The Work of the Agape Rehabilitation Centre in Lutsk, Ukraine
by Roger Brind
Natalia and Sergiy Bolchuk were involved in a terrible, life-changing accident while serving the Lord in the south of Rivne province. A tyre burst on their minibus; no other vehicle was involved but Natalia’s injuries left her a quadriplegic. During the months of hospitalisation that followed, Natalia questioned why God had allowed such an awful thing to happen and wrestled with God as to her future.
Full atricle published in the Echoes International Magazine attached: EI Mag June 21 (Light in the Darkness – Ukraine).
Svitlana Senator had a ministroke several years ago and has also got all of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Though, she doesn’t want to speak about it too much. She lives with her teenage daughter and Dad, uses wheelchair. Svitlana visited Retreat for Adults with Disabilities and meetings of the New Opportunities Club. She enjoys talking to the people and can’t wait till the time when the churches are open and she’ll be able to come to the service and other church events.
Anton Kasyan is a 22-year old boy with CP. He visited our Family Retreats a couple of times and often comes to Joy Studio (for young people with disabilities).
Oleksandr Grabovyy – a boy with CP. Both his Mom and Dad used to be military people. When Sasha was born, his Mom Galyna dedicated her whole life to him. They started visiting Family Retreats when a boy was about 4-5 years old. They were learning more and more about GOD and one day Galyna repented. Now she is a member of Fimiam church. Her husband visits both Home Church and Fimiam Church services as well. Recently this family has had really serious difficulties. Galyna was diagnosed with cancer and had 5 surgeries. Now she is recovering step by step and greatly needs our prayer support. The grocery package was a huge blessing for her.
The grocery set. Some people with disabilities were amazed to receive them and figure out there is not only tea, butter or cereals in every package, but also canned fish and meat as well as some smoked bacon.
In addition to the grocery sets the Bibles for kids and books with Christian stories were given to each family.
For more information, go to https://en.agapeukraine.com/
The Snitko’s family. The elder girl named Khrystyna has got mild mental retardation and problems with the language development. She is very touchy, loves to hug and to be hugged. Last year they visited our Family Retreat for the first time. The mother is very open to the WORD of GOD.
Pavlo Pertak started visiting Crafts studio many years ago. Now he is a young man interested in many things. He has got CP that influenced him mostly physically (he’s in the wheelchair). He has got a Mom and a sister. The family is very nice, but unfortunately they live in really poor conditions.
The lady on the picture named Nina has got an adult biological daughter. However, a couple of years ago she adopted this boy with CP. His name is Korenga Dmytro. We are looking forward to seeing this family in our Family Retreats and Crafts Studio meetings in the nearest future.
Myroslava Romanchuk had a tumor in her spinal cord. After one of the surgeries she came to Agape Ukraine for rehabilitation, visited our Retreat for Adults with Disabilities and is willing to do something for the people with serious health problems in the future.
Kolia Prokopchuk broke his neck many years ago when he dove in the shallow lake. He’s got tetraplegia. Kolia repented while visiting church services and Retreats for people with disabilities and was baptized. He stays most of the time at Agape and helps with the media ministry. Because of Covid-19 restrictions he had to stay at home (4 room apartment on the 9th floor with 4 families living in it). When some additional problems with his health appeared, he was taken to the hospital. The caregivers from Agape were helping him all the time in the hospital. (The photo is taken in the hospital).
Go to https://en.agapeukraine.com/ for more information
In the appartment of Lidiya Shyshko, who takes care of her 25-year-old niece with disabilities Ilona. The girl’s Mother – Lydia’s sister was alcohol-addicted. When she died, Lidiya left a good job in Italy, said good bye to the man she was to marry and came back to Lutsk, Ukraine, to be able to take care of Ilona. Now the girl is in her twenties. Lydia repented several years ago, was baptized and is a member of Fimiam church now. They often visit our Family Retreats and other church events.
Maryna Yaremiy with her son Max. This very cute and sweet boy has CP and problems with hearing. The doctors say he cannot hear at all. However, sometimes he reacts to the sounds, the people make, when he sits with his back to them. So, it would be great if a family could find some really professional doctor and check with a help of high quality medical equipment, if he can hear at least a little bit. Why I say it, because I wish he could have some assistive hearing device that would help him hear his Mom and try to talk at least a little bit. There is also the older girl in their family, so both Mom and Dad work hard to earn their living.
Daryna Martyniuk is a very touchy girl. Despite of her hyperactivity disorder and episyndrome (symptomatic epilepsy), she just loves to take care of other people and help them.
