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Ukraine Update: Responding to the Tragedy

Your response to our Ukraine and The Nations Appeal has been overwhelming – our deepest thanks for all your extraordinary support. Our hearts continue to be broken over the horrific trauma, abuse, and violence that is happening within Ukraine.

Nina, our Director of Ellel Ukraine who is in Kremenchuk, is full of thanks to our generous supporters: “Thank you for your love, care and all your prayers. It is really precious for us in our situation.” Anya, our Ellel team member who is currently trapped in Russian-occupied Kherson, shares: “In the absence of any confidence in anything, your prayer cover means life for us.”

We know God is calling us to respond to the extraordinary healing needs there are within Ukraine and for the recovery of those caught up in this war – and your generous giving is enabling us to do just that. Shortly before the Ukraine war erupted, we published “Miracles in the Midst of War” by Paula O’Keefe which highlighted the importance of having people trained in how to minister into trauma for those in Chechnya. It now seems a foreshadow of the current crisis. Over the years, our training of Eastern European prayer ministry teams has become more important than ever to share God’s love and healing, both now and especially into the future. We still have prayer ministers in many parts of Ukraine.

highlighted the importance of having people trained in how to minister into trauma

Whatever the political viewpoint on Ukraine and Russia, it’s impossible to overlook the devastating consequences upon innocent lives: the shock, horror, terror, fear, and immense grief. The death of thousands, often in brutal circumstances, the reports of entire generations of families killed, are devastating. Nina reports that missiles were launched towards Odessa on Easter day with many people killed and injured as a result, including a 3-month-old baby with her mother and grandmother: three generations died at once. Mere words and emotions cannot heal but God’s love can, supernaturally breaking through the pain and darkness. This is the power of God through Holy Spirit-filled prayer ministry.

Even when this war is over, the spiritual, emotional and physical consequences will live on in the lives of millions. Not only are we seeking to reach people now – through our teams on the ground in Ukraine and through our Hungarian centre – but we also sense deeply the need to provide long-term support in Ukraine. The ministry team there are seeing the impact of this traumatic war and are having to learn, with God’s help, how to minister to people right now in the midst of their trauma whereas most of our previous experience has been ministering to those who were traumatised years earlier.

we also sense deeply the need to provide long-term support in Ukraine

They are seeing that emotions come in waves and are often overwhelming as people deal with hatred, anger, confusion, rage, guilt, loss etc. Often all of these emotions are overlapping and being felt at the same time. For the team, learning how to embrace and love these precious people and lead them to the Lord is so critical. Allowing the emotions to be expressed and given to the Lord is proving to be very effective and they are seeing peace come into the hearts of those they are praying with. God is so faithful.

Under immense physical and spiritual oppression, Nina asks: “Please pray that our team and I would be faithful to God and His calling, and so that we could fulfil His will. He will take care of all our needs. That’s His promise, and He is faithful. Such circumstances reveal and expose in people everything which was sleeping inside of them or was hidden even from themselves. We do not know ourselves, and only the Lord knows us perfectly. The Lord is doing His cleansing in each heart.”

Not only are the teams ministering to the spiritual needs of the people, but your support has also enabled us to send them more financial support which has enabled them to buy food and supplies for those coming to their towns and churches who are fleeing conflict zones – often with nothing but the clothes on their backs, having lost everything.

We meet with people affected daily to pray, minister, support and resolve practical needs (medicine, food and fuel).

Anya describes the situation as unbelievable, like deep psychological abuse: “War – is the time to learn praying. We pray as never before and manage to meet in church twice a day to pray. There is an absence of any sort of security within the city, where the city is ruled by an armed “government”. Our only defender is God; both believers and non-believers understand it. In general, the people of Kherson won’t surrender. EVERYONE is praying… we teach how to pray and read the Bible to find peace in it. Everyone listens intently. With no sedatives available in pharmacies, this really is their only way to cope. We meet with people affected daily to pray, minister, support and resolve practical needs (medicine, food and fuel).”

Since March Anya and a team of others have spent up to €300 weekly on medicine that is coming into Kherson via Crimea, and they distribute it to those in desperate need. Ellel was able to financially support a number of the earlier weekly deliveries and is now covering all of the costs associated with this vital aid initiative, as long as circumstances allow.

Anya continues: “Since Kherson is occupied and disconnected from Ukraine, pharmacies are empty and a lot of them are not working. God provided for us a miraculous way to buy medicine on a weekly basis according to a request list we receive from people. Both Christian and non-Christian people get it. When they receive what they need (it’s absent in Kherson), they try to kiss our hands, cry and bless everyone involved. It’s very humbling, touching and some can’t believe at first that they have it. Non-Christians often ask whom it is from. We say: From God. It’s one of the means to share the Good News and to make life a little bit more bearable.”

