Update 24th March 2024

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Dear Friends,

In the past week or so, we have seen in the news the intense pressure that is being put on Ukraine through increased military activity. Sumy has been in UK news several times, as bombardments reach record highs. In talking with Bohdan on Wednesday, published figures show that since the previous Wednesday, their region has been targeted by over 1,300 drones or missiles. More than in the first invasion for such a period. Many villages close to the border are being flattened and destroyed. We are so thankful that so far there has still not been one bomb or missile that has landed within Lebedyn, although the sounds of explosions can be heard more often from neighbouring towns/villages. Their concern is that once the towns and villages near the border have been obliterated then Russia will advance and missiles will be able to reach Lebedyn. We continue to pray for their safety.

Due to this increased intensity the alarms have been sounding day and night, and this has put fear into the lives of the local people. Sadly, both the youth and children’s clubs had to be cancelled over last weekend as it was deemed to dangerous to hold them. This did not stop them going out to help others in the community. They have been able to purchase some items, particularly to help with the elderly and the new Bibles have been well received.

Aid is still scarce, and in talking with others there is similar things being said. The German charity will be sending some things through in the next few weeks, but we have been told it is much less than hoped as people are not giving to Ukraine any more. There is a fatigue. We wait to see what will arrive.

As usual, the team did bake bread, and both last week and this, through the alarms and noise of war, hundreds of loaves were given out. Again this Tuesday, a further 250 loaves were given out with many coming to the Centre for the service beforehand. On Thursday, more bread was baked after acquiring a further ton of flour! Seeds ready for planting fruit and veg were given out as well where it was possible.

Bohdan informed me that many families are leaving or thinking of leaving in the days to come with the way things are. As they walked around the streets this week there was an obvious lack of young mums out and about. But as we have seen so often, as some leave , others arrive. Natasha is a young mum who arrived in Lebedyn and has asked for help. Natasha had fled at the start of the war to a safer region, but came back to Sumy after things calmed down. She is a young mum on her own with a young child. On Monday she fled Sumy city as it became so dangerous to live there this past week. She arrived in Lebedyn with very little, but came as her mother lives within Lebedyn. She needed help, so the team did what they could to help her. Natasha is not alone, and every day the team are being asked to help where they can.

Education is still a challenge, with children not attending school for the past week or so. An organisation that runs after-school clubs has approached Bohdan for help. They are discussing as to whether the Centre could be used for some activities, such as computer workshops and sports activities. We are waiting to see what can be done, as the strength of military activity will dictate what happens.

Tomorrow, Monday 25th, the Spring Camp is due to start. Traditionally, we would expect around 100 children, but with everything going on we are not too sure how many children will arrive. Registrations are lower, but this can change if things remain peaceful in the Lebedyn area. Please do pray for this activity as much preparation has gone into this week.

This last week though, has been a good week for connecting with other organisations, and those that might be able to help in the future. We have some new contacts, so please pray that they turn into something positive in the coming weeks. Yesterday we had a great conversation with “Ukraine without Orphans” Their team will visit Bohdan and team next week to see how they can help. What came out of the conversation from their regional head was that he had visited Lebedyn a month or two back and was astounded by the level of work they were achieving. The breadth of help and ministry given was outstanding. It is good to hear this from others, and it shows how effective the team have been and still are!

War fatigue has definitely crept in, but we ask that you continue to pray as this war sadly escalates, and that our prayers for this amazing team out there will not suffer the same fatigue. Throughout these past 2+ years we have seen God’s hand of protection and the amazing things achieved. Let’s keep praying and especially for the miracle of peace in this nation.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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    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.
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    Hope Lebedyn is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered charity number 1201618.
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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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