Dnipro Mission Blog

2019 Mission Trip Diary – Day 1

We woke at 3:00am and took taxis to West Croydon bus station to catch the 4:15 bus to Heathrow Airport. We arrived at Terminal 5 in good time, checked in and boarded our flight with British Airways to Kyiv. Arriiving at Boryspol International Airport, we were greeted by our good friend, Andrei Platovskiy, who is the DHM Team Leader for Eastern Ukraine.

At the airport Andrei took us to meet Pastor Alexander from Transformation Baptist Church in Kyiv. Alexander had brought his minibus to the airport and kindly offered us a lift to our hotel. After leaving our luggage in the hotel, we walked to a nearby restaurant for a delicious meal, before taking the underground train to the main central square in downtown Kyiv, known as the Maidan.

Pastor Alexander with Joshua and Deji and Pastor Alexander's assistant, also called Alexander (on the right)


On Maidan we were met by our friend, Rev. Denys Gorenkov, who is a Baptist minister and used to be a leading figure in the Ukrainian evangelical student union. Denys was an active participant in the 2013-14 Revolution in Ukraine, which resulted in the democratic overthrow of the corrupt regime of the disgraced former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

The DHM group poses for a photograph at a WW2 commemoration on Victory Avenue, nearby our hotel in western Kyiv


Denys led our group on a tour of Maidan and gave amoving account of the turbulent events, which resulted in the deaths of over one hundred protestors. The streets streamed with the blood of those who had been shot by Yanukovych's snipers. Amid the chaos, Denys and friends took a stand for peace by joining with Orthodox and Catholic Priests to form a human barrier separating the police from the protestors.

The DHM team stands on the site of the Prayer Tent on Maidan in central Kyiv


With bullets whizzing around their heads, Denys and his friends took a stand for peace and later established a prayer tent in the middle of Maidan, where people could come to receive care and moral and spiritual support amid the chaos and violence. Now, almost exactly five years on, the DHM group stands with Denys, forming a cicle around the exact spot where the prayer tent stood. Together, hand in hand and under a torrent of rain, we pray for peace and reconciliation in Ukraine.

From Maidan, we head towards the nearby cathedrals, St Sophia's and then onto St Michael's. We end up in a cafe in the pleasant Podil district just north of the centre of Kyiv.

The DHM group prays outside St Michael's Cathedral, where the protestors in 2013 found refuge from the violence on Maidan


After parting with Denys, the group returns on the underground to the hotel in the Shulyavsky district. It's a late night, but thankfully, the group can enjoy a well-earned mini lie-in tomorrow morning, when new surprises await us...

Joshua with Denys at a cafe in central Kyiv
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We're Back!

The DHM Team preparing to board the flight to Kyiv on the morning of 1st February

Last week the DHM mission team arrived back from Ukraine, exhausted but exhilirated. We clocked well over a thousand miles on our travels within Ukraine, travelling from the capital, Kyiv, to the eastern Dnipro region and back again. We became "wanderers for the love of Christ", always on the lookout for signs of the Kingdom of God wherever we went and whomever we met.

We visited a number of amazing projects where we saw people showing the most amazing love and compassion in the most desolate situations of pain and suffering. There are heroes at work in Ukraine. We may not notice them from a distance here in the UK, and these heroes don't make a big show about their work, but they are there and we have witnessed how our friends and partners on the ground in Ukraine have chosen, often at great personal cost, to devote their lives to serving the sick, the lonely, the poor and marginalised - the kind of people who will never be able to reward them.

Reflecing on the trip, this is what has impressed me most: people sacrificing so much to save people's lives, serving and blessing others without any thought of personal gain or reward.

Seeing the love, warmth and genuine compassion of these heroes in Ukraine reminded me yet again that there is a kindness in the heart of God, which perforates into the deepest caverns of human misery. The kindly light of the gospel penetrates even the most dismal hollows of hell and this light is none other than the light of Christ that conquers the world and illuminates all things. As the Bible puts it so powerfully: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not withstand it."

Stay tuned for some more specific updates and reflections from the trip...


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Surbiton New Life Baptist Church Welcomes DHM

It was a blessing for DHM to have received such a warm welcome from Surbiton New Life Baptist Church in West London last Sunday. We were welcomed by Rev. Richard Asante, who graduated last year from Spurgeon's College and is now the minister at Surbiton.

Richard and Joshua at SNLBC

It was very encouraging to receive such a warm response from the congregation when we spoke about the tragic situation in Ukraine. We spoke about DHM's links with the disabled home in Tsarichanka, where people are living in unimaginably terrible conditions.

There was also a quiz, which tested the congregation's knowledge about Ukraine. It was impressive that they got almost all the questions right!

