POTATOES OF HOPE
Dear Friends and Partners,
I hope you are doing well and looking forward to having a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. In this prayer letter, I will share with you about survival and celebration. Pertaining to survival, I will share one way one our ministry partners are helping people survive with food this winter (potatoes). But before we do, allow me to share with you about our upcoming Christmas outreach/celebration.
For any of our new partners, we have engaged in an orphan Christmas outreach for many years, usually serving several hundred orphans and disabled children. Due to the war, we don’t have any access to orphans within Ukraine, so we are planning on having a Christmas outreach for at least 80 children in one of our Kharkiv areas. Our ministry will be buying toys, wrapping paper, candy, a hat, and gloves for each child. For the most at-risk children, we have asked our partners to use your donations toward shoes and coats too.
During our last Board meeting, we discussed having a Christmas outreach this year, and if it was even feasible to do so due to the war. We even discussed if it was the best use of the funds, but in the end, we decided that if we could obtain the toys then we would create a budget for this event; we wanted to make sure some children have the ability to enjoy Christmas, despite the horrific living conditions of having very little or no heat and electricity.
Knowing now that we can purchase gifts, we just sent $2,000 for 80 children. If you would like to help us out more, anything above and beyond the $2,000 we are committed to reaching even more children in Kharkiv. We will need to hear from you as soon as possible, because we may have to travel quite a distance to get these toys and supplies. If possible, please let us know by December 6th.
The two photos on this page include one of our multiple Christmas outreaches last year. The picture to the left is a photo of just one of the orphanages we visited. Every Christmas, we play games with the children, present the Christmas story, invite children to accept Jesus as their Savior, and provide their gifts.
Every year, this is my greatest joy and my greatest heartbreak - it is my greatest joy to see so many happy children; but it is my greatest heartbreak, because I wish they had loving homes to spend their lives in a loving environment.
As I reviewed last year’s photos, the kid’s looked so warm and healthy compared to this year. Oh Lord Jesus, please help the children this Christmas and beyond! Please stop this horrible war, Lord Jesus!
POTATOES OF HOPE
Now to transition a bit from Christmas back to Thanksgiving - while we celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and stuffing, as well as, family and friends, Ukraine will not be having the same blessings that we appreciate here in America. From the beginning of the war, we have helped purchase food, medicine, and supplies for thousands upon thousands of people in Ukraine. One of our ministry partners makes hundreds of loaves of bread per week to help with the refugee crisis in Kharkiv.
However, it was decided that there may be an alternative way to help feed people this winter (or at least fight off hunger) by distributing potatoes! With the harsh winter storms that come through Ukraine, our friends may not always be able to distribute bread and soup, so it was decided to purchase a truckload of potatoes that people can store throughout the winter. I thought this was a very good idea, so the people could have carbohydrates in the winter, just in case the loaves of bread are not available in the coming months due to harsh winter conditions.
The potatoes have already been distributed. This is just one more creative way for people to prepare this winter. I was happy to learn that more food packets came from the UN and our ministry partners are working long hours to distribute these food packets across our region. Praise God this food came through!
I truly hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, however, if I can make a prayer request, as you sit around your dinner table: please thank God for all of your blessings and please keep Ukraine in your prayers!
Again, if you want to help with our children’s Christmas outreach, I hope to hear from you soon by December 6th. God bless you in every way. Happy Thanksgiving!
In Jesus’ love,