Update 24th November 2023

Bohdan's car sitting on jacks whilst winter tyres are being fitted.

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Dear Friends,

Another week has bought its own challenges. Bohdan has been laid up with a throat infection, and the winter cold has suddenly arrived with temperatures at -12C and with snow on the ground. Bohdan has had to get winter/snow tyres fitted as you'll see above!

No let up in the war...

There has been no let up with what is happening in the region, and the sirens continue through the days and nights. Yet again yesterday, Bohdan had to rush and get his children from the bomb shelter at school. He said this is now becoming a problem as the school shelters are inadequately heated, and the children keep going down with colds and infection and giving them to him! Over in Samotoivka, where Pastor Andrew is based, the village itself has not been harmed any further, but all around they hear the sounds of war. Many people are taking extreme measures to try and escape and flee from the region, but with the cold weather here it makes it more of a challenge.

Because of the ongoing threat and situation in the region the new Bible College was unable to open on the 18th. Everything was set to go, but at the last minute the lecturers from Kyiv felt it too dangerous to go to Lebedyn. Bohdan is now thinking and praying through how to get this open, and up and running.

Preparation for the Christmas activities are going well, with contents for the presents arriving ready for wrapping. Bohdan was excited to share that for Christmas this year Inna, who ran the children’s work for many years before moving away to look after her sick mother, will be coming back to help. Sadly, her brother was seriously injured in the war fighting on the front line. He was near a bomb blast and it shattered his leg and broke his back. After two operations he is on the mend having had several operations, including two shattered discs removed. It will take him time to fully recover, but doctors have said these injuries should not have too much effect on future living. With the increased work planned around Christmas it will be good to have Inna on team.

And the challenges mount...

Aid continually is a struggle to get hold of. The team this week have been buying and creating their own aid food boxes to add to things left over, and they have 200 now made - each one should feed a family of four for a week. Once these are given away, the aid stocks are very low or non-existent. We have heard of a delivery coming at the end of January which is great news, but there will be much need in between. A few weeks back, we launched our Christmas appeal which many people have generously donated to. We have stated that if there are any funds over and above what is planned to do, it will buy food for those in need. We also have just sent funds to buy three months supply of ingredients for the bread making. Production at the bakery is growing, and bread is given out after the main service on Tuesday. It is also distributed during the work done with families on a Thursday, with extra treats like muffins being baked for the children that come through kids and youth clubs over the weekend. We are also sending out $700 to fund a very large dough mixer so as to help with the increased production of bread.

Bohdan shared something of concern of what is happening all around and in Lebedyn. The army are keen to draft as many into the army to fight. There are now scouts going around in groups, and if they find men they are serving their papers there and then. They have the authority of the government to do so. This means that many men are now not coming out from their homes in fear that they will be targeted. Even those with disability are being targeted. As they approach another tough winter, Bohdan said that war has changed, and continues to change, daily living. It is getting harder to live in such circumstances and to see your family enduring this. We must continue to pray for peace.

How Great Thou Art...

I want to finish this update on a beautiful note. Below is a YouTube link to a video made out in Lebedyn.

Thumbnail for the How Great Thou Art video performed by some of the children at the Centre

Over the course of this war we have been blessed by many gifts, and support from individuals and trusts. The team wanted to say thank you to the trust that holds the copyright of the hymn “How Great Thou art” written out in Ukraine, and who have donated funds to Hope Lebedyn, and so they recorded this version.

It was filmed out in Lebedyn, partly in the newly refurbished bomb shelter, and in the town. All the music was arranged and performed by “Musical” Sergey, and features children who come to the Centre. It is in English, and the children learnt the English in just two days, so some of the words have an interesting pronunciation! This is sent to all to say thank you! Please do share this with your friends and family.

This video is also on our Facebook page, which you can find here.

Please continue to pray for the team and all they are doing and our appeal fund is still open for those that want to still donate.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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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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