Frontline photos: Ruin restorers in Ukraine

Frontline photos: Ruin restorers in Ukraine

Our people in Ukraine see themselves as Ruin Restorers. Here are some firsthand photos of their recent work in villages near Kyiv.

Our people in Ukraine see themselves as Ruin Restorers. Here are some firsthand photos of their recent work in villages near Kyiv.

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“Can we do this again?” These were the hopeful words of a young girl who attended one of a series of children’s camps held near Kyiv this summer.

The camps were organised by CMS people in mission and others from the Tabernacle of the Living God (TLG) church team in Ukraine. TLG church members have been faithfully ministering in villages near Kyiv since they were able to return after initially evacuating to the west of the country following Russia’s invasion.

The idea behind the kids’ camps was to show children, who have been through heart-breaking tragedy, that Jesus loves and values them.

So far more than 200 children ages 5 to 16 have taken part in games, singing, meals, skits and praying together, with many being surprised how quickly they have bonded with each other and the church team.

“The children were able to feel the presence of God. It is important that they were distracted from the war, felt that they still have a childhood and [had good seeds planted in their hearts],” said one local pastor. Village parents thanked the team profusely for doing something so fun for the children.

Restoring more than buildings

Alison, Valery and Anya, CMS people in mission in Ukraine, agreed that the camps helped local children, many of whom have lost loved ones to violence, cope with their loss and trauma:

“So many children invited God into their lives and many are looking forward to another gathering next summer.”

The Kyiv team see themselves as “ruin restorers” and in addition to helping young people, they are also assisting elderly villagers with basic needs such as planting potatoes, repairing war-damaged houses and paying attention to their struggles in a time of ongoing anxiety. The team also recently helped clear a space for a bomb shelter at a school and delivered food to hungry villagers.

young man stands on pile of rubble in basement, reaching up for tattered Ukrainian flag hanging through a hole in the ceiling

“What does God’s love do here?”

“Hatred and evil have left behind sadness, pain and loss,” said Valery.

“But now what does God’s love do here? Restores life, restores joy and lifts despair, inspires to keep believing and hoping for the best.”

Our ruin restorers in Ukraine thank everyone who has prayed and given so that the gospel can be shared and lives rebuilt from rubble. 

All photos courtesy of Tabernacle of the Living God Church, Ukraine

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