MPUK and Ukraine

Update from Richard Wallis (5th June 2022)

Mission Possible Ukraine is based in Odesa. You may have seen that last month a shopping mall and warehouse suffered attacks in Odesa. Our people are OK, but others are not. Please continue to pray.

By the end of May, 5600 boxes of food and hygiene products had been distributed – not only in the Odesa region but also into the war zone in towns east of Odesa. Volunteers, mainly young people, from 5 different churches come each day to pack boxes and Mission Possible team members distribute the parcels.

Mission Possible not only focuses on meeting people's physical needs; there are a great many organizations that solely address this challenge. But we find that people (especially the youth) are open to spiritual discussions and ask very thoughtful questions about faith, God, and hope. People in this desperate and frightening situation are therefore also receiving spiritual support as our team give them food boxes, share scripture, pray together, and provide them with spiritual comfort. This must remain a priority. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and we desire that others come to know His love. Thankfully, we have just been able to obtain more Christian literature including Bibles to distribute. Our team is also hoping in the next few weeks to resume running children's Bible clubs in the villages around Odesa.

Every day, young people work alongside adults in Mission Possible's office packing food boxes for distribution in the Odesa region and the war zone cities to its east. Fear, depression, and hopelessness surround them, but they choose to fight against these emotions and serve. They have given themselves as 'weapons of goodness' in times of despair and work with older generations in trusting the God of love and hope.

Here is a lovely poem written by a Mission Possible Team member and inspired by the youth of Odesa.  

  If there was no hope
  Fear would lock us behind the doors
  Depression would curl us around ourselves
  Despair would solidify us in our places to wait for the worst
  Darkness would turn off even the last ray of light
  Despair would make us give up and lose the fight

  But because there is hope
  We get up and step out
  We look up and see those in need
  We will continue to work and give our strength to do good
  We see the darkness coming tomorrow and the light overcoming
  We will continue to fight until victory

  For we have God
  Whose love banishes all fear
  Which encourages and invites us to serve
  Which gives future and hope
  Which is the light of the world
  Who has overcome death!  
 


 This link takes you to a short one-minute video of the Odesa team in action:https://youtu.be/X0lRDZoIlz8 


If you would like to give through Mission Possible UK, you can:

  • transfer your gift directly into our bank account:
    Mission Possible UK   Sort code 40-52-40   Account 00092063
  • make a donation via our website. Simply click the Please Donate Now button on the Home Page. Online donations to MPUK are managed by Stewardship 
  • send a cheque (payable to MPUK) to MPUK, PO Box 597, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 9ET

If possible put the reference 'Ukraine' on your gift. Also email Richard (richard.wallis@mpuk.org) to let him know.

Many thanks 


Update from Richard Wallis (29th April 2022)

Mission Possible’s relief programme in Ukraine has been ratcheted up since I last wrote in early April.

Over 100 tonnes of food has been purchased and 2500 boxes of food and basic hygiene products have been distributed.  Our volunteer team in Odesa can now make up 200 boxes a day and they have sufficient empty boxes to make up another 8000 boxes for distribution. 

The team have kept the cost of food purchased as low as possible by bulk buying – flour, rice, pasta, sugar, tea, condensed milk, canned fish, sunflower oil and much more. There has been difficulty in finding baby food and thankfully the team has recently been able to source some.

It is amazing to me to see what was operating as a normal office when Ruth and I visited Odesa in 2018 converted into a storage warehouse with a packing facility. 

One of the challenges has been to split the bulk purchased food into small packages for distribution to households. 

Initially boxes were distributed in the villages within about 90 minutes drive of Odesa where MPUK has worked for many years. 

Odesa itself has largely been spared the war but now our team, working with local churches, have extended distribution of the boxes to towns to the east of Odesa which have been directly impacted by the war.  The MP van which has been working so hard has been repaired but is coming to the end of its life and will need to be replaced soon. 

MP is not an emergency aid organisation, but circumstances have compelled us to be involved in this work. We are also keen to provide spiritual food in Ukraine.  Bibles and children’s story books have been distributed alongside the boxes and currently we are considering funding the publication of booklets specifically written for both children and adults in Ukraine to bring them encouragement from a Christian perspective. 

Daily life was a struggle for the people we work with before the war, and now on top of this many people are living in fear. 

A warm thank you to everyone for your help! 

Please pray for Ukrainians living in this conflict: 

  • For physical and spiritual protection: Lord God, we ask that You would work mightily for the spiritual and physical protection of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We pray that You will keep Your people safe from harm.  Where there is fear, bring your comfort, Lord.
  • That God would supply every practical need:  God ,You can supply every need; many Ukrainians need Your provision today.  Lord, help Mission Possible be your hands and feet as we find and take food supplies to the hungry.
  • For the growth of God’s Church: Even in the darkness of this war, Lord, send out Your light and Your truth; strengthen Your church and allow Ukrainian Christians to lead others to You.

Richard 

If you would like to give through Mission Possible UK, you can:

  • transfer your gift directly into our bank account:
    Mission Possible UK   Sort code 40-52-40   Account 00092063
  • make a donation via our website. Simply click the Please Donate Now button on the Home Page. Online donations to MPUK are managed by Stewardship 
  • send a cheque (payable to MPUK) to MPUK, PO Box 597, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 9ET

If possible put the reference 'Ukraine' on your gift. Also email Richard (richard.wallis@mpuk.org) to let him know.

