David Devenish
Ukraine - Growing Humanitarian Crisis

Update on the Situation in Ukraine

Andrey Bondarenko who oversees churches across Ukraine spoke at the recent Newfrontiers Global 2015 conference in Turkey. Many were impressed with the wisdom and perseverance that he and his fellow leaders in Ukraine have shown during this very difficult time in their countries history.

There have been considerable humanitarian needs in Ukraine over the past 18 months and churches associated with Catalyst (and others across Newfrontiers) have contributed over £100,000 towards the plight of refugees fleeing from East Ukraine and the support of humanitarian needs for those remaining in churches in East Ukraine and Crimea.

The needs that these funds have covered include:
* Support for Andrey Bondarenko as he has had to flee himself and is now based in Kiev but is overseeing the work all over Ukraine including in the east (in addition a charity based in one Shrewsbury church in the UK are supporting another apostolic leader in the region, Igor Bogomaz – Andrey and Igor work together closely).
* Food for people in churches Andrey serves who themselves are feeding many within their communities and in schools and hospitals on a regular basis.
* Travel for pastors to serve the churches and to take humanitarian aid.
* A borehole dug on church property in one town, which now provides water for the whole of that town. Previously the water supply had been cut off.
* A church planting conference for those scattered as refugees to plant churches elsewhere in Ukraine and for some of the pastors still working in the occupied territories. (In addition, our friends in Newfrontiers USA also financed a very important conference in Russia for a wider leadership group from the war zone.)

I could give many other examples of support for refugees that has been provided during this time.

The situation is still very serious in Ukraine. Although it is not so prominent in the news, there is still regular bombardment of towns in East Ukraine with the result that many buildings are shattered and many of the flats do not have windows. Around 40-50% of the people in churches, which Andrey serves, are still in the “occupied territories” and continue to be in need of food and warmth during the winter season. Also the churches themselves need care and oversight as they handle living in a war zone rather than in peace. Some of the pastors need to travel long distances to serve the churches.

As just one example, one church (Church "Kovcheg", Krasnogorovka, Ukraine) is serving their community by feeding up to 178 children daily (at the last count). The pastor who leads the church there has recently had a serious heart attack and we know that all the church leaders Andrey & Igor work with in the area are under great pressure.

The fund for supporting on going relief in East Ukraine has now almost run out (about £4000 left). We know that many across our wider family are under pressure and have massive humanitarian needs at this time. However the danger is that Ukraine is a forgotten crisis and so I would like to invite you to consider whether you and your churches could contribute towards on going relief in East Ukraine over this next period.

I know that Andrey & Igor and those whom they are working with in Ukraine would be most grateful for any help that you can give them.

With much love in Christ

David Devenish
Catalyst Team Leader

If you would like to contribute to the fund for East Ukraine please get in touch with us and we can give you full details: [email protected]

Photo credit
Ukraine Crisis Slovyansk ATO by Sasha Maksymenko