The Widow’s Story

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 1:17

We are actively serving +5000 widows with visitation and food care packages in +25 villages, in Ukraine and other countries. Our interdenominational volunteer team of +30 are all Slavic believers, including our leadership staff.

We honor the widow by telling their difficult story. As our volunteer teams visit and deliver monthly care packages to those most in need, we’re often overwhelmed by difficulties facing the widow in Slavic culture. Alone, at times abandoned, longing for a friend. We’re also greatly inspired by their resilience, and strength of character.

Thank you World Challenge, and all who pray for the widow and our volunteer teams in Ukraine and other countries. You can learn more about our mission to Slavic culture by clicking here.

July 2021
Name: Karjakina Alexandra Nikitechna
City: Sumy (Ukraine)

Karjakina Alexandra Nikitechna, born on 03.24.1947. At 54, she became a widow. The husband suffered from diabetes, which is why he was blind in both eyes. She had to take him to hospitals and did an operation on. one, and then on the other eye. Then amputation of toes due to gangrene. Endless visits to doctors, then treatment in hospitals. Constant diets, injections, hospitals.
After the death of her husband, she was left with debts that had to be repaid for a long time without any help.
Due to the fact that all this required a lot of money, she had to work two jobs. Working as the head of the club, she was weeding the beets. Due to overwork and various stresses, she herself ended up in the hospital with a pancreas.
At one time she lived with her son, but then moved from him.
She is always open to helping others and supports those in need with the help she can provide.
Whatever happens, he never despairs, asks for help from God.
Receives a small pension, needs help and support.

July 2021
Name: Donenko Irina Vasilievna
City: Kagarlyk (Ukraine)

Donenko Irina Vasilievna was born on 04.09.1965. in the city of Bryanka, Luhansk region. In 1982. graduated from high school, then from the Kharkov Technological College, specializing in sewing knitwear production. On assignment I got to Omsk, worked as a shift foreman. By redistribution, I got to the city of Kursk as a process engineer in Kurskobltrikotazhsbyt. In 1990. ended up in Vladivostok, where she met future husband Donenko Igor, a native of the city of Kamenka, Cherkasy region, Ukraine. In 1992. got married, in 1994. gave birth to a son, Denis, in 2003, a daughter, Nastya. In 2008 she was left alone. She started working as a seamstress. Lives on a minimal allowance. Children have no way to help. Needs any help.

July 2021
Name: Uglenitsa Anastasia Alekseevna
City: Mogilev (Belarus)

I am a Volunteer, Elena Turkevich, I thank God very much for serving the widows together. I thank everyone who is working in this ministry. A lot of work is being done. I would like to tell you about the widow Uglenitsa Anastasia Alekseevna. Anastasia Alekseevna, lives in Dragichinsky district, der Golovchitsy. She lost her husband 30 years ago. Anastasia herself has been with the group since she was forty. As a child, she suffered a severe head injury. The widow has one daughter who lives in Lyakhovichi district. Relations with her daughter are not very good, but Anastasia believes that God will help them, and the relationship will improve.
We visited her several times. They learned about her from her granddaughter. Arriving to her, they saw her grave condition, even people from the village help her, went to the store, brought food, prepared firewood .. Then they called us and said that my grandmother was in the hospital. When she was discharged, we came to her and were afraid to enter the house. When we saw her, we thought that she was dead, but thank God she was still alive, but very heavy. A minister went with us and we asked him to talk to her. She confessed, prayed, cried. And we immediately saw the result, Thank God, She wanted to continue living. We started to get in touch with her daughter, so that the daughter could somehow take her mother, but the daughter said that she was not her mother, and she would not help Anastasia, seeing her, her condition, her living conditions, we could not be indifferent and how could, with God and your help, helped her: drove, cleaned, because everything was just awful

After that, we made a decision to take Grandma to her granddaughter, to Baranovichi. The granddaughter is also in a difficult financial situation, and her husband is an alcoholic, but after talking with them they agreed to take the grandmother. For a couple of months. Now she is with her. We visit her, whenever possible. Anastasia is very grateful to God and to all the people who took part in her life, and thanks all sponsors sincerely with tears for their participation and blessing. Many thanks to everyone who takes part in the destinies of these people. Be Blessed Of God
Sincerely, Elena.

June 2021
Name: Bovykin Vladimir
City: Mogilev (Belarus)

“I am 72 2 years old soon. I live alone, after a stroke. I want to express my gratitude to all kind people for the help you are giving me. I am very surprised that at such a time there are still such people. Thanks to this help, I got to know Christ, began to go to church. And now I have many sisters. I am not alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much. All the best to you and your families. “

June 2021
Name: Tetyana Voloshyna
City: Ternopil

Tetyana is 77 year old. She was coming to our soup kitchen ministry for help with products. She lost her husband 17 years ago. She had a son, but he passed away from cancer, 2 years ago at age of 49 years old.

