Ministry News

Preparing for Easter

Preparing for Easter

April 16, 2022

Tomorrow is Easter in America! What a wonderful day for us Christians to celebrate the greatest story in history – Jesus’ resurrection from death! In Ukraine and in many other countries around the world, Easter won’t be celebrated for another week, as they follow the Orthodox calendar. However, our family of 14 in Madrid is celebrating tomorrow, so today they were busy coloring eggs. This refugee family was happy to have eggs to color, even though they look much different that the kind they usually made at home in Ukraine.

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This is Ukraine today – shot with our own cameras

This is Ukraine today – shot with our own cameras

April 14, 2022

One of the big differences of working with a huge, global NGO and a small, focused charity like Hope Now, is that we can tell you (and even show you!) where your donations end up and who they are helping. Take a few minutes and click on the video above, to see how your donations make their way across the border, into the hands of desperate Ukrainians trying to survive in the bombed-out city of Chernihiv.

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“Humanitarian Aid” has a Face & a Name

“Humanitarian Aid” has a Face & a Name

April 13, 2022

We usually think of Humanitarian Aid as sort of anonymous. Who does it really come from, and who does it go to? We usually never know. However, when you give financially to Hope Now, or order something off our Amazon Wish List, YOU are providing Humanitarian Aid and we can tell you exactly who is receiving it. That’s because our own volunteers sort, pack, ship, and hand deliver it to people who need it, in Ukraine. You are being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need in a war-ravaged land. Vitalina and Zhenya are some of the orphans who received food parcels this past week, along with others from Shpola Orphanage.

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Some days are for Crying

Some days are for Crying

April 08, 2022

“We cry every day.” That’s the big change in the lives of our Ukrainian volunteers, kids and moms who were evacuated to Sweden, Italy, USA, and Romania. Yes, it’s true there are other changes too – especially for those in Romania, like sharing a house with 6 other families, living in a residential home compound (a sort of orphanage), having visitors who bring candy, Coke, treats and SO MUCH FOOD day and night. Not having to go to school, trying to learn Romanian, needing to go to the dentist, doctor, or document maker. Having makeshift birthday parties with strangers, arguing over silly things, worrying about who’s in charge, trying to figure out if there is a schedule and most of all – wondering if your friends and relatives back home in Ukraine are still alive. Trying to get information about them from any slight thread. And being terrified for them, after hearing, firsthand report after report of the brutal carnage and horrifying abuse happening in Ukraine day after day, at the hands of the invaders.

 

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Happy Birthday Nazar!

Happy Birthday Nazar!

April 05, 2022

"It was the best birthday ever!"  Happy news to hear from a child, but it's also bittersweet.  Our wonderful Romanian hosts from Richard Wurmbrand School in Iasi knew from our registration records, that Nazar had a birthday coming up.  So, they did everything in their power to make sure it was a very happy birthday indeed!  Cake, juice, games, songs and funny photos make celebrating your birthday in a refugee shelter almost bearable.

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I Went to Ukraine Today!

I Went to Ukraine Today!

April 04, 2022

Well, I was only there for about an hour…just enough time to walk from Romania over to Ukraine.  It was a beautiful, but crisp day – and it was great to be back on Ukrainian soil, if only for a little while.

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Happiness is NOT imaginary!

Happiness is NOT imaginary!

April 03, 2022

Imagine my happiness 2 days in a row to be able to see and hug our precious kids from Ukraine!  Yesterday, we brought kids across the border and today we were able to go visit a group of 15 that we brought over about 10 days ago!  We drove about 3 hours from Siret to Iasi Romania, to the Richard Wurmbrand School.  After having a wonderful tour of the school, and hearing about the history and exciting new plans for growth, we bundled into the vans and headed to the group home in Victoria where our kids are being hosted.  Shout out to "World Central Kitchen," who is not only providing hot meals at the border, but also at shelters housing Ukrainian refugees.

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It looks much bigger on TV!

It looks much bigger on TV!

April 02, 2022

Today, we got to see for ourselves, up close and personal what the Siret border crossing is really like.  You know what?  It’s much smaller in person!  It’s mainly just a narrow street, lined with various charity stands – free things for incoming Ukrainian refugees.  There are some gravel parking lots off to the side, and it was not very busy at 8:00 pm – not backed up at all.  In general, it was very organized.  Weary travelers seemed generally happy to be there, and glad they made it across the border.  The Romanian people were welcoming and helpful!  We were glad to receive our 10 Ukrainians – all orphanage families.  It was easy to find them once they came across. 

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Headed to ROMANIA!

Headed to ROMANIA!

March 31, 2022

Just a very quick note to say that the last few days have been spent sorting, packing and weighting luggage. We have filled each of the 8 duffles to the brim with medicines, first aid kits, socks, underwear and items that Ukrainians have asked us for. When we arrive in Romania, we will be searching for additional humanitarian aid and will pass this across the border to our team in Ukraine. They will take it from there. 

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Newlyweds from Mariupol to Western Ukraine

Newlyweds from Mariupol to Western Ukraine

March 28, 2022

Update on our dear Myroslava: Our newlyweds fled their newly furnished home in Mariupol, and after having spent 3 days traveling on a freezing cold train with only 4 apples to eat, they have now settled down to 'village life' in Western Ukraine. They found this house (which had just been vacated as the owners fled across the Ukrainian border) and were offered to live there for free -- just pay the utilities. It looks like a time capsule -- the owners fled literally in the middle of a meal, it seems -- and did not have time to tidy up, or put anything away.

At first, Myroslava could not sleep here, as there were so many tiny uninvited guests running around all night long -- mice!  However, these sounds are often drowned out by air raid sirens, or missiles themselves.  Like many Ukrainians, Myroslava and her husband have decided to stay in Ukraine. They volunteer when they can, and visit various Ukrainian governmental offices, looking for that illusive stamp that will prevent her husband from being drafted into the war. Myroslava is classified as "disabled" due to her extensive scoliosis -- you may remember that as a child, she had surgery in the USA to repair this life threatening disease. Her husband is technically her caregiver, but so far they have not been able to get a stamp to prove it. If they can prove, it, then they can cross the border into Europe. Please pray that this soon becomes a reality.

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Another Day of War...

Another Day of War...

March 26, 2022

As Pastor Genchu continues to buy food for the poor people left in his village – many of whom are widows, he asks to share this testimony: “With God's help, we continue to support the destitute people of our village with food & supplies and clothe them with prayers. Several neglected families have called the church for help. Now, they are also coming to the church on Sundays for our worship services. There are a lot of personal testimonies. One of them I want to share.  One lady phoned us and asked for help. She had heard that we were able to provide people with food, and she really needed some. This woman was depressed because of the war; she didn’t have a penny to buy any food. She said she wanted to be out of this life by self-destruction. She told us how she would end her life, and she joked with us. Our brothers and sisters brought her food and supplies, and that woman was amazed by God. She marveled how that God, through people unknown to her, worried about her and provided for her.  So, we will continue to practice this grace and glorify God.  God bless you for your donations which help us achieve this aim.”

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Feeding an Army

Feeding an Army

March 25, 2022

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.

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