Our story

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.

Hope Lebedyn began life in 1999 as ICC Missions as a result of a meeting at a conference outside of Moscow between founder Peter Martin and Pastor Sergey Ovcharenko, at which the great needs of the people in the Sumy Oblast were revealed, and a passion to help address these was born.  This work was later renamed Essential Christian Missions as a part of the Essential Christian charity, until in January 2023, Hope Lebedyn became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, enabling it to focus solely on the work in Ukraine following a year of war that created unprecedented demand for aid and support in Lebedyn and the oblast of Sumy.

Read testimonies from Pastor Sergey Ovcharenko

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    Hope Lebedyn is part of the Essential Christian family
    Essential Christian, registered charity number 1126997, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 06667924.
    Fundraising Regulator
    Hope Lebedyn is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered charity number 1201618.
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    From 17th - 24th February we are holding a week of prayer as we remember the 2nd anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
    To help you pray, we've created a PDF guide that contains some daily prayer points. 

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