Update 23rd September 2022

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Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

We are so pleased to shared the good news that at the end of last week, our Mission Director Bohdan had to go the conscription office for an interview with his papers to see if he had to go and join the front line. In theory he should but the area commander has put in a good word for Bohdan and he has been given exemption and will receive within 4 weeks papers to confirm full and permanent exemption. His wife Alla is very relieved as you can imagine. So now we can plan with confidence the next season ahead.

The team are continuing to plan many new activities through the autumn of 2022, including a camp programme at the end of October and at Christmas. The work does not stop. The need is greater than ever and the risk seems to be as high as ever. Please keep upholding them in your prayers for safety and energy.

A gathering of over 40 teenagers:

At the end of the week the teenagers met in their groups and although there were some sirens going off through the day we still had over 40 teenagers turn up to chat through things and receive some help where needed. They also had great fun!

It's been so wonderful to see the teenagers and older youth meet together at the centre, to come together for fellowship and discussions around faith. Furthermore, we've also been starting new home groups, plus study groups with the young people. Musical Sergey also hosts two groups mid-week as well with the children who help with the puppet theatre.

Children's clubs and family gatherings...

On Saturday, the team held the children’s club and family gatherings. Many turned up and much aid was distributed as you can see from the photos below. Alla is now running these with help from Valentine and Luba and of course Musical Sergey and the puppet theatre.

During the children's gathering, there were lots of fun games for the young people to engage in and enjoy!

We also announced last week that we've had Luba and Alla join our team! Luba arrived from Kharkiv having worked with teenagers before and Alla, who has now taken over the children’s and family work! As well as all that is going on with the children and youth, Alla’s husband who has musical experience has helped to form a band with the young people.

Already they have made a huge impact to the work!

Prayer requests:


1. Government laws to bring children back to school

Our Mission Director Bohdan has informed me that the government want the children to go back to school, however, both parents and teachers are saying it is not safe as Russians are targeting schools and there is currently no provision of bomb shelters. Parents and teachers are angry and tensions are rising because of this. Please pray for wise decisions and for the protection of both the children and teachers.

2. The spread of Covid in the area and the demand its putting on the hospitals and limited number of doctors

Covid has become very prevalent in the area, with many who are now suffering with it. This is starting to fill the hospitals with very few doctors around now to help. Only around 25% of the people will be vaccinated out there. Please pray for those impacted by Covid, for their healing and for protection to stop its spread.

3. Those who have been conscripted and are fighting on the frontline

Bohdan was due to take his daughter Zoryana to the doctor for her 3-month check-up. Unfortunately, when they arrived they were told that their family doctor had been conscripted and is fighting on the frontline whilst helping with medics there. There was no alternative given. He also told me that

Please pray for the many people who have been conscripted and fighting on the frontline. Pray for their safety and for their families.

4. The provision of computers for future workshops

Over the years we have held computer workshops to help the community since many do not have access to computers or Wi-Fi. Our computers are now very old and need replacing. To fulfil our vision we really need to raise around $20,000 to get this all back up and running. Please pray for the provision of this funding so we can continue run workshops with different members and groups within the community.

5. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

6. More Bibles to carry out their youth work and to share with the community

Our youth grow is continuing to grow as its a place where youth are permitted to gather. Our registered list now approaches 100! We've recently have had to purchase a further 40 chairs this week to accommodate the growth. 2,000 Bibles have now been shared out. We hope to find a supply for more soon (possibly at the end of October/early November) but please pray into this with us.

Thank you once again for your continued support – it is very much appreciated.

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

An article recently written by Reuters News Agency stated that both the Sumy and Kharkiv regions received more missiles over recent days than in any other region destroying power lines, sub stations and water facilities. This true from what was witnessed over the weekend and sadly there were lots of sirens going off which meant that activities being held in the centre had lower numbers than booked. Those there had a great time and were thankful by all that went on in the children’s and youth clubs.

The team are continuing to plan many new activities through the autumn of 2022, including a camp programme at the end of October and at Christmas. The work does not stop. The need is greater than ever and the risk seems to be as high as ever. Please keep upholding them in your prayers for safety and energy.

