The Impact we have with your help

Sowing Seeds in Faith
Run by Inna Illinya, her sister-in-law Mika, and a wonderful team of helpers, Blagodatne Day Centre is a vital ministry serving children and families in the village. Inna explains how the work began and what God is doing through it.

When and why did the Day Centre start?
The Day Centre started in our church in October 2022. The impetus for its opening was the lack of full-time education for children, who began studying remotely due to coronavirus, and then continued due to the war.
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"We Will Not Stop"
Every day since the war broke out in February 2022, a group of faithful believers has gathered at Blagodatne Church to pray. When we joined them on November 6th 2023, it was day 621 of the conflict and 17 people were sitting on benches in an upstairs room, ready to start the day, start the week as they always do: with a time of listening to God, and calling out to him for peace in Ukraine.

Pastor Sergiy gave us some background about the early days, sharing their thoughts and feelings in those first few weeks when they began meeting.
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Wise Carpenter: The Ministry is Multiplying

Two years after Vitaly founded the first Wise Carpenter workshop in Cherkasy, a friend challenged him to express his hopes for the ministry over the next 10 years. This prompted Vitaly to share his dream that there would be branches of Wise Carpenter workshops in every one of Ukraine’s 24 regions, and he has been working tirelessly towards that goal ever since.

At present, there are 18 workshops up and running, spread across 8 different regions of the country.

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Blagodatne Church: Celebrating God’s Continued Blessings

In June this year, the church in Blagodatne celebrated 20 years since the building was opened, but a committed group of believers has been meeting in the village for quite a bit longer.

In January 1997, UCM co-founder Janet Hendy travelled to Ukraine to help establish a women’s Bible study ministry, with donations from the ‘Know Your Bible’ organisation (then called Christian Women Communicating International).

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Transformation Stories
Over the summer many of our partner churches have held baptism services. Two of the new believers shared how they came to the decision to make this public declaration of their faith.

This is the story of one of the young women from Denghi. “I was stuck in the sin of an intimate relationship with a boy, and after five months I learned that he had betrayed me. In an attempt to drown out all the emptiness I felt, I started hanging out with groups of people who were smoking and drinking; I thought this would be the solution to all my problems.
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“I seemed to be rooted”:
Inna Limar’s story

The daughter of Pastor Sergiy Limar, Inna has been involved in church since childhood, attending Sunday school classes, youth group and camps, and participating in Christmas dramas and various church events; she became a Christian aged 13. “I remember that day well,” she says, “It was at a camp and when on the last day I heard the call to repentance, I consciously and firmly knew that I wanted the Lord to forgive, cleanse me and adopt me.

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30 Years of God's Faithfulness: Lives Changed

During 2023 we are marking 30 years since UCM was founded by John and Janet Hendy, in collaboration with a number of Christians from the Cherkasy region of Ukraine. In celebration of all that God has done in that time we are highlighting some stories of people whose lives have been impacted through the work.

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30 Years of God's Faithfulness: Churches Planted

When the Hendys first started visiting Ukraine in 1993, Zolotonosha Baptist was the only church serving a large area of the Cherkasy region. “People used to walk for hours to get to the service,” John explains. “They used to walk from villages all around; at 6 in the morning you'd have a family walking several miles to get to church because they were so keen to attend.

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30 Years of God's Faithfulness: Camps Started

Summer activities for children have been at the heart of UCM’s ministry from the very early days. “The first youth camp was in about 1997,” Janet recalls. “There was a company in Cherkasy that Pastor Victor knew, so we visited them and they offered us some premises which in former days would have been a camp site for young communists. That place was in a dickens of a state, but we felt we could get it up together.”

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New Home & New Hope

Father and son Yuriy and Mykhailo are forced migrants from the the city of Lysychansk, in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. At the end of April 2022, during the artillery shelling of the city, they opted to leave. Having asked advice from others who had already evacuated, they decided to travel the village of Blagodatne in the Cherkasy region. They explain what has happened since.

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The Best Gift Of All

Throughout the festive season, from December 25th through to the celebration of Orthodox Christmas on January 7th, our churches have been busy hosting events for their communities.

Many of these have focussed on the children, and as much as possible have included giving presents to them: a gift for each one to receive, to open and to enjoy at this special time of the year.

