Hardly anyone knew about “Emmanuel” Association in Nikolskoye village of Kirovograd region a couple of years ago. The people working on land have no time for internet or even TV. But it happened that the employees of “Emmanuel” Association bought several houses in Nikolskoye for the refugees from Donetsk region. Then we collected here products for the front-line Krasnogorovka, showed the movies shot by us about the war in Donbas to the villagers. Some of the villagers even traveled with us to Krasnogorovka, Maryinka and Zolotoye…
Something happened to the people in the village. They used to live with their own problems before, but they help refugees to plant vegetable gardens now. They bring them food and deliver firewood. They say: “If someone else was left without home because of the war, bring them to us. We will find them a house and help to start farming.”
A brother in Christ called me recently. He came from Nikolskoye. He lives and works in Finland now.
– Hello! Is it “Emmanuel”? – He shouted in the phone. – It is true that you help those who are in trouble? I want to go with you! Do you hear? My friends and relatives told me about you. I’ll come to Nikolskoye in a few days. I’ll meet you for sure. Do not forget about me … I want to do good with you…
Andrey told us truth and came. He is a short, strong and silent man. He stood in the yard of his chilled over the winter empty house and said:
– I do not want the village to die out. There are whole streets of empty houses… They say that the school will be probably closed. Look, how beautiful the village is. My vegetable garden rests on the Dnieper. There is a forest nearby. And do you see the geese in the sky flying back home over your heads? They are crying. I will also come back…
Andrey gave me money with simple words:
– You know more about Nikolskoye now. Help those who serve the village. Do you know such people? It is hard for them, but they still give out the last they have… Help such people.
The next day, Andrey was already in Kiev. He was leaving for Helsinki. And we left to do what he asked.
She works as a shop assistant in Nikolskoye and earns about 1500 UAH (about 60$). She has three kids and a handicapped husband. She gave her parents’ house to a refugee family from Yasinovataya for living. Yershov family attends the church meetings every Sunday. The people call Lyuba when they have any trouble. They know for sure: she will help them.
We drove to her yard and saw a small house, shabby well and fence and the gates not painted for a long time… Lyuba ran out from her house at once:
– What happened?
– All is fine. We just have a question for you.
– A question?
– Yes… Tell us what you are praying for?
Lyuba thought over for a couple of seconds:
– I pray every day for the war would stop in Ukraine…
– What else?
– What else? I pray for the big church to be in our village, for all the people: elderly and children to come to God.
– And for yourself? What do you ask God for your family?
– I ask the Lord for my kids to be healthy and follow Christ. And that’s all… I’m thankful to God for all He gives. I have no complaints.
– We would like to thank you, Lyuba, for your opened heart, for your faithfulness to the Lord and the church. Thank you for giving your parents’ house to the refugees and helping the villagers in every need. Call your husband. He will help us to carry the gift into your house.
Lyuba covered her mouth with her hands and was watching the brothers taking carefully the new refrigerator out of the bus. Then she couldn’t help crying: “The Lord, we needed it so much!” And she burst into crying openly in a loud voice as any woman. She was crying and laughing and crying again…
Ruslan and Larisa
They moved to Nikolskoye from Gorlovka. They bought the shabby abandoned house for 10000 UAH (about 400$). It was without electricity, gas heating and water system. Many people even forgot that the old hut with destroyed roof was hiding in the maple brushwood. There are no maples here anymore. The ceilings in the rooms are supported by the acacia bars. Ruslan jokes: “We have no house but Tabernacle of Moses with the columns made of shittim wood. Did you know before that shittim wood means white acacia?”
– What do you pray for, Ruslan?
– I’m going to study at chaplain school. I want to serve as municipal chaplain here, in Nikolskoye. There are many widows. They are elderly and weak women. They can neither stock up firewood for the winter nor fix the roofs of their houses. Some of them can’t even work in the vegetable gardens. I pray for the people looking at our kind deeds, say “Praise God” and come to the church.
– What do you asked the Lord for your family?
– What should I ask for? We have a roof over our heads. We have potato for meals. We go to bed and I tell my wife: “Larisa, I love you.” And she answers: “I love you too.” What else do we need?
– Anyway, just tell what you need.
– The winter is over, – Ruslan answered. – I think it will be difficult to live in summer without refrigerator. We plan to get a goat for milk…
At this moment the brothers were pulling the new refrigerator into the narrow door of Ruslan’s hut. I won’t describe what happened next. I can’t tell how the man was crying trying to control himself and turning away.
This brother from Nikolskoye was with us in many outreaches. He used to deliver the products to Krasnogorovka by his bus. He evacuated the widow with four kids from Gorlovka to Khmelnitskiy region, where “Emmanuel” Association purchased a house to this family. He used to stock up the firewood in the forest in winter and delivered it to the yards of the refugee families. He is an opened and hard-working villager.
He went to visit his elderly relative in the village of Dnepropetrovsk region in the middle of March. He delivered the trailer of hay to their goat, sacks with corn and beets. He stayed there to root up the old trees in the garden. Who else will help the elderly people?
It happened that there was snowstorm that night in March. It was snowing and the paddles on the roads became icy.
Vasiliy’s tractor broke down in the morning. The water in the engine froze and the engine got cracked. It is a big trouble for a villager. You know what means to be left without a tractor in spring and know that there is no money for its repair (or new engine) at home.
What could I say to my friend?
– Vasya, you were with “Emmanuel” in various difficult for us moments. You have never refused to help us. You often did the thing which we even didn’t ask you. The refugees tell that they would freeze to death in winter without firewood that you delivered to them with the help of this tractor. I’m thankful to God that we can be next to you and help you now when you are in trouble.
Vasiliy was holding money in his hands which we gave to him. He was looking at his not yet plowed vegetable garden and his old and tired from hard work “iron horse”. Then he gave a hug to each of us and said:
– I thank God and you for all you do for people…
That’s all the story of that day. We thank our new partner – Andrey Linnik from Finland. We thank everyone answering the call to help other people in their troubles. It is a great privilege to serve God and people together with you.
Gennady Novikov, press-center of “Emmanuel” Association.
We remind you that you can transfer financial assistance to the people in trouble through the web site helpua.org or inform us about your desire to become a partner on the phone 0800-50-77-50.