Update 7th June 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,

This past week has been tough as illness has been going around. Bohdan has had a throat infection and when we spoke, he could be in any bass line in a choir! He said he was improving and felt a little better today, which is good news.

Power outages and air raid sirens are still a daily occurrence, with residential properties losing more power than commercial buildings. Bohdan’s home has two hours with power, then four hours without. The town has been divided up into regions, and power supply given on rota for each area. The Centre still has power far more regularly which helps with the work they are doing. The good news is the solar generator has arrived and as previously mentioned, although it is small, it will power the office and work of the Centre for two days before another charge.

There is a definite military build up in the Lebedyn City, forming large defence lines. It is significant, but limited information can be shared, as we must remember that Lebedyn is only 70km to nearest point on the Russian border, and they are operating near to strong military activity.

Despite suffering with sore throats and viruses the team have been as active as ever. The new food and hygiene aid arrived (unloaded by the youth!) and has been so appreciated by locals and refugees. Additional meetings have taken place with huge success to distribute what has been received.

Many individuals have come to the Centre, all with their own stories to tell. Below left is Sergey who fled from Kharkiv this week. He worked at the factory that many will have seen on the BBC news was bombed. He was trapped under the rubble, and rescuers managed to miraculously pull him out with hardly any injuries. Others sadly did not have the same outcome. Originally, Sergey had lived in Lebedyn at the start of the war and had started to attend the meetings at the Centre. Previously, he had grown up in Kharviv and still had some family there, so he decided to go and help work in the factories to aid the war effort. After his recent experience, he returned to Lebedyn and came back to the service held on Tuesday. He came to give thanks to God because he understood that it was God who saved him from death and serious injury. The man in the next photo could not walk due to injuries, but the team were able to bless him with a wheelchair given in the recent batch of aid. There are some photos of a few others the team have helped. The white buckets are hygiene kits and contain everything needed including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant and many other items.

Summer camps are being prepared, and on Monday registration started. Within the first two hours one camp was fully booked, and within four hours, as word spread, the other week was full. It was the quickest it has ever been. Each week will have 80 children registered, but they have left 20 places for new refugee children as they arrive in the town and for orphaned children. They did this last year and ended up with 120 children in one week!

The Centre could take more but there are two issues that prevent the team extending numbers. Firstly, they can only take the amount that can fit into the bomb shelter, and last year they did get 120 plus team in there! Also, they are having big problems finding helpers. Normally others from churches around the town, as well as people from the Centre help, but many have fled the area due to the danger of the war. All team need to be fully trained to work at the camp with safety protocols, safeguarding and other regulations. The youth camp week for the 12-15 years will have its registration open in two weeks’ time.

It costs around £35 to fund a child in a camp week, and we are so grateful to those who have donated so far to support this. We thank God for this opportunity to work with the children so that they can have fun, be cared for, and understand more of God’s love for them at this time.

All homegroups, youth groups and children’s clubs continue to run, although with the children’s clubs, numbers can be low if sirens are sounding. The youth however, would almost live at the Centre! They love gathering together. At the top of the page you can see a photo of Valentyn with his small group, who are also preparing for baptism. The girl on the right is Dasha, who is next to her cousin. Dasha is fragile after finding out last week her grandfather had been killed in the war, but doing very well considering. Her cousin has come to stay with her for four weeks to support and befriend. She normally lives in another town quite far away, but it is really helping Dasha.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Andrew in Samotoivka. Bohdan is concerned that his heath is deteriorating with blood sugar spikes, high blood pressure, and other symptoms of extreme stress. No wonder when your town keeps being bombed and you have a burned out tank at the end of your garden as a reminder!

Please also pray for Victor who is awaiting the verdict from the military commission on whether he will be call up to fight, and give thanks that “Farmer” Sergey has been accepted back into university to develop his farming skills. Growing food is important to the economy and for feeding the Ukrainian people, so this means that if he passes one more exam he will be enrolled and then able to study, and still help in the Centre and not be called up.

Once again we are thankful for all your help, support and prayers.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

This week the military activity in the region remains largely the same with Lebedyn remaining quiet. The border territories are still on high alert with many battles and exchanges taking place.

