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 Pray for Ukraine 

 

Ministry in Kaharlyk

The town Kaharlyk, where I will be living is a small town of around 13,000 around an hour south of Kiev. Lots of people take the bus to Kiev for work each day. Our church has all ages and we meet in an old sewing factory in the middle of town with lots of rooms to allow for catering, accommodation and other ministries. The ministries include Wayne's innovation projects, English classes, cricket tournaments and cooking for the elderly have made the church a big part of the community. 

Please pray for:

  • The relationship with the mayor of Kaharlyk who has been very receptive to many of Wayne's project ideas in the past and for him to come to know Jesus.

  • The cricket ministry which involves locals in Kaharlyk and the Indian medical students in Kiev who travel to Kaharlyk for tournaments. Please pray for all involved to experience the gospel and for God to call a cricketer to Ukraine to expand this ministry. 

  • Progress with the Pyrolysis project towards financial sustainability and that our colleagues would come to know Jesus. 

Kaharlyk church outdoor concert
Kaharlyk church leaders
Kaharlyk cricket tournament
Laying the Kaharlyk cricket pitch
Church roof repairs in summer 2019
Pyrolysis team
 

Ukrainian Orphans

This was the ministry I was involved with in my 2017 short-term trip in Odessa. The situation for orphans in Ukraine is heart breaking. It has for a long time been culturally acceptable in Ukraine to give up your kids for the State to look after them in orphanages. Therefore, most orphans (around 90%) in Ukraine have at least one parent alive. When orphans leave orphanages, they are completely unprepared for adulthood which inevitably leads to crime, homelessness and prostitution. You can read more about the horrors of institutional care in Ukraine here. With Ukraine's aspirations to join the EU, they are required to majorly reform the institutionalised care system which is a strong motive for the Ukrainian government to act.  

Heritage Ukraine run lots of ministries for kids in orphanages including:

  • Dental, ophthalmologist and hair dressing visits;

  • Boys and girls clubs to give them time with role models of what it means to be men and women of God; . 

  • Help for orphanage graduates navigate their next step in life. 

  • Help for families who would like to bring their kids back home from the orphanages for good to make this a reality. 

  • They also run a series of summer camps in Odessa called Camp LELA to let the kids have a break from life in the orphanage. 

 

Through all of this they can practically show God's love for the kids in a way they won't experience elsewhere and share with them what Jesus has done for them. 

Please pray for:

  • More desire for and continued progression with government reforms of orphan care in Ukraine and for a change in perception over the acceptability of handing kids over to orphanages.

  • The leaders, workers and specialists involved in all these ministries to have strength and perseverance when it is hard and always be assured that their work is never in vain. 

  • That the orphans would experience the love God has for them and come to know Him. Help those who orphans who have committed to following Jesus to grow in their relationship with God.

You can get an idea of what Camp LELA is like from their promotional video last year: 

 

Ukrainians with Disabilities

Those with disabilities in Ukraine face similar and further challenges to those faced by orphans. They are not valued as full human beings meaning they aren't allowed into the school system and are more likely rejected by their parents and left in the orphanages.

 

When I was in Ukraine in 2017, I met Theresa who is a doctor from the United States who has a heart for orphans with disabilities in Ukraine. She runs programs to train orphanage workers and families therapy techniques for children with disabilities so that their care in orphanages may be improved and more parents may feel more comfortable keeping their kids at home. She is also able to share how much God loves these kids and how precious they are to Him.

She and her husband Scott have adopted two Ukrainian orphans with disabilities and they continually inspire me with how they follow Jesus.  

Please pray:

  • For co-operation with those in authority of the institutionalised care system in Ukraine that they would welcome these therapy training programs.

  • That those who get to go to these training programs would share what they have learnt about therapy and care with others.   

  • For Theresa and Scott's planned trip for September 2020 where they plan to launch programs in Kiev and Ternopil at universities and orphanages.  

  • That both orphanage workers and families who come to these training programs would experience God's unconditional love for them and the kids they care for, and that ultimately they and their kids would come to know Him. 

You can see some photos of Theresa's ministry below:

At Camp LELA
Conference at Sumy University
In an orphanage
In Lviv
With a friend from the camp in Rivne
Theresa's ministry logo
Camp in Rivne
My visit to see them in America in 2018
In Donetsk
Conference in Donetsk
 

Ministry in the War Zone

The Donbass region in the east of Ukraine bordering Russia has been a war zone since Russia occupied the region in February 2014. Despite this there has been much opportunity for God to meet with civilians and soldiers caught up in the conflict.

Please pray:

  • Thank God for the campaigns in Rivne in western Ukraine which has reached out to internally displaced (IDP) Ukrainians from the war zone with humanitarian support and sharing the gospel.

  • Planned trips to the war zone have been cancelled. Pray for further opportunities to go and run camps for young people and help repair churches damaged by the war. 

  • Pray for Christian counsellors in the war zone who are serving wounded soldiers and their families. It has been difficult for them to gain access to the war hospitals. 

UK postal address: c/o Operation Mobilisation, The Quinta, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, SY10 7LT, UK

If you would like to mail something direct to me in Ukraine, please do get in touch here and I can give you my Ukrainian postal address. 

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© Copyright 2020 Josh Williams, Operation Mobilisation UK, Operation Mobilisation Australia Ltd, "Scatter" by Andrew Scott, Scatter Global, Heritage Ukraine