This is brother Vitaliy`s testimony. Thank you, Tony Lee Collins, for putting your love into action and supporting these people and their ministry.
Peace to you, dear friends.
My name is Vitaliy Yevtushenko, I am from central Ukraine. I am married to my wife Oxana and together we are parents to 4 children. We have pastoral ministry and serve as volunteers. Please accept this letter as our report, out thanks and our confession.
1. We did not want this!!! We have been living a peaceful and saturated life. Weve been serving people, farming our land, hosting visiters and serving the church. We were accustomed to difficulties and knew well that we have to labour for our bread. A month before this war started the Lord had given us a strong desire to go on a missionary trip around Ukraine. We wanted to visit churches, our friends and other missionaries. We had no funds to travel. But after we had prayed, within 24 hours we had the money. So, we took off. We travelled 2240 km around the country, held meetings and seminars. Many of those places are now impossible to visit. We received a word from the Lord to stock up food, gas, disel, medical supplies. Weve repaired our fridge, washing machine and a dishwasher. We spent all of our money. As the war began we had no funds left. But all our appliances were fixed, even our vehicle.
2. When this all started!!! Early in the morning I heard explosions, military aircraft flying, ground shaking… and I lay in my bed and just did not want to believe it. To me all that meant that the next day my seminar for 32 men wouldnt start, the next day my children wont go to school, the next day… What about the next day? And for whom will it even come? I was in a daze. In another hour I was already a helpline communication center. I spent from 6 to 12 hours on the phone each day. Because of all this stress my wife got sick, children kept crying, people around me were frightened and I had to act like I was not scared. And no, I was not scared for myself, but what about my loved ones? My fellow ministers? My fellow villagers? So many issues were bothering me in those days. Helicopters flying daily, news about people beeing hurt and a constant flow of cars and refugees. On top of that, cold weather and no money to even pay for electricity. I didn`t even ask God for money. I knew He would come up with something.
3. What I did not expect!!! I did not expect that first we would get help from our Ukrainian friends (they gave us some meat, other food and money). I did not expect that some of our friends would just “quietly” leave. I don`t even know where they went. I did not expect that some pastors would leave their churches without anyone to lead them (and people would ask me “And what should we do now?”) I did not expect that this would last this long. I did not expect that I, in my 40 years old would sleep 5 hours a day. I did not expect that I would dig trenches and keep watch in the nights. I did not expect that I would go take food to soldiers and just be making them coffee. I did not expect that I would go to the store and see empty shelves. I did not expect that I would host so many refugees and help people with disturbed psyche. I still have a hard time knowing how to help a widow who lost her husband in the war or my friend pastor, whose child was killed. I did not expect to see the panic among my family and friends. And I for sure did not expect that I, a man who lives in the woods, WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO TO THE WOODS. BUT:
4. What has been comforting me during this time: our chuch has become active, people united, Ive got many tasty treats from my friends, my family is with me and shares my vision, I see GODS care for us daily, I dont live in debt, we have mens prayer meeting DAILY, many people accepted the Lord Jesus Christ , our house had become a fortress , I live in the warehouse, Ive travelled over 10000 km within one area in 60 days, many people have called me and just asked: “do you need something?”, I didnt have to look for a job, my house equipment is working, I am delighted by the nature and even the fact that you are reading this letter.
5. What did we (you and I) managed to accomplish in this period of time? We gave a shelter to more than 50 people, held 74 commom prayer meetings, had 11 receptions with food for 70-90 people, held 16 church services, visited 7 churches, sent countless parcels all over Ukraine, gave out 2000+ Bibles, helped 1000 people to move to safer places, had 16 youth meetings and 28 volleyball games, visited over 200 people in their homes, packed and distributed more than 30 first aid kits, bought and delivered over a ton of food products, worked 240 washing cycles, consulted more than 100 people, made 12 photo sessions, wrote reports, helped settlers to register, etc. Just in our house, in the last 60 days, 7200 meals have been prepared and digested.
Thank you very much!!! For your hearts that are open to our needs, for your prayers, for food, for medications, for finances, for your letters, your care and your gifts… All of this has become for us an antiseptic for anger and despair. Praise God and sincere thanks to you.
Respectfuly and wishing you God`s peace, Vitaliy Yevtushenko
Lisove village, Ukraine
May 6, 2022