Ukraine’s 43 million people have been devastated by the war, which has destroyed homes, killed thousands, and displaced nearly six million refugees. The tired and traumatised population still face on-going bombardment from missiles, drones and shells, and there have been widespread abuses in the occupied areas, including the church being targeted.
Innovista has worked with a large network of Christian leaders in the country for nearly twenty years. Although many young leaders are inexperienced and isolated, and only around two percent of the population are Christian, the church has been growing during the conflict. Many courageous individuals remain in the country and are at the forefront of helping their communities, including serving the most vulnerable in highly dangerous locations. Generous supporters have enabled Innovista, which has hubs in Kyiv and Lviv, to provide over 100 grants to more than 40 churches involved with relief work. These have supplied everything from medicine and food, to Bibles and generators. A Resilient Families programme has also been launched to help families cope with the emotional damage of the conflict. Although the future remains uncertain and church leaders are under great pressure, they continue to look for ways to be Jesus’ ‘hands and feet’ during the conflict, by showing love to those around them and sharing the message of hope.