As the war in the Ukraine continues, Russia has weaponized winter with ongoing barrages of missile and drone attacks on energy and other key infrastructure. Ukrainians face their coldest months of need as damage accumulates and a winter of sub-zero temperatures sets in. Below is an update how our frontline support continues to offer hope through the protraction of war, the further challenges of winter, and the approach of Christmas. Our ongoing thanks to those across our church who continue to support this appeal prayerfully and financially.
Facing a winter of freezing temperatures, and forecasts as low as -11◦C, Hillsong Ukraine continues to help communities of people located at the frontline of the war. While 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is disabled by Russian missile and drone attacks, the team at Hillsong Ukraine are in preparations for winter, buying warm blankets, thermoses, lighting devices, candles, warm clothes, and hot drinks. Ukraine Response funds provided by the global church (particularly Hillsong Denmark and Portugal) have enabled Hillsong Ukraine to manage 8–12-hour, daily blackouts in Kyiv by purchasing generators and fuel to continue Sunday gatherings. They have also created a ‘Warm Space’ in the church, which began operating weekly on Fridays from November 25, enabling people to warm up, work, and eat a hot lunch. Hillsong Ukraine pastors Yuriy and Natasha and the City Care team, are helping to “Warm Up Ukraine” by bringing hope to people’s lives through practical assistance including warm blankets and lights for people in the district where the church is located. Their City Care team have also recently developed personalised assistance for specific families who are struggling to meet their most basic needs such as bedding, health care or warm clothing. Volunteers regularly check in with these families, bringing attention through social networks for support and response to each need.
“Thanks to our Hillsong global church and friends from abroad, over the past 9 months, we have been able to help 9,000 people in Ukraine with humanitarian aid, evacuation, and temporary housing.”
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Christmas this year looks vastly different. “Last year, we celebrated 10 years of our annual Christmas Project, “On Angel’s Wings” where more than 8,000 people received gifts during this time to help fulfill their dreams for Christmas. But this year, all Ukrainians dream about one thing: our victory and freedom from Russian occupation”, says City Care Hillsong Ukraine representative, Masha Sliusarenko. “Hundreds of enemy missiles fly over our houses every week. Ukraine’s defenders are fighting for happy and free Ukrainians, and we are doing everything possible to do the same. Thanks to our Hillsong global church and friends from abroad, over the past 9 months, we have been able to help 9,000 people in Ukraine with humanitarian aid, evacuation, and temporary housing. Thank you so much for your generosity and prayers – we are feeling so blessed. May God bless you even more.”
To date, Hillsong Ukraine have further provided:
- Hotel shelter in Kyiv for 3 months to 67 people including 26 children
- Generous wardrobe events providing clothing and bedding to 370 people
- School Fair events supplying food kits and supplies to 150 families
- Mission trips to de-occupied territories of Kyiv and Chernihiv, supporting 784 people
- Renovation of a flat for a Kyiv family who have taken official custody of children whose parents died during the Russian attack on their homes in the occupied territories.