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Another Day in Kharkiv

Updated: May 16

by Pastor Jerry Theckston


Ukrainians are big people- I don’t think I’m from that stock! These guys are dear leaders of the children’s club!

Sergei and Sveta are the key leaders and initiators of the children’s club! 

The idea came to them while they and other families were spending weeks at a time in underground subway tunnels - terrible experience, especially for the kids! 

Most of the kids at the children’s club are from very poor families and/ or have significant learning disabilities! I think our time together was my favorite experience so far!!

There were about 70 kids at the kids club and 30 parents who all seemed to be quite needy as well!

This sweet girl, I believe has CP, it was hard for her to walk- but she came over at the end of the meeting and said you are so kind and have such kind eyes!  My grandpa just died and you remind me of him- “I need a hug from you! Is it possible?!” So, we prayed and hugged…That was the highlight of my day!

There was a big bomb last night while we were at a restaurant-  they go on intermittently through the day and night! This picture is from a bombing this afternoon here in Kharkiv. 

The Russian army primarily targets places where people gather- restaurants, schools, shopping centers, high rise apartments! Now schools are only meeting on-line!  This bombing is meant to terrorize the people and after two and a half years there are many casualties both physically and psychologically!  But the people are courageous and very strong in heart! They love their Country!

It was a very blessed day today.  Rolfe and I spoke at three different groups and everyone of them was wonderful!  Too much to tell, but one touching story was a woman who was late for the first meeting and tried to explain why, as she did, she said the reason was a problem with her shoes!  Many of the poor we work with here, only have one pair and sometimes they are held together with tape or twine. As she was explaining she couldn’t keep from crying! I was thinking of all the excuses we might have for being late, how many times have you heard someone say, “my only pair of shoes are broken!”? 

The news was very sobering today. Russian troops have taken more villages around our city here in Kharkiv.  They are bombing bridges, roads and different avenues that people use to escape!  The regional government has told everyone here to gas up for a quick exit if it becomes necessary!  

Our last group gathering tonight, was a group of pastors.  They are all from very difficult areas and ferry food and supplies back and forth to those in need near the front lines!  I love them and their amazing courage and strength!!  It was a tremendous time of sharing, but always involves the great sadness of  war and death! 

At the end of the meeting a military officer came in, who was at a conference Sue and I spoke at about four years ago!  He is a dear brother in Christ and stayed to join us in a wonderful time of prayer!  When we were all done, Rolfe and I went to get in pastor Dema’s car and they said no, no, no - not that one! The officer came to take us home in an armored troop carrier with siren, lights and all!                                                                                                                                 

It was another blessed but heavy day… and our loving God knew how to wrap it up with just a little bit of fun!

(All these pictures are by permission!)


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