From Lxxx (Day 43): Dear brothers and sisters, Today is a holiday in Ukraine. The orthodox church celebrates Annunciation. In our culture people are mostly concentrated on traditions and tell each other what they should do and what they shouldn’t do on this day. It is believed that you mustn’t do any work on this day. You can bake pastries and you should lite candles. But the holiday like this is a good opportunity to talk to people about the event that is celebrated, tell the Biblical story of angel Gabriel visiting Mary and bringing her a Good News and talk about Jesus.
Thursday is the day when our youth group meets. Sxxxx also became a youth leader while our young leaders serve in the army. Some of our young church members live in the villages around and it’s hard for them to get to the town because our public transportation is not good, so Sxxxx brings them and take them back. These last weeks are hard for Sxxxx he has to do many different things every day. Now we interact with many different organizations and cooperate with volunteers from different places. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with people who represent Christian organizations but their values show that they are not Christians.
Many people are not stable emotionally. Three chaplains from Odessa are missing. Few weeks ago they travelled on a rescue cutter to the Snake island in the Black sea that was occupied by the enemy. Their goal was to bring the bodies of the dead soldiers to the mainland. The connection with them was lost and nobody knows where they are now. Their families hope they are alive and are just taken captives. Russian ships dropped a lot of drifting mines in the sea. It makes all the navigation dangerous.
Our liberated territories are still dangerous places. After removing dead bodies our military found out the all the territory is heavily mined. It will take time to demine the territories of the cities and villages. Even after that people won’t be able to return because the buildings are ruined. So, we, people in the cities that are not ruined, must be ready to accept people from other places and organize their stay and give them help that they need. Now we are working at preparing such places in Odessa.
Yesterday we had calls from people who are coming to Belgorod and want to stay in our church rooms. We see how the word of mouth works. Please, pray for the chaplains and their families and pray for other families in Ukraine that lost connection with their family members and live in uncertainty. Please, pray for our work. I ask to pray for Sxxxx and his strength.
Thank you for your love and care.
In Christ, Lxxx