Fall 2019 brought a plethora of visitors to Hope in Action, a medical evangelism outreach operated here in Ukraine since 2002.
Members of Radiologists without Borders (who have graciously provided us with much radiological equipment and training); Ukrainian brothers from churches in Sacramento, California; Rev. Joel Leitch, a clinical psychologist from IMAGE Family Residency Program who taught seminars and provided some direct patient care; other personnel saw patients and assisted Nancy in developing the team's medical training program.
This was our 16th outreach to Ukraine’s war-torn eastern region, where we focused on remote areas in the Lugansk area, which borders the occupied territories and still bears marks of earlier fighting. Because the regular roads are unsafe, we travelled on makeshift roads, which in the past have been impassible for us. But this year we had the right conditions for travel and were able to do our first outreach in Kryms'ke.
These folks face many hardships, one of which is the lack of a regular doctor. In both Kryms’ke and Troits’ke there are no doctors at the local medical center — none want to live in a war-torn area. Patients must travel the same roads we did to reach a regional center for care.
Of course, the most serious wounds that people experience in a war zone are wounds of the heart. As always, Hope in Action provided spiritual intervention through evangelism, prayer and counselling. One of Nancy’s patients related that she lives in constant fear and tries to cope with the shelling by playing classical music. These formerly thriving border towns have shrunk (Troits’ke, for example, from over 10,000 people to just 600) and become places for people who have nowhere else to go. Half of the homes in Kryms’ke are unlivable because of bombing.
The National News Agency of Ukraine broadcast a segment (in English) about Hope in Action’s involvement in the East that can be viewed here.
For Hope in Action the month of December was also an intense time of preparation for the “The Gift From Heaven” distribution project in January, the time of Eastern Orthodox Christmas. Nancy joined other team members to distribute around 5,000 gifts prepared especially for children in eastern Ukraine. One of our churches, Maranatha in Forest Lake, Minnesota, contributed 126 gifts toward this outreach.
Participation in the project continues to grow. This year we will be including new schools and areas in the east.
Please pray for God's anointing on continuing works and for favor with local authorities.