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Modern Mennonites

The city of Zaporozhye has a deep past associated with the Mennonites. Being immigrants from European countries in XVIII c., the Mennonites became famous for their innovations in agriculture, construction, light industry and a number of other industries. Mennonites professed the Christian faith and devoted themselves entirely to any work, performing it with sacrifice and love. Now there is a Mennonite church in Zaporozhye, which inherited the principles and beliefs of the Mennonites who lived in this region. Its appearance became possible thanks to John Vince's move to Ukraine from the USA to minister. Thus, one person laid the foundation for the future association of Mennonite churches in Ukraine, which now consists of 24 churches.

Life in Zaporozhye changed with the start of the war, despite the absence of active hostilities. At the moment, Zaporozhye is a front-line city: a garrison of Russian troops is located 20 km away, but the Ukrainian army does not let them approach Zaporozhye.

The war drastically changed-somewhere even suspended-ministries in churches. Ministers who used to be engaged in children's, teenage, youth ministries, organized summer camps and held church events, now cannot do this because of the constant sirens and the threat of shelling. The war also affected the course of church services in the church: the house of pastor Yuriy became a place for worship, where a Bible study is conducted with the possibility of online connection.

Despite all the changes, ministers have a new way to help people and spread the gospel. The recent purchase of a large building in the very center of Zaporizhia has opened a door to launch a center to help refugees. The history of the center is connected with the name of Bill Reimer, an entrepreneur with Ukrainian roots who devoted his whole life to charity. After his death, relatives donated funds to purchase the premises and named it after Bill.

The ReimerCenter team now consists of city church leaders, the School Without Walls coordinator, and local volunteers. People who were previously actively involved in church ministries are now working here.

Twice a week, iCare food boxes and hygiene kits are distributed. People are being registered to avoid the sale of humanitarian aid. According to the team's calculations, one food package is enough for a family of 3 people for a week. The distribution of humanitarian aid takes place after a short sermon, so people receive not only physical, but also spiritual food. Also, everyone in need can choose clothes and get a haircut for free.

Every day, the team prepares food packages to be sent to front-line settlements and to provide for disabled people. Pastor Vladimir holds counseling meetings with migrants and team members who need moral support. Thus, the premises of the center became an excellent platform for the fruitful work of ministers.

In addition, the Reimer Center closely cooperates with the local Mennonite community, in whose premises more than 150 refugees from Mariupol, Avdiivka and other hot spots of Ukraine have already found shelter during the war.

Despite the threat nearby, ministers in Zaporozhye are working tirelessly and ceaselessly , using all kinds of resources for this. And we thank God that He sends laborers to the harvest, because in times of great trouble, God's Glory is best manifested through His workers.

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