Youth Bible study sessions and homegroups:

During the week more groups will be meeting for youths and adults. The weekends will be more focussed on children’s and family activities as well as the church services.

One of the reasons for reducing the children’s work in the week is that schools are trying to get back to teaching the children in school. In Lebedyn, they have limited the number of children on site and therefore have created three sessions throughout the day, whereby they will attend just one of them.

It's been so wonderful to see the teenagers and older youth meet together at the centre, to come together for fellowship and discussions around faith. Furthermore, we've also been starting new home groups, plus study groups with the young people. Musical Sergey also hosts two groups mid-week as well with the children who help with the puppet theatre.

It's been so wonderful to see the teenagers and older youth meet together at the centre, to come together for fellowship and Bible study!

Welcoming more staff and a new young people's band!

We are pleased to say that Luba has agreed to come and work with us on a full-time basis. She arrived from Kharkiv having worked with teenagers before. We will introduce Luba to you and Alla, who recently took over the children’s and family work in the next updates.

As well as all that is going on with the children and youth, Alla’s husband who has musical experience has helped to form a band with the young people. Bohdan said that they are sounding very good and are writing new worship songs! Here they are below having some practice together.

Prayer requests:


1. Government laws to bring children back to school

Our Mission Director Bohdan has informed me that the government want the children to go back to school, however, both parents and teachers are saying it is not safe as Russians are targeting schools and there is currently no provision of bomb shelters. Parents and teachers are angry and tensions are rising because of this. Please pray for wise decisions and for the protection of both the children and teachers.

2. The provision of computers for future workshops

Over the years we have held computer workshops to help the community since many do not have access to computers or Wi-Fi. Our computers are now very old and need replacing. To fulfil our vision we really need to raise around $20,000 to get this all back up and running. Please pray for the provision of this funding so we can continue run workshops with different members and groups within the community.

3. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

4. More Bibles to carry out their youth work and to share with the community

Our youth grow is continuing to grow as its a place where youth are permitted to gather. Our registered list now approaches 100! We've recently have had to purchase a further 40 chairs this week to accommodate the growth. 2,000 Bibles have now been shared out. We hope to find a supply for more soon (possibly at the end of October/early November) but please pray into this with us.

Thank you once again for your continued support – it is very much appreciated.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

A collage of pictures sharing some of the teams recent activities to support the community!

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

In the region bombing continues to happen but thankfully nothing too close to Lebedyn. Bohdan told me that they are targeting factories so there is no work, electric sub stations, power lines, gas supplies and now no water supplies. He knows of many villages and towns locally where fresh water has been cut off and it is becoming a big problem.

In his street (and at the centre) there is water underground and access to an old well. They are going to develop this so their street can collect water each day if supply is cut off.

We are also planning for many new activities through the autumn including a camp programme at the end of October and at Christmas. The work does not stop. The need is greater than ever and the risk seems to be as high as ever. Please keep upholding them in your prayers for safety and energy.

Supporting those who have been displaced with aid and supplies:

The team have been busy helping some of the recently new displaced people arriving in Lebedyn with aid and supplies. The weather has turned cold very quickly out there and there is limited gas and electric supply to keep warm. We think this will be a growing problem through the winter. We also supplied material for wounds and bed linen which has been made at the centre through the sewing workshops to help the hospital (see below). We also received more of the food boxes to feed a family of 4 for 7 days. This is equivalent to 14,000 meals we can give out!

The team have also recently been working closely with the local army to help support families who are still very much struggling.

Introducing our new children's club!

Planet of Children, which is the name for our new children's club will run every week one afternoon. This will include a narration of Bible stories, a range of fun activities and of course, puppet theatre show performances!

Furthermore, Yana, who is a paediatrician specialising in children's mental health (who had her own specialist practice in Kharkiv before being forced to flee and now settling in Lebedyn) will be holding free clinics for children of military families and those families who have lost loved ones through the war.