Power outages are increasing and they have been warned that is this likely to continue with even more regularity. We have now sourced a supply for a solar powered generator which will enable the Centre to run effectively for two days without electricity without any recharge. With all the power outages occurring Bohdan said that it is impossible to do education with the children as everything is home-school based. Also, graduate level education seems to be grinding to a halt as people are affected by the war. Life is becoming increasingly harder for children and young people.

The team have once again been amazing, and are trying to get the recent delivery of aid out to the many needy people not just in Lebedyn, but in the outlying areas. They are aware of other churches and organisations that desperately need help and this weekend plan to drive to some of these areas. Pastor Andrew in Samotoivka has found that things have got even worse for their town, and they too are desperate for support. Pictures below are of the loading of the many trips being done.

Care homes are high on the list for helping. They have delivered clothes and food, but the main thing they need is sanitary wear and nursing aids. Sadly, there was a little of this on the recent delivery so we are just sending out more funds to get some extra aid.

Last week, the church held services on three days with over a hundred attending every time. Aid was distributed after the service and people were so grateful as they were not told until the end about the aid. We still have people arriving in the town seeking refuge. There was more bedding on the aid truck so they were able to help the lady pictured below who arrived from Kherson region.

On Tuesday this week, a funeral was held for a lady who helps at camp and is part of the sister church in the area. She was tragically killed trying to leave the region. I am not sure of all the details surrounding this, but instead of them baking bread that day, cakes and specialities were baked in her honour and distributed at the funeral to all those who attended and those observing!

New laws came into effect on Saturday, and already this is having a huge impact. Victor, who is the site manager, was summoned to the military offices, but after appeal, it looks like, for now, he will not have to go to the frontline. For the many others who the team know, it is not the same outcome.

Meanwhile , after speaking with Bohdan we think it will be safe to press ahead with the summer camps. Parents are very keen still for their children to come, so preparations are now underway. Below are some pictures of Musical Sergey, pleased with his new microphone to help with some of the recording for the new material for summer camps, and children recording some vocal parts.

The puppet show brings so much delight to the children. Whether in camps, churches, schools, orphanages or within the community it always draws out many people to watch. It is an amazing way to communicate God’s message and life’s values to the children in such a contemporary way. Puppetry is still very much part of the eastern European culture. The team remains at around 26 children strong, creating 3 teams that can be used. Schools even allow reasonable time out to do this activity. There are some other pictures of the theatre in action below along with a photo at the top of the page of some of the team after rehearsal.

Bohdan said to me this week he is so thankful for all the faithful prayers and support. He feels humbled. He has grown so much as a leader. When the war started he was just 32, but he has risen to the challenge ahead of him so well. With all they do it will have impact on the family, so please do remember them in your prayers.

My thanks again for all your support.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

Last week was exceptionally difficult as some of you will have seen on the news. The borders of Sumy have been breached and many missiles, drones and bombs launched, but thankfully most shot down. Villages are being evacuated near the border as well as Sumy City itself, which Farmer Sergey told me is like a ghost town.

On Wednesday, I had a text to say that there was a massive explosion in Lebedyn, which rocked Bohdan’s house while Lubomir was playing outside. He left his bike and ran indoors very frightened and traumatised. Thankfully, he calmed down and slept well. The explosion was a drone meant for Lebedyn, but it was shot down which created the blast. Mezhirych, a small town where Musical Sergey still teaches one day a week and where the team have visited recently, was hit hard last week too.

After Bohdan told me these things he then added… despite all this all our activities still continue. They seem upbeat and not downhearted.

Power is an ongoing issue as power stations are targeted. Many hours of the day are spent without power, and this means banks, shops and schools cannot open. We are addressing this by trying to get hold of a small solar-powered generator which will power all the offices, and work for 2 days when fully charged.

The aid arrived as I explained last week, but sadly the quality of the clothes was not good which was disappointing. However, there were plenty of blankets, shoes and other items to be distributed. Bohdan has also been to visit the hospital to take the aid and furniture that was donated specifically for them (no pictures were allowed this time!). They were extremely grateful.

