Covid & The War In Donetsk

KATYA

I was awakened in the middle of the night by a flurry of gunshots being fired close to our flat. Instinctually, I jumped out of bed and headed to the other room where my two boys were sleeping. Andre the oldest, was crying with his blanket covering his head and my little Artem was shaking violently. Within seconds, there was a deafening explosion as the windows shattered around us and the front walls of the flat disappeared. It was like watching a movie in slow motion, except we were the stars and the heat of the fire was very real.

I grabbed my boys and headed into the smoke filled hallway and then down the stairs of our shattered building. Our neighbours were doing the same as we continuously tripped over each other while trying to make our way down in the darkness. As we hit the ground floor, chaos and fire surrounded us as we ran for our lives.  

Thank God, Katya and the boys made it out alive and were taken to a bus that was headed to the Kiev region. Today, they are living in Annetevka where we have a specialised program with Rabbi Azman to provide advanced therapeutic care to traumatised Jewish refugees who have escaped the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. 

Currently, Katya continues to suffer from severe depression and is still trying to come to terms with just how close she and her children came to losing their lives. Artem, her youngest son has developed a bad case of psoriasis because of the constant anxiety and stress that he now lives with. Every day, our team of neuropsychologists and social workers are providing the family with the rehabilitative care so that they can learn to cope with their near death experience.  

My family, your special gift of love will help provide the life-saving care that this family and others just like them so desperately need. May God bless you for blessing Israel and our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters.

Coming To The Rescue

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. Proverbs 22:9

Every day, our feeding centers are serving up thousands of life-saving nutritious meals to Holocaust Survivors, the elderly, Jewish families and children throughout the Jewish communities of Ukraine. As the coronavirus continues to shut down the country, our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters are now in desperate need of having food and humanitarian aid delivered directly to their homes. Because of your continued prayers and loving support, that is exactly what we have just begun to do. 

As soon as the coronavirus started to shut down Ukraine, we knew that we had to move quickly to save the lives of those who depend on our feeding centers to eat and receive the loving care that keeps them alive. We called an emergency planning meeting to bring together our rescue teams and coordinators and set into motion the beginnings of a massive food delivery program that would safely deliver meals and humanitarian aid directly to the homes of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. I would like to bring you into our new life-saving program so that you can see firsthand, how we are together moving mountains to bless and save our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters in their greatest time of need. 

It’s so heartbreaking to see the desperation and loneliness in the faces of our suffering brothers and sisters as they are forced to isolate in their run down flats. They are literally terrified and in desperate need of food, medical care, medications and the reassurance that we will continue to be there, delivering these necessities to them every single day. 

My family, this is a big challenge for us. We need to not only continue this life-saving service but also reach out to the hundreds who desperately need our help during this global pandemic. I am praying that you will continue to support this critical program and our efforts in saving and blessing the lost people of Israel.

“The World As We Know It”

By Jennifer Waddle – Ministry Development Team

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly. 1 Peter 4:8

As the earth continues to spin on its axis, on the same orbit around the sun, the world as we know it has become an unfamiliar place of uncertainty. This unprecedented time of quarantine, that has separated us from family, friends, and coworkers, has led many of us into a season of confinement for the first time in our lives. Yet, even on our darkest, loneliest day, it is but a glimpse into the isolation that many of our Jewish brothers and sisters in Ukraine experience on a regular basis.

The world as they know it consists of oppression, discrimination, and outright rejection. The precious elderly, who should be regarded as patriarchs and matriarchs of future generations, are left without basic necessities and medical attention. Mothers and fathers struggle to find quality work and supply daily bread for their children. And those with special needs are cast aside as less-than, and all but forgotten. These realities are stark reminders that isolation in the Ukraine is a constant, tragic presence that continues whether there is a worldwide pandemic or not.

But maybe, just maybe, our small taste of confinement during quarantine has left enough of an impression on us to take the call of love deeper than we have ever taken it. As we emerge from this unprecedented season, perhaps our eyes will be opened to see the world like never before. And hopefully, our ears will be unstopped to hear the clear call of the Master’s will.

As Charles Wesley once penned,

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!