Prayer requests:


1. Mandatory conscription:

Originally you had a choice to take part in the war but with so many casualties and injuries and with the prolonged war, conscription must happen. There will be no exemptions for students or ministers in the future.

I recently received an update from our Mission Director to say that he has been summoned to a medical to ensure he is fit to go to the war as a chaplain. This is a fighting role as well. He still needs to complete some more tests and no decision has yet been reached but please join us in pray around this.

2. Government laws to bring children back to school

Our Mission Director Bohdan has informed me that the government want the children to go back to school however, both parents and teachers are saying it is not safe as Russians are targeting schools and there is no provision of bomb shelters. His own children were supposed to go in this week for one hour each but that has been cancelled as teachers are refusing to teach. Parents are angry and tensions are rising because of this. Please pray for wise decisions and for the protection of both the children and teachers.

3. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need:

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

4. More Bibles to carry out their youth work

Our youth grow is continuing to grow as its a place where youth are permitted to gather. Our registered list now approaches 100! We've recently have had to purchase a further 40 chairs this week to accommodate the growth. 2,000 Bibles have now been shared out. W hope to find a supply for more soon (possibly at the end of October/early November) but please pray into this with us.

My thanks for all your ongoing support and prayer and for the financial gifts that keep being sent as these are very much welcomed.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

Urgent support required:

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you a shorter update about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us. Thank you again for all your support!

The team are still distributing aid but across these next weeks it is supposed to be a quieter time to plan in some rest.

Since Independence Day last week, the Sumy oblast has had over 200 missiles fired upon it but things seem to be quieter now the weekend is over. Most of bombing seemed to be fairly random and was targeted to villages along the border where many have been completely destroyed. Also targeted was communication systems and electrical supply as Lebedyn had little supply of internet or light for 4-5 days.

Now there seems like an element of calm and they were able to gather on Sunday, albeit with lower numbers than usual, and Bohdan plans to meet with the teenagers this Friday night. However, restrictions seem to be easing once again but please do continue to pray.

Food parcel deliveries:

Thanks to our friends with Mission Eurasia we have received some clothes and other aid including some of the amazing food boxes that we received earlier on in the war (See below). With many coming to the centre this will help us feed many more people especially those arriving into the area with nothing.  What we received could provide a further 14,000 meals. We are still looking for quality children’s clothes and shoes and I have ongoing meetings this week with the hope this might bring some help in the autumn.

Delivery of iCare parcels to families across the community!

Prayer request:

1. Mandatory conscription:

Perhaps our most urgent prayer request at the moment is around mandatory conscription.

Originally you had a choice to take part in the war but with so many casualties and injuries and with the prolonged war then conscription must happen. There will be no exemptions for students or ministers in the future.

I recently received an update from our Mission Director to say that he has been summoned to a medical to ensure he is fit to go to the war as a chaplain. This is a fighting role as well. He must have this within 5 days and then instructions will follow. Please join us in pray around this.

Firstly, for his family who are struggling with this information and also that it will not happen as he does not want to go and fight and leave the ministry that is going on. 

2. All the people who are being persecuted for their faith:

Our Mission Director Bohdan has recently informed me that he still connects with his old colleagues and students from the Kyiv Theological seminary where he studied his masters to become a Pastor. Sadly, he reported that 10 of his friends have been killed during this war mainly for having a Christian faith. They were all pastors or leaders within the Christian church and surprisingly not all in the south or east of Ukraine but mainly in large cities or in the west of Ukraine.  There is no doubt that the Christian church is being targeted indiscriminately. Please continue to pray for protection and peace for all those people being persecuted for their faith and all their families too.

3. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need:

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

My thanks for all your ongoing support and prayer and for the financial gifts that keep being sent as these are very much welcomed.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

A picture captured from our children's summer camp this summer!

Current update in Ukraine:

Today marks the 6-month anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine. This also coincides with their independence celebrations and with the Ukrainians fighting back the team are now experiencing the fall out from this. I spoke with our Mission Director yesterday and today and recently things have been quite bad. They have been advised to stay at home and therefore the family events over the weekend have been cancelled.

