Limited Access to Food, Warm Clothing, Electricity, and Heat!
The pastors of the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU) continue to bring the good news of Jesus to hundreds this Christmas in their war-torn country, bringing people love, hope, and light.
Approximately 6.5 million people in Ukraine have been displaced and are facing freezing winter conditions after being forced to flee their homes. Many take shelter in damaged buildings and have limited access to food, electricity, and heat.
LCC received the following update from Pastor Sergey Bevz in Dnipro.
We continue to carry out our ministry. Due to missile attacks on our critical infrastructure, we continue to have problems with electricity. For many people, this becomes even more of a problem because heating their homes relies on electricity. The water supply can also be connected to electricity.
The mobile network also can not work for a long time without it. Therefore, now a very important help for people are candles, batteries, power banks, flashlights, generators, various types of stoves, warm clothes, and blankets. Without this, it is impossible to survive in the de-occupied places because, in most of them, there is no electricity.
Also, many people are asking for some building materials to help them close the holes in their damaged houses. Medicines, food, and other basic food items are also important. We still try to make a trip deep into the de-occupied areas once a week.
Also, every Sunday after the service, we receive people in the church. There are also separate groups of people whom we help - wounded soldiers in the hospital, the disabled, and people in special clothes.
In recent months, the Lord has been blessing our church, and it is growing. We are also particularly humble before the Lord because we see a revival starting in the church. New people come to repentance. They confess their sins and faith in Jesus. There have been six converts in the last month. There are many people who come to confirmation classes.
Recently, our city was hit by a rocket attack. The rocket hit a nine-story building and caused severe damage. We were there bringing help. This is something terrible that shocked us all, although this is far from the first such incident in recent months.
Thank you for continuing to remember Ukraine and helping the victims. It helps many people to survive and endure during this time.
Pastor Sergei Bevz
Your Generosity Provides Computers for Children in Medinya Orphanage
YOUR DONATIONS HELPED MORE THAN 10,000 FAMILIES
During the current year, Lutheran Church Charities provided support to the victims of the war in Ukraine. The Lutheran Church "Living Water" in the city of Dnipro is one of the churches that received your donations.
Your donations here in Ukraine have taken on a different form - food, basic necessities, medicines, clothing, certain critical needs, and so on. And even some bulletproof vests for our volunteers, who often bring help to dangerous places.
It is even difficult for us today to calculate more or less exactly the number of people who received help from your donations. In fact, we did not think that all this would last for so many months and that there would be so many victims and those in need of help. But according to rough estimates, this is more than 10,000 thousand families (in most cases, we provide assistance per family, based on 4-5 people) only through our Church in the city of Dnipro.
These were refugees who sought asylum in our city (today, there are about 400,000 refugees in our city). Also, these were people who remained in their cities and villages. Many of them survived the occupation. These were Donetsk, Kharkov, and Kherson regions. We have taken aid to many places in these areas.
It is difficult to convey in words or even photographs what can be seen in those places where there were battles and occupation. War is worse than words or photos can convey. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans (5:20), said an amazing thought - when sin increases, grace abounds even more.
We did not think that we would see confirmation of these words in this way. But we saw it during the war. When on the one hand, some people became a source of violence, destruction, death, pain, and tragedy. But other people have become a source of help, conductors of compassion, mercy, and God's grace.
Therefore, as a citizen of Ukraine, as a brother in Christ, and on behalf of many people who received your help, I want to glorify the Lord and thank you and your charitable organization for the help provided. It really was important and precious and remains so.
We wish you blessed days when we all celebrate Christmas and New Year. We wish you and all of us peace around us, peace within us, and peace with our God through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Sergey Bevz
City of Dnipro, Ukraine
Christmas Eve Service Without Power
Most congregations of the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine follow the Eastern Orthodox church calendar. Thus, the birth of Christ ('Christmas') was just observed on January 6-7.
The congregation in Mikaloev, pastored by Oleksiy Navrotskyy, experienced a jam-packed house for its Christmas Eve worship. One of the ministries in the Odessa congregation is outreach to the disabled. Their Christmas Eve service for them had to be conducted without any power. Pastor Oleg Schewtschenko reports: "The Star of Bethlehem brought wise men to Jesus. We had no electricity, but the light of the Gospel once again brought children and parents in Odessa to their Saviour!"
Please prayerfully consider donating to help Ukrainians by showing the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need!
You Are Making Miracles for the Little Ones in Ukraine!
LCC received the following update from Oksana Svidruk of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Palatine, Illinois:
Additionally, thanks to your contribution, we were able to send two generators to the orphanage! This means that they will be able to keep the lights on even though the war has taken out the power in most of the area.
In November 2022, we sent 30 computers to a different orphanage in the Ivano Frankivsk region, Serdechko. Thanks to these computers, the children can keep studying. Despite the sounds of war all around them, they grow braver every day, knowing that they can continue to study and learn. Thanks to God’s grace, they are able to keep looking toward the future with hope and faith.
We’re reaching out again so that we can provide the Medinya orphanage with the same opportunity. We plan to send 30 computers to the Medinya orphans so that they can keep moving forward in their studies. Your support is greatly appreciated. You have shown great kindness in treating the orphans just as you would the newborn king. Thank you for extending this kindness to the children of Ukraine.
The Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Palatine
Please prayerfully consider donating to help provide computers for the children in the Medinya orphanage.