Happy New Year friends; I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, because of your kindness, we were able to send over $22,000 for heating units to Ukraine and I sent many photos of the generators, heating units, sleeping bags, firewood, and anything else we could get our hands on to keep people warm. Thank you very much for your amazing generosity! I received a message from one of our ministry partners in Ukraine on 1/15/23. Pastor Vitali said, “The missiles and bombs are exploding tonight and Russia has hit our energy infrastructure again, and we are all in the bomb shelters where it is very cold. We are using all of the heating devices you bought for us just to stay alive. Because of you all, we are alive – thank you so much.” To be honest, I had a range of emotions getting that message: sadness for their on-going situation (and knowing it is hard on them right now), and internal peace that you did so much to help them. Thank you!
Because most people graciously gave for heating units, SCM also opened up our reserves to pay for the children to have a positive memory this Christmas. We partnered with two churches – a Baptist church and an evangelical non-denominational church to bless the kid’s in Jesus’s name. We were able to help give 820 children a joyful Christmas! Here is the update:
A BRIEF MOMENT IN TIME
“Hello friends, I want to thank you for helping us not only stay alive, but blessing our children too. Because of what Slavic Christian Ministries has given for this Christmas outreach, we were able to provide a Christmas presentation to around 120 children of all ages. Per your ministry’s request, we bought each child a pair of gloves, a hat, a box of candy. For the most distressed families with children, we also bought coats and a pair of shoes for the children, per your ministry’s direction.
We were able to have a Christmas program where we shared the Good News of Jesus, but also had games, a meal, and animators that performed for the children too. For a brief moment in time, the war was forgotten and the children felt special. Because of your love and care, the children had a moment of joy and can stay warm this Christmas. Thank God for you and Merry Christmas!” - Zhenya Geresamov, Pastor of House of Mercy Baptist Church
SHOCKED BEYOND BELIEF
“Dear friends, we are so thankful that you were able to partner with us in so many ways this year – food, truck repairs, heating units, and now our Christmas program. We were able to bless over 700 children and their parents during our Christmas program. We were able to sing songs, have performances, talk about Jesus and the Christmas story, and give a box of candy to every child. You helped make this possible. Thank you very much!
The parents were shocked beyond belief that someone would care about their children, particularly in a war time environment. It was amazing to see all the smiles and joy that were on so many faces this Christmas. Thank you and everyone in America for what you do to help us here in Ukraine.” - Vitali Faliy, Senior Pastor, Good News Church - Kharkiv
It breaks my heart that so many children remain in the war zone and have to endure the horror of war every day; it sickens me to my stomach more than anything else. But I am thankful for all the wonderful churches who bring a ray of sunshine in this dark chapter of Ukraine’s history.
Dear friends, with your help, we have helped encourage, bless, and in real tangible ways, save thousands upon thousands of people in Ukraine. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness over this past year and over this holiday season. All Slavic Christian Ministries has accomplished is because of your sacrificial giving and continual prayers - so thank you very much!
2023 isn’t going to be easy for our friends in Ukraine. The next 90 days are critical, as they just try to endure the long hard winter. Please pray that the electricity stays on. It also looks like the war may escalate even more in the weeks and months ahead, so please pray that this war will be over soon without any additional loss of life. Each country (Ukraine and Russia) has lost almost 120,000 men, not including the wounded, if you believe the reports. The fiercest battles are currently going on just south of our region.
Slavic Christian Ministries is committed to helping in our region of Kharkiv (a pre-war population of around 4 million), as long as God will allow us to do so. Please continue to partner with our ministry this year too. I am praying churches we are in relationship with will give again in 2023, but if they do not give another one-time gift this year, we are expecting a 50% drop off in donations from 2022, which would be catastrophic for thousands we are serving. I will place more Christmas photos up on our Facebook page, so you can see the many happy children. Also, our bookkeeper will be sending year-end giving statements before the end of January. We thank God for you in every way!
In Jesus’ love,