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Ukraine at War – Update 06, 2024

In a recent journal post, Pastor Andrey (a HART partner) penned a prayer that encapsulates the feelings of so many Ukrainians we’ve talked to recently.

Andrey spends the majority of his time traveling to the frontlines, delivering crucial humanitarian aid, supplies for bakeries, and water to communities lacking access to drinking water. He’s witnessed the devastating impact this barbaric war has had on people physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

This is a remarkably raw and heartfelt prayer – pleading with God for answers and justice. Andrey writes…

Yesterday, I spent most of the day driving. Had lots of time to think and pray. Somehow, my thoughts seemed to orbit around a single word:

“Why are you silent, God? Why do you seem to be so distant? Why did you allow Mariupol, Bakhmut, Chasiv Yaru, Avdiyivtsi, and Maryinci to be destroyed?

There used to be churches there. The faithful lived there. There were good works done in your name. Why didn’t you step up? Why didn’t you stop the enemy? Why would you allow the atrocities in Bucha, Gostomel, and Irpen?

Why don’t you stop the Iranian Shahedi cruise missiles flying to Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Odesa? Destroying and killing even babies that are found in the ruins? What were they guilty of?

Why did you let the barbarians blow up the Kakhovsky dam? And allow the wetlands of Tavria to turn into a desert? Are the people in New York (Ukraine) more sinful than others to be left without water and without bread?

Why are cemeteries everywhere expanding with fresh flags on the graves of the best sons of Ukraine? Why do you allow the devilish, lying mouth (Putin) to give a TV interview? Why does this mouth pronounce names dear to us – Avdivka, Bakhmut, Mariupol, like they are military trophies? Why does the world still hesitate to recognize evil as evil?

Lord, you want and expect justice among us humans. You even demand it from us. “Oh, man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you: to act justly…” (Micah 6:8).

But we are also waiting for YOUR justice. We have been waiting for this. We are tired. We are desperate. Honestly – we do not yet see that higher justice is done. However, we believe, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25).

We heard that “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look favorably on wickedness. Why, then, do You look favorably on those who act treacherously?” I ask, together with the Prophet: “Why are you silent when the wicked destroy those more righteous than they?”
(Habakkuk 1:13)

This was my prayer—a candid one, maybe on the edge of disrespect.
But the answer came. It happens to me sometimes like this. Down deep in my soul, Christ’s words and His promise came to me: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

I am so eager to be completely satisfied with truth and justice until I am saturated with it! I do believe that, ultimately, justice will prevail abundantly. O God, may you sustain us so that we may endure until justice is realized. At least give us some crumbs of justice until the triumph of justice finally arrives. We, Ukrainians, desperately want to witness this day of justice.” Andrey

Please keep Pastor Andrey, as well as the thousands of Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and church volunteers, working around the clock to serve their communities, sharing God’s love with all, and pointing people to Jesus every day. Pray for their protection, give them strength, and encourage their spirits that they will indeed see the ‘triumph of justice’ soon!

Join us in doing our part to encourage these Christian brothers and sisters by supplying the resources they need to minister to hurting and hopeless people in communities across Ukraine.

Kharkiv Missle Strikes

…from HART partner – Kharkiv Presbyterian Church – Pastor Mark – Monday morning

Dear Friends, quick update! At night, we woke up at 4 am from many explosions. There was massive shelling throughout Ukraine. 21 missiles arrived in Kharkiv. (Ukraine’s second-largest city)

The entire city lacks power—no light, water, or internet. Even the traffic lights in the city don’t work. Trolleybuses, trams, and metro are out of order. This was the most significant attack on Ukraine’s energy system since the beginning of the war.

You all have seen photographs of the destroyed hydroelectric power station in Zaporizhzhya. Many people in Ukraine are now without electricity. But Kharkiv suffered the most. Currently, more than 700,000 people are without electricity.

We expect another attack tonight to completely knock out the power grid. Please pray that this does not happen and that the power engineers can quickly restore the system.

I ask you to pray that the enemy receives fair punishment for his crimes and that the democratic world wakes up from its slumber and helps those who are being killed every day.

I came to church to write you this email letter (thanks to those who donated to Starlink last year). So far, this is one of the few places in the city with Internet access. I don’t know when I’ll be in touch again.

