Update 10th December 2023

Bohdan and a some of the youth sitting in Bohdan's lounge at a youthgroup meeting

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Dear Friends,

The situation in Lebedyn this past week remains largely unchanged. It has been biting cold, and school was cancelled every day due to sirens and military activity.

Bohdan took the team over as planned to visit in the village of Hryntsevo, and to the people at the church in Okhtyrka, taking food parcels with them. The roads were exceptionally bad on this journey, and there were many big holes created by the war which have iced over. The conditions make it treacherous to get out and about. Aid continues to be hard to obtain, and local food prices are still rising. Please see the photos below of some of the people they met.

Other supplies are now also running low. During the war they have received 2 shipments of 10,000 packs of nappies and now they have all gone! The average salary in Lebedyn area is around $250, with a bag of nappies the equivalent of $15 for around 10 days supply. So, these are very expensive. Incontinence pads for the disabled and elderly have now all been given away, so again we need to find a source for these to help those in need.

Positive news from the Centre...

Activities at the Centre are going exceptionally well, with more attending each week. The children's club is growing, to the point they have to consider what is a safe number of children to host. The English classes have been a huge success, and parents are queuing up to send their children to these. The youngest group learning is 6-8 year olds. They hold this before the children's club so that afterwards they can go and enjoy the fun of the club.

The youth meet socially every Friday evening and they enjoy having fun. Also mid-week there are homegroups for the youth, and Bohdan holds one of these at his house now. The first one was this week and it was a huge success. Little Zoyana (Bohdan's youngest) loved having the attention of all the girls there. Bohdan shared that one of the girls that attends he remembered that after she was born he held her in his arms, and now she does the same to his daughter! They love eating together, so Alla cooks them a lovely meal, and I think a few loaves of bread go home as well to help fill the youngesters' appetites. Svitlana also hosts a homegroup for some of the younger teen girls in the new apartment along with Lyuba. They would meet everyday if they could!

Team news...

This Saturday, Bohdan and four others go to Poltava for a day conference about youth work in the eastern regions of Ukraine. This is hosted and sponsored by Young Life International. They know of only two churches doing work in Sumy, which is why they feel their work is vital encouraging teenagers and preparing them for what they might have to come up against once turned 18. They will find out who is working in this area and it will help build relationships.

On team news, Luda is much better now that has the right insulin, and is back baking bread in the Kitchen. Miroslav is still struggling with his emotional health, and they plan to see a specialist doctor in the next week. The trouble is that they must travel to Sumy where it remains very dangerous.

Important prayer point...

Bohdan still helps Pastor Andrew over in Samotoivka who is really struggling and has asked for prayer. Pastor Andrew and his wife have spent a lifetime adopting and fostering children, as well has having their own children. They currently have three sisters living with them as they kept trying to escape local orphanage so they took them in. They have around six children living there currently. Ruslan is their oldest son who was adopted. He was called up to fight in the war early on and was fighting on the frontline. Ruslan has gone missing, and they have not heard from him for 6 months. They are desperate to find out what has happened to him. Their second son Dima has also been called up and has now done his training. Whilst not currently on the frontline, there is talk that he too will be posted on there ready to fight. Their 3rd son, Zachary, is due to finish his studies at university around springtime. He has already had a visit to say that he too must be called up to fight. Andrew and his wife are so concerned for their family and the dangers they are being exposed to. Please keep these people in your prayers, and especially for the safety of Ruslan.

An answer to prayer...

On some good news, we have been searching for a new vehicle, a minibus, suitable for the work they do at the Centre. Bohdan’s friend has managed to source a very good minibus from Germany, which is just such an answer to prayer. It is more expensive than planned, but we are all thrilled to have found this. It will really help them on trips to hospitals, orphanages, to help transport the disabled to and from meetings, distribution of aid, as well as helping the puppet theatre to visit many more places. It will prove invaluable to them.

Life is never boring in Lebedyn. The team are always doing something, and preparation for all the Christmas activities are going well, with a full schedule during three weeks over the festive period.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support.

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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    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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