Update 28th August 2023

Mother and daughter standing on steps with iCare packages

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Dear Friends,

Sadly, the situation in Lebedyn and the Sumy region has deteriorated over this past week which included Ukraine Independence Day. Sirens have been sounding all day and night and bombs have been heard. In Romny, a town within Sumy Oblast, rockets and bombs fell on a school that was deliberately targeted. Four teachers were killed. Four others are seriously injured. Thankfully, no children were in school at the time. The Russians are trying to advance across the border but so far all efforts have been thwarted.

Within the Lebedyn area funeral services were held on Wednesday for two soldiers from the town. Tensions are rising as there is conflict within the community over how the town is being run. One example this week was that the local government decided to rebuild the road between Lebedyn and Sumy, but people are angry as they would prefer them to buy weapons to defend the town.

Bohdan told me of a lady they know who goes to a different church in Lebedyn. She had three sons; two have died and the other is missing in action. The harsh realities of war are now impacting families in a very real way and this is replicated across the nation!

Schools are supposed to start back soon, but everything is pointing to online learning again as schools get targeted by Russian bombs. There are inadequate resources for schools to operate the online system and you need internet, which is not available to all. You need books and there are no schoolbooks at all for the children to use. It is thought that many families will flee the area and come to Europe this winter for hope of a better life and better education for their children.

Bohdan told me that they are expecting a very hard winter with many power cuts, shortages of food supplies and a rise in these conflicts within the community. The army are recruiting with new energy as so many deaths occur. Bohdan himself had to present his papers to the authorities again, but thankfully he was given exemption once again.

On Friday, the team went out to the villages where they know people who are housebound and living with infirmity. (see photos above and below from visits earlier in the week). They will primarily give them food parcels as the team have done to families arriving from villages around.

Another family turned up from just outside the area where Pastor Andrew is working in Samotoivka. The children could hear fighting the whole time, which was causing anguish and trauma so they decided to move to Lebedyn. They really had nothing, so the team have been able to feed and clothe them and give them bedding. Our stocks on aid are very low, so this will be our focus over the next few weeks to find help and supplies ready for a tough winter. Please pray for this.

The Local Authority are putting in place new regulations regarding doing children’s work indoors. The team will now need to get special permission from them for these, as well as signed permission from parents. This is another layer of paperwork to navigate. The children’s clubs have delayed their start until 9th September while these processes are implemented. Thankfully, the Centre does have a bomb shelter so there should be no issues, but on Friday the teenagers met outdoors at the Centre for meetings and fun.

The team have found another orphanage operating in a village called Shtepivka. Musical Sergey and the puppet show are trying to organise a visit to go there in the autumn. Also, Svetlana planned to meet with families over this last weekend, as we have more nappies to distribute. Svetlana is also hoping to start a drop in programme for children to help with homework and study. Again, permissions are being sought and new equipment purchased ready for this. English classes hope to resume as well.

The team remain busy and in good spirits, despite the difficulty they are living in. Lyuba is now back at work and doing well, the computer/internet equipment taken out by the lightning strike has been replaced, and the bible school/college is getting ready to open. It is never quiet within this amazing work.

Thank you for your amazing support and prayers. It is so appreciated.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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    Hope Lebedyn is part of the Essential Christian family
    Essential Christian, registered charity number 1126997, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 06667924.
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    Hope Lebedyn is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered charity number 1201618.
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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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