Moms who have a large family often joke about having to “feed an army...” Cooking pretty much around the clock – especially if there are teenaged boys to feed. But imagine having to cook for a real army! Except you’re not a professional, you aren’t cooking in a well-equipped army kitchen, you can’t get many essential ingredients, and oh yeah – you’re in the middle of a war, complete with air sirens and missiles flying around your head. This is the reality for our little church in Khutory, where Greenfield (our Hope Now Boys Home) is located. 100 soldiers from the Ukrainian army battalion from Donetsk, recently took over the local school and turned it into their barracks, since their own was blown up by russian aggressors. Day in and day out, our ladies from the church cook homemade meals, package them up, and deliver them to the 100 soldiers who have come to rely on them.
With so many potatoes to peel, cook and mash, Vlad (one of our sponsored Greenfield boys) who works in construction, finds a faster way to mash potatoes. Every day, Luda scours the market, grocery stores and humanitarian aid to see what kind of 2 course meal can be created. There is always some kind of vegetable soup or borscht, and a main meal consisting of a starch and meat of some kind – depending on what can be found. Fresh bread and sometimes fruit. The cooking team is very frugal with the funds we give them for this project and can stretch $1,000 to last almost a month! In addition to feeding the hungry battalion, on Tuesdays & Fridays, the church also cooks for the public. Anyone who needs a meal can come to the church to eat on those days. Many people transit through Cherkasy, and they stop at our safe haven.
Luda writes, “This is a really difficult time for all of us ... I know you are praying, keep going. We really need your prayers! We feed our soldiers in the church and people who do not have the opportunity to buy food now. Refugees come from different cities, spend the night with us ... Today we went to the store, some products have risen dramatically in price, especially vegetables, fruits, oil .... If God opens your heart, we will be very grateful!”
In addition to food, Luda, who is normally a pharmacist, can also dispense medicines when we have them. She is looking forward to receiving a lot of OTC medicines that are coming next week to her in Ukraine. Thank you to everyone who donated these important and lifesaving supplies. Please keep our Ukrainian volunteers, soldiers and loved ones in your prayers, and help financially if you can.