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Dnipro Mission Blog

Meeting Friends from Eastern Ukraine – in France!

A few weeks ago I attended the tenth European Mennonite Regional Conference in Montbeliard in France. This conference takes place every six years and offers an opportunity for Mennonites to meet and share experiences and stories.

Joshua in France with Ukrainian friends from Molochansk and Zaporizhe Mennonite Church

I was struck by the quality and authenticity of the fellowship among the wider European Mennonite family. I cannot remember attending a theological conference that was pervaded by such a deep and meaningful sense of community.

Given my links to Ukraine through my work with DHM, it was a blessing to meet the group from Zaporizhe Mennonite Church in Eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainians had a stall where they presented their work among the homeless, refugees, drug addicts and other marginalised groups in one of the poorest regions in Europe.

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DHM Now a Registered Charity

 

DHM is now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Charity Commission of England and Wales (number 1177504)! 

This is a significant milestone for our movement, which opens up new opportunities to develop and expand our work for God's Kingdom in Eastern Ukraine.

At DHM we are sustained by our faith and belief that we are simply a part of what God is doing in Ukraine. We have seen God at work in Ukraine in powerful ways. Even in the short time that DHM has been active, we have already seen lives changed and communities transformed by the saving power of the gospel.

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The DHM Team Visits a Disabled Home in the Dnipro Region

Joshua with Valya at the Disabled Home

During our recent mission trip to Ukraine, the DHM team visited a disabled home in a remote region of Eastern Dnipro Region. The "home" was a dilapidated crumbling old building, which was built during the rule of Stalin. We were struck not only by the ugliness and brutality of the architecture, but also by the appalling stench of the unhygeinic conditions in which people, abandoned by family, friends and social services, were forced to live. We saw people living in rooms, which we in the UK wouldn't dare to put a dangerous dog into. 

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Reflections on our recent trip to Ukraine

The DHM team from the UK arrive into Kyiv Boryspol Airport on 23rd January 2018

Our recent trip to Ukraine was an amazing experience of blessing and being blessed. We are returning to the UK with so many happy, painful and poignant memories of our encounters with so many people in desperate situations of need in some of the poorest regions of Europe.

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Thank you to our faithful supporters

We are very grateful to faithful friends at Horley Baptist Church for their generous support of our work in Ukraine. Yesterday, I gave a brief presentation, showing a few photos of our ministry to a disabled home in Eastern Ukraine. The church responded by donating over £700 (mostly in small, individual donations) to support the work of DHM in caring for the residents.

DHM volunteers with members of Horley Baptist Church on 14/1/2018

When I spoke at Horley on Sunday, I was keen to stress the point that we do not view the residents in the disabled home as "objects of our charity." Instead, we think of these people as our friends, and we consider it a privilege and a blessing to help them in whatever way we can.

This is why when we visit the disabled home in Ukraine, we will not just leave our gifts at the door and shake a few hands. Rather, we'll spend quality time with the disabled and elderly people in the home - hearing their stories and playing board games (our favourites are snakes & ladders, draughts, and dominos!) with them. The advantage of visiting the same place year after year is that we recognise each other and we know each other by name.

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