Half a million of Israel’s nine million citizens are from Ukraine. That makes it the largest foreign community in Israel! And with the recent violence against civilians there, many are making the most of their eligibility for aliyah and are fleeing to Israel in significant numbers. Yet many more are left behind and are in dire straits.
ONE FOR ISRAEL has been supporting Ukrainian believers who are serving as God’s hands and feet in Ukraine, bringing relief and practical help, along with the gospel, to those in need. Many of our partners and friends have joined us in supporting this outreach, and so we wanted to share this update from our co-workers on the ground about how the funds have been used to be a great blessing.
“I want to express my deep gratitude from our entire team and from all those hundreds of people who received help and heard the word of God thanks to your financial and prayer support!” – Greetings from our partner, Ilya Korotkiy, serving in Ukraine.
Ilya reports that just over the last few months, they have been able to accomplish a great deal with the funds we’ve been blessed to send to them. They have been supporting churches and those serving in ministry which are helping to spread the love of God through providing food, children’s camps, sports events, rehabilitation centers and other social needs necessary in difficult regions of Ukraine.
More than 2,000 food packages were distributed in just over two months. While meeting these basic needs, gospel work was also carried out and all people were invited to worship in the church.
Ilya reports that more than 200 people came to faith during these two months!
“Many people come to church or gather in the homes of believing brothers to receive spiritual and psychological help. At these meetings they also received humanitarian aid (clothes, medicines, food) and, of course, they heard about God and his love”.
Showing God’s heart and hands
Field kitchens were organized to feed people with freshly prepared hot food, where they are also able to share the Gospel with people: Food to sustain life, and the Gospel for eternal life! Hundreds of people come, and eventually many become part of the community and continue to attend the services. Here are just three stories of changed lives that Ilya has shared with us:
Vika comes from Kherson. During the war she moved with her friend to Krivoy Rog where we met them when we helped with humanitarian aid. Vika came to Bible studies and started to attend our meetings. Today Vika accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Another woman began coming to Bible study groups and attending our services through our food parcel outreach. She took the initiative herself. She recently lost her younger brother in the war and has felt drawn to God and is now seeking comfort in Him.
Dmitry was left on the street, without documents, housing, relatives, and also addicted to drugs. Having found him, we took him to a rehabilitation center, and last Sunday Dmitry accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior!
In addition to food distribution, the team have provided several kids camps. Hundreds of children were able to enjoy a sense of vacation and also receive spiritual food and support at this difficult time. There are six more children’s and teenage camps in different regions being planned for the months ahead.
Thanks to the funds from those who generously donated, Ilya and his team have been able to buy a minibus to be used for food delivery, summer camps, visits to rehab centers and other types of service in Krivoy Rog and the Zaporozhye region. Another minibus was bought to help refugees escape the dangerous territories of Ukraine, and also to deliver food and humanitarian assistance in the city of Rivne and other regions.
More outreach ideas and blessing to come
The team is currently in the process of opening a free laundry service for people who do not have their own homes and cannot wash their clothes. They are expectant that it will be a great blessing, and a great opportunity to be able to share the Gospel with many more people.
They are also in communication with a brother from Odessa about buying a small mill to make flour from wheat and then distribute it to those in need. Ilya explains: “On the packages we want to write a verse from the Bible and the address and phone number of the church where people can get support and help from our ministers”.
So as you can see much has been done, and our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are working hard to meet the needs of the people there both physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“May God richly bless ONE FOR ISRAEL and all the brothers and sisters who are involved in this help, through your ministry we were able to complete our ministry, which bore fruit and led to Jesus Christ more than 200 people! Please continue to pray for the continuation of the service at this difficult time for Ukraine.”