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Ukraine Relief Update #3

Ukraine Relief Update #3

There are about four million internally displaced people (IDP), who have left or are in the process of leaving the country. In our IDP centers we are seeing people absolutely devouring the simplest of rice dishes, and then breaking down in tears as they see a mattress. A meal and a bed mean they have arrived to a place of safety.

There have been many stories of miraculous protection and provision. This is a real spiritual battle, between the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light, but there have been extraordinary advances for the Kingdom of Light this week.

Our partnership in supporting these hubs for internally displaced people has given Godly men an even higher profile on the ground. They are seen as men of trust and compassion. This in turn is opening up all sorts of Gospel opportunities at critical times, amongst military, government and even on the front lines of occupation. On the south coast, for example, there has been a revival of Ukrainian soldiers coming to Christ, thanks to a pastor who has been taking tea and coffee to them on the barricades.
What have the western shelters (hubs) been doing with the funding? Well, pastor Viktor who supervises these locations is an astute man. He has upgraded each of these church-based shelters from being a “village resource” to being able to accommodate hundreds of people each day.
The first step in each one was to add a new fridge so at least fresh dairy and protein-based foods could be stored. Then a more reliable and industrial (electric) cooker to cope with the volume of meals (these can also work off a generator during the increasing blackouts). Then a water heater due to so many people needing showers. And extra people need extra beds, so bunk beds were installed to accommodate another 20 people.
Tired vehicles need replacement parts, and tires pop with the pressure of tank-travelled roads. We also help with the fuel costs, which have increased 40% per gallon. Thankfully, we have secured IDP passes to get quicker access to petrol (otherwise the wait could be up to 2 hours without a pass). The pass also provides unlimited fuel at a lower cost. The word “resourceful” does not do justice to what Viktor and the volunteers are accomplishing. 

And of course, as volunteers transport people to the shelters and then from the shelters to the border, they preach the Gospel.

Please pray for the family of pastor Anatoly. At only 26 years of age he has been promoted to be with Christ. He was in Irpin (near Kyiv) helping women and children onto the bus, trying to move them to safety. Seeing the column of refugees, the invaders sent mortar fire. Anatoly was hit by a mortar shell and died immediately. At the funeral his wife Diana expressed her gratitude to God, “I’m happy that God gave me the destiny to be the wife of such a man. A hero.”