Smith spring update 1-Ukraine

Smith1

JOSIAH VENTURE RESPONSE EFFORT

As of the end of March, Josiah Venture has sent numerous busses with aid and supplies to support Ukraine. Many of our co-workers are tirelessly working to respond to the currently 4.2 million refugees, with some estimates from BBC of more than 2 million being children.

  • 40+ busses have been sent to Ukraine with 104 tons of food, medical supplies, and various supplies.
  • The food provided has been distributed to some very dangerous areas by honorable and brave members of the JV Ukrainian team. Because of their efforts, over 277,000 meals have been provided, even in areas that have no power or other means.
  • Those same busses have returned with over 1,700 refugees that go to one of two camp facilities that JV owns in both Poland and Czech¬†for initial intake before finding accommodations.
  • Each person who comes receives a booklet in Ukranian entitled “22 Days of Encouragement”, with each day going through a Psalm. The care for each refugee is holistic, providing physical and spiritual support. Many who are coming are very open to the Gospel.

We praise God to be a part of such a wonderful organization that mobilized immediately to prepare for and to care for refugees. Whoever is kind to the needy honors God (Proverbs 14:31). We praise God for quick response to be kind in immediate and tangible ways through your partnership. If you would like to give to the relief fund you can do so here: Ukraine Crisis Fund.

a prayer for peace

When we moved here in September of 2020, one of the first things we did in our new apartment was pray. We prayed in each room for God’s presence to be constantly present. We prayed for each window to be sealed with security from the evil one. We prayed that our apartment would be a refuge for our family and a place of peace for all who enter in, to feel God’s peaceful presence. Little did we know he would directly answer this prayer through the words of two Ukrainians currently living with us. The day after Alona and Lika (pictured above in the opening and below) arrived, they thanked us and said “We are so thankful that this is a peaceful place for us. I can feel the peace here.” Praise God for his care and comfort of these two who are fleeing from danger and who have the extra burden of having left nearly everything behind. We have connected Lika, 16, to a local fusion ministry that sings as a choir and shares the Gospel. We have connected Alona, 34, to two different Ukrainian language services that have just recently started in Ostrava. In broad summary, we are overjoyed to provide for those in need amongst us in the ways we are able.

  • We have had Alona and her daughter, Lika staying at our apartment since March 22. We are praying that Alona will be able to find a suitable job and more permanent accommodations that will suit them well. They know they are welcome at our place as long as they want. We are continuing to live our lives as normal, praying they see the difference of walking with Christ. Alona and Lika believe in God. Sarah was able to share the Gospel with Alona, who says it is even a miracle that they found themselves here at our apartment. We are praying for God to continue pursuing these ladies and that they would truly place faith in and walk with Christ.
  • Because of your support, we were able to purchase a good hair clipper set for Nada, who is a professional hairdresser but was unable to continue in Czech because of leaving her equipment behind in Ukraine. She is going to cut Sarah’s hair very soon!
  • A local church in our area is hosting a weekly coffee shop for Ukrainians to come and meet each other. We brought some treats for all to share and were able to stay and help serve and have some conversations. It is small things like this that provide elements of “normal life” that can give some stability in the midst of so much uncertainty.
  • We were able to help contribute to a delivery of baby supplies to Malenovice, the hotel that JV owns, for members of the JV Ukraine team and a few others close to them who are here but have infants and young ones.
  • A Ukrainian mom with four children temporarily moved into an apartment very close to ours. We helped them get settled and brought them food and groceries to get them started.

We are glad to serve God just by opening our house and doing small things for refugees as we are able. Many have heartbreaking stories, but we see God on the move using the displacement to bring people closer to him!

Join us in Prayer

  • For Alona and Lika. Alona is looking for a job here and has a few options at this point. Lika is finishing high school this year, but everything is uncertain with this and the Ukrainian final year doesn’t compute well with the Czech system. Join us in praying for these two ladies in these ways. Please also pray for them to place their faith in and walk with Jesus!
  • For our JV missionaries from Ukraine who are now here but working more than ever serving Ukrainians for the Gospel. For energy and continued openness to share the love of Christ that leads to true transformation.
  • For our JV missionaries and churches JV is connected with who are still living in Ukraine and working tirelessly to serve and help people. Pray for protection from missiles, for energy and provision, and for the gospel to spread because of the thousands of people who are now receiving assistance through them.
  • For Nada to begin having clients for haircutting to support herself here in Czech.
  • For the two services in our city that are currently in the Ukrainian language to meet real spiritual needs of those who have had to flee.
  • For peace in Ukraine – physical peace and spiritual peace. That God would end the war and that revival would come as a result of the war.