Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, talks with Vera, a Ukrainian who has served on the frontlines with Samaritan’s Purse. On February 24, 2022, Vera’s hometown was shaken by bombs. Russia had invaded Ukraine. When the war began, Vera didn’t even feel safe in her own home, and she recalls seeing explosions outside her window. Her parents encouraged her to cling to the Lord during these tumultuous, uncertain times. Vera didn’t expect to be working on the frontlines in Ukraine. She was scared. However, the Lord called her, and she responded in faith despite not feeling equipped for the job. Vera talks about the importance of prayer and how impactful it is to consistently pray with and for others. Kristy and Vera discuss the story of Daniel in the Bible, and how he was faithful with a little and in turn, God used him for a lot.
“Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, even in the small mundane, God is using you.” —Kristy Graham
One of the turning points for Vera while on the frontlines happened when she was a part of delivering medical supplies to a frontline hospital. Vera was afraid so she prayed that God would calm down the town for the distribution. Miraculously, the bombings stopped, and the town was quieter than it had been since the beginning of the war.
“I came to God as vulnerable, helpless as I felt, just opened up my heart, and He heard me.” —Vera
After this turning point, Vera completely surrendered herself to God. She remembers declaring to the Lord, “Wherever you want me to go I’ll go.” Vera understands what it is like to suffer. She lost her brother in 2015, which was a time of deep grief and questioning the goodness of God. Vera remarks that our Heavenly Father understands grief because He sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. God understands us and our pain here on earth. Vera’s family was displaced during her childhood, so she can relate to what Ukrainians she encounters are experiencing
“Working there, serving there, you cannot do it in your right mind with peace in your heart without abiding in God’s Word.” —Vera
The Samaritan’s Purse bags that Vera distributed in Ukraine have the words “God loves you” written on them. Through a conversation with a beneficiary, Vera learned that receiving the supplies and reading the words on the bag served as a reminder that God still loved her in a time when she felt completely hopeless. It saved her life.
Next week, we will share part two of Kristy conversation with Vera. Please continue to pray for Ukraine as the conflict is ongoing. Pray for our Samaritan's Purse staff and people like Vera who are still serving there. If you’d like to keep up to date with more stories on the ground, please visit SamaritansPurse.org.