Update 6th October 2023

A large group of children posing for a photo inside the Centre

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Dear Friends,

Another week passes with sirens sounding and much military activity still in the region. Once again our video chat had to be cut short to pick children up from school as they had been sent to the bomb shelter. During this past week both Bohdan and Alla have been unwell, but are recovering now. They send their thanks and best wishes to all those that are praying and supporting them regularly with the amazing work they are doing.

Bohdan and Alla with their smiling baby

During this last week, all the usual activities took place, and some went smoother than others. Baking bread has been an issue, as last weekend the power station that feeds Lebedyn was bombed, and therefore, there are random power outages ongoing. They always seem to be on Thursday, so they have a problem baking the bread, but despite this they managed to have a long enough window last week to be able to bake and not waste all the ingredients.

Children’s and youth clubs carry on (see pictures below), with the youth meeting over several days with different young people.

New laptops have arrived...

We have been updating the computer area where computer classes will now be held. The new laptops arrived on Wednesday, and then these computers will also be used for the new Bible college when opened.

Nine of the new laptops laid out on desks in the Centre with their power supplies resting on top

Bomb shelter renovations and Christmas planning...

After more details from the local inspector, work has been started on the bomb shelter. We are waiting for all the costs to come in, but for some of the internal doors we have been able to access these on eBay for just $20! It is amazing how resourceful these guys are. We need this up and running by the end of the month to be able to do a camp for the autumn.

We are spending quite a bit of time planning for all the activities over Christmas. As with previous years, we want to give a nice present to all the children who remain in the area. Ideally, that will be 750 children with contents of the presents locally sourced to help the economy. However, our research to find the right gifts and to be able to obtain the quantity of goods required is not going great, so there is much planning still to do to source all that is required. We hope to launch this project in the next 2 weeks.

As with all weeks, the team never stand still for long. They continually help the families of military personnel who are away serving. Whether it be nappies, food, or just a coffee and chat, the team help where they can. For this winter, Bohdan predicts there will be a shortage of shoes, and therefore, we need to try and source some aid that will help with this need.

A story of hope amongst the fear and trauma...

Artem is a young lad who had to flee the Kharkiv region around a year ago. He arrived in Lebedyn with his mother traumatised, full of anxiety and fearful of any new situation. Loud bangs, whether it be a door closing or someone dropping something, would send him into a panic attack. This family sought help through the church and the Centre, and Artem started to come to the various youth clubs and camps. At first, he would run away as he could not bear to be in public spaces with others, such was his anxiety. Siren’s sounding would see him cover his ears and eyes, trying to hide from what was going on around him. Today, through the work, friendship & prayer of the Centre, he not only comes along, but contributes in a confident way. There has been an amazing transformation in his life. This is one young man out of many young people who have had to cope with fear and trauma of the war. This is replicated thousands of times over.

Those children that live in the Lebedyn area who are refugees and attend school (when possible) have similar issues. Whenever sirens sound they panic, as they have seen the devastation the bombs can have. Many have seen or have witnessed the impact of loved ones being injured or killed. In school this is a major problem that is occurring for the teachers.

We hope in coming months to be offering counselling and help with the trauma these children and youth are having to cope with. For over 2 years with Covid, and now the war, there has not been any regular school, college or university. Life is tough, but the team in Lebedyn do what they can to help in their small way.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

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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