On Tuesday, a service was held and many came not knowing about the aid. You can see in the pictures above and below that people were desperate for help, and were indeed thankful for the aid they received.

Over the previous weekend, all the youth, teen and children’s clubs continued, except for the English classes due to Sasha and Alyona leaving Lebedyn. We wish them well on their journey and are grateful for the time they were with the Centre. Numbers are erratic due to the war situation, but still over the weekend collectively hundreds met together. The youth are an incredible bunch of people who just love to be at the Centre. Olegskiy, whose father died last week, is doing very well and remaining strong in his faith, and now his mother and brother attend the church with him.

Pastor Andrew is keeping well in Samotoivka, where things are quieter since the big bombs of a few weeks back. Most of the industrial infrastructure has been demolished, so there is not much else to be bombed except houses. Sadly, the 4 children Andrew and his wife took into their home, have been moved by the Authorities to the Carpathian Mountains region for a month to a camp, due to the situation being so bad within the region of Samotoivka generally speaking. They do not know what will happen after a month, but they are missing the children and hope to be reunited with them soon. Please pray for them.

All the laws around the war changed on May 18th which will affect conscription ages, exemptions and the ability to leave the country. We are not sure how this will impact the team in Lebedyn exactly but everyone who is fighting age must re-register their papers with authorities within 6 weeks. We don’t think this will influence Bohdan’s position, but it could some of the other workers. Lyuba is very concerned for her husband Costa. It has also meant that Paulo will not be joining the team as he stays further west hoping to avoid call up as his medial condition no longer gives exemption.

Another issue we are facing is that registered charities in Ukraine now face a government tax of $500 per month on each employed worker. Working for a charity gave exemption, so many people tried to work within this sector, however the government has become wise to this and by taxing employees is trying to stop people from evading fighting. This will be a huge burden on Ukrainian charities. The association we work through in Lebedyn is set up differently, so we are hopeful this won’t apply to them. Bohdan has requested that we pray for this especially, that they won’t come under this tax and for all the Ukrainian charities that will.

Despite the war, football is still a sport that seems to transcend cultures and difficulties, and children love to play whenever there is an opportunity. Ratmir, Bohdan’s eldest son, plays for a team in Lebedyn and seems to excel. He has been selected to play for Lebedyn youth in a tournament which was held in the Poltava region over the weekend.

If the situation deteriorates significantly, please assured that I will keep you informed.

We are continually encouraged by your ongoing support, financially and otherwise, and for your prayers. Over recent weeks we have had several anonymous gifts generously donated. Our grateful thanks for these, and sorry we can’t thank you in a more personal way. You can always email us at info@hopelebedyn.org and if you are a UK taxpayer, you can gift aid your donation.

Our thanks again.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

Much has happened this past week, both good and bad!

Firstly, after reporting the need for aid we heard from 2 sources that they were able to help. The much anticipated lorry from Germany has arrived at 9.00am (GMT) on Thursday morning!! Bohdan over this past weekend spent many hours with customs applying for the Centre's own unique customs registration number, something that normally takes weeks or months, but they turned it around in just hours! Here are the pictures from the arrival of the lorry:

We are also to receive aid from the west of Ukraine with bulk supplies of rice, soya, and dried potatoes, plus some hygiene kits. This will equate to around 5 tons of aid. Please pray for its safe arrival.

The aid is much needed as the region suffers even further under military activity. You can see from the map of the Sumy region below that in the month of April, 4,376 missiles of all kinds were fired into Sumy. The blue dot is where Lebedyn is situated, and where the “704” missiles total shows is where Pastor Andrew is located.

This past weekend was orthodox Easter, and traditionally on Good Friday many people go to visit the graves of loved ones. Unsurprisingly, graveyards were targeted on Friday by Russia with missiles. The church did not celebrate the Orthodox Easter as they celebrated at the same time as we would do in the UK. On Sunday night a large cruise missile hit the power station that services much of Lebedyn. Many areas of the town did not have power for a day or so, but thankfully, and quite miraculously, the Centre does have power as authorities diverted their supply from a different power station. They may get power cuts as supply might have to be limited. We are looking to get a solar powered charger for them as many offices now have these so they can keep working. They are quite expensive, but it would mean the Centre can continue with its work and ministry. The only thing that cannot run off these chargers would be the ovens within the bakery as they use a special phased supply.

