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Giving hope where there is none: how a team from the Zaporozhye church helps people during the war

In the first days after the war broke out, the church of Zaporozhye made a difficult decision to leave for Transcarpathia -a safer area. Take a step towards the unknown, towards the problems that would inevitably arise: where will such a large community of people live (about 30 people), how to be useful even far from home, and how to come to terms with the thought that there may be nowhere to return. But, as the Bible teaches, the ways of the Lord are inscrutable. For each of the questions, for each prayer God, in His mercy, provided an answer in due time. It’s been a difficult path, but God never ceases to bless.

At the moment, the team consists of 20 volunteers who, at some point, firmly decided that they would be of benefit by staying in Ukraine. Everyone realized that they would have to work hard, sacrifice their strength and devote a lot of time to work.

A help center was organized near the city of Mukachevo. The main function of the center is to coordinate other centers of the Association in Ukraine. iCare humanitarian aid boxes are being packaged here for front-line cities and cities hosting a number of displaced persons. The team from Zaporizhia has found itself in responding to the needs of Ukrainians, who are now more numerous than ever.

The packaged kits are sent to the Association's warehouse in Zaporozhye, from where are distributed among the displaced, or sent further to the front line. One such box weighs about 12 kg and includes a family food set, hygiene items and a set of Christian literature. In addition to food boxes, the center sends medicines, food and clothing in bulk quantities. It is hoped that this assistance will give at least a drop of hope to people who are barely making ends meet, for whom the war has taken everything.The war forced many Ukrainians to leave their homes and the question arose for many: “Where to go if there are no friends anywhere?” The churches of Lithuania were among the first to show initiative and support in this matter: they came to Western Ukraine several times to deliver food and take the settlers to Lithuania. For those who left, housing was found and everything they needed was provided by our friends.

In addition to immigrants to Europe, more than 7 million Ukrainians were forced to move to another part of Ukraine, including Transcarpathia. Here, people in their homes receive immigrants free of charge. Understanding the current situation what with unemployment, the team saw a need here and resolved to cooperate with local churches to meet the needs of the displaced here in Transcarpathia.

With the approach of summer, the question of organizing camps arises before the churches. Such camps would help the younger generation take their minds off the news of the war. Now more than ever it is important to protect the fragile minds of children from the destructive influence of war. The team plans to organize children's and teenage camps together with the churches of Transcarpathia.

Through the efforts of the volunteer team of the center, 160 tons of humanitarian aid, 5,000 iCare boxes and approximately 10,000 copies of Christian literature were distributed. Directly or indirectly, evacuation abroad was organized for about two hundred refugees. The team does not stop growing in number, more and more Christians join the ministry of the association!

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