Many thanks 


Update from Richard Wallis (5th April 2022)

Since my last update we have received the following report from Mission Possible on the ground in Ukraine.

The team here is distributing food and hygiene boxes to people living in villages around Odesa. Most villagers have remained due to the lack of funds or connections outside Ukraine. Many are afraid to leave their homes and express that they see no way out; they are concerned about the future. More than half of the villagers have lost their jobs and, therefore, their income. Some have already run out of money and food supplies. They are dependent on help.

The situation in Mykolaiv, a city about 80 miles east of Odesa, is even worse. We received a request for help from a church there. Because the need was so great, Mission Possible team members Igor and Sasha immediately set off with a bus full of food and hygiene boxes. The trip to Mykolaiv is not without danger, as it is located on the front lines of the conflict.

Here is the message we received from MP team member Liliya last night:

Hello!
Yesterday, Igor and Sasha brought food and hygiene boxes to Mykolaiv. Some of the boxes they handed out themselves, and a large number were dropped off at a church. It is a sad sight: the houses have turned into complete ruins in some streets. People live together with other families in places that are still habitable. The city is constantly being shelled. Fortunately, Igor and Sasha returned safely. God bless. Liliya

We see the need only increasing. Our local led team is purchasing food and other necessary supplies through our contacts in Odesa. Supplies are not easy to find, but it is still possible. Volunteers are helping with the packing of the food and hygiene boxes and with transportation. They are working in partnership with local churches.

The crisis in Ukraine is changing day by day. The safety of our staff and volunteers comes first. They will assess whether it is still safe to continue distribution or even stay in Odesa. Pray that the situation does not worsen.

Richard

 

If you would like to give through Mission Possible UK, you can:

  • transfer your gift directly into our bank account:
    Mission Possible UK   Sort code 40-52-40   Account 00092063
  • make a donation via our website. Simply click the Please Donate Now button on the Home Page. Online donations to MPUK are managed by Stewardship 
  • send a cheque (payable to MPUK) to MPUK, PO Box 597, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 9ET

If possible put the reference 'Ukraine' on your gift. Also email Richard (richard.wallis@mpuk.org) to let him know.

Many thanks 


Update from Richard Wallis (16th March 2022)

It is 13 days since I sent out our Ukraine appeal and the response has been astonishing.  I believe I have thanked everyone who has donated individually - please do let me know if I have not.  Also thank you to the many people who have donated anonymously.

We have sent some funds to meet immediate needs. One of the Odesa staff members is now in Romania and is coordinating relief there including small grants for poor Romanian families hosting refugees. In Moldova, working through a local church, we have provided bedding for refugees. MP has also distributed food and other basic essentials in the Odesa area of Ukraine.  And the van that was used for the children’s Bible Clubs in the villages around Odesa had been ferrying people from Odesa to the Moldova border - but sadly has now broken down and needs repair.  As I write, the MP team is exploring other needs – one being a church-based programme within Ukraine supporting children separated from their families. 

 Irina’s story

We have seen much on TV, but I was still moved to tears this morning reading Irina’s story. Click side button to read.  Irina and her family are well known by the MP team in Odesa, and she is one of the people who has now benefited from Mission Possible’s aid in Romania.

What next?

It is not our intention to use all or even most of donations received for immediate refugee relief - there are now many organisations doing just this.  There are over three million Ukrainian refugees but that is less than 10% of the population of Ukraine.  So there are and will be huge needs within Ukraine and MP have the base and structure to meet some of these in the Odesa region.  The MP team believe they should start gearing up for longer term relief in this part of Ukraine.  This is possible due to the amazing generosity of our supporters over the past 13 days.

I want to assure you that everything given for Ukraine is ring fenced for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees and every pound received by us together with all Gift Aid received will go to those who need support now and in the months ahead.

Please continue to pray for Ukraine including that God protects Odesa. Click on the side button for some prayer resources

Richard

 

If you would like to give through Mission Possible UK, you can:

  • transfer your gift directly into our bank account:
    Mission Possible UK   Sort code 40-52-40   Account 00092063
  • make a donation via our website. Simply click the Please Donate Now button on the Home Page. Online donations to MPUK are managed by Stewardship 
  • send a cheque (payable to MPUK) to MPUK, PO Box 597, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 9ET

If possible put the reference 'Ukraine' on your gift. Also email Richard (richard.wallis@mpuk.org) to let him know.

Many thanks 


A message from Richard Wallis (3rd March 2022)

Mission Possible has worked in the Odesa area of southern Ukraine for many years. Part of this ministry is running weekly Bible clubs in villages which Ruth and I visited in 2018.  Ironically, some of these villages are located on bleak former Soviet collective farms.   It is feared that Odesa will soon be under attack. 

Many people are now fleeing Odesa. The Mission Possible team is helping to transport refugees to the Moldovan border crossing.  Also, they are providing bedding, food, and spiritual and emotional support at the border. Mission Possible have also worked in the past few years in Moldova, so we have good contacts both sides of the border.

Today we received this appeal from Mission Possible’s Eastern European director: ‘we need a lot of funds to help the needs of the refugees and also, if possible, to help in the villages where we have been working. Please raise everything you can.’ 

Many people are already praying for Ukraine. Please click on the side button for some prayer resources.  Please pray pray pray.

Many thanks

Richard