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  • Writer's pictureВІКТОРІЯ ВОЙКО

Апдейт про діяльність АМБЦУ

Historically, the creed of the Mennonites was peacemaking and social service, and today is the time when we, as a large Mennonite family, can put our calling into action. Despite all the horrors of war, most of the people from our churches are active servants of society in this war. Some host refugees at home, others serve as their own business or transport. People share everything they have and even let strangers into their homes, help the wounded, serve in hospitals, and go to rescue people under fire. Many men serve the military, providing them with counseling and prayer assistance. Someone coordinates processes and finds opportunities for interaction and sectors where there is need. All churches of all denominations in Ukraine are open to people who need shelter and food, and this is a huge testimony to unbelievers. All our houses of worship have been converted into places for receiving and feeding people. These are challenging times, but they help us put theory into practice.

Now about the situation in the country. According to unofficial data, 40 thousand people are considered dead or missing during the war, including military losses. More than three million left the country. The defensive actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces lead to large losses on the part of the army of the aggressor country and have already forced enemy troops to significantly weaken their active offensive in many directions. The most tense situation is in those places where Russian troops have already managed to gain a foothold, these are places in the north, south, and east of Ukraine.

Enemy troops deliberately prohibit entry and exit into occupied cities and villages, including for food trucks; their goal in such places is also to overthrow the government and broadcast pro-Russian propaganda. In a chaotic manner, they bombard civilian infrastructure in such cities with artillery. Thus, there is a threat of a humanitarian catastrophe in a number of cities: Mariupol, Kharkov, Izyum, Berdyansk, Sumy, Irpen, Gostomel, etc. Here people have no electricity, heating, water supply, and store shelves are empty.

The authorities of Mariupol report 10 thousand dead during the war. Mariupol residents have had to drink water from puddles for the last few days. In these places, thanks to negotiations at the political level, attempts are being made to organize humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of the population and for the import of food. Some bring results, but often the enemy army breaks agreements and fires at convoys with old people, women and children. Many Mariupol residents were accepted by our churches in the Zaporozhye region. In the near future, we will be involved in the process of transporting people who fled from Mariupol to the borders with Europe.

Every night, the occupiers insidiously launch ballistic missiles and carry out air strikes on cities that are still safe, including those located near the border with the EU. So, on the morning of March 13, 8 missiles were fired from a distance of 1600 km from the territory of the Russian Federation into the Lviv region. On the night of March 16, a missile attack was launched on Zaporozhye. One rocket was neutralized, and the second fell near the railway station, a kilometer from our church building. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

Now regarding churches that are directly under occupation or in an active combat zone. These are churches in Berdyansk, Balkovo, Kutuzovka, Andreevka and Molochansk and Kherson. We are in touch with them and all the churches are reporting shortages of food and basic necessities. Berdyansk residents report that everything they can find costs incredible money: a net of potatoes costs $50, and a net of onions costs $30. In addition to food supplies, it remains possible to transfer money to ministers in the combat zone. There are also reports of looting by the Russian military due to a lack of supplies in their army.

Since the beginning of the war, we have developed a strategy that will allow us to help churches in two ways: evacuating people in the Western direction and transporting necessary goods to the affected areas. We have formed two teams of 15 people in the cities of Mukachevo and Zdolbunov. Team members deal with the strategic issues identified above. Local residents, businessmen and Christian organizations willingly help by donating tons of vegetables, flour and sugar when they learn that we are transporting them to war zones. Lithuanian churches collect humanitarian aid and some ministers personally come to Ukraine to convey it, support in joint prayer and encourage.

Thus, we have already received two humanitarian supplies from them and sent two groups of people to Lithuania. We are grateful for the work and dedication of all those who help and give generously to the needs of all those who suffer from the horrors of war. Resources are distributed among all churches in Ukraine, including between churches in the surrounding area. They help prevent a humanitarian disaster in the regions and help evacuate people.

Prices for many types of vital goods are rising every day, but the financial support of our friends literally saves people’s lives and all our activities at a given time are based on it.

Special thanks to everyone who welcomes our refugees, welcomes them warmly and provides for them. This is invaluable help. AMBTSU churches also thank you for your increased prayer support during this difficult time.

Thank you for your warmth and your open hearts.

You can see the map on which you will find a visualization of the ministries of our association:

Red – churches in the occupied zone;

Yellow – churches near the combat zone;

Purple - places where refugees can rest on the way to the border;

Green - coordination centers for humanitarian work, the main one in Mukachevo.

How you can help:

1. Financially, directly to our bank accounts or through partners

2. Sending humanitarian supplies to the Ukrainian border. We can accept them.

3. You can contact any of our churches directly and support them. We will help you connect with churches.

4. We need transportation to fully cover the needs of all ministries. For this we need three minibuses.

Prayer Needs

1. For Peace in Ukraine, an end to suffering in the country

2. Prayer for families separated by war

3. Prayer for ministers in dangerous territories

4. Church in Feodosia. She is under pressure from the Russian authorities.

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