Far Reaching Ministries & MyHome

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Far Reaching Ministries Providing Homes for Displaced Ukrainians

Story by Kathy Symborski
Photos courtesy of Far Reaching Ministries

One of the gravest threats to thousands of displaced Ukrainians is the lack of adequate shelter through the upcoming winter. Many have lost their homes to the destruction of war and are now in peril of freezing to death.

Known for its presence in war-torn countries, Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) quickly became involved assisting Ukrainian chaplains (see Ongoing Aid to a World in Crisis) after the war started this past February, training them to meet the medical and spiritual needs of the soldiers as well as committing to a food distribution program. It was through those efforts that Luke Beebe, board member and leader of FRM’s support efforts in Ukraine, became aware of this looming winter housing crisis for elderly Ukrainians.

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Sasha Volyanyk, CEO of MyHome and head of YWAM Eastern Europe, holds the remains of expended weapons from the attacks on Moschun. Working with Far Reaching Ministries (FRM), MyHome funds and provides complete installation of these temporary homes.

Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season, you will reap a harvest of righteousness. Galatians 6:9

During a recent trip to Ukraine with several U.S. and Ukrainian Calvary pastors, Luke met a Ukrainian woman, Zoya, who was wounded while fleeing Russian forces. With her was her adult daughter, Viktoria, who is mentally handicapped. During her brief hospital stay, Zoya endured a botched surgery and then, to accommodate wounded soldiers, was released early with no place to go. She was told she has multiple tumors and not long to live. This is all very terrifying to her—and she fears what will happen to her daughter after she dies.

                  

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Small but functional, these temporary homes have all the necessities and can last for years, but the goal is to replace them with newly rebuilt homes one day.

Wes Bentley, CEO and founder of FRM, is keenly aware that the devastation of war brings the reality of death, causing people to listen like never before. “The cold winter is especially hard on the elderly, and they will not survive without help. This is our opportunity to help the hungry and homeless by demonstrating God’s love, compassion, and generosity.”

“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” Matthew 25:34-35

Russian shelling has demolished countless homes, both in cities and small villages. Unfortunately, the latter “are not receiving any assistance from the Ukrainian government, as rebuilding efforts have been directed towards larger cities,” Luke said. “Moschun [Ukraine] was attacked four times by various Russian weaponry, utterly destroying every home in the village. In one case, an elderly woman was living alone in a small corner of a bombed home, trying to survive. This works through the summer, but winter is almost here.” 

 

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Each home has a small kitchen with a refrigerator and an electric stove. The wood interior lends to a warm, cozy feel for those who would otherwise be exposed to a harsh winter.

Remarkably, FRM was able to secure a $200,000 donation from a secular organization. These funds, as well as its own, have been provided to a Ukrainian Christian organization called MyHome, which retrofits portable construction site buildings into temporary, livable homes. MyHome also provides site debris removal, water and sewage installation, and home delivery and set up. So far, 77 of the planned 150 structures have been fully funded, with 15 homes completely installed and now inhabited. Luke anticipates the remainder of the structures will be completed before winter arrives as the Lord continues to provide through donations from FRM networks and faithful supporters.

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After clearing out the debris, temporary homes are placed on the lot where the destroyed home sat.

While small, the 180-square-foot, prefabricated home is strong and durable, and fully functional with a small kitchen with refrigerator and electric stove, radiator for heating, simple bathroom, two beds, electricity, water, and septic tank. To preserve dignity and ownership, each home is placed on land owned by the individual, with a goal to transition to permanent housing when they are more stable. 

Wes was considerably touched when Luke described Zoya’s situation, as he has a handicapped child himself. “I can feel the pain of this mother and want her to know God loves her and she need not be worried. I told Luke to get her the finest medical treatment available, that I will cover the cost, and we will find a good Christian family to care for her daughter and cover the cost of her care. I will keep my promise!” he exclaimed. Although many are hard pressed financially, Wes believes his request is within the Christians’ reach. “One, please pray that the Lord would provide. Two, when you give, and it is difficult, the Lord does know and rewards us when we sacrifice.”

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FRM is providing medical treatments and lodging for Zoya (left) and Viktoria (right). Their care is administered through two Ukrainian chaplains and Calvary Chapel Pryluky, Ukraine, members, including Sasha (center).

Please consider supporting FRM’s “Homes for Ukrainians” effort, with your prayers and financial offerings at frmusa.org/get-involved specifying “MyHome” in the comments box when you donate.

Far Reaching Ministries and Far Reaching Ministries Aviation are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charities.

                  

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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