June 26, 2019

Andriy and Marina’s Story

Andriy and Marina told their story of patience and God’s provision one evening at the Shepherds’ Support Pastoral Couples Conference in May, 2019.

“We live in a small town near Luhansk (one of the conflict zones in eastern Ukraine).  We moved there and right away began to build good relationships with city officials, community leaders and neighbors.  For eight years we worked to evangelize and plant a church, but we struggled and saw little fruit.  We never gave up trying.  Then, in 2015 our town was overrun by Russia.  For three months that summer Ukrainian and Russian troops fought each other lobbing shells at each other with our small town right in the middle of it.  Everyone was extremely scared.  

Eventually, the Ukrainian army liberated the city and we began to receive and care for many of the displaced people from other areas who started arriving.  We started a small Bible study group that grew to 80 people.  Over the past three years, our group continued to grow and now we have a place of our own to meet.  It is not an easy place to live.  People in our area are very poor and there are few jobs, but we are committed to keep proclaiming the Word of God and making disciples.”

What you wouldn’t know from just listening to Andriy tell the story of what God is doing in his community is that Andriy has very limited vision in one eye (3%) and is completely blind in the other due to bad cataracts.  As you can imagine, he is unable to read the Bible, street signs or see people’s faces with any clarity which makes the story of how God is using he and Marina all the more amazing.

Andriy was born with some of the damage to his eyesight, but lens replacement surgery in both eyes would greatly improve his vision and allow him to read again.  Unfortunately, the cost to do the surgery has always been beyond Andriy’s means.  Yet for such a time as this, all of us at the conference heard his story and learned of his need for corrective surgery and God moved amongst us to provide for this need.  Andriy once again witnessed the providing grace of God and will be scheduling his surgeries with a well known doctor in Kiev.  Please join us in prayer for the successful surgeries on Andriy’s eyes so that he can read and study God’s Word again.  Praise be to God for His provision!