In previous reports we prayed for Azat who pastored the church plant in Okhtyrka, but was captured and tortured trying to rescue family further south. He has made a great recovery, and had heard of the need for aid when talking with Bohdan and managed to get bags of aid made up for all those attending the church. Many have taken them and, like Bohdan, has given them out to families in desperate need. See pictures below.

The lady in the above picture was visited by Bohdan and received aid. She comes regularly to the church, and became a Christian under Pastor Sergey’s ministry. She lives with her son, Andrew, who is in the advance stages of cancer, and his family. Chemotherapy is not being kind to his body, and he knows he is dying. He listened to what Bohdan said as he shared the gospel message and became a Christian there and then. He said he might have lost his life with this terrible disease, but he now has the Lord in his life, so he gained so much more and is now at peace. His chance of survival is less than 30% and he has 4 boys in his family. Bohdan has asked if we can pray for him and the family.

Last week, I also shared Oleksiy’s story with the bakery. Sadly, his father died on Sunday, he was an alcoholic and this eventually killed him. Bohdan said that Oleksiy is staying strong, and is bringing all his family to church on Sunday.

Despite the power cuts and everything going on, the bakery team still sprang into action and baked hundreds of loaves again on Tuesday. Again, much of the distribution was able to be done outside. It is amazing the impact this work is having in the community. Even the soldiers sometimes try and get the bread!!

Bohdan and team are giving support to young people that really need help, someone to talk to, or for them to go deeper in their faith. The two young ladies below are Vlada and Dasha, who again Bohdan has asked we pray for. Vlada we have mentioned in previous reports. She struggles with her mental health after being abandoned by parents during the war and left her with her grandmother. She carries so much and is deeply searching for the meaning of life! Dasha is new to Lebedyn, and is so excited to attend the various clubs and meetings. She is really looking to understand what it is to be a Christian.

There is lots of planning going on as the team try to figure out how to still deliver three summer camps. The plan is to start first week of July. There will be one week for younger children, one for older children and one for the teens. Inflation is rampant, so we are looking at the cost of doing these and logistically how this can happen with so much going on within the region. We estimate that the cost for the camps this year will be around £12,000, but it will mean hundreds of children are helped, along with all their families. Please pray for the team as they plan ahead.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. We are truly blessed to have a growing list of people willing to pray and support financially.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

This week there is little change in the military activity within Sumy region. They are all still on a heightened alert and the sound of sirens is a constant reminder of the dangers. This is impacting the work at the Centre as many parents are frightened to let their children to go out - quite understandably! Nevertheless, all the activities continue, even if there are less attendees. Interestingly the parents seem very happy to send their children to the camps, but not so much with the regular clubs. They have asked for more camp weeks!

The English classes with the children have been a huge success. At the top of the page is a photo of one of the younger children’s groups displaying their drawings from English words they have been learning.

The bread ministry continues to be as popular as ever, and now the sun shines they can distribute this outside which helps to cope with the queues, as you can see from the pictures below. Each week hundreds of loaves are being distributed, not just at the Centre but with refugees and in care homes.

We recently had an article written in an update from the people that supplied the ovens for the bakery. This is the story of Oleksiy….

Before the war started, 16-year-old Oleksiy used to attend church occasionally in his hometown of Lebedyn, Ukraine. But when the war started, his father began to drink heavily, leaving his family in great need. So Oleksiy and his mother decided to go to church to receive bread that was provided by the bakery in Lebedyn Mission Centre. With time, Oleksiy became interested in spiritual things, and started regularly attending Bible studies. Last year, he came forward in church to receive the Lord into his heart and was baptised. His mother has also started to study the Bible seriously. Today, Oleksiy helps to deliver loaves of bread to the elderly in his community that were baked in the bakery, and he eagerly shares the gospel with them as well.

