Vasily Derkach, Ministry Veteran

Vasily Derkach is a veteran of the Christian ministry COAH supports in Ukraine; we are privileged to do so.

Greetings, dear friends!

I want to say thank you for the help which you have been providing to me. This money is essential to me because I’m not able to earn money, provide for my family or purchase medicines.

Derkach 1.JPG

I was born in the city of Donetsk. I lived, studied and worked there most of my life. At the age of 36 I was injured in a mine, so I had to leave my job. Two years later I began serving in Ugledar, a small town in the Donetsk region, as a missionary. This work was blessed, and a church was founded. Step by step the number of believers grew, so we began to construct a church building. However, at that time I had a minor stroke. The doctors diagnosed a swelling in my brain. I was suffering from nausea, weakness and vertigo, which the doctors said was caused by stress, over-exertion and the flu. The brothers and sisters of the church prayed for me, and miraculously the diagnosis changed; instead the doctors said I had multiple sclerosis.

Despite this, I served the local church in Ugledar as a pastor for 22 years, during which time we completed the church building. I tried to visit every member of our church at least once each month.

A year before the military conflict in Donbass began, I fell and broke my leg. I then realized it was time to resign the leadership of the church to someone else, due to my health issues. In October 2014, my wife Olga was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Since we were living at the centre of military operations, we couldn’t access proper treatment. Also, we were unable to work, and so when my wife’s sister proposed that we move to Zhytomyr, we agreed, taking 3 of our children along with us. Olga had surgery in Zhytomyr, and we decided to stay here to live.

Vasily and Olga

Vasily and Olga

Here’s an amazing testimony of God’s work. Our house in Donetsk was situated at the hotspot of tensions, and most of the buildings around us were destroyed. A shell landed in our neighbour’s home, exploding just 7 meters from our house, but it remained safe and sound. We also suspect that mercenaries have been shooting into Christian homes deliberately, because all the houses of our brothers and sisters in our district have been destroyed – but ours still stands! Praise God for His protection!

Here in Zhytomyr our relatives have helped us to find an apartment, and with your financial support we are renting it. But just a few days ago, the landlord informed us that we have to leave in April. We’ve begun searching for a new place, but haven’t found it yet. We can’t live outside the city because my wife needs constant medical treatment. Besides that, every month we spend about 5 000 UAH on medical drugs for us. We don’t know yet what to do from now forward, but this is the reason why financial help from you is so vitally important to us.

Although my health I getting worse, I still preach in the church in Zhytomyr. On Thursdays I drive 20 km to the village of Leshchiny to share God’s Word with the congregation. Due to the fact I hardly can stand on my feet, the brothers proposed that I preach sitting down. My wife and I really appreciate this church because it is very similar to our former church in Donbass; we love to be there.

So this is why I want to express my gratitude to you again, to all who help our family in this hard time. May God bless you!