Stories from our field

Olena from Ukraine, “We feel God’s presence”

Stories from our field

Olena from Ukraine, “We feel God’s presence”

Olena is an enthusiastic woman who began as our language team leader for the Ukrainian language team on September 1, 2022. At the beginning of the war, she fled from Ukraine to the Netherlands while her husband stayed in Ukraine. But after several months, she returned to her country. Although she is experiencing the war up close, she testifies, ‘We feel God’s presence and love like never before.’

Gods aanwezigheid in Oekraïne

‘The situation in Ukraine is becoming more and more grim.’ Olena says. According to Olena, the infrastructure and also residential buildings, hospitals, kindergartens and schools are being destroyed and electricity, heating, and internet are often unavailable.

Not afraid

This does not mean that Olena and the people around her are in despair. ‘Each missile and every explosion gives us even more confidence in victory. We are not afraid. We are getting stronger. We know that good always triumphs over evil and that God’s eye sees all. We are currently experiencing the second day without light but we are unbreakable because we see the light in each other.’

Opportunities to witness

Olena and her husband live close to the fighting. ‘Yesterday my husband saw two rockets flying over his head in the direction of our house. I was at home with the children. The explosion was near, but we all remained safe and sound. And we never considered running away. This may be hard to understand, but in all this we see God and His mercy towards us. Here in Ukraine, God’s presence and love are felt like never before. We see His miracles and mercy every day. And these are not just words!

Paradoxically, this terrible situation helps us to find and do even more works for God’s glory and the opportunity to testify to God’s love. We are not afraid of death. We are afraid of not fulfilling God’s plan in our lives.’

Offering help

It would not surprise anyone if Elena and her people had enough to do just taking care of their own needs.
There is no electricity and communication with others is difficult because there is little connectivity. But they still see the needs of others. ‘Yesterday we delivered aid to the elderly who were evacuated from the east of the country.
Today we have even been planning how to buy a house in the village for a family with 5 children who were left homeless because of the war.’


Olena met our language team coach, Elsa van Wessel, during her stay in the Netherlands. Elsa asked if she wanted to become the leader of the Ukrainian language team. Olena was very keen. She felt called and had the idea that everything that she had experienced in her life had prepared her for her work for GlobalRize.

She did not stay in the Netherlands for long. The pastor of her church in Ukraine had also left, and decided not to return. Olena’s husband was asked to become their pastor. Olena returned in order to be able to support her husband in his ministry. In addition she was keen to commence her task as language team leader. But of course, under the circumstances, this is not easy.

Generator donated

In our office in the Netherlands, we have a joint prayer session every Thursday mornings. Olena sent a text asking for prayer, “Pray for God’s Church in Ukraine at this time. For our ministers and protection of their families. Pray that God blesses us, so that we always have something to bless others with.
Pray that in this difficult time, God will show us who needs a hug and who would benefit from some timely advice; whom we are to serve and whom we to guide, whom we are to help and from whom we are to ask advice.
“Yesterday morning, Dutch friends donated a generator for our church. Around 3:40 p.m., the entire city was without power.
Today, about 300 people could be warmed and given the opportunity to charge their devices! And this is without advertising campaigns or special invitations 🖤”.

“How wonderful that a church in the Netherlands can help in such a specific, tangible way.”

Will you also help by praying for Ukraine?

Gods aanwezigheid in Oekraïne

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