Update 9th November 2023

Children at the Autumn 2023 camp standing and sitting in the new bomb shelter

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Dear Friends,

Greetings to you all! If its any consolation, Lebedyn is suffering heavy rains and winds just as we are experiencing here in the UK at present. However, they have an element of joy around this as wet and flooded fields stop the march of Russian soldiers.

The Autumn Camp finished well, with the children thoroughly enjoying themselves. The team felt the children were getting used to war, which is sad on one hand, but on the other there was laughter in the room as they enjoyed all the activities. As is usual, at our camp weeks we have compiled a very short video so you can see first had what has been going on.

During the camp, the sirens sounded only once while everything was going on. Children took shelter in the refurbished bomb shelter (see pictures below plus a team photo) Given all that has happened before and since the camp this was a real answer to prayer. Thank you!

News of the community...

Meanwhile, in the community this week the reality of the war hits home hard. Two young men from Lebedyn who had been called up for military service were sadly killed. Bohdan and the team knew both men. Their funerals were on the same day, and people lined the streets to create what Bohdan said was a “living corridor” to pay their respects and mourn as a community. There is no doubt the more instances like this that happen, the harder hearts get.

The team visit a local home for the elderly, many who have physical and medical needs. Incontinence pads are hard to get in the shops but at the Centre we still have supplies so we can take them to them.

At the Centre numbers grow, with people needing help, but supplies of aid are getting harder to obtain. The team did a service on Tuesday and hundreds of people turned up, and all went away with some food help. As usual the bakery was used, and again hundreds of loaves were given out.

Sadly war is becoming the norm...

Today, I was also able to spend some time with Valentine as Bohdan had to collect his children from school again due to the sirens. I asked how children and teenagers now view the war. He said that things have changed. In the beginning they were all afraid, but now that has changed. Small children only remember the war so it is normal for them. Teenagers have adapted, and if they do not have to go and fight they seem at ease, and want to be together more regularly. However, he said that for families of those serving in the military it is very different. Many are suffering with extreme anxiety, depression and fear. Some will just sit shaking when they meet and talk. The war for them has bought new levels of poverty and family separation, with a big fear of the unknown.

Important prayer request...

One thing to pray about is the changes in laws being made which means anyone can be conscripted. Already the exemption which was given by the local military commander for Bohdan to not have to be called up for duty is no longer valid. Nobody really knows what this means until they are fully law, but Bohdan has asked for us to pray about this and for all the team.

The team continue to faithfully serve the community, and thank you for all your support in making this happen.

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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    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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