Update 9th February 2024

The team in Lebedyn shown on one screen sitting around a table with Peter on another screen whilst on a Zoom call together

Support the work of Hope Lebedyn:

If you would like to support us financially you can do so below. Remember, if you are a UK taxpayer, please confirm that you would like us to claim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, we had a longer meeting than normal because, as you can see from the picture above, all the team joined together so they could share stories of all their work. It was great to see those that could make it!

There was much in common within what they were saying. All said it is getting so much harder to do their work due to the level of military activity in the area. Sirens are sounding for longer, and travelling around to villages is getting more dangerous, but that is where so much need is. They vowed to continue to do that work as long as they can. They also mentioned that many families are fleeing the area, and those left behind are struggling with the trauma of everything. Young people are hardening their hearts as they tire of the war. They long for peace and stability. They have become a tight team where they encourage each other despite all they are going through. Every member of the team can tell a story of people they know who has been killed or injured in the war. Bohdan shared that he found an old photo of the youth together from 2014. Nearly all the then teenagers are fighting in the war, and he reckoned that nearly 50% have been killed.

Sasha reported that he has a good number of young people attend his computer classes aged between 6-23 years old. They are given work and homework to do, so some drift off as they think it is only a way to play computer games. From here many of them will join the other groups held within the church and Centre.

Sasha and the children at the computer class taking a selfie whilst sitting at the computer desks

Musical Sergey has 26 children in the puppet theatre now – the largest ever! These are split into three teams. They rehearse each week,and are frustrated that they cannot travel more to give their shows as the roads are too dangerous. They visit the hospitals, orphanages (such as they are) and some schools with their shows, sharing stories from the Bible in a contemporary way. Many children come to the Centre to see their shows. Sergey also oversees the work with the elderly. They meet each week, and he also does computer classes for them . Again there is much need. Many are alone and isolated; some have partners that are severely disabled and in need of help. Bread and food is often given. Sergey said that at the beginning, their tradition was to pray to icons within the orthodox church, but now they pray to God in a true way and they see great spiritual results.

Valentyn and Lyuba reported on the work with the teenagers. There is little stability in numbers attending due to sirens, and families arriving and leaving. There are a good core group now meeting in homegroups as well as the clubs. There is growth, but it is slower than they would like. The young people struggle with their identity, but through love and encouragement and Bible study, they are seeing that change more and more.

Svitlana’s work with the children has been amazing. The children trust her. Her studies in child psychology help her within this work, but she has been trying to teach the children to be thankful even in times of war as this will keep them positive and kind to others. Numbers again fluctuate for the same reasons as with the youth.

Aid is still hard to find, but thanks to your generosity there was some surplus within the Christmas appeal money, and all of that, with some extra specific gifts received, have now been sent out to purchase food, aid, and sanitary wear for the elderly. The planned aid from Germany has not materialised, so we are still searching for more supplies.

Many of you will remember a post I shared early in the war about a young lady called Natahsa. She has been known for many years to the work in Lebedyn as when a teenager, she was involved in an accident that has now left her bed-ridden and with no mobility. At the start of the war, this family were struggling as they lived in a village called Vorozhba nearby to Lebedyn. Access to facilities and food was almost impossible. The team were able to help, and through a kind donation, a house was bought in Lebedyn for her and her family to live in. It has been transformative for both Natasha and her mother, as her mother gets to go to the Centre for the services and the church help where they can. I mentioned above that the war is getting more intense within the region and on Monday/Tuesday there were sirens for three hours at a time on several occasions, and sounds of a big explosion. It transpired that Vorozhba was hit badly, people were killed, and most houses had significant damage. It landed very close to where Natasha’s family used to live, and they would have been injured, if not killed, if they had stayed there. We are so thankful for their safety, but it shows also how close the war is getting to Lebedyn once again. It also shows that it is not military areas that are being targeted, as this is just a sleepy village outside of Lebedyn.

The team are trying to visit this area and some other nearby villages this week, but Bohdan said the roads are terrible and it is a very risky journey. We continue to pray for their safety.

Please see the reminder note below about our prayer service coming up soon on February 17th. We will be sharing other stories at this time of how the war has impacted people and the impact of the work to the people both physically and spiritually.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It is so appreciated.

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

P.S. please remember that we plan to hold a service of prayer on Saturday February 17th at 4.00pm at Victoria Baptist Church, Eastbourne . Bohdan will be speaking to 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 the stream will be by invitation only. If you would like to be part of the stream 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.

Stay in the loop

    Tick the box to agree to our Privacy Policy


    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.
    Fundraising Regulator
    Hope Lebedyn is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered charity number 1201618.
    Fundraising Regulator
    Click to access the login or register cheese

    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. 

    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram