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We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.
Thank you to each person, business, organisation, and trust who has supported the work of Hope Lebedyn. There are many people that have contributed to the cause in so many ways. Your continued help makes a real difference.
As you have seen in the news last week, there has been increased military activity from the Russians throughout Ukraine which is also being witnessed within the Sumy Oblast. Sirens are back to sounding with more regularity, but the nature of the Ukrainians is to carry on whatever happens. The team have been working hard in giving aid out which we just received. However, as we mention in our list of prayer requests at the end of this news report, the need for clothes is still as great as ever. A please do join us in praying for the provision of more clothes and aid that the team can continue to distribute to families in need.
Whilst the team have been busy planning for the summer camps, they continue to distribute aid and their ministry through the centre.
In fact, our Mission Director Bohdan recently had a request from all the youth, many who are new to the church and the area, asking him to share his story and how he came to faith. After he spoke and shared his testimony, many young people carried on asking lots of questions and the whole meeting ended up lasting for over 2 hours. All this was organised by the youth and there was nearly 60 attending. Bohdan has asked that we continue to pray for these young people and that they too will follow his journey!
The team have also been supporting the local hospital by donating more equipment that arrived with the last shipment. This included crutches, other types of walking aids alongside a selection of other general items that were donated and gratefully received.
The team have also been working hard distributing the recent aid they received. Unfortunately, the need is still as great as ever and today clothes were distributed to those families, we know that have the greatest need in this area. As you can see from the photos below, food is baked and distributed as well still daily.
They've also been supporting people who have had to flee their homes and migrate to Lebedyn. Since most of them left their homes with nothing, they are now struggling to feed and clothe their families with even the very basics. This is likely to be an ongoing problem as there is little help from the government.
Similarly, our Mission Director Bohdan also had a recent meeting with the area commander for the troops in the Lebedyn area. He explained that the families of the soldiers that are serving are really struggling and have a real need for food and clothes. The team visited today to give the families some aid and deliver copies of the “Finding Hope - John’s Gospel” to families in desperate need of hope. Bohdan told me that he didn’t quite realise how bad the need was, so there are other things that need to be found and purchased to help them all. Please pray for provisions to meet the growing needs.
On Sunday the 26th of June, the church welcomed the Mission Director and his wife Alla's newly born daughter to church and prayed over her. It was truly a special moment! Below you can see Pastor Sergey overseeing this.
They also recently took her to the doctor for a check-up and they are pleased to announce that she has put on weight, and they are very pleased with her progress. Thank you to those that have been asking and praying for her!
The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.
In addition, following our Mission Director's recent meeting with the area commander for the troops in the Lebedyn, it has become very apparent the number of families of soldiers who are really struggling and have a real need for food and clothes. Please pray for provisions to meet the growing needs.
One of the big problems we are still experiencing is getting the funds we send out from the banks. Currently, there is a national shortage of $US and therefore many have drawn down all their funds into this currency and fled out of the region and country. It has been a real challenge for Bohdan to manage but thankfully on Wednesday he was able to access all the remaining funds to pay for everything that was necessary to fulfil their work and ministry.
We are aware that this could be an ongoing challenge, especially as we have more to send out more soon.
The team continue to plan for a very busy summer, where they will open up their doors to lots of young people who are need of fun, fellowship and hope!
The camp preparation is going well, and all the children have been registered and logged down to attend. We must register this with the authorities and whilst we are officially “full”, we know other children will arrive from needy families who will just turn up each day. We plan not to refuse them entry and to help where we can – depending on how many!
The team have been able to access children’s Bibles which should arrive within a week thanks to our friends at the Ukrainian Bible Society. We have also been given 5,000 assorted leaflets from Life Words for the work we are doing with the Ukrainian army. All this literature will be used and shared out with the young people during the camps.
Bohdan has asked that we keep praying for them, especially through these busy few weeks ahead with the children and youth summer camps, alongside still trying to meet many of the humanitarian needs in the area.
The shortage of fuel is still a big problem. Due to the worsening fuel situation, the team have mostly been focusing on doing more activities and gathering people together at the centre. However, as the team plan ahead for the future, they are hoping to expand the work into other villages and surrounding areas who all also in great need. Please do pray for provision of fuel despite the increasing cost for important travel visits further afield going forward.
I am so grateful for all your support. As always, all the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.
Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn