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Ukraine at War – Update 13, 2023

Dear Office, Our Child Sponsor Director in Ukraine recently shared with us the following story, which serves as a poignant reminder of the anguish and grief experienced by countless families as a consequence of Russia’s aggression against a free and democratic Ukraine.

Balloons for Daddy

by Julia Savchak

The war in Ukraine has brought immense suffering and devastation to adults, children, and their families. Today, families are being torn apart not due to misunderstandings, arguments, addictions, or betrayals but rather out of love for one another and their country. What is even more heartbreaking is that Ukrainian children are being forced to grasp the concepts of “separation” and “death” at such an early age.

Meet Dominika, a three-year-old girl who adores her mommy, daddy, and sister. However, her father now resides in heaven while she remains on Earth with her mother and sister. Since the autumn of 2022, her father courageously defended the Ukrainian homeland and its people against the invading Russian forces.

Tragically, in February 2023, a sniper’s bullet took his life. As difficult as it was, her mother needed to explain to Dominika that her daddy, who had a deep and genuine love for Jesus, his family, and people, is now in heaven.
Almost five months have passed, and this young mother is still struggling with the loss of her husband. Her daughters frequently visit their father’s grave, bringing him flowers.

At home, Dominika takes pleasure in kneading dough and making cream cakes, as her father worked as a baker before the onset of this terrible war. Her mother says Dominika is always singing for her daddy so that he can see how much she loves him.

We often give something valuable or precious to those we love. As for Dominika, she loves colorful balloons, and she particularly delights in letting them go and watching them carried away by the wind high into the sky to her Daddy. It is her way of sending a message to him: “Hello, Daddy, I love you.”

None of us can “change the world,” but all of us can “change the world for one child.”

Sponsor Opportunities: We are bringing Dominika into our Child Sponsor Program, so if you would like to sponsor her, please contact our office at 403.230.8263.

We have about 30 children who need sponsors right now. Please consider helping HART support poor families struggling because of the impact this war has had on their lives. Learn more here.

On a personal note, I know this family well. Dominika’s father, Bohdan, was an orphan who grew up in a Christian Foster Home, which HART has been supporting for 15+ years. Bohdan’s wife, Marta, is the daughter of a HART partner pastor. Please keep Marta and the girls in your prayers, as their journey going forward will be difficult. We will be in touch with Marta to see where we can be of help.


Pastor Sasha (Rivne region) says: “Thanks to your support, our Transformation Church became an island of hope and light for thousands of Ukrainians who experienced the hideous face of war.

Pastor Vitali (Cherkasy region) Greetings, and thank you, HART supporters, sincerely for your compassionate hearts in meeting our needs. We deeply appreciate your prayers, provision of food, medicine, and financial assistance. HART support is so important to us because it acts as a powerful antidote to negativity and despair going on all around us. Each of us is committed to carrying out our work in a manner that brings honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you again for everything you do and may your kindness return to you a hundredfold.


LUDMYLLA: Many of you will recall Ludmylla, a young girl from the Christian Gypsy community who has been bravely fighting bone cancer for the past two years. Her journey toward recovery led her to Germany for treatments, and there was a hopeful period when the cancer appeared to be in remission. Unfortunately, within the last six months, the cancer has returned. Ludmylla has returned home to Ukraine and is undergoing another round of chemotherapy, but the doctors hold little optimism. This has been an arduous and lengthy battle for Ludmylla and her family. Please keep this courageous young lady and her family in your prayers as they face these difficult circumstances.

PASTOR CONFERENCE REPORT: Over 20 pastors and wives from Eastern Ukraine were blessed to attend a three-day HART retreat near Lviv last week. After 17 months of non-stop work with refugees and others impacted by this war, HART provided them with a unique opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. Thanks to your support, the retreat was an incredibly blessed time for everyone who attended. We will bring you pictures and testimonials in our upcoming E-Newsletters.

Russian forces destroy the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, triggering a humanitarian and environmental disaster across southern Ukraine.

YOUR help to the flooded communities in southern Ukraine

Tens of thousands of families were driven from their homes after the catastrophic bombing of the Nova Kakhovka Dam overwhelmed communities with the rushing reservoir waters of the Dnipro River.

HART is working through local churches to help with evacuations and providing families with water, water filters, hygiene kits, blankets, shelter materials, medicines, and other critical aid.

Please pray for the families in these regions, for our church partners assisting them, and that God would bring peace to this war-torn country.

Child Victims of Russian Aggression:

“They Freed Us … From a Normal Life”

Today, there is almost nobody in the country who has not been affected by the war in one way or another. This especially affects children who, while they may not show their pain, they, like us, understand everything. Sometimes even more… READ KYIV POST ARTICLE


A soldier makes it home on time for graduation.
Pres Zelensky – what Ukrainians go through each day
I wish everything could get back to normal
The children of Ukraine – our precious future

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 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. Jesus, you are a great King and healer. By whatever means you choose — loving parents, a direct work of the Holy Spirit, fellow believers… protect children’s hearts, minds, and imagination.
  2. Pray for and ask to see God’s glory amid this great struggle. Pray that He would 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 God’s protection for soldiers and civilians caught up in this conflict.
  5. Pray for the residents of cities and towns who are under heavy shelling and have lost their heat, lights, and water.
  6. Pray for the 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 many families that have lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters during this Russian invasion.
    The pain and heartache are overwhelming for most families.
  8. Pray for the frustration of all evil plans of the enemy.
  9. Ask God to intervene. Pray for wisdom for world leaders. Pray God would move in their hearts and guide their steps and 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 are fleeing to due to this conflict.