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£120,000 more for Ukraine - Thank you!

22/1/2024

It was the end of September 2023. We had already asked our supporters many times to give to workers in Ukraine, but we went back to them with yet another request: could they help us raise £50,000 to support 12 evangelical churches and organisations doing really urgent work? It’s moving and deeply humbling to report that over £120,000 has been received since then. Thank you to everyone who has given so sacrificially! Your generosity has enabled us to commit our support to those 12 churches and organisations up to the end of March 2024, as well as to increase the level of help, and provide the Bibles and blankets they’ve requested. Here’s a bit more about how that money is being used.

The continuing need

Pastor Mykola Semenov from Ternopil recently told us, “In my opinion, the situation in Ukraine after two years of war is more difficult than it was a year ago. People are tired of bad news and constant sirens and shelling; the economic situation is more difficult than it was. But I believe that this is a time for God’s Church, and as believers we can give people true hope and faith in God. And we continue to serve people in need and to share the Gospel with them.”

Ukraine features less and less in our news reports, and in many parts of that country people get on with life as best they can. On the surface, there is a semblance of normality. Yet the suffering continues unabated, bereavement and trauma spread to more families, and hopes of an early end to the war diminish. There are still 3.7 million people displaced, and 5.8 million refugees who have left the country. Many have returned to be closer to their homes, but are now in cities very close to the warzone, such as Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa and Dnipro.

The gospel harvest-field

Evangelical churches continue to be at the forefront of helping people in need, in what is an astonishing testimony to their gospel-driven and sacrificial love.  And many churches, especially those in city and town centres, continue to see their meetings swelling with people who had never before come into an evangelical church or heard the gospel.

But the workers are few; many have laboured without a break for 2 years, sharing the burdens of people whose lives have been shattered by the war. How they need our prayers and support! None need those more than army chaplains like Vitalii Mariash, who witness trauma and battlefield horrors on almost a daily basis.

Our partners

Initially, we had partnered with 25 evangelical churches or organisations across Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary. As the needs changed, and our funds diminished, we refocused progressively on those with the most urgent needs. We’ve considered it the greatest privilege to partner with all of these organisations, and it has been humbling to see their sacrificial service; it’s been sad to have to tell many of our partners that our support had to come to an end, but every one of them has expressed heartfelt gratitude for the prayerful support they’ve received from EMF people.

The map below shows all the places we have continued to support.  

The work in all of our partner churches and organisations focuses on providing humanitarian support to Ukrainian people—mainly displaced people or refugees—but always with a strong gospel focus and motivation. We look to give these partners as much freedom as possible in how they use the funds we send, provided it is fully used on gospel-centred support for Ukrainian civilians- We also expect a reasonable level of accountability. Our missionary Volodymyr Kostyshyn has played a vital role, both in directing our support and in staying in close contact with all the churches we partner.

Some of our partners, such as Gennadiy Prosyanko in Pereschepyne and Anton Myrhorodsky in Kharkiv, often venture out into towns and villages very close to the front line, to bring help to those still living there. Others, such as Evgenii Lvov in Zaporizhzhia, Oleh Larkov and Liuda Mariash in Kyiv, are in cities where they still have hundreds of thousands of displaced people, many of them struggling to survive as the Ukrainian economy worsens. And as the churches grow, some workers, as is the case of Vasyl Ostryi in Irpin and Mykola Semenov in Ternopil, are involved in developing church plants in areas of great need. Most of our partners are now in Ukraine, but we do still support work in Poland (via Adam Urban), as churches there host Ukrainian refugees. We also provide support for Pál and Anna Borzási, who continue to host Ukrainian families. in Romania.

Please continue to pray

The needs in Ukraine are still great, and many are growing weary in the work. But amid the suffering and loss, this is a special time for the gospel in Ukraine.

How vital it is that we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine!

When we speak to our brother Vitalii Mariash, who has now been on the front lines for over a year, with little respite, and we ask him how he keeps going, his answer is always the same: “I know people are praying for me!”

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