It's now just about two weeks before the mission team assembles at Spurgeon's College for half and day of induction and basic training in preparation for the mission trip. Then we'll be flying to Ukraine to see what God is doing among His people in Ukraine and to get alongside people in friendship and solidarity.


As we prepare for our trip, we continue to solicit support for the projects that we will visit, such as the aforementioned disabled home, as well as homeless kitchens, orphanages and a care home for disabled children.

You can support the work of DHM either with a one off donation or by setting up a standing order.

All the details can be found on our website – just click on the donations tab at the top of the page.

Thanks for your support.




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DHM Now Has a Minibus in Ukraine!

Alexander Boyko (L) with members of the local Ukrainian DHM team with the new minibus


Our prayers have been answered! Earlier this week, our main contact in Ukraine, Rev. Alexander Boyko, returned to the Dnipro region in a minibus that he collected from Western Ukraine. It's a Renault Trafic (2011) and it's still going well notwithstanding its 230,000km on the clock!

The purchase of the minibus was made possible only by the amazing generosity of our friends and supporters in the UK, especially Epsom Baptist Church.

The minibus will be used as a tool for ministry in the Dnipro Region. Pastor Alexander and his team at Vasylkivka Baptist Church will be able to bring supplies (purchased by DHM) to places where they are most needed, such as local orphanages and disabled homes. There will even be an opportunity for some of those in the disabled home to go out on excursions. This is significant because no provision is made for this at present in the state-run carehomes and many of the residents have been trapped inside old, damp, crumbling and unhygenic buildings for decades.

With the minibus Pastor Alexander will be able to take these people out to visit local parks or even to see the coast, which is about a two hour's drive away.

For those who are unable to leave the carehomes, Alexander can bring a team of people from the church to pray for and encourage the sick and bedbound residents of local carehomes.

The minibus will be a blessing for many and we pray that it will be used to bring moments of joy to people whose lives are blighted by suffering and pain.

In order to keep the minibus on the road, we rely on the generosity of our supporters in the UK and elsewhere throughout the world. If you are able to make a donation (either one-off or regular payment), please follow this link to the donations page:

Thanks for your support. God bless you.

The DHM Trustees (Joshua, Deji, Afi, and Varduyi)


Carolyn, a DHM volunteer, with Valentina, a resident of the care home for the disabled in Tsarichanka  Pastor Alexander Boyko with Yuri from Tsarichanka Care Home DHM trustee, Deji, stands next to an old minibus/van in Zaporizhe in Eastern Ukraine. Thankfully, we were able to buy a much more comfortable machine than this!
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Christmas in the Magical Land of Ukraine

Eastern Orthodox countries like Ukraine celebrate Christmas not on 25th December like Western (Protestand and Catholic) countries, but on 7th January. What better way then to get away from all the Christmas chaos in the UK than to escape to Ukraine for a week at the end of December?

This is exactly what we did. We spent a blissful week in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. My visits to Kyiv have tended to be quite fleeting as I tend to use it as a launchpad for travel to the Dnipro region in Eastern Ukraine, which is where the ministry of DHM is based.

However, this time I had an opportunity to see a new side to Kyiv, avoiding the customary tourist traps and seeing into the bowels of this remarkable city.

Joshua in front of one of the exhibitions of the War Museum underneath the Motherland Statue in the Pechersky District in Kyiv. This scene depicts the storming of the German Reichstag at the end of WW2. The museum also includes an impressive exhibition of the war that Russia has been waging against Ukraine (and continues to wage to this day) since 2014


Kyiv may not strike the average Brit or American as an obvious holiday destination, but it really is a wonderful city with cultural and historical treasures that reveal themselves to the patient and discerning eye. I was absolutely fascinated and horrified to learn more of the details of what happened at Chernobyl when we visited a museum that is dedicated to the nuclear disaster.

At the Chernobyl Museum in the Podil District of Kyiv

Kyiv is a paradise for booklovers like me. I spent many happy hours in secondhand bookshops and book markets, buying a small library-worth of original books, such as volumes by Dostoevsky and Turgenev, as well as Charles Dickens in pristine Russian translation. I even found an old copy of Machiavelli's The Prince in Russian.

As well as relaxing and enjoying the sights of Kyiv, there was also an opportunity to make some final arrangements in preparation for the upcoming DHM trip to Ukraine in February, which will include a couple of days in Kyiv. It was great to renew contact with our key people in Ukraine, who are busy preparing for the arrival of the group from the UK.

All the train tickets have been bought and things are falling into place nicely. If you are inclined to pray, we would appreciate your prayers as we make the final arrangements for the trip.

I've only been back in London for a few days and already I'm missing Kyiv. I can't wait to get back soon. Roll on February 2019!

Enjoying a white Christmas in Kyiv!
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