A few times per month, the pastors of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine meet via Zoom to report on the conditions within their cities. It’s a time of encouragement, but also a time of describing the escalating need for aid in Ukraine.
Pastor Sergei Kukuskin’s report described the dire conditions currently in the city of Kherson. Mission to the World began its work in the eastern city of Kherson in the latter 1990s when the church was founded through the labors of MTW missionaries, Mel and Cindie Pike. Today, Pastor Kukuskin continues to monitor the situation from the US. He was outside of Ukraine when the Russian offensive started in February and through the invitation of a supporter, is leading his church from a distance.
During the time of sharing with his fellow pastors, Pastor Kukushkin related that there were only 15 people left in the church in Kherson. The city was taken by Russian forces and the exodus of Ukrainians has been replaced by an influx of Russians with black market organized crime control. Currently, both the mayor and the regional governor are pro-Russian plants.
The conditions are desparate as the banks have closed and have been replaced by ‘private’ enterprises extorting money from those remaining in Kherson. They offer a corrupt means of transferring funds to needy family members but at a cost of 50% of the transfer. Pharmacies have no medicines on the shelves and all the food is shipped in from the Russian occupied Crimea. There is virtually no communication with the outside world as the cell phone networks are not working and internet is spotty. Fortunately, there are some funds in Kherson that were brought in earlier from the MTW Ukraine Crisis Fund and are being dispersed by and to those remaining in the church.
The conditions are dire in the cities in the eastern areas of Ukraine and the need for basic supplies has increased to the point of being critical in Kherson. For this reason, the MTW Ukraine Crisis Response has ramped up efforts to increase the volume of aid coming into Ukraine. More information can be found here on how you can help: Aid & Crates for Ukraine. Please pray for the people of Ukraine and the witness of the churches there!