Update 28th April 2023

Children with their iCare packages

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Dear Friends,

This past week the sirens have been a little quieter, making it possible to get into some level of routine. This has meant preparing the grounds ready to be used with all the activities the team do. We note that the war is not in the news as much at a time when more is happening on the ground in Ukraine. In talking with Bohdan, the people living close to the border are not united in their thinking and support for the war. This is causing growing tensions. The fighting is heavy in the south and still along the border with Russia in Sumy not that far away.

Refugees arrive and aid distributed...

At the weekend there were families that came for refuge from Bakhmut (see first two pictures). They literally arrived with nothing, so the team found all that they needed to settle into new accommodation in the city. Also, the team went around to some of the villages and gave out food through the iCare boxes and the bread that has been baked. This was also given to the children and young people where we knew there was much hardship.

Bohdan texted me on Tuesday alerting to a major problem in the south where medical aid in particular is needed. Some friends and pastors of churches have said that things are dire, and that hospitals are overflowing with injured and sick people, with many sleeping on floors. There is just not enough help for them. Subsequently, we have been able to connect with another charity that specialises in medical care and aid, and they are going to see what they can provide. We fear that this will be a growing problem.

More men are called up...

Back in Lebedyn, fear is growing that many more men will be called up to fight as Ukraine prepares for the much reported “offensive”. Students have been told that they could be no longer be exempt from fighting as will many other men with key jobs. Mission Eurasia, who have been amazing partners with us during the war, have had their Ukrainian Director called up. Women too are starting to sign up to join the war effort. Some of these are mothers as well, so that might bring new problems in the days ahead.

The work done by Bohdan and team with the local soldiers is still much-admired within military circles. Many have been asking for prayer and the team have been able to do this. They have also produced their own insignia/badge

Military insignia badge

This means “The Lord is my Strength and shield. He is my salvation.” Many soldiers are taking this and sewing it onto their uniform, declairing their protection.They are also given a gospel of John which they keep in their jacket pocket.

There is still much tension between the Orthodox church and many of the people, including the established Christian church. Bohdan shared stories which are of a sensitive nature, but it shows clearly that the Orthodox church is being used for Russia’s political gain. He has asked us to pray for this situation.

Update on the team...

Thank you to those praying for Alla’s replacement as children worker. A young Lady called Svetlana, aged just 18, and daughter of another Pastor in the Dnipro region, is at Bible college studying to be a children's worker part time, and she is keen to join. There is another meeting this weekend because there are things that might stop this from happening, including finding accomodation, but again Bohdan has asked for prayer with this as the college and her local church speak very highly of her.

Plans are pushing ahead for the summer camps and activtiies. The team want to do more than ever so we are just costing that out and seeing what that means.

This weekend will see all the usual activities taking place, with children’s and youth clubs, and we plan to visit the other orphanages either this Saturday or next. Bohdan also plans to visit the frontline to see soldiers.

Lastly, some months ago we reported that Misha who lived as a caretaker in the Centre apartment had several strokes. I am pleased to say that he is now home. He can now walk unaided but very slowly but this is better than a few months ago. Sadly, some of his memory has gone which does not help his speech. He has been given disability status so they will get some government support. We are thankful he is back home with his family and we pray for continued recovery.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Bohdan sends his greetings to you all, and is grateful to those who are regularly standing in support with them as a team.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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    From 17th - 24th February we are holding a week of prayer as we remember the 2nd anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
    To help you pray, we've created a PDF guide that contains some daily prayer points. 

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