My dear friends, what a divine calling we have to do our Master’s will. Right here, right now, we are called by the Living God to go deeper in our love for Him and for His people. And by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are led to be healing instruments of love, provision, and peace.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10

As the cloud of quarantine begins to lift, and we step back into our familiar routines, let’s also step forward into the call of the Master’s will. With each of our God-given gifts, let’s work together as the body of Christ to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace.

And, as the earth continues to spin on its axis, making its yearly orbit around the sun, let us move forward into a brighter season of hope that propels us forward in greater love for our Jewish brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

“SPEAK, LORD, FOR YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING”

By Jennifer Waddle

As news headlines cause us to wonder where things are headed in the world, and what to expect for the beloved nation of Israel, there is one question we can ask ourselves.

What does Jesus expect of us, in standing with God’s people?

Through prayer and study of the Scriptures, there’s an undeniable “pressing in” by the Holy Spirit, for all Christians to take an active, vigilant stand with Israel, no matter what cultural challenges arise.

It reminds me of the ancient process of pressing grapes for wine—not crushing them—but pressing them just hard enough to break the outer skin. In this way, the grapes burst open to let their sweet fragrance pour out and begin the fermentation process. In essence, we can liken this to the Lord, pressing on our hearts just hard enough to break through the outer layer of complacency and begin the process of Spiritual maturity.

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible, is the one of young Samuel, in 1Samuel chapter 3. He hears the Lord calling him, but doesn’t recognise His voice. Finally, after wise counsel from Eli the priest, Samuel hears the Lord and responds with, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” 

“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

What a beautiful opening statement towards a life-long discourse in service of the Lord! In fact, this very statement may be the answer to our question:

What does Jesus expect of us, in standing with Gods people?

Here are 3 expectations we can all assume, as we heed the call of obedience

We are expected to ASK God to speak to us.

This requires spending time in communion with God, seeking His will, and asking for His ways above our own. It involves searching the Scriptures and asking hard questions about our active roles in the lives of our Jewish brothers and sisters across the globe.

We are expected to LISTEN for His answer.

If you’re anything like me, you are really good at asking, but not so good at listening. Let’s change that dynamic. After seeking God’s will, let’s eagerly await His answer with open ears and open hearts.

We are expected to HEED the call.

Follow-through has never been one of my strengths, but as I’ve walked this Christian journey for more than thirty years, I’ve realised the importance of not only saying, “Here I am, send me,” but actually moving forward in the call of God on my life.

No matter what we see in the news headlines, we can remain steadfast in helping our Jewish brethren across the globe. By asking the Lord for direction, waiting for His answer, and walking in His ways, we cannot fail. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to press through our despondency and raise us up to say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

My Dear Brothers & Sisters, 

I hope that this message finds you and your family healthy and well during this stressful time. I first want to assure you that Christians Care International is operating at full capacity as we work tirelessly to answer God’s calling upon us to gather, bless and bring our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters home to Israel. 

As the situation with the coronavirus continues to develop, our greatest priority is to protect the health and safety of all who are in our life-saving programs as well as our dedicated staff around the world and the communities where we work. This is why we have implemented all of the guidelines and protective measures put in place by the national health authorities of the different countries in which we work in. 

The following additional steps have already been implemented in order for us to comply with social distancing requirements, so that we can do our part in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus:  

All of our staff are now working in safe environments to prevent the possible exposure or spread of the coronavirus. 

We have implemented meal deliveries in all of our feeding programs so that the individuals who depend on our life-saving meals are provided healthy and nutritious food every day without having to leave the safety of their homes. 

We have complied with the governmental mandate in Ukraine to close our school to protect the safety of the children and to also prevent the possible spread of the virus. During this closure, we will deliver meals to all of the underprivileged children in our program and also provide meals for their families. We have also begun a home schooling program with educational materials delivered to the children until the school can reopen. 

Our entire team of social workers, caretakers and psychologists are closely monitoring the elderly, Holocaust Survivors, children, families and individuals who are under our care to ensure that all of their needs are being met and that they continue to be healthy and well. 

We have secured our Kalaniot Children’s Home to ensure that our children and staff will remain safe and healthy during this global pandemic.  

I want you to know that our life-saving work would not be possible without your prayers, partnership and loving support. Together we are saving more Jewish lives than ever before as we continue to bless Israel and our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters. 

Our entire staff would like to thank you for your love and compassion and want you to know that we are all praying for your health and safety. 

May God Bless you for helping us to bless Israel and our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters.