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            Saving Lives  - Shalom Ministry Association in the Ukraine

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A trip to the Ukraine is like a step back into time. Modern conveniences do not exist here. Traveling through an ordinary village I saw unpainted houses, ramshackle affairs surrounded by muddy lots, horse-drawn wagons heaped high with straw trundling down the potholed street.
The small towns seem dead or dying, with no discernible industry. The remaining inhabitants feel abandoned to a life of hunger, sickness, and misery.
Once thriving Jewish communities have been reduced to a few elderly and infirm residents. Most of the synagogues are in a state of disrepair. Most of those which I talked to were the survivors of the Holocaust. Their lives have been marked by tragedy, persecution and hardship. Many are confronted with a heartbreaking question: “Medicine or food?” They do not have money for both. People die because of diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis. They die because they do not have enough money for medicine or medical treatment. Many diabetics need to have their limbs amputated because they have not received good medical treatment. The elderly receive a very small pension, ranging from US $100to US $110 per month.
Sixty-five years ago, World War II came to an end, and the world was shocked as the allied forces liberated a walking skeletons from Auschwitz, Birkenau and other Nazi death camps. Under the Nazi regime many Polish and European Christians risked their own lives to hide and save their Jewish neighbors, even though the Nazis systematically murdered six million Jews. I have heard many Christians expressing the wish that Christians would have done more. If we could go back in time, undoubtedly many of us would actively and forcefully work to save Jewish lives. Unfortunately, the past is a closed door; we cannot change even one minute of it.
Sixty-five years ago, Jewish people were starving, denied medical treatment, abused persecuted and then they died. Today, in the Ukraine and the whole former Soviet Union, thousands of Jewish people are starving, have lack of medical treatment, and are subjects to racial slurs and anti-Semitic events. Some of them are suffering because of the lack of medical care and insufficient nourishment. They feel alone, abandoned by the world. They have no hope. But God has not forgotten them. Now, we can make a difference in their lives and give them hope for the future. Polish, Swiss and Dutch Christians are reaching out to them in love to meet their needs. For the past several years, Shalom Ministry Association in Oswiecim has partnered with Aktion Vezicht and recently with Christians for Israel, to provide food, clothes, medicine, and other necessities.
To our sorrow, we can not reach everyone who really lives under the poverty line and also needs to receive this help.
          Soup kitchens provide hot meals, often the only meal eaten per a day. Food parcels are given to others who lives in towns and villages where it is impossible to run the soup kitchens. Although many are currently being assisted, many more need our help. We are appealing for your assistance: We are able to help some of them by the grace of God, but there are still many of them whom God is challenging us to help. Through gifts of love from God’s people, we can help many more. Who will help them if we don’t? When, if not now? Please help us save lives through this ministry of mercy. Will you answer this plea? Will you reach out a hand of love and mercy to the forgotten Jews of the Ukraine? Your gift of love can meet their physical needs and show them that God loves and cares for them. The apostle Paul tells us, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”       (1 Cor. 13:13). Acts of love cause hope and faith to grow in the hearts of those touched by God’s loving presence.
This is our moment to change their future. Their past was filled with pain, but we can bring hope and love to their future. We can provide a hot, filling, nutritious meal for only 3 $ US or 2,5 €, so you can feed someone for 66 $ US or 55 € for a month. Sending us 14 $ US or 10€, you can pay for someone’s food parcel once a month.  Please send your gift of love today. Help us regularly communicate God’s love to the Jewish people of the Ukraine. Our motivation to do this ministry is what Yeshua (Jesus) said, “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me” (Matt. 25:40). Let’s show God how much we love Him by reaching out to those He loves.

                                                                                         Piotr Borek

                                                                                         Shalom Ministry Association in Oswiecim

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