There has not been as many bombs within Sumy since the initial onslaught and through the night sirens have been going off. In Lebedyn they have heard explosions for the first time in months with 4 rockets landing nearby. The fear that gripped them early on is now back with many people. The villages along the border and within a 25km distance have been completely destroyed. Bohdan has been speaking with one or two other pastors he knows and Pastor Andrea has said it has never been as bad.

It is not known whether this is just a flexing of military muscle across this celebration or whether it is the precursor to the war spreading again. We also note that in Belarus there has been the biggest stockpile of weapons and ammunition ever seen which people think is in readiness for an invasion to occupy Kyiv once again.

Bohdan has asked for prayer at this time as this makes their work difficult. Pray for peace and safety in the area so that the work and ministry can continue.

6-month update:

As we reflect over these past 6 months what an achievement has been made:

So far, we have distributed:

  • Well over 150 tons of aid
  • Sourced and given out many food items like 5,000 eggs, 10 tons of flour etc
  • We have provided meals to over 100,000 people
  • Housed refugees into the area
  • Given nearly 10,000 gospels of John to all the soldiers, refugees and people in the area.
  • Given around 1,000 bibles (a lot more could be given if we could source these)
  • Been the only organization to run a summer camp programme in Eastern Ukraine.
  • Rescued orphanages and got them to safety plus help feed and clothe abandoned children.
  • Ongoing support to Larisa and her orphaned children.
  • Done many mercy missions to help those in need.
  • Helped bring aid to the villages around the region especially those near the Russian border.
  • Supplied medical supplies to the local hospital to help those in need.
  • Bake hundreds of loaves of bread every week for distribution
  • Hold regular events for families, children, youth, wives of servicemen, those with disability, the elderly, those on low income.
  • Created 4 new puppet shows with 2 new teams to help reach all the families.
  • Hold 2 camps for children hosting 200 children and 1 summer camp for teenagers hosting 75 people
  • Rescued a care home for the elderly that had been abandoned.
  • Seen many come to faith. Weekly we have new stories of how God has touched lives.

There is still so much work to do in the next 6 months. We believe that there will be new opportunities to help. I heard yesterday that from a US Charity we know we are going to get some clothes (especially children’s) and some more food in the coming weeks. Bohdan is working on the paperwork right now. However, this will help an immediate need but we still need to source much more. Rotary International are also looking to see how they can help with some of this so we are making positive progress.

Your support across these past 6 months has been amazing and generous. We hoped to raise £250,000 to help with all the needs and I am happy to say we have smashed through that target. We now need to plan for the next season which we think will be tougher due to the cold and extreme weather mixed with the frustration of the Russian army not being able to progress. We will still need to raise funds and ask that you keep supporting and praying in the best way you can.

Peter Martin, Founding Director for Hope Lebedyn

Thank you!

Support 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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Urgent support required:

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

Thank you again for your continued support and especially to those who have been raising funds through various different activities to support the work. Your continued help makes a real difference, so thank you!

I am pleased to say that things have calmed a little in the Lebedyn area and there have been a lot less sirens going off in recent days. As usual the team have been busy distributing aid. I recently have a video call with our Mission Director Bohdan and we estimated that they have distributed over 150 tons of aid and have more arriving soon. I will share more about this in next weeks update when it it will have reached the 6-month anniversary of this terrible war starting. In the meantime, can find out what the team have been up to recently below!

Preparing for the autumn season:

There is lots of work to do to the centre to make it fit for purpose before the autumn season arrives. As we shared last week, new quality front doors have been installed to give better security for everything that is stored within it.

However, they've also been busy preparing the grounds ready for next year. At the beginning of this year we finished the newly commissioned activity centre and that has been a massive blessing to the work. We found that there were no plans for drainage and with all the rain this summer it has highlighted a major problem for winter.

Thankfully, drains have now been installed and a 4m deep hole dug to store water to use on the grounds through the dry months. It has been such an amazing provision. I know building photos are not always so exciting but the team dug this 4m hole and they are proud of it!

Youth camps for summer 2022 have begun!

