This past month has been a busy one for us. Many good things happened in our ministry: we met new people to cooperate with, received financial blessings from our partners in the States and reached more people whose needs we were able to meet. This is why despite ongoing attacks and destruction our country is still going through, I will not talk about those. Rather, I want to testify about the woks of the Kingdom, because the Truth is grater than lie, the Light is greater than darkness and Life is grater than death.
Before I go any further, I want to give thanks. On behalf of United by His Love team I want to acknowledge those people who have kindly donated funds in the last month to meet the different needs we had faced.
First, I am happy to announce that after searching for two months, we finally purchased our long awaited van! It is a great blessing and, without exaggeration, a miracle that we now have it. The whole story of us getting it, from the day we learned that someone is willing to buy I for us and to the moment my husband drove it into our yard is a testimony of God`s goodness and favor. This past Saturday our WHOLE family went to praise and worship night, and we even took a friend from Bucha along with us! No more need for children to take turns and decide “who will go this time”! Praise the Lord and thanks to all dear friends who had their part in making this happen! Thank you, Jared Yoder and Crossroads Mennonite Church for doing all the work of getting the funds through to us and dealing with banks on both sides. Jared, your personal contribution to our family is hard to overestimate.
I also want to thank The Ark church and Nathan and Rebecca Shlabach for being faithful in continuing to support our family financially. As our economy experiences extreme pressure and prices are rising at a tremendous rate, we are still able to have our every day needs taken care of.
We give special thanks to Gabriel and Hillarey Yoder and The Bridge Church of WNC for being such active partners and so ready to respond to the needs that are brought to your attention.
With the funds you have donated recently we were able to bless pastor Vadim`s ministry, buy a water heater for the rehab center that is hosting refugees from Irpin, and provide food and finances to a family of five whose house was destroyed by a missile and all property lost. Friends, you ARE making a difference in the lives of people who suffer from war and changing their circumstances for the better. Your love is seen, felt and accepted with deep gratitude.
One of the biggest blessings and achievements of this past month for us was beginning of partnering with Undaunted Love Ministries. They are a team of young and courageous people who are here in Ukraine to show the Love of Jesus by helping those who are suffering by war and to make disciples by empowering local believers in these situations that are blessing others. They have been very helpful in providing food parcels to our partners – Ukrainian ministers who then distributed it to churches and people in near-war zones. The volunteers of this fairly new ministry also haul humanitarian aid all over Ukraine and help with some other projects.
Jared Yoder was able to raise some funds to help ULM cope with diesel crises here so that their important and much needed work wouldn not stop. Thanks to all who shared their finances for that.
Along with ULM, we are now working at helping Vitaliy from Cherkassy with his summer camp project.
It has already started and he is planning to have 600 people – children, adults and whole families attend the camp during this summer. It will be a wonderful opportunity for both refugees and people from more or less safe areas to come and have a refreshing time of emotional rehabilitation, physical refreshment and Christian fellowship. This project is a costly one, and since Vitaliy does not charge people what it really costs, we are starting a fund-raiser to help him cope with the task. We also invite volunteers from the States to come and help with this camp. Vitaliy needs people who can help cook, have craft classes or play sports games with children, etc. Please contact Jared Yoder if you are interested in participating in this project in any way. This coming week we are planning to go visit Vitaliy and make a video about the camp. We will be able to provide detailed information on it shortly.
And again, we thank Tony Lee Collins for supporting Vitaliy personally as well as his ministry. Your brotherly love is a real blessing and encouragement to this family.
In this letter, I would like to introduce to you two families – pastor Vadim`s and pastor Alexander`s. They are refugees of 2014 when Russia first invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea and some of the eastern areas of the country. I was introduced to them when we started our project and ever since they continue to amaze me with their dedication, courage, persistence, faithfulness, clear vision and right values. These men have fully devoted themselves to serving the people of Ukraine – bringing them liberating truth of the Gospel of Jesus and doing their best to meet people`s physical needs. They never stop doing their work, and I literally get flooded with pictures and reports of their trips that they send me almost every day. They go to places that border with occupied areas or are near war zones to minister to people there and to bring them food and medications. Besides, they care for refugees that they have earlier evacuated from Kramatorsk to Cherkassy. I am not people sure when these pastors sleep and how Vadim finds time to broadcast online Bible studies several times a week in addition to their regular meetings. Whenever I speak to him on the phone, they are on their way to some new spot in need… Knowing them and partnering with them have become a real blessing to us, as well as to ULM.
The reason I am saying all this about them is that I want to bring up a request for a long term support. When I talked with them about their ministry and the needs they have, they listed several – the fuel expenses, vehicle repair and humanitarian aid that they could pass on and deliver to people in need. And we have been able to help them with some of that, thanks to Gabriel and Hillarey Yoder and people who donated funds through them. Also, to ULM team who keeps providing them with food parcels. But like Vadim said, one of the greatest challenges that they have is providing for their own families and their personal needs, while most of their time is taken up with the ministry. The lack of funds makes it hard for them to go on at times and limits their work. So, I am passing this need on to our friends and their churches in the States. If anyone would feel moved to offer a financial support for these families (or any one of them), please let us know. All of your efforts and input would be highly appreciated, and have no doubt, that by helping to carry the burden of these people you would be investing resources in supporting many Ukrainian people. Here are links to general information about Vadim and Alexander, but if any more details would be needed, I can provide them as well. We trust that the Lord already has solutions for these situations and look forward to their manifestation.
Once again, we thank all faithful children of God and our friends for standing with us in these difficult times and showing your love through works of charity. Today, I want to leave you with these words:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”