Maxym and Anya continue to serve through their ministry (New Hope Centre) in Zaporizhzhya (in the south and east of Ukraine). You may have heard of this city in the news as it is the location of nuclear station and is on the front lines of the war. Though they have had the opportunity to leave, they have felt they should stay to serve those fleeing the war further east.
Maxym sent our team the following update:
Life in Ukraine has been quite stressful and painful. The war is cruel and evil thing. It takes physical lives from so many and emotionally drains the rest of us. Most of Zaporizhzhya region territory has been occupied by the Russian army. The city of Zaporizhzhya as well as surrounding villages have been under severe missile attacks daily. Most missiles are shot at night so you can hardly sleep. It repeats most every night. It will take years to restore places and people to have normal life.
During past six months New Hope Center has been able to host over 700 refugees at our facility that we remodeled to serve as a temporary shelter. People have been running for their lives as well as coming from occupied places not being able to stand psychological and physical pressure from the occupation. We are able to serve the refugees by providing a place to stay, hot meals and a loving atmosphere to help them reduce their stress level. Some people began to attend Sunday services at our church. So much so, that we have had to move Church services into a larger facility. We are praying that our regular church family can experience reunion when people, who are temporary staying in other countries because of the war (mostly mothers with small children), come back!
Personally, we have been staying in Zaporizhzhye this whole time. We feel we need to stay just because it is our land and our home. Staying also means that we can keep providing leadership for New Hope Center and our church, God’s Family Church ministries. However, the fact is that for everyone who has decided to stay there is great stress and weariness. For greater safety we have moved to the outskirts of town to our dacha [ed. a small plot of land with limited cottage type of structure] even though we hear missile attacks every night. Our daughter who returned from Germany in August narrowly missed a rocket attack near our apartment building in town.
Once the war is ended, we know that the restoration of broken places and hearts will take time. Getting ready for this process, we purchased a small property out of town to be used as small restoration hub for our local church community. At the moment we are doing some minor renovations to be able to host people and provide therapeutic weekends soon. We hope to be able to do same type of therapeutic retreats on a larger scale as God provides such opportunities and resources.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
It was a great disappointment this year that we could not them in person and had to cancel our retreat with our team outside of both Ukraine and Russia. Of course we are not just spiritual and emotionally connected with them, but also want to help them in practical ways. As the end of the year approaches if you would like to invest in their ministry you can use our website (icmcanada.org/donate) or bank interact (email@example.com).