The team opened their doors for the 2022 summer youth camps this week, with record numbers attending!

Sadly, we cannot camp in fields as we would have done in the past because of landmines and the potential of missiles. However, the centre and the grounds have been put to good use.

Once again the cooks have been busy and the young people have been loving their time at the camps. A fuller update with some incredible testimonies will be shared soon. In meantime, you can see some of the photos from the youth camp below, and some of the games and activities they've been engaging in.

Please also continue to pray for the team as they will be taking a break after the youth to enjoy some well-deserved rest and find refreshment. Soon after the special family day event will take place and we expect a lot of people to be attending.

Prayer Requests:

1. Please continue to pray for many teachers and other government workers in the region who have been experiencing salary cuts

Our Mission Director has informed me about many teachers and other people in different professions who have been experiencing salary cuts. Unfortunately, their monthly salaries have been approximately halved and they are now struggling to make ends meet. On average, their monthly salary would be just under $200 so with high inflation this is not allowing ends to meet. This story is typical of all government workers and unfortunately many of the care workers are also not receiving very much at all as all funds are going to help pay for the war. They have reached out for help and aid and the team are doing what they can to help them.

2. Summer 2022 youth camps and successful planning for future events

This has been the busiest year for summer youth camps, with record numbers attending!

The young people have been enjoying the programme so far but please pray do keep praying for good opportunities for meaningful conversations about faith to arise, and for a joyful and loving atmosphere with fantastic fellowship and fun!

Please also continue to pray for the team who plan to take a well-deserved break after the camps and will then be busy planning for the autumn winter season. The team hope to host a special children’s camps and activities at the end of October and we are also preparing for the winter camps later this year. Of course we do not know what that could mean with the war but we believe it is right to keep planning ahead. So far in these past 6 months we have been able to adapt most things to happen.

3. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

4. Receiving funds we send out from the banks

One of the big problems we are still experiencing is getting the funds we send out from the banks. Currently, there is a national shortage of $US and therefore many have drawn down all their funds into this currency and fled out of the region and country. It has been a real challenge for Bohdan but please pray that they can continue to access the funds going forward.

Thank you

I am so grateful for all your support. As always, all the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

Urgent support required:

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

Thank you again for your continued support and especially to those who have been raising funds through various different activities to support the work. Your continued help makes a real difference, so thank you!

Unfortunately, sirens were going off all day yesterday and there were a lot of bombs falling upon Ukraine and Sumy today. This is in retaliation to the bombing of the airfield in Crimea yesterday but it is intense in some areas and fear is creeping back in that the Russian will come across the border once again.

The towns in the northern areas of the county nearest to the border with Russia are experiencing higher levels of bombing. They have been especially targeting kindergartens, schools and colleges so that the children cannot be educated in any way. Please continue to pray for their safety and peace.

Preparing for the autumn season!

There is lots of work to do to the centre to make it fit for purpose before the autumn season arrives.

New quality front doors have been installed to give better security for everything that is stored within it. They are also having to do some drainage work outside the new activity centre building. Unfortunately, water is not flowing away well and although we have experienced a drought this year in the UK they have had more rain than ever in the summer including some big storms which has highlighted these problems.

Supporting the local hospital and hosting special meetings for low income families

We have had cries of help from the local hospital, the local orphanage and the council with new arrivals coming into the town. Lebedyn has a significant cardiology department in the hospital but now but their mattresses for example have perished so with the aid from Germany we were able to give them six new ones.

Last Friday we had special meetings and activities for families with low incomes. It was very well attended and over 100 families came along.  The puppet show, games and bible teaching were had and aid was given at the end for those that needed it. Not all do take aid and feel they have enough and to give it to those who need it more. It has been good to see people wanting to share.

A special thanks from families

The team are starting to receive lots of notes of thanks for the work they are doing. In fact, one of the families attending the special family days wrote:

Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the entire team of the mission "Spiritual Revival" in Lebedyn for the opportunity to get away from everyday life, have a little rest, and let the kids have fun with their peers. Also, sincere thanks for the help and aid provided, which is so necessary and expensive in our time of war. Thank you for taking care of our little one. I wish everyone good health, God's protection and a peaceful sky above their heads. 

