Update 14th January 2024

The team clebrating Bohdan's birthday sat round tables with pizza and drinks on them.

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Dear Friends,

What a week this has been, with many highs and lows. The amount of work the team were able to do throughout the festive season and beyond was exceptional, and this week they have enjoyed a few days break. Paulo and Inna have returned to their respective towns, but are praying through whether to join the teams on more full-time basis. This would give extra support.

The camp held from the 2nd – 6th January went well, despite the many interruptions due to missiles and air raid sirens. Bohdan said it is not much fun to come to a special meeting and sit for 4 hours in a bomb shelter! The first and last days were the worst for this, as on the 5th in the night over 100 missiles were fired from Russia to intended targets in Ukraine. The noise was quite frightening by all accounts and the children very scared.

A video was made of all the fun and action of the camp, and you can see this if you click on the image below, which will take you to our You Tube page. Also, a report will come through in the next few weeks telling the stories of what happened and I will share this in due course.

Children sitting round tables doing craft activities

As you can see from the photo at the top of the page, some of the team gathered with friends to celebrate Bohdan’s birthday this week. There was lots of fun and laughter despite all that was going on outside and plenty of Pizza by the looks of things!!

The new minibus has arrived and already it has been taken out to get some aid. However, it is very cold and roads are treacherous with hardened ice. (see picture below). Many days are -20c or more, and the warmest has been -6c with very cold winds. This has not helped getting out and about. Bohdan was able to source locally (through funds sent) around 0.6 tons of food. We have given most of this to Pastor Andrew in Samotoivka where the situation is becoming evermore dangerous and desperate. Another college nearby Samotoivka was bombed this week – thankfully with no children or staff in the building at the time. We have a another ½ ton of pasta due in next week we hope, which will be given for free. Bohdan is trying to source food and aid wherever it is possible and with Bohdan’s car being fixed on Thursday this will help with transportation.

A snowy scene in Lebedyn with a snow covered road leading to buildings in the distance.

As I write, I have heard that “Farmer Sergey” has been served his papers, and is at the Military Commission having medicals with the view to being called up. Bohdan told me that there is a loophole in this system which he is hoping Sergey will be able to use. The law has not been changed on the minimum age that people can be called up to fight. That age is 27. Farmer Sergey in only 25. We are praying that this rule will be upheld, as he has been such a help especially to Bohdan at this time. Here is a picture with me and Sergey back in August when we visited in Ukraine.

Farmer Sergey and Peter with Sergey proudly pointing at the Arsenal crest on his shirt

As things keep deteriorating our prime concern of course is the wellbeing of the team. We are doing all we can here in the UK to support and encourage them at this time with special plans in place in case of emergency.

Next month, the war in Ukraine marks a its 2nd year milestone. Like last year, along with Victoria Baptist Church in Eastbourne, we plan to hold a service of prayer on Saturday February 17th at 4.00pm. We will send out more details nearer the time but once again we hope that Bohdan will be able to speak and share some of his thoughts through this service. His attendance is, of course, war permitting. Because the support base for Hope Lebedyn has widened to even be international we are looking into having this gathering live streamed. If this is possible it will be by invitation only. If you would like to be part of this, then please do let us know so we can register you. It would be great to see as many of you as possible in person if you are local, or are prepared to travel to be with us. We also hope that this will start a week of prayer for all that is going on in Ukraine which will take us up to the anniversary date of 24th February. More details will follow.

Thank you for you continued support and prayers. This past Christmas season has been hugely successful, and the team have done some amazing work whilst serving under enormous pressure. To those that again have sent messages of encouragement, we are so grateful. Let’s keep praying for peace as it really does need a miracle right now.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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    Hope Lebedyn is part of the Essential Christian family
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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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