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In this latest update, we share with you some of the work the team have been doing and you will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.
As always, thank you so much for your continued support and encouraging comments. I would also like to take a moment to say thank you to each person who has supported the work of Hope Lebedyn. There are many people that have contributed to the cause in so many ways. Thank you all.
As usual, Saturday is a hive of activity in the centre! Alongside lots of people collecting aid, the team are delivering the children's clubs which also take place there and where numbers are growing weekly, with well over fifty children now in attendance.
During the clubs, the children will often get to enjoy a puppet show performance and of course, food which they all enjoy! Songs are also sung; indoor and outdoor activities are enjoyed and Bible stories are told.
Today the youth gathered as usual. Great fun was had and they rigged up a projector screen to laptop and were able to watch a film with great discussions after. The teenagers are very much growing together and have become a tight knit group who are now looking to see how they can also help others.
The team are continuing to shine God's light and are continuing to practically support the needs of those around them. Lots more help is being given daily, people are being fed and they are continuing to help bring back villages to life.
We are thankful that the expected humanitarian aid arrived on time. This high-quality aid has come from churches in Germany. The big artic truck delivered everything to Lebedyn but there was aid for several other areas within Sumy oblast where churches are doing similar things to us – such as in the village of Kramatorsk.
This also provides a good opportunity for our Mission Director to meet others collecting aid from the centre and compare notes and find out ways we can work together to support the young people and deliver camps in the summer. Please do join us in prayer for safety as the team distribute the aid.
We are so thankful that the trip to Kyiv was successful. However, despite the trip’s success and the team’s safe arrival back to the centre, the trip was not without its challenges!
Unfortunately, the roads and infrastructure have got worse and it took longer to do the return journey than previously made. It was also made slightly more difficult due to the fact they were using a larger lorry than before so some roads were exceedingly difficult to navigate, if not impossible, to pass through. There are also road checks along the way. By the time they got back to the Lebedyn area curfew had kicked in and it was dark.
Not all the aid was food but it included a wide range of things from tinned fish to nappies.
Here are a few photos of the team unloading the 9 tons of aid collected from Kyiv!
The shortage of fuel is still a big problem. Whilst 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.
Please pray for the provision of more fuel in the region since they will need this for important travel visits.
A key thing that the team are becoming increasingly aware of is the mental trauma that is evident in some of the children and adults.
Whilst it has recently been more peaceful in the area, the far distance bombs and missiles can be heard as the Russians still launch these at random. Our Mission Director has noticed that everyone is finding this quite difficult hearing all this going on and the children finding it scary.
This is a growing need and we are hoping to find more resources to help those struggling with the trauma, anxiety, and anguish of the war. Please pray for this as we will need resources to support people in this area.
The team recently had a meeting with teachers and those in education. This was followed by a special service of thanksgiving and prayer for all those in education and then had discussions to see how they could offer more support in the area. They were also extremely grateful to receive some aid as well.
The service for the teachers went very well and we are now exploring how the centre might be able to be used to help as local schools and colleges have received quite a bit of war damage. Please pray for wisdom around discussions around this and that the team will find practical, effective solutions to support local schools and colleges going forward.
Next month, the team plan to open their doors to the children and youth to hold their annual camps. We plan to do two children’s camps based at the centre. They also hope to deliver one or two camps within local villages and if it is safe, a proper camping break with the youth.
The children’s camps take place over five days at the centre where they are fed meals, participate in a range of fun activities, alongside Bible stories being shared. However, they go home to sleep and do not stay there.
This year we plan to work with a German association of Christian Doctors and a Ukraine organisation who are doing the same. Hopefully, they will be able to attend and then to check up the children who have not been able to see any doctors for a while now.
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