Ukraine Independence Day – 24 August 2023
UKRAINE – Today, the Ukrainian flag waves around the world in honor of Ukraine Independence Day. On August 24, 1991, that blue and yellow flag was raised for the first time above the nation’s parliament building, declaring their freedom from Soviet rule.
Typically, this day would be filled with celebration. Parades and other festivities would fill the streets as Ukrainians celebrated their beloved country. But this is not a typical year. Instead of parades bringing towns to life, war has left death and destruction in its wake. Ukraine’s precious people have fled to find a safe place. Many are now living as strangers in other countries far from their homes. Some are missing their families—fathers, husbands, and sons who stayed behind to fight, once again, for their freedom.
So today, we are standing together with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, joining them in prayer for the nation’s continued freedom.
Offering Hope on Ukraine Independence Day
Since the war began, our Operation Blessing family has been there for the Ukrainian people. Your compassion has not left them alone. Many fled for their lives with whatever they could carry, fearing for their safety and the safety of their children if they hesitated. As waves of refugees crossed the border into Poland, they were met with open arms by our ministry partners. They received a hot meal, critical supplies, and a safe, warm place to sleep. And most importantly, you gave them hope!
In partnership with volunteers and local churches we also set up an effective distribution network to bless thousands of people in need in both Ukraine and Poland. Today, we continue to reach out to meet as many needs as we can—thanks to your help and support.
Relief for Terrible Circumstances
Ukrainians who have stayed in the country are facing incredibly severe conditions. No one can be sure if they will survive the day. Anyone could be buried in their house, school, or hospital if one shell falls. It’s the worst for those in Russian-occupied territories. There, families strive to survive without enough food, water, and light. With no income or way to care for their families, they’ve had nothing to feed their children. And attempts to escape are met with potential imprisonment and torture. There is much to pray for on this Ukraine Independence Day.
But friends like you are in Ukraine with God’s grace and real, tangible relief. Operation Blessing has helped parents whose livelihoods were destroyed by providing them with the tools to start businesses. Our relief teams have connected with orphan care facilities to make sure that kids are warm and well-fed. And much-needed food is also making its way across liberated territories into the hands of hungry Ukrainian families and individuals.
Giving Bread to Hungry Ukrainians
In the southern villages of Ukraine, a welcome sight often brightens up an otherwise dismal landscape as Operation Blessing volunteers drive down the street providing relief. With cars practically bursting with bread, they dole out daily provision and joy to those who once wondered if there would ever be hope on the horizon.
As this scene played out in the village of Lepetykha, the streets were empty as everyone in the area lined up to receive the bread that keeps them going. In a village council building co-opted for food distribution, thankful Ukrainians patiently waited in line, contemplating how to recover when the war is over. Outside, children’s laughter echoed across the nearby playground.
A local resident named Larisa shared her heart with us, “The war had a very cruel impact on our lives. We were bombed every day, so we had to sleep in a cold basement. But a cold basement is only half the trouble. The worst part was when rockets came at us right after my father’s surgery. He was immobile and couldn’t move. Quite literally, I carried him up and down the stairs to the basement. That, to me, was like living through hell. Bomb fragments rattle on the roof, and you feel them falling. I wanted to quickly run to the bomb shelter, but I couldn’t because I had to carry my father. I find it very frightening to remember that nightmare.”
She continued, tearfully, “We didn’t believe we could survive this. But as you can see, God showed mercy. And then we managed to survive thanks to you. The partners from Operation Blessing have incredibly big hearts and unbelievably kind souls. I’m certain of it! When you brought us the first bread, a light of hope ignited in my soul. And when you continued to bring it regularly, that light never fades. It becomes brighter. And it brings joy and peace to the soul. And also the certainty that everything will be alright.”
Pray for Ukraine!
Today we celebrate Ukraine as we continue to pray for freedom to return and families to reunite. Today we celebrate God’s provision, protection, and faithfulness as we continue to pray and expect Him to help us meet every need. Today, we celebrate you—our Operation Blessing partners—who enable us to go on your behalf. Thank you for standing with us and for standing with Ukraine!