Shelling in Novotoshkivske

Shelling in Novotoshkivske

“War has turned our town into a wilderness.” - Oleg.

Responding to the deepening crisis in Ukraine

Mission Without Borders  is responding directly to the urgent need for help in the Ukraine as a result of the invasion by Russian forces on Wednesday February 23rd. The invasion has caused widespread shock and fear and resulted in over 100,000 casualties to date. Families have been torn apart with over 0.5m people so far fleeing to the neighbouring countries of Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova.

With thousands of Russian troops having crossed the border into Ukraine, families and desperately seeking safety from the conflict. Many have taken to hiding in basements and finding shelter for children further away from the violence.

In Novotoshkivske, about 30 miles from the city of Luhansk in Eastern Urkaine, the conflict has brought both civilian and military casualties and most people have fled leaving the town largely abandoned. The only people who remain here have nowhere else to go.

A devoted Christian, Pastor Roman, lives here and ministers to people at the centre. “Please pray for protection”, Roman told us. “This is the most difficult situation we’ve been in for the last few years”.

Oleg lives in the community, a retired coal miner, who suffers long-term health complications after many years working in the mines. His wife Olga is a wheelchair user. Oleg said, “If someone told us that there was going to be a war, we would never have believed it. When the conflict started, we had nowhere to run, so we stayed here. I remember my town as a flourishing, comfortable place - but war has turned it into a wilderness. Every day my wife and I try to make life easier for each other by caring for and helping each other. It’s very challenging without professional medical care. We don’t have enough money to travel to the nearest city and buy medicine. We used to think that everything would change and peace would come. Now we’re tired of waiting. “It's so good that there are people who think of us and want to help. Thank you!"

Another Christian group MWB work with is at the Nadiya Christian Centre in the village of Halytsynivka (Memryk), located in the territory controlled by Ukraine, 25 miles from Donetsk.

 

Two days ago, the town was hit by “Grad” artillery rockets, one of the deadliest missiles used. Fragments of shells pierced windows and doors in the Nadiya Christian Centre

One of the eye-witnesses at the centre commented, “At 11 pm, three shots were fired, and we started running to the basement. We sat there all night, singing and praying together. Today we sent the children to friends and repaired the windows with film. We are convinced that the Lord saved us that night. We believe in Him, He is with us and He protects us”. No one was hurt however threats are being made to local people so Mission Without Borders continues to work with around 20 Christians who meet in the centre for services.

The situation on the ground is deteriorating and as always is it the most vulnerable – the elderly, the disabled, the poor – who are facing real darkness and despair,” John Chamberlain, Mission Without Borders UK Country Director commented, For example, Ukraine’s electricity system is connected to Belarus who are allied with Russia so there is now an increased danger of power cuts”.

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