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Ukraine at War – Update 24, 2023

Ukraine celebrates its first Christmas on DEC 25

Traditionally, Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, in line with the Russian Orthodox church. However, Ukraine celebrated Christmas on December 25th this year for the first time. The date change – moving away from the Julian calendar favored by the Orthodox Church – is part of a process since the invasion to distance Ukraine from Russia and align themselves closer with Europe.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “Today, all Ukrainians are together. We all celebrate Christmas together. On the same date, as one big family, as one nation, as one united country. And today, our common prayer will be stronger than ever. The people’s prayer. Today, it will unite millions of voices—more than ever before. And it will resonate with Europe and the world.”

Thank you – HART Community

Dear HART, Thank you for the incredible support you give our ministries! During the war, our Grace Church in Rivne provided assistance to 21,800 refugees through the volunteer center at the church. Because of this, we gained favor with the local media and the city government, who allowed us to have a larger facility for our church and all our ministries – in a great location. The fact that we were able to serve and help so many people is thanks to you!

This war is awful; it’s hard to bury loved ones who die in the war, and it’s especially hard for people who are living in the dark. That is why the church today shines like a light in the darkness. Thank you, HART! We are praying for you! Pastor Andriy

Our partner Churches across Ukraine

Thanks for choosing to serve alongside us in Eastern Europe.
Together, we are… changing hearts – restoring hope
– and saving lives during this crisis in Ukraine.

Video: Christmas Spirit in a Bomb Shelter

Despite frequent Russian missiles striking the city of Odessa, this is an example of Ukrainian’s Christmas Spirit – in a bomb shelter in the basement of a school in Odessa.

Heroes Among Us – True Servants

HART Staff in Ukraine: Recently, we hosted two HART partners, Pastor Serhey and Pastor/Chaplain Yevhen, at our office in Lviv. These brothers are truly “heroes among us.” They are tireless Christian warriors who have been working around the clock since the war began.

Countless thousands of lives have been impacted by the physical and spiritual aid they are providing for those living in their communities and those near the front lines, where they travel constantly. Their response to a question about where the war Is going…

“Will we win? We have already won. This war has changed so many things. Our faith has only strengthened, and our hope has become even more alive! More people are coming to churches! Isn’t this a victory?

Practically speaking, we don’t give much thought to what the future holds for us or how long this war will last. But we do hear what God tells us to do now – in this place where he has us. And that is to serve those who have lost hope, who have lost their homes and loved ones, and to help our soldiers who are laying down their lives and health for us.”

HART Staff in Ukraine: We thanked Serhey and Yevhen for serving and working in the Southern Regions in the face of constant danger.
And they, in turn, thanked HART for prayers and supporting their projects and them personally. “We feel your prayers, and we feel that you are thinking about us. We also understand that we are where we should be – to do what we should do, and you, in turn, do what you can and what you should do!”

Please keep Serhey and Yevhen, as well as the hundreds of Christian leaders and volunteers just like them, who are saving lives and serving others during this war in Ukraine.

Pray for Ukraine, Pray for Peace

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, Jesus. Keep the bombs away, and food in their stomachs. Pray for children who are seeing things no child’s eye should ever see. Jesus, you are a great King and healer. By whatever means you chose— loving parents, a direct work of the Holy Spirit, fellow believers… protect the hearts, minds, and imagination of children.
  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 terrible tragedy.
  3. Pray for God’s peace to be a source of strength for the thousands of Ukrainian workers/volunteers who are serving refugees who need to hear of God’s love for them.
  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 that 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 that refugees are fleeing to due to this conflict.