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A Place of Refuge

Due to constant bombing, our family was forced to leave the city of Lisichansk for Cherkasy in April. On the way here, ​​the bus driver gave us the number of Pastor Sergiy, who had posted on the Internet an offer to accept refugees at the church in Blagodatne. I immediately called him and explained the situation, after which he gave the go-ahead for our arrival. My husband Ivan and granddaughter Alena came with me.

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Restorations After Destruction

UCM partner Vasya, a pastor at Irpin Bible Church (IBC) and teacher of Youth Ministry at Kyiv Theological Seminary, is amongst the many Ukrainians who put the safety of their communities above their own when the conflict began. From the first day of the war and all through the occupation of their city, Vasya and his IBC colleagues provided food and shelter in their church building, and helped evacuate about 3,500 people from Irpin and the surrounding region.

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Every Day Is a Gift

Vasyl and Olena left Ukraine in April to come to the UK, where their daughter and her family live. Here they share their experiences of the past six months.

Reflecting on the days leading up to the invasion, they say “we felt anxious. A large country was putting a lot of their troops on the border of our small country. We had a feeling something was going to happen, but were not sure when.”

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Light In The Darkness

All across Ukraine, it is getting colder. Temperatures in the Cherkasy region are expected to fall below zero before the end of this month and are likely to remain low until March. As bombings and missile strikes continue to destroy crucial infrastructure, the situation grows ever more grave and the need for support with fuel, food and firewood increases.

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Pastor Dima writes…

I spent the whole day in the hospital today. I was concerned with a woman, Tatyana, who came from Boryspil (near Kyiv) with her sick (disabled) mother, Nadia, and asked for help. They had no housing and asked for help. No one could accept them because her mother needed medical attention. I took them to the hospital and bought them food and medicine. They couldn’t believe that some-one would help them in this way for free. She thanked God for everything. Now they are in the hospital and are looking for an opportunity to go to Truskavets to a specialist hospital. I told them “God loves you and gave his life for you and will always help you”. They were happy and wept with happiness. They said this: "Look what a gift God gave us on March 8.”

God Grows Vitaly’s Vision

‘Wise Carpenter’ was started by Vitaly Andriiets in 2017 as a workshop: a place where Christian men could share their experience of working with tools and studying biblical wisdom. Since then, the organisation has developed into a ministry which helps churches create similar spaces where they can disciple boys and young men.

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One Hundred Stories

Camp MAXIMUM in Italy, organised for displaced Ukrainian children, was staffed by volunteers who are themselves displaced Ukrainians, now living scattered across Europe. Here they share their thoughts about the experience of working with youngsters deeply affected by the war.

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The impact of these recent Corona virus is something we are only too familiar with hearing about these days. Ukraine is of course suffering the consequences also. The nation has been in quarantine since late March meaning schools have been closed, inter-city transport links ceased running, and meetings of more than 10 people prohibited.

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Bringing the Good News to young people all Summer

Despite some hesitation around quarantine and restrictions that may have been in place, we are delighted that the green light was given for churches to hold Summer Camps and Holiday Bible Clubs this summer. This is a huge part of what we do as UCM, sharing the Gospel with the young people of the villages.

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Give at gift this Christmas

Would you like to send a gift to a child in Ukraine thisChristmas?  2020 has been a challenging year for us all and we would love to remind the children in Ukraine that they are not alone, that we are praying for them. You can make an enormous difference to a child’s life by sending them a unique gift, just for them.

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My life is to serve those in need

I was born in the city of Cherkassy and lived there until God stepped into my life. As a young man I became addicted to alcohol and reached a very dark place in my life. At that time I was invited by a friend to attend a rehabilitation centre in Chapaivka (now Blagodatne). In 2005 I heard what Jesus had done for me and when I accepted Him as saviour, He set me free from addiction.

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Joyful Christmas Celebrations

Every year we celebrate Christmas in Ukraine with a family party, and this year was no different. The team from Blagodatne Church prepared a great party; games, testimonies, a quiz and a drama performed by a very well-dressed team of amateur actors. Invitations are sent to everyone in the village and it has become a highlight of the season for many.

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Breaking free from addiction

Kostya has worked at the local factory for many years. Like most men in the village, Thursday is pay day and so Thursday evenings are spent in the village bar. It is an unwritten expectation that nobody works on Fridays, they are a recovering from the night before. This is the way of life that Kostya has been a part of since he has been old enough to work. Until recently.

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