Today marks the 6-month anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine. This also coincides with their independence celebrations and with the Ukrainians fighting back the team are now experiencing the fall out from this. I spoke with our Mission Director yesterday and today and recently things have been quite bad. They have been advised to stay at home and therefore the family events over the weekend have been cancelled.
There has not been as many bombs within Sumy since the initial onslaught and through the night sirens have been going off. In Lebedyn they have heard explosions for the first time in months with 4 rockets landing nearby. The fear that gripped them early on is now back with many people. The villages along the border and within a 25km distance have been completely destroyed. Bohdan has been speaking with one or two other pastors he knows and Pastor Andrea has said it has never been as bad.
It is not known whether this is just a flexing of military muscle across this celebration or whether it is the precursor to the war spreading again. We also note that in Belarus there has been the biggest stockpile of weapons and ammunition ever seen which people think is in readiness for an invasion to occupy Kyiv once again.
Bohdan has asked for prayer at this time as this makes their work difficult. Pray for peace and safety in the area so that the work and ministry can continue.
As we reflect over these past 6 months what an achievement has been made:
So far, we have distributed:
There is still so much work to do in the next 6 months. We believe that there will be new opportunities to help. I heard yesterday that from a US Charity we know we are going to get some clothes (especially children’s) and some more food in the coming weeks. Bohdan is working on the paperwork right now. However, this will help an immediate need but we still need to source much more. Rotary International are also looking to see how they can help with some of this so we are making positive progress.
Your support across these past 6 months has been amazing and generous. We hoped to raise £250,000 to help with all the needs and I am happy to say we have smashed through that target. We now need to plan for the next season which we think will be tougher due to the cold and extreme weather mixed with the frustration of the Russian army not being able to progress. We will still need to raise funds and ask that you keep supporting and praying in the best way you can.Peter Martin, Founding Director for Hope Lebedyn
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