October Report

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Dear friends,
Let me tell you about the work of our Center in October.
In Odessa they regularly turn off the electricity now with a purpose of economy. Sometimes there may be no light from early morning till late night. They turn off the electricity in apartments and in offices. It affects us and all those to whom we minister. Heating and delivery of water in some areas depend on electricity. Also, you often have to change your plans because of the situation with the electricity. But our work continues, and we go forward.
As usual, I will tell you about the people to whom we minister.
I was writing to you about soldier Valentin. Our counselors Angela and Vova continue to keep in touch with him by phone. Several months ago they got to know him at the military hospital in Odessa. Now Valentin is at home in a village near the city Dnipro which is more than 500 miles off Odessa. He lost hope and is in depression. His mother died, and her death made the situation even worse. Valentin moves using crutches. Both of his legs are immobile. His living conditions are terrible. He lives in a summer hut. There are no conveniences. Water must be brought from a well. Valentin badly needs psychological and spiritual support and also physical help. Angela and Vova talk with him about God, about meaning in life, and about prayer. Valentin listens to them attentively. He thanks them for the opportunity to communicate with them as counselors. Because he is all alone and no one visits him, Angela and Vova found some Christians who live near the village and asked them to visit him. These people came as a small group, brought food to him and sang Christian songs to the guitar. As for us, we think about possible ways to continue helping Valentin, because out of disappear he began to abuse alcohol and sleeping pills.
The authorities continue to expel and resettle the refugees under our care. This is a very sad sight… These people have not had peace for two years now. We are more focused now on helping the disabled refugees and older refugees. Younger ones and those in good health have been finding jobs and lodging. But these categories of the refugees suffer most.
I have been writing to you about Valery and Natalia. They were settled in Odessa at a retirement home. It is good that they remained in Odessa, because here they found a church and a small support group. However, living conditions in the local retirement homes leave much to be desired. The premises are unfurnished. They do feed the people there but they also take away the retirement allowances and the refugee allowances, leaving only 25%.
Zoya who we had met in Sergeevka was transferred to the same retirement home. For a while we lost touch with her and did not know what happened to her and where she was. The meeting was very joyous. Zoya shares a room with a woman who has been disabled since her childhood. Zoya is sending her love to everyone who was visiting Sergeevka and was helping them.

On the first photo you can see is Maxim (6). Maxim shows his work from Sunday school. Maxim's mother Tanya is a disabled person. Her husband left her when Maxim was less than a year. They come from Gorlovka a city in the East. Tanya’s mother still remains there. Tanya left the place with her brother’s family. Her brother was an entrepreneur. He had a store with a basement. When the bombardments began, the people were hiding in the store’s basement where there was a warehouse. The store was ravaged and the warehouse too. Her brother tried to complain but the rebels threatened to take away his car and apartment and to deal with him. He left. Here he works and rents an apartment. And Tanya with her son found shelter in the refugee settlements. Tanya is a believer. Her brother is not. And relations between them are not very close. Tanya’s son Maxim misses his friend from Gorlovka whose name was Maxim too. He loves small cars. He likes it at school in Odessa but, unfortunately, he lags behind other students.
And here, on this photo, you can see Natalia with her husband and her disabled father. I wrote about her the last time. We bought medicines for her.
Some people allowed Natalia and her family to live at their old office, because, along with other refugees, they were expelled and had nowhere to go to. At this office there is no furniture that would be suitable for living, nor is there any heating, but at least there is roof over their heads. And we gave them one of the office couches and the heaters, because they have no place to sleep in. Natalia was saying that she and her husband slept on tables and they had to place her disabled father on the floor.
And here are some photos of the refugees who are taken care of by our counselor Victoria. In December we organize a charitable fair in order to raise the funds for the needs of the disabled refugees, the veterans and their families. There is a huge lack of finances, because there are so many needs. We hope that with the help of the fair we will be able to raise some funds. We invite people gifted in crafts who have agreed to give part of their earnings to the needs of the people under our care.
Please continue praying for the situation in Ukraine, for us and for those to whom we minister.
Thank you for your help and involvement!
May God bless you!
With love in Christ.
Lena Kolker,
Director of the OSCC