Aid generally is tough to obtain, but we have now 2 sources who appear to be willing to help, which is amazing news. With both sources there is quite a bit of paperwork for the team. There is a full truck waiting to be sent from Germany, but Bohdan and the team need to acquire a customs licence for the aid to arrive. This is a laborious process and we need it to be speedy, so Bohdan has requested for us to pray that all applications will be met with favour and expedited speedily so that there will not be any further problems. This truck is full of all kinds of aid including beds for refugees as well as many other helpful items. Our other source is mainly for bulk food like rice, soya and dried potatoes . There are also hygiene kits, but this is a separate application to receive these. So, there is lots of background work and much paper filling to adhere to Ukraine regulations before this aid can arrive, so please do pray for them.

We have been seeking additional help for Bohdan within the team. We thought we had found that person, but at present it is unlikely he will come as it is more likely for them to be called up to fight in the war. However, there does seem a possibility for another person to join and it will help Bohdan immensely so he can keep driving all that is going on. Again, prayers are requested for the right person to join the team who are living and working in a very precarious situation.

The teenagers still meet for both the homegroup Bible studies, and for the youth club on Friday and Sunday nights. The homegroup keeps growing and this next week they have had to split again as there are so many people attending. Alla is going to run one for the girls, and Bohdan one for the boys. This is fantastic news. However, the youth that attend the other clubs are getting a lot of peer pressure and ridicule for attending, and that is affecting numbers and has been quite upsetting for these young people. Bohdan again asked for specific prayer on this. Below is a picture from last Sunday where the youth got together to make their own pizza’s amongst other things!

It was good to see Bohdan brighter, more rested and full of energy and passion for the work this week. Having had a few days “off” he feels refreshed. Once again he thanks everyone for their prayers and support through these difficult days.

Every blessing

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

The situation remains tough in Sumy Oblast as they have now been put on “high alert” throughout the region as tensions still keep rising. Sumy city, once a bustling city centre filled with commuters and commerce with queuing traffic, lies relatively empty with many shops closed, and people queuing at the station everyday with their belongings waiting to leave. Farmer Sergey has a shop in the city centre and he has noticed a big shift in trading and people flow. Many come to Lebedyn.

Bohdan visited Pastor Andrew in Samotoivka where he was shown the devastation of the village. Bohdan informed me that most buildings have had some significant damage, some have been totally destroyed, but it was a miracle nobody was killed. Pictures are below….

Sadly, there are to be no large group gatherings now in Samotoivka, so schools, churches, community centres all remain closed. Pastor Andrew’s church now meets in homes. Bohdan took some aid with him to help in the community.

Daily refugees still come to our Centre. Blankets and bedding sewn by people in the church are given, along with food supplies as they can be obtained. Many refugees come to the services at the Centre for help even when sirens are sounding.

As the state of the region gets more precarious, so the team find different ways to help. Understandably there is an increased military presence in the area, and Bohdan and team are connecting with them to see how they can help them personally.

We do nothing to help fund the war, but pastorally the team like to look after the soldiers and their families, and to share their faith to bring hope and comfort. They are always welcomed.

The bakery baked some special Ukrainian "cakes" for the soldiers when they visited. These are very different to our cakes as it is a bread roll filled with cabbage!! Apparently it is loved by the people there!! The team are also getting some more of the badges for the uniforms with the words “in God we Trust” on them. They plan to try and meet weekly to pray with them.

A new supply of yeast for the bakery has been found so they can bake more bread again. The youth and teenager work continues to go strong, but sadly the children’s club was cancelled on Saturday due to air raid sirens which lasted all day long.

There is no doubt people are feeling fearful of the situation around them. Lebedyn is a town of transition, as many leave and many arrive each day. The team are planning a full programme for the summer still. They do not know what the future will hold, but they believe that after over two years of war, it has not stopped them for doing their work and ministry, so they still prepare. The plan will be to hold three camp weeks with two for children and one for the teens/youths, which for the latter, if it is possible, they will actually camp together! Their prayers are that they will be able to continue to do this work. The team remain remarkably upbeat, and in this week’s team meeting were bright and cheerful, laughing, and still positive about the work they are doing. They are amazing!

