In 2018, OM in Ukraine invited construction workers from a church in the west of the country to make the trip to the war zone to do repairs to church buildings damaged by mortar and missile fire. A group of men took time off their normal schedules to travel with Oleg Abaturov from OM to the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.
The first church they repaired had been badly damaged by a missile. One would expect the congregation members to share a story of despair, fear and pain. Yet the building team was met with the joyful witness of how amazingly God had intervened. The missile had hit the church roof and sped out through a wall, hitting the ground outside the church and destroying the fence. “Not one person died, and no one was injured! God is Great!” was the testimony they heard.
During their visit, the team expected to be mainly busy with construction work, but when inquisitive young children started to hang around the building site in one town, hearts started melting.
Before long, tea breaks turned into trips to the small local store for sweets and cookies for the children. Soon the construction workers' hearts were touched by the desperate situation of these so-called children of the war. They started sharing with them – not only sweets and tea – but hope, joy and the attention which they crave. The result of this trip was much more than churches being able to meet in their buildings again.
Back home in the west of Ukraine, the construction workers could not let the experience stay a once-in-a-lifetime good deed trip. They went back to their congregations, shared about their experiences and rallied their churches to make plans to go again. Their hearts were filled by the plight of the suffering in the east of Ukraine, as compared to their own prosperity. They cannot wait for the next trip. They are ready to raise funds for projects within Ukraine and to take others with them, so that more hearts can be ignited for the cause of Christ in the war torn areas of Ukraine.