Update 12th October 2023

The puppet theatre team standing behind the empty frame of their stage rehearsing their show

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Dear Friends,

Yet another week where the impact of the war has been heavy within the region. For the past two days the sirens have been non-stop, with people advised to stay in their homes, no attendance in schools, and the need for help still grows.

In Lebedyn, there have thankfully been no bombs, but within the region there have been many. Pastor Andrew in Samotoivka has been hit particularly hard. They hear bombs continually, and feel that they are getting closer to where they live. His wife, Veronica, is now getting quite scared. There is a school just outside of Samotoivka which was bombed this past week, with children and staff in it, and many were injured and a few killed. There seems little defence along the border, and there have been many reports of non-uniformed Russian soldiers coming across the borders and killing families. All this is witnessed by the people there. Most of the deaths are done with knives or weapons that are silent. All of this makes for uneasy living in the region, but still the team continue to do their work and help as many people as possible, and support Pastor Andrew in his work.

Help has not been forthcoming from the Ukraine government for the people. This is because you can only be classed as a war zone if the Russians are occupying the territory. This is creating hardships and poverty.

New classes have begun...

At the Centre, the new computer and English classes have started. Numbers were lower than hoped, but that was because sirens were sounding before they were due to arrive and the advice was to stay at home! The teenagers that came really enjoyed these groups and they all learnt something new!

Bomb shelter renovations...

The renovations for the bomb shelter are going ahead now the inspection has been done. There is a lot of work to be done including four new internal special doors that are also fire proof, wall panelling throughout, a new boiler for heating, installation of a toilet, a water sink and boiler, fire extinguishers and specialist first aid kits, and a ventilation system. They want to complete all this work within two weeks so they can hold the autumn camp then. Thank you to those who have already donated so generously for this to go ahead.

The underground bomb shelter being refurbished that currently has bare walls, ceiling and floor

News on aid and activities...

We appear to have found a source for some of the aid, but we must get a large lorry to travel to the west of Ukraine to collect it. This is challenging both logistically and physically as it will be a 20 hour drive each way to the depot that can help.

All the weekly help and activities still are taking place. The puppet theatre’s three teams have been in the Centre rehearsing new shows which tell the Christmas story ready for later in the year (see pictures below).

Services are being held within the church and many are attending. As usual, bread and food is given out where help is required. Many are telling stories of loved ones lost or injured, as the effects of this war continue to impact every community. In the Youth meeting and Bible studies the young people remain hungry to study the Bible deeper. One teenager called Lily arrived at the Centre with many issues in her life. Valentyn welcomed her to the service where bread was being given out, and he suggested that she speak with Bohdan. Her needs were great, but through reading a Bible that was given to her and going to the teen Bible study group, she has become a changed person. The team will work with her to help as best they can.

Please continue to pray for the team as they continue helping and reaching people in every walk of life in very difficult circumstances. Each week different people are connected with, and each has new stories and heartache.

Thank you for your continued help and 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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