The Power of Prayer
November 2021

By Nettie, a SEND worker in Russia

Yulia and I have been friends for many years. Although we didn’t see each other very often, I’ve always been encouraged by her strong faith. Her testimony (which you can watch here) is powerful evidence of the miraculous ways God brings people to himself.
After her conversion, Yulia lived with a single missionary friend, growing in her faith and serving God in the local church. She loves to sing and help lead worship in church services.

Eventually, she married Taras, a missionary from Ukraine, and they had two children. About five years ago, when the youngest child was only a year old, Taras died unexpectedly in their home of an asthma attack. His death happened right before Yulia’s eyes.

But God has provided for Yulia and her children. Many people from all over the world collected funds and bought Yulia an apartment, since they had no home of their won. A couple of years ago, she was able to purchase a car.

This summer, I got sick with COVID and Yulia got sick around the same time. Through church prayer chat groups, I learned that her situation was rather serious. She has a heart condition, and after about a week of being sick, she was moved to the ICU and possibly would not survive. We also learned that her kids had tested positive for COVID, but were living at home alone.

Our church community was shocked by this and concerned that these children could become orphans. We rallied to find a way to help them. One woman from the church took food to the kids every day and God protected her from catching COVID.

A man from the church organized a Zoom prayer meeting, bringing together believers from different churches to pray for Yulia. That Zoom meeting happened on Sunday evening.

The next day, we received news that Yulia’s condition was starting to stabilize. Over the next couple of days, she slowly improved, until she finally was able to leave ICU and be placed in recovery. 

Looking back, we realized that her condition started to get better after the prayer meeting took place. We believe God used the unified prayer for Yulia to bring her back to health.

Once I started to feel better from COVID, God laid it on my heart to go stay with the kids at night. At first, I just spent the nights with them, and as time went on, I was staying with them during the days too. The oldest daughter, Esther (11 years), enjoys doing puzzles, so our evening tradition was to work on a 1,000-piece puzzle together. We were able to finish it before Yulia came home.

I had the privilege of picking up Yulia from the hospital to bring her home. It was a tear-filled car ride as she shared how thankful she was to God for sparing her life and sparing her children from becoming orphans.

We are filled with thanks to God for His mercy and healing touch on her body. It was so encouraging to hear about how the body of Christ came together to encourage and help Yulia and her children, from praying faithfully for her, to buying the kids fun gifts, to bringing food and necessities to Yulia in the hospital, to giving money to help cover expenses for things like food and medicine.

Yulia and I have met several times since she came home and she is doing so much better. She shared with me that she wants more than ever for her life to be devoted fully to serving God and living for Him. I feel privileged to get to have participated in a small way in Yulia’s story. I’m learning more and more that prayer is so important. We often feel so helpless in knowing how to help ease someone’s pain or knowing what to do in our own trials. But in our helplessness, we can turn to the Almighty God who hears us and acts on our prayers. Please praise God with me for saving Yulia’s life! Praise Him that He hears the prayers of the afflicted, the hurt, the sick, the lonely. He hears and He acts in ways we don’t always see.

We welcome you to Eurasia, a land where we see God bringing people out of the darkness of their Communist past and into his glorious light! Learn more about SEND’s teams in Eurasia.

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