U.S.-based nonprofit, Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) is aiding churches in Ukraine to help them tend to the needs of the people as Russia continues their invasion of the country. According to Fox News, the Slavic Gospel Association is sending financial donations and providing food, winter clothing, blankets, and medicine to places where the fighting is most intense. The nonprofit is giving support to about 2,300 pastors who are committed to aiding those in need, with one pastor reported to have driven straight into active combat to distribute aid to people in their homes.
According to Fox News, the Slavic Gospel Association is “sending financial donations to a network of 40 churches in Eastern Ukraine, 27 of which are located in Ukraine and 13 of which are on the Russian side.” The vice president of ministry operations for SGA, Eric Mock, shared with Fox News that they are sending aid into Russia to help the people who are fleeing the conflict. He explained that the people they are helping are basically left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
As pastors sit in basements with fearful families, they are asking for help. Mock explained that with every $15 donation to the Slavic Gospel Association, they can provide a large bag of groceries, which is their greatest need at the moment. Mock said that they have prepared for this situation before the conflict escalated, which has allowed them to shift their focus primarily on distributing the supplies, though they are still accepting donations to keep the supply available.
The Slavic Gospel Association was founded in 1934 (known as the Russian Gospel Association at the time) by Rev. Peter Deyneka, a refugee from Belarus who wanted to help churches in his homeland that were suffering under the persecution of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The organization distributed Bibles and broadcasted “thousands of Christian radio programs over the Iron Curtain.” Today, the Slavic Gospel Association works mostly in the former Soviet nations and provides humanitarian aid when needed.
Though the Slavic Gospel Association is helping Ukrainians and Russians fleeing the conflict by providing them with survival packs, they are also providing another necessary tool of survival: hope. Mock shared that he believes the message of hope is just as important because “when in dark times, the lack of hope leads people to despair and to give up,” but with the aid from SGA, they are finding their strength and the optimism that they will persevere through the challenges that lie ahead of them.