A million Bibles for Ukraine: the story of God’s providence

"I am Shelter! And the way to find Me lies through My Word. I need My people to take Bibles to Ukraine. The world sends food, medicine, and clothing, but no one sends Bibles.”

The topic of the war in Ukraine has not left the pages of world-famous newspapers for more than half a year, residents of different countries discuss Russian aggression on live TV and radio broadcasts, and, even more so, at family dinners or friendly gatherings. The world’s support for our country is unprecedented, and many Christians see the Lord’s help in this. Thousands of projects to help Ukrainian military personnel, refugees and their families have already been implemented on different continents. Thousands more are planned. The World Seventh-day Adventist Church was not aloof from the first days of the full-scale invasion, so its members are actively volunteering and helping displaced people, victims and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

So, the next story will tell about another project to help Ukrainians who suffered because of the war, and God’s intervention in it.

An unusual dream

One day, in the American state of Indiana, a Christian couple was going to attend a conference where Liz Polanco, a well-known Adventist speaker from Puerto Rico, was to speak. And now, on the eve of the event, the couple’s plans change, due to which the husband cannot attend the conference. At night, he has an unusual dream.

In his dream, at the end of the planned conference, Liz Polanco got into a Russian car from the 1950s, in which she was picked up and driven to the Ukrainian border by a Cuban woman. Liz was dressed in sports clothes and sneakers. After crossing the border, she approached a residential building. Climbing the stairs, she met two soldiers: one African, the other Ukrainian. In each hand she held a folded message.

The Ukrainian soldier asked why Liz was there, because it put her in danger. She passed one of the folded messages to a military man in Africa. Opening the scroll, he saw a map on which the way to resolve the conflict was indicated. In her dream, Liz Polanco prayed with them, turned and ran back to the border, where her friend from Cuba was waiting for her.

In the dream, the man noticed that something strange happened when Liz was running. Her sneakers turned into high heels. “Why is she running in heels? Even at such a speed! How can she do that?” he wondered. Liz went to the car, and she and the driver drove off. That was the end of the dream.

Who is Liz Polanco?

Liz Polanco is a gifted preacher and third-generation Adventist. A woman created a family with a man who chose for himself the same way of serving God as she did. She lives with her family in Puerto Rico. Liz attended Antilles Adventist University, graduating in 1986 with a BA in Theology and two minors in Pastoral Theology and Secondary Education.

For the past 35 years, Liz Polanco has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church in various capacities, including Bible worker, educator, and women’s ministry leader. In 2000, she began speaking at women’s meetings, family workshops, and youth events in her home country, which later led to international appearances in the US, Canada, and beyond.

Sensing the need for spiritual encouragement during the coronavirus pandemic, Liz Polanco started the Church Without Borders ministry through Facebook Live. Her Liz Enid Polanco Ministries Facebook page now has over 18,000 followers. At the height of the pandemic, up to 500 people, both Adventists and non-church members, joined her each morning for prayer and Bible study. These efforts resulted in baptisms as Liz referred people to church communities in their area.

A new challenge in ministry for Liz Polanco

While preparing for the conference, Liz received a strange WhatsApp message from an unknown man.

Good afternoon, dear Liz! I was very hesitant to write this message to you, but I decided it was important and I had to share it. I did not fully believe that dreams really have an important meaning, but what I dreamed made a strong impression on me and I decided to tell you about it …

…Maybe this means that God wants you to do something to help Ukraine. I ask you to pray about this, because you will face difficulties (as evidenced by running in high heels). But I am convinced: God will give you the strength and speed necessary to fulfill His will“.

The plan is taking shape

Back home in Puerto Rico after the conference, a stunned Liz Polanco was restless. She asked her Facebook group to join her in praying that God would send her wisdom and help her understand what she should do.

But every time I knocked on the door ,” said Liz, “ the door wouldn’t open .”

She was in despair. The message she received seemed so important and urgent. If only she knew what it meant! Like Queen Esther of old, Liz set aside three days of fasting and prayer, asking God to show her what she should do.

“Let My people carry Bibles to Ukraine”

One day the Holy Spirit woke her up at 4 o’clock in the morning.

Liz, ” he said, “ focus on sleep. What were you holding in your hands? Was it food, water, clothing or medicine? You had a map. A map of places you can run to to find safe haven. I am Shelter! And the way to find Me lies through My Word. I need My people to take Bibles to Ukraine. The world sends food, medicine, and clothing, but no one sends Bibles“.

Liz got her answer. She focused on raising funds for the purchase of Bibles intended specifically for Ukrainian children and adults. She didn’t know where to start, so she called a friend in Canada and told her about her experience. Her friend advised her to call a Ukrainian friend who lives in California. According to God’s plan, it turned out that a friend’s brother is a pastor in Ukraine.

Through a video call, Liz met the pastor. She told him about the dream. Tears streamed down his face as he listened to this story.

That day he prayed that God would provide them with Bibles. His church, like many others in the region, has become a refuge for internally displaced Ukrainians, and every day displaced people ask for Bibles or spiritual literature. They left everything in an attempt to escape from the Russian troops, and they especially miss their Holy Scriptures. God chose a way to answer his prayer through a dream he gave to a strange man in America.

Overcoming obstacles

After this first conversation, Liz Polanco maintained contacts with other pastors and church leaders from Ukraine, with the “Nadia” TV channel, and the World Adventist Radio. Its goal is to purchase 40,000 Bibles for Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes, and, in particular, for the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

One of Liz’s first obstacles was finding a publishing house capable of producing Bibles. When she contacted the Bible Society of Ukraine, she learned that they could sell about 15,000 volumes. A publishing house in Poland agreed to print the remaining 25,000 Bibles.

The second task was to raise enough money to buy 40,000 Bibles. Liz managed to do this for the first batch of 5,000 Bibles from the Ukrainian publishing house. After hearing the amazing story of the origin of the project, the publishers donated part of the Bibles. The next batch of 10,000 was purchased already at the beginning of May.

We need to raise a million

To complete this project, the efforts of Liz Polanco alone are too little. Therefore, she turned to the worldwide Adventist community for help. Her Facebook group actively promotes the initiative to purchase Bibles for Ukrainian refugees, and also engages Adventist chaplains who provide spiritual support to soldiers at war. The Church in Ukraine actively participated in fundraising and even expanded the goal – to collect 5 million dollars to purchase 1 million Bibles for 1 million Ukrainians.

Each of us can join this project and fulfill God’s will – to give His living word to families who need it and to the military who protect our lives.

Liz Polanco’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LEPMinistries .

According to the materials of ANN