Prayer Requests:

1. Please pray for many teachers in the region who have been experiencing salary cuts

Our Mission Director has informed me about me teachers in the region. Unfortunately, their monthly salaries have been approximately halved and they are now struggling to make ends meet. On average, their monthly salary would be just under $200 so with high inflation this is not allowing ends to meet. This story is typical of all government workers and unfortunately many of the care workers are also not receiving very much at all as all funds are going to help pay for the war. They have reached out for help and aid and the team are doing what they can to help them.

2. Youth camp programme which begins on Monday!

Unfortunately, the youth camps did not take place due to safety and team reasons but they will now commence this coming Monday depending on the conditions and whether it is considered safe to take place. They have the most teenagers registered than ever before to come along! Please pray for an opportunity for meaningful conversations about faith, filled with fantastic fellowship and fun!

3. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

4. Receiving funds we send out from the banks

One of the big problems we are still experiencing is getting the funds we send out from the banks. Currently, there is a national shortage of $US and therefore many have drawn down all their funds into this currency and fled out of the region and country. It has been a real challenge for Bohdan but please pray that they can continue to access the funds going forward.

Thank you

I am so grateful for all your support. As always, all the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

Urgent support required:

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 to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you about some of the recent work taking place in Lebedyn. You will also find a list of prayer items that we would be grateful if you could pray into with us.

Thank you to each person, business, organisation, and trust who has supported the work of Hope Lebedyn. There are many people that have contributed to the cause in so many ways. Your continued help makes a real difference, so thank you!

The situation in Lebedyn and Sumy is still unchanged from my previous reports. There is still sirens that sound but that is classed as normal for now. The threat of another Russian incursion is always there so people are learning to live without planning ahead too far. Each day continues to bring new challenges. The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help.

Distributing more parcels!

We are so grateful to the ongoing partnership we have with Mission Eurasia and their iCare programme. As a reminder, these boxes in the photos below provide meals for seven days for four people. We are nearly out of stock but it looks like we can access more of these in the coming weeks which is great news!

Some days the team are baking 100 loaves of bread which go out straight away. We have been able to get hold of several tonnes of flour and oil to make this and help others to do the same. Each week people come to the church centre in the evening for a meeting and then they are given aid also. These numbers are growing and have a great positive impact on the people.

Baptisms by the river

On the Sunday our Mission Director Bohdan preached at 3 services. They also had a baptismal service at the local river where they held the baptisms.

The people who were baptised were all young men and women all who have become Christians through the work of the centre over these past months or so.  This was then followed by two other services at the church and in the evening all the church gathered at the centre bought food and ate together. The centre provided much of the food as well and baked bread so they could share this together. It was like there was no war on for a short while.

Delivery of supplies to the local orphanage!

Monday, when the Camps were starting again, Bohdan and Farmer Sergey visited the local orphanage they've been supporting. I mentioned in my last update that we had been in contact with the local leader to see how we could help. Food is unfortunately in short supply and clothes are hard to get. Additionally, nappies and healthcare products are very much needed.

As you can see from the photos below the car was loaded up and they were very grateful. We are still working out the best way to help Ivan with his medical care but we are committed to making life easier for this young man who is coping with the loss of a leg and grief of losing his dad in such a traumatic way.

Prayer Requests:

1. The delivery of a special charity event for low income families

Our Mission Director Bohdan is preparing for a special charity event for low-income families. Every event is ticketed for security and safeguarding purposes and so they know who to expect. Tickets have been flying out so we might need to do more than one event – we will see! The puppet show will perform, family activities held and aid will be given to help those most in need. Please pray that it will be a very special evening for everyone!

2. The provision of more clothes and aid to share with families in great need

The team have been working hard distributing aid to those in need. However, the need is still as great as ever and we still need more clothes, so please join us in praying for this.

The team are being resourceful and reaching out daily into the local communities to help. They will be giving much needed aid to villages and help through the rest of August, whereby some villages have people living in horrendous living conditions.

