• 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE

Standing in Solidarity with Sorrow and Pain

Video sent to us by our partner, Pastor Aleksei

‘According to Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN, Russia has launched 1,000 missiles, 2,800 drones, and 7,000 guided aerial bombs since January. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/17/wednesday-briefing-first-edition-ukraine-stalled-aid-soldier-shortages-weapons.

Dnipro Hope Mission continue to stand with Ukraine, and we are working non-stop to do all we can to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable. There is so much poverty in this, the third year of war.  A dedicated DHM supporter, who spent January and February 2024 in Ukraine visiting four of our partners, graphically describes the horror and suffering of war. His first-hand account illustrates what our partner, Roman Soloviy describes as: ‘…a hopeful community that refuses to succumb to the darkness around us.’ https://insightsjournal.org/theological-education-in-wartime-ukrainian-evangelical-seminaries-as-communities-of-compassion-reflection-and-hope/

‘…the military atmosphere is immediate, heavily armed soldiers patrolling through the train, checking everything, most of them young women…’

‘It’s a long journey from Premysl to Kyiv, about nine and a half hours, across the endless snow-covered flatlands that helped to defeat Hitler’s Russian invasion and where Stalin’s collectivisation programme had earlier killed millions and helped lead to cannibalism in Europe in the 20th Century’.

‘Dima (our partner who leads the ‘Time of Good Changes’ programme which includes a street feeding project) tells… of a man who came to them after he had had his family taken away by social services but quit and died of drugs not long afterwards.  A new chap is here today, who almost died in the freezing street and who has a damaged leg as a result…’  Dima’s team now have two stoves and an ex-army mess unit that can be towed by a van to the different feeding areas they go to ‘So that a street person does not die in the cold’. Dima and his team are passing on their skills, knowledge and some equipment to other churches so more people can be helped.

‘On to visit the Tuberculosis Unit with relief parcels, masks on and praying with the patients individually.’ Numbers in this unit are increasing, made worse by the stress of war.

The military police have asked Dima if his group can provide their street feeding service in the street immediately after each rocket attack ‘and, of course, he agreed’.

Our supporter later went further east to meet Pastor Sasha. They drove: ‘Cross-country down pitch-black roads, swaying from side to side to avoid the terrible holes…I admire Sasha’s concentration and professionalism as he negotiates safely through where it would be easy to bottom out and lose the suspension (and in the process become a sitting duck) …’

‘This really is no-man’s land now, smashed houses, stunted trees and thick mud everywhere, a real WW1 looking place…’

‘A whole series of houses I thought abandoned saw people clutching plastic bottles or buckets to fill up from the water tank in the van. Sasha knows where they all are, and they know him.’

‘A field of sunflowers that have rotted to blackness through not being harvested – such a sad waste, and again so symbolic of the stupidity and callousness of this invasion.’

After witnessing Dima and his team delivering food and the good news of hope to those in the most desperate of circumstances on the streets and Sasha risking his life to deliver water to the thirsty still living in front-line communities, our supporter is able to write: ‘God’s goodness is running after me… God is in this place, in this ministry, via phone on this tiny dark road, in moments of eternity…I feel again the blessing and privilege of being part of God’s Kingdom and people in this beautiful and challenged place, at this time.’

Please donate to Dnipro Hope Mission, if you can, to enable us to continue supporting our amazing partners, working non-stop so that the light can shine in the darkness.

The link for donations is above this post.

Aleksei has been taking food packages to villages in East Kherson region. He writes: ‘We support people, pray with them and remind them that they are not alone! God loves them and directs us to them, and God blesses someone who reads this and gives a generous heart to support us on these trips!’ Aleksei and his team try to pick the villages that are not supported by other volunteers so this may be the only help people in these villages receive.

Written by Melanie Gray, DHM Trustee

Joshua Searle