When Bohdan visited Pastor Andrew I asked how he was and how was coping. His answer – Andrew is full of joy, happy to be helping others and glad that God has spared them for a while longer to continue his work and ministry.

Amazing courage and love for the people.

Thank you all for your amazing continuing support. One of our supporters held a sponsored "snookerthon" raising over £1,000, and another teenage young lady held a garage sale with many of her unwanted toys and goods and raised £155. Thank you!

Bohdan and team thank you all for your ongoing prayers. They are much needed.

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

Watch the highlights video of the Easter/Spring 2024 children's camp.

Although it was delayed, the camp was able to go ahead, and more than 85 children attended each day. There was a wide mix of backgrounds behind each child attending. Some have parents serving in the army, some have parents that are being held captive, some are refugees, some have been fostered, some have special education needs, but with all, it is evident that their parents or grandparents who look after them really love their children.


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,

This week brought some surprises as the Sumy regional government decided last Saturday to postpone school holidays for a week. Nobody is quite sure why, but the knock on effect is that at the last minute the Spring Camp had to be postponed for one week. The good news is that more children have booked in. The camp is full, with a waiting list, and will start on Easter Monday. Bohdan has asked that we can especially pray for this week for safety and that the sirens will not sound as frequently.

Regionally (Sumy Oblast), the area is still under heavy attack. Velika Pisarivka is a town nearby (around 80km) which has been really hit hard. The church there has been abandoned, and most of the population is fleeing due to its danger. Many have come to Lebedyn looking for help and been told to come to the Centre. The Lebedyn government have been able to house those arriving as they have properties vacated by those fleeing Lebedyn.

People of all ages are needing help. Over 100 came to the Centre on Tuesday for bread and any aid we could give. The ladies have been sewing all day to make bedding and some clothes to help. Bohdan and team are today, and over the next few days, visiting all those that have arrived in the town to assess what needs there are, and then how they can be helped. The elderly lady in the photo below arrived and was sent to a care home, but she needed help walking, and the team were able to give her crutches and a wheelchair, which she was thrilled with. The lady with her child were able to be helped with nappies, bread and other items

I have mentioned in these updates that we are hoping for aid to arrive from Germany. Currently, it is stuck at Customs at the border, so again, please pray for its release and safe travel to its destination in the east of Ukraine.

Despite all that has been going on with the intensity of the war, the children and young people have been meeting. The older children/young teens met and had a pizza party - they loved it, and you can see the results of their cooking in the photo at the top of the page! The older teens have been meeting in the week in their Bible study homegroups. They are enjoying their new youth NIV new testaments.

UNICEF have approached Bohdan as they want to hold short courses for children to teach what they should do in case of emergency. Sadly, this means that more intense fighting in the region is expected. It is good that within the town UNICEF have recognised the value of the work being done in the Centre and know we have the ear of so many people through the help given.

Traditionally, Easter was always celebrated within the Orthodox Church calendar, always being later that the Easter dates here in the UK. The Ukraine Orthodox Church still will do that, but all other Protestant churches will be celebrating Easter as we do so this weekend. This has caused some tension between the two church denominations, and we hope and pray that this will not escalate into anything else.

In all my conversations with Bohdan and “Farmer” Sergey, including this week, they have expressed that it is the Easter message that keeps them going. The fact that through Jesus’ resurrection this brings eternal life to those that believe drives them in their work and ministry. It brings hope through dark times of despair. They send their Easter Greetings to everyone with this message…….

“The last week of Jesus’ life clearly shows that although there is a lot of betrayal, meanness and grief in the world, nothing has been out of God’s control and grace!! Even evil our Lord turned into greatest joy and hope! Happy Easter everyone!!! – Bohdan.”

May you all have a blessed Easter weekend, and thank you so much for standing with the team with your support, prayers and gifts. It is both humbling and so appreciated. We continue to pray for peace and safety for the team, their ministry, this region and of course this nation.

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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,

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

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