When I asked her if I can visit her at home she didn’t feel very comfortable. She was open to receive help with products or medicine, but was not very open for me to come over to her home. She lives in one room apartment on the tenth floor, often the elevator is not working and that was one of the reasons why she didn’t want me to come. When finally I got a chance to come, she was very open to talk. She is grieving the loss of her son and is very open to God, she is attending Orthodox Church, but she needs a revelation of God’s love, His grace and forgiveness.

May 2021
Name: Nadiya Krynychna
City: Kaharlyk Ukraine

Nadya lived next door to another widow we had been visiting for a while. Each time we saw her, we realized that she needed our help. She was very reserved and closed to our communication at first. We only knew that she drank a lot in her latter years. She has a son who also drinks a lot. We brought her a package of groceries and just said that Jesus loved her very much. Nadia was very embarrassed that we were bringing her food.

Every day she became more open to the Good News. When we talked about salvation and God’s love, she said she didn’t know if that was the case in her life. We saw no understanding in her that someone could love her.

Her legs hurt a lot. She was very closed to talking about herself and her needs. There was also an opportunity to talk to her son arrived. She was very grateful that we took care of her. But there was always a sense of shame. According to neighbors, her son mocked her very much.

One day, when we came to see the widows, we saw that she was leaving the store and that she did not want to approach us. We were surprised by this. But then when she still came, we saw broken lips. It was her son who hit her near the store.

The last time we escorted her, her son opened the door. He was very drunk. He said that his mother was paralyzed and she had been in bed for a couple of days. When we came in, she just wanted to sit on the bed. Her son began to lift her with great anger, and when she began to say that she was in pain, he began to cover her mouth with force. She wanted to smile, even in pain. She did not eat anything because no one cooked. We fed her and talked about with her about the hope of salvation and prayed for it that the Lord would reveal it to Himself. A couple of days later we learned that Nadia was gone. We know she finished her life hearing about the perfect love of Jesus over her life, and we hope one day to meet her again.

May 2021
Name:Lyubov Mikhailovskaya
City: Zhlobin Belarus

Lyuba (which means love) needs help very badly. The house is very small, stove heating needs to be done, the stove is very bad. The house is old, and in winter, they freeze quite badly. The son died from an explosion.

She has believed in the Lord. Buts he still needs love and care and feels very lonely. There are two daughters, one lives in Russia. The other has a husband in prison and she is raising two children alone. The daughter’s widow is not yet helped.

Please pray for Lyuba, and our volunteer team that encourages her with each visit.

May 2021
Name: Matrona Buryanskaya
City: Svetlogorsk Belarus

Matrona has two daughters, but they do not live nearby and can’t provide her help. Her only son is now in prison.

She has survived a stroke. Matrona receives a small pension and spends a lot on medicine and firewood for the winter. The house is small with stove heating, the roof is leaking.

She wishes to tell everyone that she is very grateful for the food and encouragement.

May 2021
Name: Vera Eremeevna
City: Skadovsk Kherson (Ukraine)


Vera was the first Christian woman in the Ukrainian City of  Skadovsk. In 1973 they arrived and began to gather in this house. The pastor was a Baptist. There were 30 people and they broke down the walls and removed the kitchen to have a meeting room. A neighbor followed them through binoculars and called the mayor, they came from the KGB and once drove everyone away.

Vera went and asked to be registered as a church, but the local authorities did not allow. Then she went to Kiev to the capital to attempt permission for registration legally, she was denied. Then, this brave woman of faith traveled all the way to Moscow. By the grace of God, she was granted permission and registered the church!

She doesn’t walk well. Her brother lives with her, his legs are bad. Their sister has recently arrived and is looking after them. Please pray for this faithful servant of Christ, and the church in Skadovsk to honor this dear saint!

April 2021

Name: Ksenia Kirnyak

City: Reni (Ukraine)

Ksenia is 80 years old. She got married when she was already about 35 and the couple lived for some time in Reni. SHe was unhappily married and suffered alot, her husband allowed the couple to be deceived and they did not receive the govermnment house they had been entitled to. Eventually her husband got ill and died. She had one son who got married and moved to Yakuti (Russia) where he died at 30 years. She has no close family and lives alone in a small little house without any conveniences.

She is handicapped with very poor vision and also has problems with her nervous system and frequent headaches. She receives a very small pension ($61 per month). On 23 April 2021 she repented and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Please pray for her, she needs lots of repairs in and around her house and also has a huge debt for electricity.

April 2021
Name: Vira Petrovna
City: Myrnograd (Ukraine)

Vera is 58 years old, and has three children. She was born in a small village in the Vinnytsia region. All her life she worked as a foreman on a collective farm and survived as they were able. She was married, and gave birth to their first child, a daughter, but then her husband died. After that she moved to Myrnograd. Sometimes she went to the Baptist church.
The eldest daughter lives in Moscow and is an alcoholic and does not communicate with her mother.

She was married again, had two children, a son and daughter, but her second husband also died. 7 years ago her son was killed. Her daughter had a child, but left the child with Vera to raise who is now 8yrs old. Little assistance it given to Vera.

Vera Petrovna does not go outside because there are problems with her legs. From 2013 to 2018 she worked as a caretaker at an oxygen plant. She experienced a very strong stress at work, which gave problems to her legs. Now she hardly walks, and nobody will hire her for work because of this.

She does not receive a pension, and has been waiting on the government for help for + 6 months. She is very grateful for the volunteers and for the people who help her survive in a difficult situation. She is very happy when volunteers not only bring her help, but that she may not be alone and that someone thinks about her.

March 2021
Name: Tamara Andreevna
City: Mogilev (Belarus)

Tamara is 75 yrs old. Our team started visiting her in October of 2020. She became a widow in 1999. She suffers from diabetes mellitus, a fracture of the femoral neck, a focal scar on the heart and therefore surgery on the legs cannot be done and the legs cannot walk.

Unfortunately, her children do not maintain relations with each other and are not interested in their mother. Tamara Andreevna always looks forward to when we come to visit her. In her youth, she devoted her time to God very much. Her husband was categorically outraged and forbade attending church meetings; over time, she completely lost her relationship with believers. Today, due to her health, there is no opportunity to attend church.

The widow is being looked after by her son Andrei who is 40yrs old. His mother requires his full time care, so it’s impossible for him to get a full time job. Also, because Andrei is seeing a therapist for addiction, this goes on his record officially and makes it difficult for him to get a job. They live in extreme poverty, however the house is always tidy, clean and comfortable.

March 2021
Name: Medelyaeva Zoya Grigorievna
City: Slovyansk (Eastern Ukraine)

Zoya is 73 years old. She was born on April 12, 1947 and lived all her life in Slavyansk. She graduated from the Slavic Technical School of the Chemical Industry. She worked as a laboratory assistant at the Khimprom design bureau.

In the mid 1980’s, the disease rheumatoid arthritis began to progress. At first, Zoya Grigorievna could still work, but gradually the disease made her completely incapacitated. Her legs and arms were twisted, and severe pain in the joints.

Her daughter Victoria is now 47 years old, has no family of her own, lives with her mother, takes care of her. At the same time, she works in the hospital on shifts. The family has a very difficult money situation. Our ministry food care packages are an essential help.

Recently, Zoya completely lost her eyesight! Through our program, and your generosity, we were able to provide the costs for eye surgery, as well as the consultation, and transportation. Her eyes are slowly recovering, and currently she is able to see with one eye at 10%, and the other 20%. Please pray for Zoya’s health, for healing of the eyes, and recovery. Please also pray for Zoya as our volunteer teams continue to show her the love of Christ, and prayer with her with each visitation.

February 2021
Name: Varvara Vasilyevna
City:     Sumy (Eastern Ukraine)

Born on July 1, 1945, in the Krasnopol district. At the age of 20 she got married and moved to Krasnopole. She worked in the dining room as a cook. She gave birth to three children, whom she had to support herself on her feet, as her husband drank, walked, and often did not come home.

When the children grew up, he set fire to the house in a drunken, angry state. To rebuild the house, she had to go on business trips, at that time it was Chernobyl. After the explosion of the nuclear power plant, people from all over Ukraine went to fight the consequences of the explosion.

Varvara Vasilyevna restored the burned house, but Chernobyl left its traces in her already not easy life. Inter-vertebral hernias in the lumbar region cause pain and difficulty walking. You have to maintain your health by constantly taking all kinds of medications. She is very grateful for the rations that we bring her, having a minimum pension ($50/month).

February 2021
Name:  Dominika Polyukhovich
City:      Skadovsk, Ukraine

Dominika is 86. She has experienced a tremendous amount of pain in her life.

She had 3 sons and lived in Crimea. In 1960, children played in the field and found a shell left over from the war. Denis, her son, did not understand the danger and decided to play with it and it eventually exploded. Denis, and her second son died in the explosion, her youngest son survived but was injured, left without an arm.  Her husband could not bear the losses, became very sick and died of infections. Since then, she and her son were alone. Her son is now 55 years old.

