|Dear Friends and Partners,
The following is copied and shared with permission and reflects a deeply personal perspective forged amid the daily suffering and sacrifice caused by the war in Ukraine. This update is offered to inform and encourage your prayerful support for all who are affected by this tragedy.
If you would like to help us with humanitarian aid efforts you can donate through our website https://ipministry.org/donate/. The needs are growing as we keep helping thousands of people to move west within Ukraine and also helping those who want to leave the country temporarily. We need funds most of all for gas, but also for food and various supplies (medical, bed linens, mattresses, etc). Thank you.
Maia’s Update on Humanitarian Aid Efforts:
Let me describe the humanitarian aid work of one of the churches in our network. This is from Uman church “Resurrection of Christ”.
There are two main areas of work:
– Delivering food to other cities where there is food shortage.
– Taking care of refugees who are transiting through Uman and internally displaced who decided to temporarily settle in Uman.
There are over 250 volunteers working alongside the leadership of the church.
Over the past week, volunteers went around Uman region villages to collect food (both donated by farmers and bought from them). More than 25 tons of pork has been gathered, then processed in the church to preserve in jars. There are also tons of vegetables, fruits, grains, flour. Most of this is loaded on vans and taken to Kyiv suburbs, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odesa regions. Sometimes our volunteer teams can’t enter the city (Kherson is under occupation), but they meet on the edge of the Kherson region to pass food to Kherson believers to take it into the city.
Over 3000 refugees have passed through the Uman church “Resurrection of Christ” fleeing from their regions ruined by the war going towards Western Ukraine. The church is providing shelter, food, clothing as most people ran away from bombs with nothing other than what is on them. Refugees usually spend 2-3 days in Uman before volunteers from the church help them move on to the west.
Over 1000 internally displaced are being temporarily hosted in homes of believers from the church and in some rented apartments. The church is helping to provide food and clothing, medications, linens, paying rent for housing, etc.
The weekly expenses on humanitarian aid efforts in this church average over 100,000 hr ($3,500). Buying gasoline for operating vans is a significant expense.
Uman church “Resurrection of Christ” is just one example. Similar work is done by our churches in Lviv and Cherkasy. Kharkiv continues to serve people in their community who lost homes or have no income to buy food, also helping people who want to evacuate from Kharkiv. Kyiv church is also very intentional in finding people in need and helping them. In case Kyiv comes under siege our church is prepared to make meals for people in the community. With the help of our Uman church, we have stored some canned meat.
Thank you, friends, for contributing generously already to these efforts!
If you want to support Uman church or other churches in our network you can donate through our ministry, International Partnerships.” https://ipministry.org/donate/
Maia’s Evening Update:
The night is coming – the 31st night of war…
When I saw Briana so peacefully resting on her daddy’s shoulder I had a thought that I would like to be sleeping like this tonight through air raids and all – resting in complete trust of my Heavenly Father’s protection, knowing that His hand is covering me and will not let anything bad happen to me.
These days people in Ukraine remember God more often than usual. Ukrainians call out to God for justice, for help, for the protection of our defenders, and for the destruction of russian invaders. Most people tend to see God first of all as a fair but distant Judge that punishes evil. He is definitely an Almighty Judge. Psalm 7 and many other verses in the Bible talk about that and we trust God’s wrath will fall on the heads of russian invaders:
“11God is a righteous judge,
a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
he[e] will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he makes ready his flaming arrows.
14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.
17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.”
But at the same time, God is also loving, and He can be very close, like a caring father. As a Christian, I believe in God the Judge but more than anything for me my faith is about close relationships with God as a Father. It was not an easy concept for me to grasp as I had grown up as an atheist and my less than perfect relationships with my earthly father were the obstacles to my understanding of closeness and love of God. But especially through these weeks of the war as much as I call out to God as other Ukrainians for His justice, it’s His love and closeness that I am leaning on – especially on dark and scary nights.
“1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
“1 John 4:15,16 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”
Please share these updates with others. I have added direct links to our email, our website, and to the IP Ministry Journal on YouTube to the bottom of this page. Your prayers are precious to us. Thank you!