During our recent International Leaders Conference our leaders in Russia spoke to us all via live Zoom, with tears flowing, for all that is happening in Ukraine. Our hearts went out to them and it was deeply touching to watch them present their ministry news alongside our Ukrainian leaders who, throughout this war, have led Zoom teaching across the entire Russian speaking world!

Anya says: “Every week we meet online as a Prayer Support Group to pray for the ongoing situation in Ukraine and upcoming livestream teachings. People from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, Israel, USA, UK all meet for teaching, fellowship, prayer, questions and answers. It’s very powerful to be able to meet together at such a time as this.”

God’s limitless love continues to work through Russia and Ukraine, so please pray for their ministry which exists in highly restrictive circumstances. There is much grieving in Russia also, which makes our Russian Zoom teaching and healing ministry there so powerful and needed.

As well as continuing Zoom teaching and ministry sessions in war-torn territories, we are meeting the practical needs of refugees fleeing Ukraine. This is especially the case for those coming through our Ellel Hungary base in Budapest, just three hours from the Ukraine border. You can read our special feature on Ellel Hungary’s refugee help via the link below: this has been supported through your giving.

Long-term help

Because of the deep and long-lasting effects this war will have on Ukraine and Ukrainians (and Russians), we have a long-term vision of using appeal funds to help bring effective trauma and healing ministry across this vast territory both now and in the future. We will look to send teams into the region as soon as that is practically possible, but we also want to finance groups to come from Ukraine (including those who have fled) to our centres for extended times of retreat, rest and prayer ministry.

As a ministry we long to bring more and more of God’s compassion into this crisis

We aim to help churches minister to their own people through the printing and distributing of bi-lingual publications that teach trauma prayer ministry. Through your help, this literature will further the healing reach of our ministry networks, opening doors to our free programmes that will be both online and in-person events. We believe Jesus will bring His light into areas of deep darkness and brokenness. As a ministry we long to bring more and more of God’s compassion into this crisis, as He continues to use us to minister hope, healing and practical restoration into the victims of this devastating war.

Thank you for being part of it. Thank you for your amazing giving and thank you for your continued prayer support.

Join in prayer for Ukraine

Nina, Ellel Ukraine’s Director, asks: “Please, pray for the supernatural God’s help for our soldiers, for wisdom for their commanders, for the protection of all militaries and civilians, and for God’s will for our country and our nation.” Anya provides additional prayer points:

Open Ukraine Prayer Points

Ukraine Prayer Points

  • For healing of the nations of Ukraine, Russia & Belarus
  • For God’s army to fight for us
  • For righteousness & justice to prevail
  • For truth to be revealed, for any veil to be removed
  • For the spirit of repentance to be released both in Ukraine & Russia
  • For the spirit of communism and nationalism to submit to the name of Jesus
  • For confusion in the enemy’s camp
  • For us, the Ukrainian Body of Christ, to be able to respond to the ongoing situation in the opposite spirit

Spiritual Insights into the War

For years, Ellel Ministries’ teams have prayed and taught across Eastern Europe, ministering into the lasting effects of Communism. We have seen extraordinary inner healing and physical miracles take place. Yet, this Antichrist spirit still roams today. What we learnt to pray in the past is powerfully relevant for the present.

Nina believes of the current situation: “The spirit Ukraine is facing now is the Antichrist spirit. When the city of Kherson was occupied by the Russians, the statue of Lenin was immediately restored in front of the city hall. Flags were flown over the city hall. Alongside the Russian flag they also put up the red Soviet flag! In his official address about the beginning of the war on the night of February 24, Putin said: “Ukraine renounced communism?! I will show you!”.

Politics, or the failure of politics, are said to be the reason for this war, but there are spiritual roots too. Nina writes: “We have been a free Christian country with one of the largest proportions of Christians among the population in Europe. This must be one of the reasons why the enemy hates Ukraine so much and it seems his target is to sweep the whole nation away.”

We see a parallel in Ukraine being a spiritual breadbasket.

As a major grain producer, Ukraine has always been seen as one of the breadbaskets of the world, because of rich fertile lands. We see a parallel in Ukraine being a spiritual breadbasket. Soviet authorities sent thousands of Ukrainian Christians to Siberia and other remote places of Russia; but those Christians took and spread the Gospel there. Many of them died but many of those who survived stayed to live there and founded new underground churches. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many Ukrainian missionaries went to Russia to start churches. We know many pastors and bishops in Russia who are the children of those persecuted believers. According to statistics more than half of all pastors in Russia are Ukrainian by origin.

Image: Lenin Statue repaired and re-erected, Henichesk, Kherson Region (@EuromaidanPress Twitter)

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