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As always, thank you so much for your continued support to all that is going on. Please continue to keep praying as it really makes a difference!
Over the last few days since our last blog post, much has happened. We have included a list of prayer items that we would be really grateful if you could pray into with us. As always, the team are continuing to shine God's light and practically support the need of those around them.
Whilst there had been bombing the region, this ceased by late morning and the curfew was lifted. In the end it appears that Lebedyn was not impacted – just other areas within the Oblast. Sumy itself did unfortunately suffer some damage.
After this all happened the team sent messages out to say that they would still hold the children’s clubs. Only about 50% of the children that had previously registered came along but it was a special time for the children (alongside many parents who also joined in!) to bring some fun and light relief amidst the current circumstances and conditions.
The parents of the children were also given some aid and food supplies.
Thanks to our incredible long-time friends – Mission Eurasia – we received 1,000 of their iCare food parcels!
These parcels feed a family of four for a week and therefore this is the equivalent of a minimum of 28,000 meals! Furthermore, with the aid we purchased from Kiev earlier in the week we are now well stocked and equipped the region with food eradicating hunger in this region. What an amazing answer to prayer!
Below are some of the photos of the team organising the 1,000 parcels at their centre!
The team are continuing to shine God's light and practically support the need of those around them through providing them with food supplies and much needed aid. The team continue to receive heart warming stories and testimonies from individuals and families who have felt so supported during this time! In fact, a record number of people since the war came through the centre for the church services and for help today.
More recently a woman had fled to the centre as the local authorities has directed her to come here. Within 24 hours of her fleeing, a missile hit her apartment – the only one in her apartment block. The missile went straight through the bathroom window. Our Mission Director commented that the official stance when air raids are happening that people should hide in their bathrooms! Bohdan is glad that he doesn’t and now is very quick when in the bathroom just in case!
Thankfully, she left just in time. Our Mission director was able to listen to her story and provide her with a iCare parcel. She opened the package when she came home and she called with tears, thanking him saying, “I haven't eaten such delicious food for more than 2 months”! It is good to see that so many are receiving the help they need and these new food packages are really blessing people.
Over these past few days, military activity has been on the increase even in the Sumy Oblast. The town of Mogrista where the team have held summer camps in the past has experienced heavy shelling. This town is about ninety kilometres away and close to the border with Russia. Other towns are also experiencing increased activity within the Oblast so there is growing concern.
The clearing of landmines is progressing but many of the bridges and road infrastructure has been destroyed making many routes inaccessible. It takes around double the time to normal to reach some towns.
Please join us in prayer for their safety and protection during this uncertain time.
The team have been able to support the practical needs of the community. In fact, our Mission Director and another team member recently visited an extended family of thirteen who had arrived from a region further away. They had absolutely nothing with them from their journey and they received blankets, pillows, pillowcases, mattresses, pots and pans, food, and other aid. They were so grateful. Please pray for the team to continue to support the practical needs of many desperate families around them. Alongside helping to meet the practical needs of the community, they are also sharing Bible-based literature too.
Our Mission Directors wife is expecting another child. Over the last few weeks, she has not been feeling great, however, she was able to have a recent appointment with a doctor locally and they gave her the all clear! Thankfully, the baby is in great shape with a strong heartbeat!
The team have been able to support the practical needs of those further away and complete food aid runs, however, because of the worsening fuel situation (which is not currently getting any better), they are deciding to focus on doing more activities and gathering at the centre.
The shortage of fuel is also down to the three main fuel distribution centres in the east being bombed so fuel is getting extremely hard to find. Please pray for the provision of more fuel in the region since they will need this for important travel visits.
Currently the team are looking are still assessing the best way to fix the roof to make it watertight without spending a fortune. We need this building to be operational. There has also been some damage to the rafters, so this is going to create a small challenge in fixing things.
Please pray for wisdom as the team work out the best solution to make the roof watertight that would be most effective and economically viable. Please also pray that the centre will continue to be a place where individuals and families receive the love and peace of God. The good news is that the centre is becoming increasingly busy meeting the needs of people in the region. People know it is a safe house and they will receive both help and hope there!
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.
Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn