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Parents Together With Children: How a Missionary Family is Serving at the Wartime

Parents Together With Children: How a Missionary Family is Serving at the Wartime

A missionary family of the Vasends from Ternopil has been jointly supporting their fellow countrymen since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine.

The father Andriy is taking care of the internally displaced together with his son Nazar, the mother Tetiana works on emotional healing of all women from all regions of UKraine, their younger son Makar, who is five years old, helps the Ukrainian Army.

The missionaries of Christ is the Answer (CITA), Andriy and Tetiana Vasend, a young and creative family, have been ministeres in the Ternopil region for more than eight years, and they remember the time when the history of the future international Christ is the Answer Ministries began in 2014.

Andriy is a Chrsitain author and performer.

Tetiana is an artist and designer who uses her art to help people facing serious challenge through the war in Ukraine.

Songs and meetings

Before the war when the missionary was about to release a new music album, but he had to put his plans off. Later, however, he discovered that his songs became a real support for different war victims.

“They say about the way out, need to fight, and hope. Following each service when I sing them, people ask me to send them audio. This is the time when the art started helping. I plan to complete a video clip “We need to fight” and pray for news songs to be born for people who have experienced various losses.”

Andriy organizes meetings with the internally displaced in two formats twice a week. These are church services and fellowship around tables where people can share and hear sincere words of compassion. Some events are held by the missionary team for displaced children.

Their church has created a storage of humanitarian aid where one can receive food products, hygiene items and clothes.
Their church has created a storage of humanitarian aid where one can receive food products, hygiene items and clothes.
According to Andriy, while the war is underway, they have already managed to serve around ten thousand people who arrived in Ternopil.

Synergy of the three

“It is high time for prayers, communication and creativity. We have combined these three things, but prayer is the most important,” shared Tetiana, who, along with two sisters from their church, holds meetings for women who had never read the Bible before and had never been a part of God’s family.

“Pray + Art”. These are weekly art-therapy meetings for internally displaced women who, have experienced losses, are suffering from depression.

The format of meetings presupposes consideration of a topic and drawing/painting an own picture. Tania says that 15 women of a different age (from 15 to 70) is an ideal attendance to build up relations, talk, pay attention to each attendee, help her feel that she is not on her own and there is nothing to be afraid of.

“This is rather a mix of the three than merely secular art. We have made prayer the most important component of these meetings. As organizers, we feel God’s presence each time. The Spirit is on the move in different ways. Sometimes we talk a lot, sometimes we keep silent.

This is the format when people feel rested and comforted enough to stop being bottled-up. You never impose anothing, a woman shares her feelings voluntarily.

Recently, an internally displaced woman from the Donetsk region admitted that these meetings had a healing effect on her.

In these meetings, one feels the easiness and power of God’s presence, His kindness. I have something to compare with, since I am often invited to conduct master classes at different places. I have never felt such an atmosphere. This is the wordless Gospel indeed.”

Crafts to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine

“Ok, mom! Buy me modeling clay. I’ll go to the yard to sell my craft models to help the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, heard Tania from her younger son, a five-year old Makar.

The parents Vasends dwell upon the issue of helping the military based on examples of other children. Quite often Makar was at a fair where children sold cookies to help Ukrainian soldiers and hers other small children loudly discussing fundraising for the army by selling cherry plums.

Makar was fond of modeling before. He had even collected different figures. But the moment came when he decided to make his own contribution to the victory.

“I ask Makar: Who will buy your models in the yard? I have to go to the main city square. It would be better if I posted information about your models on social media and we could sell them in dollars.

I did not mock him. When he brought his first clay model out of his room, I was surprised. I lacked words to express my joy. My friend bought that first model for 20 dollars.

Makar keeps on modeling soldiers, the dog named Patron, volunteers… The collected funds were used for rehabilitation of a seriously wounded soldier in a hospital, a car for the military. Three models have been sent to Poland. Makar received an appreciation letter from our military.

It is only the figure of the President Zelenskyi he does not want to sell. He says he will present it to him one day,” share Tania.

New time brings new challenges

The Vasends’ family is happy that God helps them in their ministry, though they are facing certain difficulties during the war.

Tania. I find it difficult to communicate, especially when I need to be kind and merciful, when it is important to draw boundaries. Building up relations, finding the right words is another challenge for me today.

Andriy. Not enough people on our team. I have noticed that people get tired, that they serve as volunteers and cannot be involved in the ministry full time. Sometimes I find myself on my own, without assistance, I do all the work by myself.

We offer people to become missionaries at our ministries. I believe that to be a minister is a privilege. Though it is easy, God promised His help. Becoming a minister, one can influence the society and see how destinies of people are changed.

Ministers advice young missionaries

Tetiana. To be faithful and brave without restraining what God wants to do through each of us or thinking about the outcome. We have to be obedient and believe that we are just an instrument in God’s hands, and remember that it does not depend on us.

Andriy. It is worth trying, since, as the God’s Word says, “hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:5). It is necessary to make steps of faith and trust in God. Start your ministry and God, in His turn, will not forsake you in it.

It does not work when you don’t make steps of faith, but want to obtain something. It works when we believe without seeing. Sometimes nothing happens year after a year. However, God promised fruit, as well as His participation in our life.
It is a great happiness when you are in the right place where you can use your potential for the Kingdom of God.

The Article has been prepared by the press-center of the Christ is the Answer Ministries