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On Wednesday 9th March, we received the devastating update that a big bomb had gone off within the centre of Lebedyn, destroying both the local police station and other buildings. Thankfully there were no major casualties, but our Mission Directors house shook with the blast. The impacts have mainly been felt on electrical, gas, lights and communication areas meaning that internet is now down.
Outlying areas have also been severely impacted, with fighting now beginning to intensity. We have also been informed that the nearby village of Vorozhba has been captured and badly damaged. Many have been killed beaten, where houses have been looted and the Russian troops are burning homes.
Shining light into the darkness of war
Our team in Lebedyn have been helping with the army and resistance to provide supplies, bedding, mattresses and pillows to enable them to have some quality rest.
Furthermore, our Mission Director received the opportunity to preach today as the church gathered together, both with familiar faces and new ones joining together! As we’ve mentioned before, people are seeking answers and hope and it gives the team an amazing opportunity to share the gospel amidst sheer darkness. In fact, our Mission Director had been informed that a previous team members son-in-law has recently come to faith. Furthermore, his daughter has recently given birth to a baby boy – the first war-time baby in their local hospital. Therefore, we celebrate in new life physically and spiritually!
God’s faithful provision
Finding food and drink has been a real struggle for the team and many have tried to scavenge for food as they are now very hungry. Thankfully, our Mission Director was able to access food, including bread and milk, to help feed lots of the community. We are not sure how and we truly believe it’s a miracle from God – much like how He provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness!
Supporting a local orphanage in Ukraine
You may have remembered the story we shared in a previous blog post on the 28th of February about a beautiful story of children in a local orphanage seeking refuge through God’s Word. When the bombing within the Sumy region became really intense, the director of the orphanage asked the children to take just one thing with them as they sought shelter in a bunker. After the children were all settled, she asked them what they all took in. One by one, around 50 children pulled out the same thing... a new Bible, we gave them over Christmas.
This same orphanage shared their news story as part of the BBC news feature yesterday evening on Wednesday 9th March.
Through this TV news feature, we’ve got to witness some incredible responses and connections arise to help support the local orphanage who are seeking safety, food and necessary supplies during this time.
As a ministry, we will continue to be working with them to support the children and leader. We’ve been able to send funds across from our appeal fund to help them purchase food, medicine, supplies and also pay for necessary transport to enable herself and all the children to get to safety. We will continue to monitor her evacuation and try and ensure they arrive at a safe destination.
Please continue to also keep this orphanage and leader in your prayers. Thank you again for all your support and through this appeal fund, we are able to help use it to continue the work we started in peacetime.
Please pray for the team
When I spoke with our Mission Director, he said he was tired. Not physically, but emotionally and mentally exhausted. Please pray for him, his wife (currently 5 months pregnant) his family and also the whole team. Please pray for God’s peace to be a source of strength for all the team.
Please also keep our translator’s family in your prayers. Her parents and grandmother are still in Lebedyn, and she fears greatly for their safety.
In the midst of the darkness, we thank God for his provision and for where light continues to shine amidst the darkness. In fact, our Mission Director has been able to rescue two young women who have escaped from a Russian occupied village, providing them with accommodation somewhere safe and with food.
Our Musical Director and his wife send their love and greetings, as do all the team out there. Thank you for keeping them in prayers and for all your generous support.
My thanks again for all your continued support and prayers,
Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn
Remember, if you are a UK taxpayer, please confirm that you would like to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.