Kevin Reilly on behalf of Edik and Liana – Ukraine:
At the point of writing, myself, Emma, David King, Onno Weststrate and Gert Hijkoop are just back from a visit to be with our dear friends Edik and Liana and the church in Uzhgorod, Ukraine. I will not go into detail here with regard to our trip (you can read Gert’s report in our January newsletter) but I would be remiss if I did not at least mention something of our trip here.
I know that I speak for the whole team when I say that this ministry in Uzhgorod is remarkable. The Rock of Salvation Church is actually quite a small church and yet their ministry to the displaced, to the sick, to the hungry and to the lost is magnificent. Please do not have in mind the idea that Edik and Liana are simply a food bank for the hungry or a money bank for the poor. This is a gospel work! These guys are about preaching the Gospel, ministering in the power of the Spirit, making disciples and bringing in the Kingdom…and this work is marked with peace and faith and joy and with a desire to simply do what God tells us to do!
It is truly an impressive work – marked with humility and the joy of the Lord. As a team we have come away with far more than we left behind, I think. And yet – although this is true – Liana’s heartfelt statement to us on our final evening together was “We do not feel that we are alone“. This ministry in Uzhgorod is their ministry – it is not ours. And yet I am profoundly aware of the importance of the part that we play in this work. So many people arrive in Uzhgorod with nothing – the elderly, the sick and the young. And it is these, particularly, who Edik and Liana serve with compassion and faith.
But they are not alone! Through our fellowship, friendship and partnership together in the Gospel, we have a part to play in resourcing this vital ministry. The money we distribute via the Lighthouse Community enables Edik and Liana to rent 30+ rooms a month in the hotel where Liana works. 80-100 refugees are housed, provided with food and given a little money, that they may be able to live with a measure of dignity.
This Christmas, a number of churches are taking up offerings to support this ongoing ministry. Each month we send $10 000 to support Edik and Liana in this work (see below for this month’s update). Could you or your church contribute to this work? With more refugees than ever pouring into Uzhgorod – the population has now doubled, pushing up prices and reducing the prospect of work – the need for this ministry to continue has grown.
But they are not alone…
Edik Writes: In November, we paid $150 each for 16 rooms for refugee families to stay in the hotel. We also made weekly payments to 28 people at an average of $100 per month. We have purchased, distributed and continue to distribute $1400 worth of food packages to approximately 130 people. We also provided financial assistance to three churches for $500 each, and $300 for Pastor Kalman in Berehove Roma Church: $100 firewood, $100 car repairs, $109 winter tires for a car, and $500 rent for the building. We also paid other rents and utilities totalling $400.
We also paid for 23 refugees to stay at the hotel at $150 with money from Newfrontiers. And we’ve reserved $700 for heating bills for hotel guests, as we don’t yet know exactly how much that will cost.
In total, we were able to pay for 39 rooms to house over 100 refugees in November.
Thank you so much for everything you do for us and for this opportunity to serve people!
Torches and blankets that we brought into Ukraine being distributed along with the weekly distributions of food.