Home » Planting seeds in wartime: Evgheni and Denis’s story

Planting seeds in wartime: Evgheni and Denis’s story

“When I need help, God supports me,” reflects Moldovan farmer Evgheni Malai. 

As the Russia-Ukraine war presses into a third year, many families in the surrounding region live in fear that the violence will spread across their borders. Moldova is especially vulnerable, sharing a border with Ukraine and economic ties with Russia. Farmers like Evgheni Malai and his twin brother Denis in Moldova face a difficult choice: leave their livelihoods behind and flee, or stay and learn to adapt their business to a wartime economy.  

A life abroad and dream of home 

Long before the war began, Evgheni and Denis lived in England, working a variety of jobs and sending money back home. With local jobs in short supply, many Moldovan fathers must work abroad to support their families.  

After a time, the brothers returned home with their pooled savings—determined to create a livelihood for themselves in their homeland through a shared agriculture business.  

In 2016, they started their farm and planted wheat, sunflowers, and grapes. Their crops did well, and Evgheni and Denis managed to earn a modest living for themselves and their growing families.  

A changing landscape

But, when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Evgheni and Denis faced an unprecedented set of challenges. Previously, they sold their crops in Ukraine and Russia—but this was not impossible as borders and ports closed down. They were forced to pivot to other markets.  

As the war raged on, so too did a series of severe droughts across the region. Without a proper irrigation system, much of the harvest was lost. Evgheni and Denis needed a solution.  

Renewing the land 

When Evgheni’s friends told him about Invest Credit, HOPE’s microfinance partner in Moldova, he saw a valuable opportunity. In 2023, he took out a $12,000 (U.S.) loan to expand the farm, planting more plots and purchasing a combine to harvest crops more efficiently. With further loans from Invest Credit, Evgheni and Denis built an irrigation system, ensuring less of their crop would be lost.  

As his business has grown, Evgheni has been able to give even more to his local church—by increasing his tithes as well as sharing his harvest with fellow members. “In partnership with Invest Credit, I have realized that the spiritual and material facets can coexist harmoniously, providing me with a deeper perspective on life.

Evgheni shares: “With the access to Invest Credit loans, I have experienced a profound transformation. Amid financial challenges, I have found peace and confidence. I have discovered that these loans not only balanced the material aspect but also were beams of divine light guiding me toward stability and support.” 

As Evgheni and Denis have stabilized their farm, they’re also now able to invest in their community as well. As the business has grown, they now provide employment to others—meaning fewer fathers are forced to go abroad to provide for their families.   

“Each financial step has become an opportunity for growth and contribution to the common good.” Evgheni

Join us in prayer for peace and an end to the war in Ukraine—as well as HOPE International’s work around the world—by signing up for our monthly prayer update

To learn more about how the HOPE network impacts families like Evgheni and Denis’s, watch “How HOPE Helps Families Flourish.”




As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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