Arthur Povidzion is a boy of 8 years old. He has congenital brain defect, spastic tetraparesis and problems with his eyes. Together with his Mom he visited our Family Retreats and Crafts studio for kids with disabilities a couple of times.
Kryvych Uliana (in the middle) – a girl has got a congenital brain defect that provoked a number of other diagnosis. She has also got a younger sister. They were interested in looking through the books we brought together with the grocery package. They also visit our Crafts studio.
For more information, please go to https://en.agapeukraine.com/
Over the few weeks we will be sharing about the work at Agape Ukraine and people’s stories who have been connected to the work.
People Agape are serving
The family of Andriy Korolchuk who had a Brain Aneurism several years ago (hemorrhagic stroke). As a result, he lost his ability to speak, walk by himself, normally use the right part of his body. He’s been at Agape for rehabilitation a couple of times. Together with his wife and two children he also visited Retreat for Adults with disabilities several times. Right now he can walk using a cane and speak a little bit. However, he’s got a problem with memorizing the names of the people and is very discouraged because he cannot use the right hand. The man is very open to hearing the Gospel.
Vira Matsiuk, has been having multiple sclerosis for about 20 years. She used to be the member of our church, but unfortunately backslided. We continue supporting her. From time to time she visits the Fimiam Church.
Pavlo Knysh, one of the businessman from Fimiam church, and Roman Antoniuk, the Administrator of Agape Ukraine, are taking the grocery packages to the vans and cars to take them to families affected by disabilities.
A prayer of the team before visiting the families.
Pavlo Knysh, one of the businessman from Fimiam church, Roman Antoniuk, the Administrator of Agape Ukraine, and Pavlo’s son are about to start visiting the families affected by disabilities.
To find out more, go to https://en.agapeukraine.com/
In the first century we read of the apostle Paul making tents. We have often added our reason for this – it was to pay his expenses! It is true that on three occasions Paul spoke of not being chargeable to the believers in both Corinth and Thessaloniki but on other occasions following his profession enabled him to reach others for Christ.
In recent years this has been a growing aspect of our work. Abe Samuel is using his medical knowledge as a witness in Ternopol, Ukraine, Roger Brind his educational knowledge in Terebovlya, Lutsk, Kyiv and Zaozerne in Ukraine and Dömös, Hungary and Mark and Rachel Bartlett and Roger their language skills in Czechia.
Some remarkable doors have opened as a result. In Czechia for example we saw the relationships we have made with local teachers developed this year and we had some great conversations. Our main topic was based on the life and writings of C S Lewis and that presented opportunities for discussions about faith and philosophy.
With the youth, the 17-year-old who came to Christ last year is a very bright witness and brought her mother and friends to the meetings. The whole group is very positive about the programmes we arranged, and we praise God for these developing contacts. Some have asked can they join us for the International Conference in Hungary next year.
Parents and grandparents were very happy with the programme the children’s programme devised by Mark and Rachel and a number contacted family and friends and suggested they should bring their children too and so numbers grew.
About 150 people attended during the week and are very positive about the programmes and are keen we should develop them further.
School links are a further opportunity for us to demonstrate the work of Christ in our lives. Professional links have been established between schools in Hungary, Ukraine and Wales.
The war in the East of Ukraine in the Lugansk and Donetsk Regions has brought great need. Both areas have with strong links to Wales. Lugansk is a twin city of Cardiff and it was the industrialist John Hughes from Merthyr Tydfil who established the steel works in a small village Donetsk in East Ukraine that became the great city it is today.
Paul and Sally Thomas and Roger and Susan Brind have links with the Lugansk through visits and contact with many young people who have fled the areas. The Philadelphia Trust is involved in channelling support to three Ukrainian Christian organizations. Two are involved in bringing aid to the area and the third supports the refugees start life over again in the West of Ukraine.
The Charity “Warm the Soldier” was set up soon after the outbreak of postilities between Ukraine and the Separatist movement supported by Russia. Initially it was to support the Ukrainian soldiers who needed suitable clothing and equipment for a conflict during an Eastern European winter. Their ministry was much appreciated and linked with the work of evangelical chaplains has provided for the holistic needs of those engaged in the conflict. As time passed those involved in supporting the soldiers were touched by the need of the innocent civilian population and so widened the charities remit to bring aid to civilians. Those who have donated to the Philadelphia Trust have asked us to support the aid to civilian’s work of “Warm the Soldier.”
Our contact with team came as a result of meeting with Kate Bliashyk in Lutsk. She is a medical student who has worked with the mobile clinic close to the frontline on a number of occasions. They provide an holistic approach to medicine – healing for body, mind and soul.