Nine-year-old Katya’s Christmas will be tragically different this year than ever before…
Right now, her Ukrainian village is occupied by Russia’s military forces. She and her family have experienced horrors we cannot even imagine since the war escalated in March of this year.
Running water and electricity are a comfort they can no longer count on. Access to food, heat, and transportation is limited. Missile shellings, the patrol of armed guards, and the danger of land mines keep their community in constant panic. Katya and her family will spend this Christmas fearing for their lives, instead of finding solace with the people they love and enjoying Ukrainian Christmas traditions.
You may not realize that the war in Ukraine has been raging in the eastern part of the country for eight years. The recent advance from Russia’s military means there is no longer a safe place for Ukrainians to go within their country. Many women and children escaped across the border as refugees, but the men between the ages of 18-60 were called to stay and fight. However, an overwhelming number of families have not had the means or opportunity to flee.
Those who must stay in the treacherous, combat areas are often without support… without hope.
For the past several years, our team has packed Christmas boxes for children who lived in the war-stricken territories of eastern Ukraine. This year we will distribute boxes to children, like Katya, experiencing the horrors of war throughout the entire country. These boxes include gloves, hats, school supplies, toiletries, candy, and toys for those who may not receive any gifts this Christmas. Most importantly the box includes a New Testament in their own language. Through these gifts, we speak to the deep longing of their hearts: to know the One who created them and loves them with an everlasting love.
The Christmas boxes open the door to share the hope of Jesus Christ to the tender hearts of children who have never experienced His love.
It has always been dangerous to deliver Christmas boxes to these little ones…
but always worth the risk! This year the threat to our team is magnified by the increased hostility of this war. And we are even more committed to taking the life-giving truth of Jesus into the battle zone.
We need your help to bring the gospel to children in Ukraine.
Last year, our team was scheduled to journey into eastern Ukraine to deliver Christmas boxes at a local school. The day before they arrived, the village was shelled by enemy missiles. The school and surrounding area experienced widespread destruction.
Our team arrived as planned, clad in bullet-proof vests, unsure of what threat they might encounter. As a mix of snow and ash covered the ground, children lined up around the school to receive their gifts. The anticipation was tangible as anxiety from the previous day’s events threatened to eclipse the joy of the Christmas boxes.
Five-year-old Sasha stood at the front of the line — his eyes were wide as he clung to his father’s hand. When the box was placed in Sasha’s hand, his father began to weep. He shared of the hopelessness he felt when the roof of their home was destroyed in the missile strike just 24 hours earlier. Now, the kindness of strangers had brought him to tears.
Using the New Testament from the Christmas box, our team shared the transformational hope of Jesus with Sasha and his father that day. They both accepted Christ as their savior and experienced Jesus’ overwhelming love for the first time.
Praise God for the open door a small box of gifts can create! For only $20 you can provide a Christmas box to a child in Ukraine and change the future of a whole family.
Our goal is to provide 1,000 children with a Christmas box and a New Testament this holiday season.
Earlier this year, our missionaries opened a refugee center just across the border in Poland. The center provides shelter to those escaping the war in Ukraine as they wait for paperwork and transportation to more permanent locations. As families pass through the center, our missionaries share the life-changing hope of Jesus with them. These refugees will pack the Christmas boxes for children still living through the daily chaos of this political struggle.
The refugees are eager for other Ukrainian families who are enduring this tragedy to hear about the remarkable hope found in Jesus.
As tensions remain high, children’s hearts are open to the truth of Jesus. They need the certainty of Jesus’ love as they live in turmoil and face new challenges each day.
Would you consider a gift of $2,000 to provide Christmas boxes for an entire school? Imagine the life-change your generosity will bring to an entire community.
Please ask God to multiply the impact of each Christmas box and change the lives of people all over Ukraine. Thank you for your partnership as we carry the message of hope to the hopeless this Christmas season.
Yours in Christ,
Omar J. Beiler
Eurasia Regional Director
P.S. NOW is the time to reach Ukrainian children for Jesus! Even in the face of danger, our team is willing to risk their lives to take Christmas boxes into the battle zone. The Holy Spirit is near to the brokenhearted, and hearts are open to the life-changing power of the gospel.