Amid news on government funding and internally displaced peoples, stories of individual Ukrainians are often missed. However, the war is more than just a news story for those on the front lines. Individuals find themselves personally affected in ways they never imagined.

For one young widow, the war ripped away the love of her life, but also paved the way for a new Gospel-proclaiming ministry.

Marriage then War

Eric Mock of the Slavic Gospel Association says, “There was a young lady who had prayed for years and years for a husband. In fact, she tells of having all the babushkas, the grandmas say, ‘You’re too picky. You’re too picky. There are a lot of men out there – a lot of fish in the pond. Just grab a man so that you can get married. You’re waiting too long. You need to be married.’”

She continued to pray that God would provide the right man for her. Then she met Vadim. It was clear that God had provided the husband she’d prayed for and so they got married. He was the “man of her dreams.”

Not long after, the war broke out. Vadim had a background in counseling so he took a position counseling some of the men returning from the front line. However, he was overwhelmed with the idea that men like the ones he was seeing were dying apart from Christ. He asked if he could go to the front line to minister to men there and he was able to go.

Suddenly a Widow

One day the woman received a call that Vadim’s fellow soldiers thought he was dead. He was lying unconscious on the battlefield; however, due to the intense fighting, they could not get his body. Day after day they were unable to retrieve him. Finally, his death was confirmed.

Mock says, “When she got that news… she began to wail. She couldn’t breathe. And she was completely wiped out. Hours and hours went by and she couldn’t catch her breath. Other ladies and men came over and they gathered around and they began to pray.

“In fact, she tells us that she began to pray for hours and hours and hours asking the Lord to tell her why this happened. Why did this suffering continue? She says after about five or six hours of praying – and she said she had never prayed that much in her life – she had found peace in her heart. She realized what she must do and she began a ministry to war widows.”

The circumstances are not what she ever would have wanted or asked for. However, now she has been able to help others see the Gospel. The widows gather together to encourage each other to be strong in Christ, get their kids together, and memorialize their husbands.

Gospel Advances

“So that’s what we’re seeing in Ukraine right now,” Mock says. “We’re seeing God raise up a new generation of people who, with peaceful hearts, are now proclaiming the Gospel.”

However, this is not what most people see or think of when they hear of Ukraine. That’s why SGA shares their stories.

“We send a story out every day wrapped in a free Biblical devotion – you don’t have to pay for. It comes out at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. There’s even a podcast that comes out three times a week where several people take these stories and bring them to life so you can listen to them on a podcast.”

Mock challenges those not in Ukraine to remember their brothers and sisters in Christ who are there. Read their stories and pray for them. Click here to read more stories from SGA about Ukraine and sign up for the daily emails.


This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.