Update 4th March 2024

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,

What a week it was last week, with many highs and lows! The intensity of the war continues affecting daily lives. Many are still preparing to flee the area and yet still more displaced people arrive into the town of Lebeydn. Sadly, death is becoming a greater part of life, with many friends and family having to experience this. Below, with face blotted out, is Andrii. He used to come to the camps and church, and in 2016 he was one of the first people Bohdan baptised as a young pastor of the church. The Sunday before last he was killed. Every week there is this reminder of the cost of lives being lost. It is just tragic.

Because the week before last was so bad in the region they had to cancel the children’s club on the Saturday. However, the youth still met and they had a great time as you can see in the picture at top of the page.

Instead of taking the day off, Bohdan knew of another small and struggling church up in Mezhirych who also hold a children’s club normally getting around 15 children attending. They loaded up the minibus and went to help, giving children presents and Bibles, and helping with their activities. Mezhirych, was once a thriving city with 3 large schools teaching around 2,000 children. Today there are only 100 children left within the one remaining school. Many of the 15 children at the club have been orphaned or live in poverty, doing mainly farming. Lots of the fields around have been mined, making this a dangerous vocation. The church is without a pastor currently so Bohdan and team plan to do what they can to help them and within their community. Mezhirych is only 18km away from Lebedyn, and last week I found out this is where Bohdan’s family comes from on his mother's side. In fact, his great grandfather was a preacher in the local church he is now helping. Last Thursday, Bohdan and team, including the puppet show, visited the 100 children in their school.

Whilst on school work, Bohdan had a good meeting with the Director of his childrens' school. They are planning for the team to go in when this is possible, and also for the school to use the Centre more, as they have a larger bomb shelter if required. Bohdan is keen to work with them more.

On the journey to Mezhirych, the team visited the largest care home for the elderly in the area with 53 residents. Many elderly people have been left here by families that have fled the region, so very few people visit. The team took in bread for day-to-day purposes, and some smaller pies and cakes for them to enjoy – all baked in the Bakery of course! Bohdan did manage to source extra flour this week which was donated to the work.

At the church service last Sunday, two people became Christians and Bohdan was, of course, really excited. One of these people was a lady who came into the church to see what they are all about as she runs the local bakery!! Instead of seeing it as competition, she loves the work they are doing and wants to support them. Interestingly, she was trained as a lawyer, and still does some practice as her husband runs the bakery on a day to day basis. She has also said she will help with any legal matters as well at the Centre.

Within the church Bohdan told me that they have 10 people wanting to be baptised and there’s possibly more. He is running classes for this currently.

In other news……. the German charity they have contact with is hoping to deliver aid into Ukraine to another city at the end of March. They will have to hire a lorry to go and get this, but it could be quite a dangerous journey.

The fear of call-up is still strong with young men. No man can leave the country, but those that do not want to fight tend to go to the very big cities so as to be not so obvious. For a region like Sumy this has a huge impact, as all younger and family men are leaving. Bohdan quoted a statistic saying that around 70% of the Ukrainian army is made up of people who live in villages or small towns as this is easier for recruiters to serve them papers. This is figure is unverified.

Svitlana’s family still live in the south, but with the changes going on down there, her home town is right on the edge of where the new fighting is happening. Apparently, they hear explosions all the time.

Last week, we mentioned about a young girl, Victoria, whose mother had died in hospital. Many have asked how she is doing. She is now living with her older sister in Kharkiv, and being cared for there.

They have found all the parts for Bohdan’s car to be fixed after the car sunk into an iced over bomb crater. This will be good for him to have this back soon. Bohdan’s week was made complete on Sunday evening when he celebrated his beloved Liverpool winning the Carabao cup final! He was one very happy young man!!

Thank you again for all your prayers and support. Last week was so encouraging to hear how people were praying for all their work in the Sumy region. Bohdan is immensely grateful to you all.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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