Our ministry has helped to establish a personal relationship and Dominica. She has believed in Christ, but continues to be in dire need of help. Her son is now disabled and does not move well.

Volunteers from the church have taken the family into their care and are trying to help with the household, to take care of this families emotional and spiritual needs.

February 2021
Name: Galina Bessmertnaya
City: Priluki (Eastern Ukraine)

Thanks to God, the ministry to widows began in May 2020. In August 2020 we met Galina, a widow since 1993. It’s been three years since he buried her son. The widow has diabetes, mellitus, sore legs, and a sore heart. Her emotional state is bad. Our team prayed and God gave us a desire to serve her. The financial situation was very difficult: credit, debts, sometimes there was no food at all. She was constantly looked after by her daughter who also has health problems. (who also has diabetes mellitus, cataracts of the eyes).

Thanks to God there was an opportunity to help the widow with food and medicine. She was very desperate.They constantly visited her, brought help from the mission. We talked a lot, spoke the Gospel, talked a lot about Jesus the Savior! We prayed with her constantly. In the winter, her condition worsened. Pneumonia, heart, and she could not walk. Widow’s Care provided assistance with the necessary medicines. She was very swollen, it was difficult to breathe, her body and face doubled. There were very severe pains. We constantly called up with my daughter, prayed, came.

One day they brought her foot ointment (the doctor recommended), and she couldn’t even speak, she was overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank God, We prayed with her, once again called for repentance, and that she would trust her life to Jesus. She agreed in prayer! She died the next morning (January 30, 2021).

We have hope that she trusted her life to the Lord. The Widow’s Care ministry was able to pay for her funeral, because the financial situation was critical. After the funeral, the relatives were invited to the church for tea, and they also had the opportunity to tell the news of Jesus love. We continue to pray for the family.

We thank God for serving, for helping the mission. The Lord in this way leads to people, to tell people about Jesus so that people would be saved. The Lord works hard through this ministry and in our hearts, ministers. The Lord gives strength to go through sorrows with widows and support them. Thank God for this ministry to widows! May God bless this ministry and all ministers.

(Volunteers in this region joined us our ministry in 2020, and have a wonderful heart to serve the widow).

February 2021
Name: Praskovya
City: Ivankiv Region (Northern Ukraine)

Praskovya is 93 years old, she is a widow, and has buried all her sons. Praskovya’s life was not easy, she went through the war, hunger and many other things that made her look death in the eye. Around 1960, Praskovya came to believe in God and devoted her life to studying the Bible and believing in God. All her life she was a kind and sympathetic person, took part in the needs of others, preached the gospel and introduced people to the Bible and God.

Most recently, Praskovya fell ill with coronavirus, she needed medications that could raise her immunity and fight this disease. Thanks to Widow’s Care, and other caring people, we were able to buy the necessary medicines and take care of her, brought her food and medicines for continuous treatment. But a few days later, another tragedy struck Praskovya at night, her house began to burn and she fought for her life in the burning house.


Unfortunately, Praskovya’s house was completely burned down, she lost all her documents, savings, clothes and received injuries to her face, legs and burns to her body from the fire. When she was in the hospital, thanks to you friends of Widows Ministry and GLOW, we continued to take care of her, buying her medicine, food and new clothes. Now Praskovya is in a nursing home, but she still needs care and love.

Every time I visit these women, their hearts thank God for your generosity, care and kindness.

(Thank you for praying for Max and his family. They just joined our volunteer team in January! He and his wife are expecting their first child in March!).

February 2021
Name: Maria
City: Ivankiv Region (Northern Ukraine)

This widow’s name is Maria, she is 79 years old. She lives alone and has physical health problems. Several years ago, her legs stopped walking and she was confined to the bed, and over time, her hearing and vision began to disappear, she really needed diapers and food.

When we first visited her, it was a very unpleasant picture, there was a terrible smell in the apartment, everything was gray and hopeless, we tried to talk to her, but she did not hear us. We just prayed for Maria, left her diapers and food and left, and this continued for several of our visits. During our last visit to her, Maria met us sitting on the bed, it was a miracle for all of us. I greeted and she said something in return. It was impossible to believe in it, I knelt down to hear her words better and she told us all that she wants to die and dreams about it every new day.

Dreaming about death is the worst thing that can happen in life. I told her that it is better for her to dream of a Jesus who loves her and cares for her through us, and that Jesus can meet her in Heaven. After I shared the Gospel with Maria, she said that she wanted to believe in Jesus and said a prayer of repentance.

People who know her illness were surprised at this miracle, because all this time Mary was silent, and today she spoke and believed in the Lord. We continue to take care of Maria and hurry to visit her again to bring diapers and food and also tell about God.

(Volunteer: Max, Chernobyl Region)