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We are now approaching 15 months of war in Ukraine. As you will have seen on recent news bulletins, Russia has escalated its attacks on Ukraine and in our region of Sumy there has been much new damage inflicted. Bohdan told me that the bombs currently being used are larger than before, but there is no damage in the cities or towns, just in the areas around them.
Children have not been back at school this week as sirens sound all through the day. On Tuesday, there were 6 coffins returned to Lebedyn from the frontline to be reunited with family members based in the town. With this, and after 15 months of war, Bohdan stated that morale is getting low. The human cost is rising and families are grieving from losing loved ones. It makes the work the team do even more important.
Many might remember me talking about Pastor Andrew in a church in Samotoivka, which is close to the Russian border. He has reached out to Bohdan for some help as they have little food, and all the males of his church have been called up to fight. He only has 2 very elderly gentleman in his church, but the work is still growing and help is required. Bohdan is going over to see how we can help in the best way, but this is a dangerous trip so please pray for safety.
There have been some amazing things happen recently. Previously, I mentioned that we have been preparing the ground to put a new playground within the Centre grounds as all other public playgrounds are closed. We looked at the cost of all the play equipment and it was very expensive, and rising daily. Yesterday, a German mission organisation was recommended to make contact with Bohdan as they specialise in constructing children’s playgrounds. They agreed that they could install a playground during these next few weeks ready for all our summer camp activities, and they will fund everything!! Such an amazing gift and so timely, and out of the blue as well. An amazing answer to prayer. The pictures above and just below are of another playground installed for another church in a different region, but will give you an idea of what they do!
Other good news is that the Kyiv Theological Seminary is opening back up again, which means that yesterday they contacted Bohdan to say that we can start up the Bible college at the Centre once more. We plan to start the new term in Septemeber at the beginning of the new academic year.
We are still struggling to find aid. There have been promises of help, but so far they have not been forthcoming. We especially now need food and clothes to help those that have been displaced and have so little. The last of our foodboxes were taken into the villages to help some very poor and needy children.
In the meantime, many of the ladies are great at sewing so we have been able to purchase material to make into clothes but demand is higher than supply. We have also been able to purchase a limited supply of some foods, and we have been abe to help families with that food and supplies, especially those where the men are serving in the military, or have been injured and incapacitated as result. We still continue to bake bread, but the cost of power to run the bakery has become very expensive. It is around $40 per day to run all equipment. At the start of the war it was just $1.75 a day.
Bohdan sent me pictures of the road journey on his way to the office everyday. The roads have deterioated badly but out in the villages many bomb craters block the way still. As we look for new vehicles to help them in their journeys, please pray for safe travels and wisdom to find the right vehciles.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn