With a heavy heart, I must report the war in Ukraine continues to devastate many lives in both Ukraine and Russia. Though the wave of Ukrainian refugees fleeing to places like Poland, Germany, and various nearby eastern European countries has slowed since March 2022, the needs inside and outside Ukraine remain dire. The demand for aid also persists in Israel, where multiple thousands of both Ukrainian and Russian refugees are entering the Holy Land month after month.
Ukraine is struggling to recover from a rough winter, during which many people needed more consistent heat and electricity. Through those cold and dark months, we did all we could to provide warm clothing, sleeping bags, food, and heaters. It is no exaggeration to say there were many who could not have endured the winter without the aid we provided through your help and generous support. The Lord used you powerfully to save lives, and ultimately souls, as we have also been able to bring the message of Jesus to so many suffering throughout Ukraine!
One of our most memorable and evangelistic projects was bringing in more than 1,000 pounds of matzah (unleavened bread) for Passover. This outreach helped both believing and not-yet-believing Jewish people celebrate this festival of God’s redemption (Leviticus 23:5–8). The Ukrainian Jewish community was so grateful for our support.
Ukraine, especially the eastern part, is still a very dangerous place. In many areas of the nation, warning sirens are routine—and people are still dying as a result of missile and drone attacks.
In addition to the physical threats, Ukrainians are facing a growing sense of hopelessness, fearing the war will never end.
In Search of Hope
Ukrainians find themselves mired in a lingering struggle for the lives of their children and future as a nation. They are hunkering down for a protracted war, which one of our staff members called “a long road of suffering.”
A major part of what we will continue to do in Ukraine is deliver hope to those who are growing despondent. Food and warm clothing serve the body, but hope is medicine for the soul! We know true and enduring hope only comes through a relationship with Jesus the Messiah, so please pray with us for Ukrainians to have hearts open to the gospel message.
Every month, we financially support between 400 and 500 Messianic believers who fled eastern Ukraine. Many of them were part of congregations Chosen People Ministries planted during the last three or four decades. We love these brothers and sisters and want to do all we can to help them survive and one day return to some type of normal life.
We provide between $50 and $100 per month to these dear Ukrainians. The money covers basic needs like food and medicine. Much of our aid goes to older people who depend on help from organizations like ours. They deeply appreciate it since, unfortunately, the government cannot assist them due to its focus on the war effort.
One of the staff members coordinating this relief work said he could not fully express the heartfelt gratitude shared by those we have helped. The “we” includes you, as your faithful prayers and support are saving Ukrainian lives—physically and spiritually.
Our prayer for Ukraine is for them to put their trust in the God of Israel and His Son, Jesus, the Messiah for all!
Finding Hope in Israel
May I bring you up to date on what God is doing among the Ukrainian and Russian refugees fleeing to the Holy Land?
In 2022, more than 70,000 people from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus immigrated to Israel. I am proud of the heartfelt and faithful work our staff in Israel is doing to serve these new immigrants. Several of our team members came to Israel many years ago from former Soviet countries. They were among the more than 1.5 million Jewish people who came to Israel from this region following the fall of communism.
Our Israel team understands what the new immigrants are going through. Michael, the leader of our ministry in Israel, immigrated to the country from Ukraine in 1989. He and his wife came to faith in the Messiah through the love and outreach of believers in Israel who helped them settle into Israeli culture. They and many on our staff speak Russian, Ukrainian, or both as their first language(s). They understand how difficult it is to adjust to a new culture and tongue.
This common experience enables our staff to effectively minister to those now arriving from the war zones. We help them find housing, learn Hebrew, complete government paperwork, and find childcare when needed. We also organize multiple retreats for Ukrainian children and families.
Unfortunately, many of the fathers of these children had to remain in Ukraine to fight for their country. Sadly, some of these men are missing in action or have died. Supporting children who endure this trauma is a priority for us.
The sad situation of Anastasia* is typical of what the kids are going through!
Anastasia is twelve years old, and she came to Israel with her mom in July last year. Somehow, in August, she came to our camp. She was depressed, and she did not want to stay. But after the first day, she was drawn in and no longer wanted to leave. Anastasia found a friend and began to go with her to the local congregation, and her mother started attending too.
The recent family camp allowed broken families to bond and grow, which is vitally important. Ninety families attended, and afterward, at least one of these families is now attending an Israeli Russian-speaking congregation. At the end of May, we held another family retreat in Israel with many new Ukrainian immigrants. Though we had great conversations with the immigrants, most have not yet put their trust in the Lord. We are doing all we can to follow up and become part of their lives.
We long to proclaim the gospel message to these precious souls devastated by war.
Our love and care is an expression of His love. Kind actions often convey more than words ever could. Whatever the outcome, we seek to sow seeds of hope and follow the example of our Lord, who took the form of a servant and loved sacrificially (John 13:1–17; Philippians 2:5–11).
The crisis in Ukraine is still severe. We must continue to provide crucial aid and—most importantly—the gospel message. This massive effort is only possible because of you.
Your gift today will enable us to provide essential help for Ukrainians and Russians—both within Ukraine and in Israel.
Please help us be a beacon of hope and a reminder of Messiah’s love.