Lebedyn is a small rural town within the region of Sumy, Ukraine. The word ‘Lebed’ translates as Swan to give us the Town of the Swan. Local history says that Tchaikovsky actually wrote Swan Lake inspired by the beauty of the local region at that time.
Sadly much has changed over the years and the town has now been left forgotten. With a population of around 28,500, the unemployment is a staggering 85% of those eligible to work.
The team behind Hope Lebedyn: (Back row, left to right) Victor, Sasha, Pastor Bohdan, Arthur. (Front row, left to right) Sergey, Inna, Pastor Sergey.
This crisis has plunged local families into extreme poverty, increased the crime rate and put unsustainable strain on the local infrastructure. Against the backdrop of international conflict with Russia, the situation is deteriorating further.
Light came in the form of a local pastor, Sergey Ovcharenko and his small congregation who, with the very little resources they had, wanted to start a church and bring practical care and the love of Jesus to a town that so desperately needed God.