Update April 26th 2022

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Dear Friends,

As always, I want to thank each and every one of you for your continuing support. Both our Mission and Music Director, alongside all the rest of the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.

This news update includes a story of hope as the team and those within the community gathered at the church and centre in Lebedyn during Easter. However, we also want to share with you a few prayers requests from the team during this increasingly uncertain time.

An Easter Gathering!

Thankfully, our Mission Director was feeling much better and was able to preach at the Easter day service in the morning. Unfortunately, his two young boy and wife were still feeling very unwell, with the two boys suffering with a fever. However, many people were still able to attend the Easter day church celebration, with the church reaching its highest level of attendance since the war began.

Our Mission Director and team have been doing all they can to show to the people that the Baptist church is not something to be feared but to be appreciated. They want to show God’s love in practical ways and to show the only true hope is the eternal hope they have right now. They want to be the best at what they do for the people. Over these months we have seen and witnessed the extraordinary lengths the team in Lebedyn has gone to reach out and shown God’s love to the region in so many practical ways.

The team were busy getting everything ready, baking Easter treats and preparing the centre for many to visit. Please pray that the threat of bombs will not happen.

After the morning service, and as planned, the youth gathered had much fun and were fed well. Around thirty youth attended throughout the time at the centre.

As the service gathering had finished, our Mission Director and another member of the team then travelled to Trostyanets to help the church who were distributing food throughout the town that has been severely affected by the war.

Please see below two photos captured from the Easter day service:

Prayer Requests:

1. Please continue to pray for safe travel for the team

The team are continuing to travel around the town and surrounding cities and areas. Please pray for safe travel for them as they move around and continue to support the practical needs of those around them through the delivery of food and medical supplies.

2. All the residents who are still left in deserted towns and cities

Our Mission Director and another team member travelled around the town to grasp the severity of the impact once again from the war. The team are helping with the distribution of food to other towns and surrounding cities. You can see the impact and devastation it has had on town in the pictures and video below.

They went around the town after helping with the distribution to grasp the severity once again of what they saw the other day. The attached video and photos below show witness to the devastation and atrocities of this unwanted war.

3. For peace and safety for those in Lebedyn as military activity escalates and for the fierce battles taking place in Kharkiv

During a call with our Mission Director and our translator, we were able to discuss many things. One of the key things we discussed during the one-hour call was the growing number of Ukraine soldiers returning to Lebedyn. This is of concern as they must feel it is necessary, so everyone is now on high alert. Please pray for God's peace to fill their hearts and minds and for their protection during highly uncertain and increasingly tense time.

With military activity once again escalating, our Mission Director has mentioned that they hardly slept with Russian aircraft and missiles flying overhead.

Please also pray for what is going on in Kharkiv. There are fierce battles with lots of people known to the Lebedyn people fighting there. It is exceptionally bad like to other areas around Kiev that have also been revealed in the news lately. If Kharkiv falls, then it is thought they will move north to the Lebedyn and Sumy areas.

4. The accessibility of food and fuel

Currently the team and people in Lebedyn are still witnessing increasing food shortages. Cooking oil is hard to access but having just seen the news we are in the same situation Food is also increasing in price quite dramatically. Many things are now three times the price.

Furthermore, whilst fuel prices have stabilised the problem is now availability. They have a new ten litre limit when filling up. Furthermore, with the purchase of the new van, finding fuel to put in it will then be a challenge. Please do pray this happens as we really do need this vehicle.

Please pray for the provision of food and fuel so they can continue to support the needs of those around them and making visits to neighbouring cities and towns to distribute food and medical supplies, alongside literature to help fill people with the message of hope and salvation amidst such dark times. In fact, over Easter, our Mission Director and team have been able to visit the soldiers in the surrounding area and distribute prayer leaflets.

5. Supporting the local orphanage in Ukraine

During our one-hour video call, we discussed at length how we can help the children at the orphanage and their leader further.

Whilst lots of the children were able to flee alongside their leader and find somewhere safe to take refuge, it has transpired that not all the orphanage team fled when the bombing became too much. Our Mission Director has been in touch with their accountant to say that there are urgent bills to be paid so he is going to Sumy to visit on Monday to see what the situation is. The orphanage leader was able to get some food on credit to feed the children and managed to get a generator and fuel to give power to the bomb shelter. We will help them sort this out. Please continue to pray for the children's safety too.

I am so grateful for all your support. As always, our Mission and Music Director, alongside all the rest of the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

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