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"We believe and hope that God will stay with us Ukrainians and will save us and lead us through this terrible war.” Pastor Oleksiy Navrotskyy
SELCU Pastors Serving Ukrainians
Oleksiy Navrotskyy (SELCU pastor)
“As you may remember, I keep living my life between two cities (Odessa and Nikolaev). For the first part of the week, I stay at Odessa Lutheran Seminary preparing for ministries and resting. Usually, I go to Nikolaev for ministry for 3-4 days at the end of the week. My mother travels with me always. I do not want her to stay in Nikolaev because of often shellings. It is unsafe and very stressful to stay in Nikolaev (she is 81 years old).
Last weekend was very difficult for us. Last Thursday I went to Nikolaev as usual. On Friday morning a Russian missile hit my childhood area in Nikolaev, just 500 meters from my old home (where my mother lives). A few apartment houses were damaged: windows, doors, and furniture. Hundreds of families lost a place for living (temporarily). Thanks be to God - only twenty people were injured, but one has died. Only civilians were there, in that area; there were no soldiers at all.
The same morning, I visited the place of shelling, helping some people to be evacuated. In the afternoon I took my church elder, Vladimir, and went to the same damaged place in order to distribute water, coffee, and croissants to the people of the damaged area, firemen, and workers. That Friday was very, very difficult. It took me a whole Saturday to rest and recover from the shock and prepare myself for the Sunday Service.
On Sunday morning we had Divine Service at Nikolaev Lutheran Church. The church was fully packed with people; there was no place to sit. People of the church surrounding area know that we distribute food bags and veggies and water provided by LCC; so, more and more new people come to church on Sundays with the expectation to receive at least something. With LCC’s support, we are able to share the Gospel to many new people who have passed by our church before; now they are coming inside.
80% of my congregation is evacuated to Germany (all children and women), but I have about seventy listeners at church on Sunday; only seven of them are church members. People are very surprised by the church's generosity. Some of them are touched to the core and curious about our faith!
We believe and hope that God will stay with us Ukrainians and will save us and lead us through this terrible war. Your prayers are VERY APPRECIATED! Thank you for all your efforts!"
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