3. Receiving funds we send out from the banks

One of the big problems we are still experiencing is getting the funds we send out from the banks. Currently, there is a national shortage of $US and therefore many have drawn down all their funds into this currency and fled out of the region and country. It has been a real challenge for Bohdan but please pray that they can continue to access the funds going forward.

Thank you

I am so grateful for all your support. As always, all the team send their thanks and greetings on behalf of the team and the church there.

Every blessing,

Peter Martin

Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn

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Dear Friends

There has been little change in the situation around Lebedyn since my last update. The northern reaches of the county are still under regular attack from missiles and fear of landmines. The region receives new people daily from areas under attack and as you will have witnessed on the news, Russia is trying to advance into other areas which is causing more people to flee. Inflation is still rampant and many shops are now back to be stocked with goods. However, affording them when incomes are down is a challenge. There are still challenges in getting monies out of the banks but so far all that we have sent has got through OK although it has been quite hard to access the $ notes. US Dollars are still the trading currency but many people are trying to get hold of these and when they do obtain them they are holding on to them for security or often they  flee Ukraine taking out of the country causing a shortage.

Every Thursday evening Bohdan is leading a bible study for those they have helped. It is voluntary to go but right now numbers are increasing week by week. They are now getting over 100 every time. Where there are physical needs these are met as well and many go home with aid to help.

Yesterday, over 100 loaves of bread were baked for families who are really struggling. The team have also been out with members from the church fruit picking. They collected cherries and other various fruits in a large scale to save and store them ready for winter activities in the centre. They have also been working with the military families. It would appear that soldiers are being looked after on the battle fields but not much money is being sent home. Military families are really struggling to get by. Bohdan has been working with them and getting further aid to them. From the big German shipment Chocolate milk drinks were sent so all these families received these. The team were very popular with the children! We hope to receive another large shipment of aid in 2-3 weeks but this is not yet certain it will arrive.

The reputation of the work they are doing is growing in the region. Bohdan received on behalf of the centre an award certificate from one of the military unions recognising all they have done to help in times of need. See below

The good news is that it looks like the youth camp will now be able to go ahead this next week. It will start on Monday and finish Friday. They are expecting around 70-75 teenagers which is more than they thought they would get originally and this number seemingly grows daily.

Many of you will remember Larisa and the story of her journey to Austria plus subsequent updates. I have been in communication with Larisa quite a bit these past few days as she needs some additional help. The orphanage back in Sumy is still being filled with new arrivals despite Larisa and some of her team being over in Innsbruck. In the photo below is Ivan. He is just 16 years old and has just arrived. In a town called Konotop, where the team have done much work in the past, Russians deliberately ran over Ivan and his father. The father tried to protect his son and was totally crushed under the tank killing him fairly quickly but in his arms was Ivan. He was rescued and was badly injured resulting in having part of his leg amputated. Larisa needs specialist equipment to help with Ivan’s needs so we are seeing what needs to be done and if we can help. tonight I meet with Bohdan and Larisa to talk through the costs and what needs to happen.

Please continue to pray for:

  1. Ivan – that he settles and then can mentally get over the trauma of losing his father in such a horrific way.
  2. For Bohdan - that there is no call up.
  3. For Pastor Andrei Boldarov as he trains in the army
  4. For more aid to get through.
  5. For more bibles to be found.
  6. For the youth camps to be a huge success.

After this update there is a separate note below I would like for you to read.

Thank you for all your support and prayers and all you are doing to help raise funds for the work out in Lebedyn Sumy and Ukraine. It is so appreciated.

Every blessing

Peter

Peter Martin

Founding Director

hopelebedyn.org

Dear Friends

The second week of the camps came to an end and both the children and parents did not want it to finish. It felt like some normality had crept back in until near the end the sirens kept sounding. Also at the end there was the news of the explosions in Vinnytsia where children died and this upset the children there. They had to use the bomb shelter for a short while.

The team found the second week harder work than the first one which is unusual but the constant tension of whether to move the children into bomb shelters and to a place of safety Bohdan said is sadly a new reality that we cannot and do not want to get used to.

