A new year offers new hopes, new dreams, new ex- pectations. Certainly, our friends in Ukraine are praying 2023 brings better days in the new year. I realize much of our newsletter commentary in 2022 was about the war in Ukraine. We do not intend to tire people of hearing about it. Our only concern is the people who needlessly suffer, not the politics of the situation.
The devastation in Ukraine continues. In the late afternoon today I spoke with Yulia, our ministry admin- istrator who lives with her family in Kiev. They had been without electricity and heat all day, with no knowledge of when it will return. This scene has repeated itself over and over for them and millions more. We feel we must keep at least some of the situation before our friends to encourage prayer on behalf of millions living in an ongoing crisis of war.
Four-hundred miles away from Kiev is Kahovka and House of Joy. The situation there is even more serious in some regards. Russia is not bombing the electric grid and cutting off heat there because the city is filled with Russian troops. Kahovka sits on the very front line of the battle currently. Just across the Dnepr River are Ukrainian troops hoping to recapture this territory, something we would welcome with joy. There are a lot of explosions in the region. Some type of air launched explosive hit an apartment just down the street from our apartment in Kahovka this week. Orphanage staff checked our apartment and all is intact at this point.
The 49 children of House of Joy remain safe in private homes.
The churches that we are sending financial support to are doing an amazing job helping people. These teams.
have faithfully been at it for almost a year now. Teams like this one from New Generation Church, in Dnipro, Pastor Sergiy Tsalko, frequently evacuate civilians from the combat areas. Shown here are pictures from one of their trips to Avdeevka, in Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. They are basically evacuating to safer places those who either resisted fleeing
until the last moment or were not able to physically make the journey on their own. People like this elderly lady whom they miraculously found.
She lived all by herself in the street, in a two-walled shed. The walker by her bed speaks of her limited
ability to move and thus evacuate.
These two pictures of apartment buildings (below) that have been shelled reveal why people have fled to find safe shelter.
We are grateful for every donation that has enabled us to keep helping people. We ask you to please pray for the safety of these Ukrainian teams, who in some cases risk their lives to bring aid to their fellow citizens.
Many of you who receive this letter have been on ministry trips with us to Ukraine through the years for church planting, crusades, or House of Joy summer camps. From the beginning of House of Joy, our meetings with the Governor of the State of Kherson and other officials took place in the building seen on the following page.
These meetings, of which there have been many through the years, have been essential to the beginning and continuation of House of Joy. Last week the Governor’s Administration building was hit by a missile.
Thank you to everyone who gave to provide Christmas for the children of House of Joy and families there. We could not fly to Ukraine for Christmas, as flights are suspended nationwide. Next month we will have some pictures from the team in Ukraine.
We pray 2023 is off to a fabulous beginning for you. Our love and gratitude are being sent your way!
Happy New Year, Jim and Pam