Stories from our field

Elena from Ukraine, ‘We feel God’s presence’

Stories from our field

Elena from Ukraine, ‘We feel God’s presence’

Elena is an enthusiastic woman who began as our language team leader for Ukrainian on September 1 this year. At the beginning of the war, she fled from the country to the Netherlands while her husband stayed in Ukraine. But she returned to her country a couple of weeks ago. Although she is experiencing the war close up, 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. Elena, ’The Russians are destroying our infrastructure. They are aiming at residential buildings, hospitals, kindergartens and schools. Now they want to leave us without light, heat, and internet.’

Not afraid

This does not mean that Elena and the people around her are in despair. ‘Each missile and each 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. It is already the second day without light and we are unbreakable because we see the light in each other.’

Opportunities to witness

Elena 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 there was no thought of 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 is 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 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 cares just taking care of their own needs. There is no electricity and communication with each other is difficult because there is little connectivity. Yet, they have eyes for the needs of others. ‘Yesterday we delivered aid for the elderly who were evacuated from the east of the country. Today we were already planning how to buy a house in the village for a family with 5 children who were left homeless because of the war.’


Elena came last spring to the town of Putten in the Netherlands where she met our language team coach, Elsa van Wessel. Elsa asked if she would take the leadership for the Ukrainian language team. Elena wanted very much to do it. She felt called and had the idea that everything that she had experienced in her life came together in 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. Elena’s husband was asked to become their pastor. Elena returned in order to support her husband in his ministry. Alongside that, she wants to resume her task as language team leader. But of course, under the circumstances, it is not easy.

Generator donated

In our international office in the Netherlands, we have a time of concentrated prayer on Thursday mornings. Elena 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. Pray that in this difficult time, God will let us recognize who needs a hug and who should be rebuked, who we should serve and who we should guide, who we should help and who we should seek help from.
“Yesterday morning, friends from Putten donated a generator for our church. Around 3:40 p.m., the entire city was without power. Today, about 300 people could be warmed up 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 concrete way. Will you also help by praying for Ukraine?

Gods aanwezigheid in Oekraïne

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