OCT 2022: FROM HARDSHIP TO FREEDOM

This story was provided by our Ukraine team before war broke out in February 2022. We feel it’s important to share  because it really demonstrates the strength and resiliency of the Ukrainian people, and how with the intervention of Mission Without Borders, families in Eastern Europe are working their way out of the cycle of poverty and into the freedom of self-sufficiency ...

 

“I grew up in this village, and farming is what I’ve been doing for most of my life. I always wanted to succeed at it.”

Serhiy Kryvchuk (42) and his family are hard workers who own a farm in western Ukraine – but they were struggling to make ends meet.

“They were a family living in poverty, and they couldn’t see a way forwards. They had no relatives to support them, and their house was tiny, with no facilities,” said Pavlo, who works for Mission Without Borders supporting families in Rivne.

The Kryvchuks – like all farmers in Ukraine – had had their share of hardships. In 2017, two cow sheds in the yard caught fire and were completely destroyed. Then in 2019, all their pigs died from swine flu. Two years in a row there was a drought, which had a significant impact on their harvest.

The Kryvchuks were ready and eager to make the most of any support they received. They farm three hectares of land, growing mainly potatoes and wheat, and keep cows, sheep, and pigs. Serhiy also works as a bus driver to earn extra money.

“I wish I could spend all my time with my family – but small farms in Ukraine don’t bring in a good income. Only big corporations and businessmen make a lot of money here.”

Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe because of its rich soil and vast fields, but it is difficult for small-scale farmers to be successful – even before the war. Farmers don’t have access to capital at affordable prices and they are further prevented from expansion because of land sale restrictions – a legacy of communism – with fields chopped up into small sections that cannot be sold on.

 

Serhiy’s wife Olga (39) said, “As long as I’ve known my husband, he’s always been a dreamer and an enthusiast. His head is always full of new ideas and projects, and he never gives up. No failures can stop him.”

“Difficulties never stopped us,” Serhiy agreed. “I am blessed to have such a supportive wife. She inspires me! For us, difficulties are another reminder that we need God, and that we can’t go on without Him. Last year our daughter had severe pneumonia. We worried a lot, but we received peace on our knees in prayer.”

“Also, my wife Olga has health problems. Sometimes it’s bad, and we turn to God.”

“We bring our children to God in prayer daily. They are our main concern. After all, everything we do, we do for them. We long to raise them well and to educate them in the right way.”

Olga and Serhiy have managed to raise energetic, curious, and hardworking children. Daily life together has given the children lots of quality time with their parents, as well as wonderful role models.

“My dad is the best dad,” Victoriya said proudly. At 16 years old, she is the second-eldest. “There is no work our dad cannot do. Also, he cooks delicious food too. We enjoy time we spend together.”

Their daughter Olha (15) added, “Although we all have chores and farm work to do, there’s still enough time to study and to have fun. Our mother keeps good discipline and order in the house. And our father is our friend. We enjoy spending time together, working and resting.”

After several years of support from MWB, the Kryvchuk family farm is a busy and happy place. Children are seemingly everywhere, focused on their work or running and playing; there are cows and sheep and pigs, rabbits, and a much-loved dog. Sheds are in the process of being built and the house is being renovated.

Serhiy said, “To work our three hectares of the land, we were using horsepower, our own hands, and a rented tractor service mostly. It was so hard, very expensive – and exhausting. It took a long time and wasn’t effective.”

“We didn’t expect it and we hardly dared to dream about it, but recently the Mission provided us with a brand new tractor! This was more than we have ever hoped for. This has brought so much more efficiency to our work and made a huge difference.”

“The life we live is difficult, but it definitely makes sense to our kids,” Serhiy said. “I can see how confident, how responsible they are, despite their young age. The children are used to helping and looking after each other. It will help them to be prepared for adulthood.”

“We live a simple life, and I believe that we stick to the right priorities. We try to be faithful to God and not to value earthly things higher than heavenly ones. The Lord is faithful, and he is more than enough. He helps in different ways.”

“One of His amazing ways of helping us is the Mission’s support over these last years. Greatly needed items like food and hygiene parcels, building materials, furniture, household electric appliances, footwear, clothing and more. Isn’t it amazing? We are so thankful!”

The Kryvchuk family was successfully withdrawn from MWB’s family sponsorship late last year.

Pavlo [pictured above, with Olga and two of her youngest] said, “They are a family that used every opportunity they were given, in the best possible way. I know that every donated item was used wisely, and the family has become self-sufficient as a result of our help.”

In follow-up to this story, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we are happy to report that the Kryvchuks – who live in a relatively safe part of Ukraine – continue to work hard & are doing well. They grieve for their country and ask for prayers for peace, as well as expressing their heartfelt gratitude for MWB’s donors and sponsors.

The journey this family took by being enrolled in MWB’s family sponsorship program established more securely in every area of their life. We are pleased to report that this story continues over and over again, across all six countries where we work in Eastern Europe.

Together with supporters like yourself, it’s our greatest wish to see people restored, re-established, and flourishing; and to see the Body of Christ built up in unity and love, as each part does its work.

Thank you for your part in making this possible. And if you are interested in sponsoring a family, click here.

Help us break the cycle of poverty by empowering towards self-sufficiency!

 

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