Ministry Update for 4.26.22 – 5.3.22
Dear Friends and Partners,
I want to thank you for being so faithful in prayer; you are a gift from God! Next week I will be providing you with our monthly prayer letter. But below is this week’s update:
Officially 20 civilians were killed and 35 more injured around Kharkiv area since last week’s update, according to the Kyiv Independent Newspaper. With the constant shelling, bombs, and missiles, I am sure the number is higher. According to the mayor of Kharkiv, no less than 2,100+ buildings have been destroyed, which equals 20% of the city. The mayor emphasized that many of the targets continue to be residential areas. The suburb where we used to live (Saltavka) had a pre-war population of 700,000 people within a couple mile radius and it is now a ghost town that has been almost totally damaged or destroyed. Some elderly still live in the broken-down buildings (with no water or electricity) because they have nowhere to go or are too sick to travel.
On a more positive note, the Ukrainian military freed five villages from Russian control, including Ruska Lozova, a village of 5,000 people just a couple of miles north of Kharkiv, where the Russian military had used this location as a launching point for many of their attacks upon the city. The shelling continues, but the Ukrainian army is pushing back more and more Russian soldiers from our city. People freed from these Russian controlled villages are so fearful after the Russian occupation that they have come to Kharkiv for food, shelter and safety. The Russian military are now bombing “new” villages and our church partners are trying to evacuate as many people as possible to safety. The details are still coming in to me on these new evacuation efforts.
There remain very heavy battles between the Ukrainian and Russian armies in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, which are a couple hours south of us. The heaviest battles to date are happening now, but the news doesn’t report much on what is unfolding due to the lack of news correspondents because of heavy fighting. I am “personally” concerned that the Russians are now bombing and shelling Zaporozhe, a large city in southern-central Ukraine. This “possibly” means the Russian army broke through one of the Ukrainian military’s defense lines – but this is me speculating, I don’t have any credible evidence.
The news with our ministry partners is very similar to other weeks: they continue to obtain supplies, medicine and food and distribute these items all across our Kharkiv region. There is never a lack of need. Many volunteers help distribute tens of thousands of food and supply packages weekly all around our region by buses, vans, and cars. Our ministry partners are very thankful for your donations that help them with their distribution efforts. Last week, two vans broke down on the highway, but they were able to get the necessary parts to fix their vehicles and are running again. Thank you for helping with your donations to keep them serving!
As I mentioned above, our May prayer letter will come out next week and we hope to highlight a Ukrainian military chaplain that our ministry is supporting to help the Ukrainian troops. If you would like to review past war updates, please go to slavicchristian.org/blog.
Please continue to pray and consider becoming a regular/recurring donor. If you can please advocate to your church on our behalf and see if your pastor would speak with me to begin a relationship, it would be a huge blessing too. Here is our link if you would like to continue financially supporting our ministry efforts in and around Kharkiv: slavicchristian.org/donate.
I have included a few ministry photos below. God bless you in every way; thank you again!