Sadly the youth camp has not been allowed to go ahead this week although the youth are still coming up daily to the centre so things are being done for them. We cannot find enough workers this week as students are having to re-register and if they don’t do this they will be conscripted to fight. We hope to hold them the first week of August if we can get around the paperwork, authorities and have the team available.

In the region firefighters have started conducting security measures for all organizations and what they should we do if there is another Russian invasion so they arrived for inspection on Monday. The authorities are now predicting that an invasion is likely to come sooner than later within the Sumy region, as are airstrikes. The Firefighters are trying to equip everyone with what to do is such situations. However, Bohdan said to me that he thanks God that we held the camps on time. In a few days, I will receive more detailed reports of all that went on and I will share some of that with you. However, during the 2nd week, several children who were at our camp last summer came where they were given Children's Bibles. It is interesting that they have both read them all year and brought them to show at the camp. They have not just read once but read several times.

This couple below, Olga and Sergey,  have just arrived into the area from the south. Sergey had his legs blown off by what they call a “parachute” bomb. They arrived in Lebedyn with nothing and needed help so they were referred to the team and centre. We have provided bedding, some furniture, kitchen equipment and humanitarian aid including food and pain killers as Sergey still suffers with pain. They are immensely grateful and as a result are now coming up to the centre for services and enjoying new friends being made. This is just another example of the many being helped through the work at the centre.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

Yesterday I had a long video chat with Bohdan to catch up post the children camp weeks. Sadly, the situation is getting worse again in Sumy oblast (county). There is increased military activity by way of missiles and air strikes and more landmines are being found so this means the Russians have undercover operatives working in the region. Many farmers are being targeted. One of the long time Pastors associated to the work lives in the northern part of the county and preached at the church on Sunday and he said that they are being bombed every day now. Landmines litter the fields so farmers cannot plough or harvest their crops as they are too frightened. Many workers have been blown up or injured. This is not something we are hearing about on the news. This is a village just 80km away. It would appear that Russia is trying to create a food crisis to starve the people into submission which is history repeating itself.

Some people who have journeyed with us will remember Pastor Andrei Boldarov. He was once our youth worker in the early days and his son Paulo did the same role until just a year or so ago and just before Valentine our current youth worker. It is this church that helped us store the aid we got from Poltava at the beginning of the war. Bohdan has asked we pray for them as a family as Pastor Andrei has been called up to fight and is now doing his training in Kiev. He has been called up because he has previously served in the military for a while before retraining to be a pastor. Up to now Pastors/ministers have been exempt from call up.

This then leads me on to the big prayer point. Bohdan shared that he had been told that he too might have to be called up to fight. The Ukraine army has lost so many and it needs chaplains within the army as many of the ones they had have been killed in battle. At present, he has been informed only but if a big invasion happens then it is likely he could be conscripted. However, because of the work the centre is doing to help the army, and he has papers giving exemption, he is trying to work with the area commander to see whether this can be avoided. In the past those with 4 or more young children have also been exempt but that too looks like it has been removed. This is obviously something we should pray about as this could have serious repercussions for his family and the work at the centre. Bohdan said that many people like him are now fleeing to the country to hide so they do not get called up. He will not do this but will trust what God has in store for him. He is fearful for his family and has asked that we pray hard for all of this. In the weeks ahead we will now plan for something like this happening so please pray for wisdom as well.

Bohdan and Alla are having problems with Zoryana as she is crying a lot and seems in pain. Monday they saw the doctor and all went well although they are now thinking she might have some digestive issues and maybe be dairy intolerant so they are having to try things out to see what works. She is still putting on weight but the constant crying, especially through the night is leaving them drained. After the busyness of the camps they took a day out to a local attraction to have a family day. Bohdan has shared the picture below and seeing the family like this makes it even harder when you have the news like above. So many families are suffering due to this war. Let us pray for peace.

Bohdan and his family

I have more news from Larisa but I will cover this in my next update. Bohdan is so grateful for your prayers and support. Thank you!

Every blessing

Peter

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