|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.
Humanitarian Aid Efforts:
Continuing to distribute shoes to internally displaced kids (photos from Lviv). Over the past few weeks, 2,650 pairs of shoes were distributed in Uman, Lviv and Cherkasy. Thank you for all your help. We continue this initiative. Our goal is at least 10,000 pairs of shoes.
Distribution of humanitarian aid in Dytyatky village near Chornobyl.
Dytyatky means “child”. The locals told us the legend of the origin of their village’s name. During the Tatar-Mongol invasion, all the people in this village were killed, only one child survived. Later when others would refered to this area they would say it’s where child survived. That’s how the village became Dytyatky.
Thankfully almost all people survived ruzzian invasion. Only one villager was killed. The locals told us that when ruzzians retreated their tanks and APVs were loaded with looted stuff, refrigerators, washing machines, toilets, tools, etc.
People were happy to receive help but many were shy saying that maybe somebody else needs it more. One girl rode up on a bike to us and took a bag of food and we drove on. Then we apparently reached her home and gave a food package to her mom. When the girl arrived on her bike, her mom ran to us to return one of the food bags.
The photos at the end of the album are of the bridge that ruzzians exploded while retreating. Two of their APVs were left behind and couldn’t cross the river. Ruzzian helicopter flew up and bombed them, with their own people inside! So much for ruzzian slogan, “we don’t leave anybody behind!” I guess they meant they don’t leave anybody behind alive.
Thank you, friends, for helping us purchase the food for this trip and helping people in need!
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ (Matthew 25:45)
Updates from Maia:
It’s been 3 months since we were first shaken out of our beds at 5am on Feb 24th by sounds of multiple explosions. This is the time of the night when we usually sleep deeply. But the explosions were loud enough to wake us all up. In the weeks and especially the last days before the war started we had known it was inevitable, but still when I woke up and listened to those new sounds I kept thinking, “no, it can’t be explosions, it can’t be war, it can’t be already in Kyiv!” Nick got up first and went to his computer. He didn’t come back so I got up too and he told me that Putin made a speech announcing a special military operation in Ukraine. We knocked on the door of Sasha and Nikita’s apartment, they were also awake. Danny messaged us and we all got on zoom. These were our first 30 minutes of war.
Explosions stopped, but our hearts were still racing. We had made the decision not to evacuate if/when the war starts weeks prior to that day. It was still very unnerving to watch how quickly the intersection under our windows got filled with an endless traffic gem. People were leaving Kyiv, we were staying. Sasha was 38 weeks pregnant, 3 weeks from Briana’s arrival. I wished Sasha was not in Kyiv, but Sasha and Nikita were sure they were exactly where God wanted them to be.
On Feb 25 we went to bed in spite of an air raid but at 4am an explosion shook our building and windows rattled. It felt very close, the sky was orange with flames. Stupidly we ran to the windows to see what was happening – one of us (I will not say who even took a picture). Later we will find out that a building not far from ours was hit with the remains of ruzzian missile and then we will spent a month sleeping in a bomb shelter. When we heard explosions we didn’t run to windows as you should be as far from windows as possible.
All of us will have our stories from those first hour/days/weeks of the war – we won’t forget even if we want to. We had our share of concerns and fears, but really God has kept us safe. Compared to the circumstances of people in other parts of Ukraine, even in the suburbs of Kyiv, we were really ok.
Briana was born on 21st day of the war and she is a happy baby that brings joy, strength, and hope into our lives and the lives of people around us.
But there are so many kids who have been traumatized by running from explosions, spending weeks in bomb shelters, losing their parents, or having to spend days crossing the borders as refugees. What Ukrainian kids are drawing these days, and what they see in their nightmares at night should not be a part of any childhood. It breaks my heart to know that we are going to have a generation of children of war. Even if the war ends today our kids have seen and felt what no child should ever experience. The worst is that the war is not over and nobody knows when it will be, except God. How many more horrors our Ukrainian children will see and experience!
Over the past 3 months, Psalm 91 has become a favorite for many Ukrainians. It has been my favorite for sure. Please, keep praying for us. We know 90 days is a long time to stay focused on Ukraine, but the fight between Light and Darkness is not over. We need your help and support!
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
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!