I want you to know that we are very grateful for the prayer support, which we especially need right now. If there is no electricity for more than two days, we must take radical action to evacuate and help church members. Please pray for wisdom for us.

Pray for God’s mercy on His church and the Ukrainian people. We long for a just world. In the fellowship of Christ with you! Mark

Through the eyes of our church partners across Ukraine, we are witnessing huge needs – and a huge need for God’s light to be poured out on people who have lost loved ones, who no longer have a place to live, who have become injured and who are suffering from the traumatic experiences they’ve endured. It is a big challenge. Prayer is vital. Your prayers are vital – because, as our church partners would say: “prayer will keep our hands strong and able to work.”

We are grateful to everyone in our HART community who supports us. Your help has had an incredible impact during this war. Sincere “thanks” from people throughout Ukraine.

ARK Orphanage + Child Sponsor Program

The ARK Orphanage in Novovolynsk, situated in Western Ukraine, has been a remarkable beacon of transformative ministry for the past twenty years. It has been an honor and privilege to know and work alongside Director Lillya and her dedicated team over the course of many years.

Through our longstanding partnership, the HART community has played a pivotal role in transforming a once bleak, Soviet-era building into a warm and inviting home for orphaned children.

Director Lillya and her devoted team have had a profound effect on countless abandoned children under their care, focusing on a holistic and spiritual renewal of these precious children’s hearts and lives.

With the introduction of HART’s Child Sponsor Program to this mix, incredible stories of transformation began to unfold. Among them is the story of Olenka, who endured a tumultuous upbringing alongside her six siblings in an environment marred by addiction and violence due to her parents’ struggles with alcohol and drugs.

Her new life in the safety and love of a Christian orphanage, as well as establishing a wonderful relationship with sponsors from Canada, had a life-changing effect on this young girl.

Here is Olenka’s story:

How your support is helping orphans in Ukraine

We CAN change the world – on heart at a time!

Inspirational barista!

A barista named Maria continued to serve guests even after Russian missile strikes damaged her Kyiv coffeehouse.

This is an amazing example of the Ukrainian spirit!

Only One Way to Stop Putin

Addressing the European Parliament, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said that to defeat Putin, you have to stop pretending that he’s a politician and recognize that he’s a crime boss.

Vladimir Putin Begins Operation ‘Blame Ukraine’

Despite the fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, Putin is still trying to implicate Ukraine.

Here are specific prayer points that can help guide our prayers for the situation in Ukraine. Please share these with your friends and family:

  1. Pray for the physical protection and provision for Ukrainian soldiers, civilians, and especially children in harm’s way. Supernaturally and otherwise, minimize the suffering and loss of life. Pray for children who see things no child’s eye should ever see. Pray for God to protect their hearts and minds.
  2. Pray for and ask to see God’s glory amid this great struggle. Pray that He would continue to be glorified through the Christians in Ukraine who are being his hands and feet during this tragedy.
  3. Pray for God’s peace to strengthen and encourage the thousands of Ukrainian workers/volunteers serving refugees, and the poor in their communities, who need to hear of God’s love for them through these Christian workers.
  4. Pray for the wounded soldiers returning from the war with missing limbs and suffering from PTSD. Pray that they receive the proper medical care and that they will hear the message of God’s love through local church volunteers who visit them in hospitals.
  5. Pray for the residents of cities and towns who are under heavy, indiscriminate shelling and have lost their homes and livelihoods.
  6. Pray for countless civilian and military prisoners of war who are subject to torture and death at the hands of their captors.
  7. Ask God to comfort the families that have lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters during this conflict.
  8. Pray for God to give justice and peace to all those who have been cruelly and unfairly treated by their fellow man.
  9. Ask God to intervene. Pray that God would give wisdom and move in the hearts of world leaders and guide their plans to end this war.
  10. Pray for the President (Zelensky) and the leaders of Ukraine to know God’s truth and peace and be transformed by his Holy Spirit so that they would seek to lead their country in the way of peace.
  11. Ask that this conflict would open doors of opportunities for the gospel. Pray that He would make his name known across Ukraine, Russia, and all the European countries refugees have fled to.