Gospel backpacks provide hope in Ukraine

By December 2, 2022

Ukraine (MNN) — Daily Russian bombings in Ukraine threaten Europe with another wave of refugees.

“About five million Ukrainians left, but within the country, another five [to] six million people have moved from the east to the west,” Bogden Bassara with Child Evangelism Fellowship says.

More than 50 percent of the national power grid remains offline, and winter is settling in. As Ukraine evacuates hundreds of people from war-ravaged cities like Kherson, archaic infrastructure threatens to collapse.

“The situation is not getting any better right now, with people being under constant attack,” Bassara says.

“[Nonetheless,] CEF ministry did not stop even for one day over [these nine] months of the war.”

Through CEF’s Hope for Ukraine project, local churches give Gospel backpacks to needy kids. The bags contain snacks, water, small toys, and three CEF booklets. So far, believers have distributed more than 125,000 backpacks.

A friend of a CEF worker spotted a mother reading the booklet, “Do You Wonder Why? Answers to Tough Questions” to her son on a train in Poland 300 km from the Ukrainian border.
(Photo, caption courtesy of CEF)

These Gospel backpacks provide scared children with something comforting and familiar, as well as new understanding and hope for tomorrow.

“We have three Gospel leaflets inside. Do You Wonder Why? answers some of the questions that children have right now. Meet The King is an overview of Jesus’s life with a clear presentation of the Gospel, and we also offer them the Gospel of John,” Bassara says.

The Lord also uses current events to make His name known. Several days ago, “I took 2,000 backpacks to Lviv, and as we were unloading the car, we heard sirens announcing that there could be a possible attack of rockets,” Bassara says.

“The shelter happened to be at a local evangelical church, so within a few minutes, we had maybe over 100 people sitting in the church. The pastor came and preached the Gospel,” he continues.

“This is just one example of how believers are using the situation to spread the Gospel in spite of difficulties still.”



In the header image, employees of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine tell children hiding in the Kharkiv metro about mine and chemical hazards, as well as about providing medical emergency first aid.  (Wikimedia Commons)

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