A Christian organization based in the United States, known as the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), has expanded its mission beyond providing Bibles and Christian materials to believers in the former Soviet Union.
With roots dating back to 1934, the organization, originally named the Russian Gospel Association, has evolved into an international ministry that serves various nations, including Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
SGA’s mission has grown over the years to encompass various ministry programs, including sharing the Gospel and providing humanitarian aid. This commitment continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic and persists amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022 when Russian troops invaded the country.
Eric Mock, the Senior Vice President of SGA’s Ministry of Operations, spoke with The Christian Post about their extensive work. SGA collaborates with approximately 6,000 churches in 13 countries to provide funding to local churches in areas requiring aid. This funding is used to purchase aid locally, a strategy that also stimulates the local economy. SGA primarily receives its financial resources from individual donors and private foundations.
Since the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, SGA has partnered with its network of churches to deliver both food and the Gospel to the people of Ukraine. Currently, SGA is involved in sourcing resources in Poland through cooperation with local churches there, which purchase and transport food to Ukraine. These supplies are then distributed to pastors at churches within SGA’s network, who, in turn, distribute the food to those in need.
Eric Mock emphasizes the transparency and accountability of their financial operations, stating that they closely monitor how the funds are utilized. Additionally, he personally visits locations to verify the progress of their efforts.
Since the start of the conflict, SGA has delivered over 19 million meals from Poland to Ukraine and has provided an opportunity for local churches to share the Gospel with over half a million people. In Ukraine, SGA collaborates with a network of 2,200 churches, while in Poland, they work with 110 churches to provide essential aid.
Amid their relief efforts, SGA and its partners have encountered a heart-wrenching situation: children living in dire circumstances. Some of these children reside in families led by single mothers who have had to work, leaving their children unsupervised. In other cases, children suffer neglect due to their parents’ drug or alcohol addictions.
SGA refers to these children as “social orphans,” a term they first encountered during their ministry work amid the COVID-19 pandemic and have continued to serve throughout the ongoing war. As ministry workers visit homes to provide aid, they often discover these children in distressing conditions. In response, they offer spiritual and material support.
Eric Mock estimates that there are between 30,000 to 50,000 social orphans living in Ukraine. SGA’s approach involves ministering to the entire family unit, with a primary focus on transforming the lives of parents. Their goal is to restore families rather than perpetuate the cycle of sending children to orphanages. This support can take various forms, including helping parents overcome addiction, repairing homes, and providing essential supplies such as diapers and hygiene items.
However, Mock acknowledges that the need for this type of support may persist for some time, given the upheaval caused by the ongoing war. Recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reveals that over 5 million Ukrainians have fled to Europe, with over 6 million Ukrainian refugees recorded globally since the start of Russia’s invasion.
The situation remains complex and challenging, but organizations like SGA continue to provide essential assistance and hope to those affected by the crisis.