homes, and jobs. Some cannot even live in their own country, and their families cannot be together. Sirens, rockets, bombs, occupation, abuse, rape, life in basements without water and food – this is the reality of civilians. Death, physical and emotional injuries are the reality of the military. In fact, it is difficult for us to imagine the consequences of all these things and the challenges we have yet to face. One thing is obvious. We will have to live in a world of traumatized people for generations to come. Someone described it this way: "When a person has no skin, even a hug causes them pain."
The war exposed a lot of internal problems related to betrayal and corruption. But it also revealed the enormous potential of Ukrainians. We are not desperate. We are stable, courageous, united and self-organized. In every community, churches have become a place of real concern and care for the neighbor; places of affirmation of faith in God and humanity.
Prayer has become the norm of life for many people – in the trenches, in the basements, in the president’s speeches, and in the addresses of the Armed Forces commander-in-chief.
Though we hear of many new threats from Russia, we believe in the victory of good over evil, that God is on the side of the oppressed, and that your prayers and help are with us. And so, we continue to serve.
We are delighted to be partners with Square One, an international ministry, and are truly amazed at how much good we have been able to do in this time by pooling our resources. Almost 100 tons of aid have been received and distributed. We have 11 partners in Ukraine - churches and organizations that are able to serve their communities because of you and your support.
The Bible Today-Ukraine
Natalia reports that Ukrainians have become very open to hearing the Word of God. The Bible Today's Instagram page now gets more views than ever before. Their latest Reel, "The Qualities of Love" based on 1 Corinthians 13, received 35,695 views on Valentine's Day, and the number of views and likes keeps climbing. Says Natalia, "Amidst the horror of death and destruction, we see that people continue to need love."