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Warmed – A Ukraine Story

January 02, 2023

A thin sheet of plastic separates the barren interior landscape of Rita’s home from the frigid terrain of Ukraine’s winter.

A bowl and plate teeter inside a china cabinet behind its one door whose glass is still intact. An oversized piece of floral-patterned material protects supplies behind the glassless other door. 

Electrical wires dangle from a jagged hole near the ceiling. Hints of blue paint under the crackled surface of a drab beige wall panel reveal a glimpse of cheerier times long gone.

A crack in one plaster-covered wall runs so deep it appears like the next rumbling noise could send the front of Rita’s home tumbling outward into the bitter cold.

Inside her broken home, Rita is bundled in a sweater, long pants, boots and a long but thin parka. She has survived in her ravaged community like myriads of others in Ukraine today – with no electricity or source of heat to ward off Ukraine’s below-freezing winter temperatures.

Rita is a single Jewish woman living on her own in battle-scarred Ukraine. Outside the cold concrete walls of her home lay dangers that she never dreamed she’d have to live among. Bombs. Russian soldiers. Desperate people willing to steal from her to save themselves. Unleashed evil, seizing opportunities within the war zone she now lives in. Rita lives afraid.

But one day, compassion knocked on her door. Members of a Jewish Voice partner ministry had heard about her living conditions and visited her. Rita was so fearful and guarded that she wouldn’t let them in her home. They talked to her from the hallway outside her door and told her they wanted to give her a woodstove.


Jewish Voice is funding this woodstove project to get heat into the homes of Ukrainians without electricity. Just $130 provides this electricity-free heat source – something that can be genuinely life-saving and also offer a means to cook food.

The ministry team returned to install Rita’s woodstove and wondered how it was possible that she could live in such conditions. They assembled the stove, and Rita was elated. “Never has there been such heat in the house,” she said. She couldn’t stop thanking them. When they asked if they could take her picture, she became very timid again but wanted to oblige as a sign of her immense gratitude.

The woodstove has made all the difference in Rita’s life. Before, there was nothing but cold for Rita; now, she has lifesaving heat. Before, Rita was alone; now, she knows she is not forgotten. Before, Rita was terrified of everyone; now she knows the love of Jesus revealed through people who showed her His compassion.

What’s more, during their visit with Rita, partners shared the Gospel with her, and she accepted Jesus as her Messiah. Her home is warmed by the heat of a woodstove given in Jesus’ name, and His love for her now warms her heart. Now she knows the eternal hope and newness of life that the Messiah gives those who place their trust in Him. Yes, indeed – a woodstove made a huge difference in Rita’s life.

Would you like to know the joy of helping someone like Rita stay warm this winter and hear the Gospel? The need is urgent across Ukraine as winter temperatures run below freezing. And while woodstoves in the U.S. often cost thousands of dollars, just $130 provides one to a shivering family living right now without heat in war-torn Ukraine.

Your prayers also make a difference. Please pray with us for Jewish people, like Rita, and their neighbors in Ukraine and for our ministry partners who are sharing practical aid and the Good News with them.

Please pray for the following:

  • Jewish Voice ministry partners assembling and delivering aid in the name of Yeshua
  • The Lord to warm and protect His people this winter
  • Jewish people of Ukraine, like Rita, to be so moved by the compassion they receive in Jesus’ name that they see He is the Messiah and receive Him
  • Those who are financially poor to become rich in spirit because they know the Lord and receive the abundance of joy found in the Messiah

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