Maryinka lies near the east of the Ukrainian boarder. Like many eastern Ukrainian cities it has taken a devastating hit from the war between Russia and Ukraine. The residents of Maryinka live a meager existence without employment, hot water or natural gas. Not to mention the fact that the sound of gunfire permeates the night air and an occasional mortar bomb overshoots and lands amongst them. Although the atmosphere is bleak and the population is half of what it was before the war, new comers are finding their way to this town. Many evangelical ministers are relocating to these war torn towns to administer bread and other forms of humanitarian aid, along with sharing the message of Jesus Christ.
It’s no doubt that the humanitarian aid is helping residence, but not everyone is happy to see these new proselytizers. An Orthodox priest feels that these new comers are trespassing on Orthodox land and creating spiritual tension along with the physical. It almost feels like he believes the evangelical missionaries are buying believers with bread. It’s obvious why an Orthodox priest would not feel very welcoming to those preaching a new religion but it makes me wonder if there are many more residence who feel threatened by the arrival of evangelicals, or if they’re just grateful for the much needed relief.