LIVING HOPE IN SPITE OF UNCERTAINTY
The tree on the mountain takes whatever the weather brings. If it has any choice at all, it is in putting down roots as deeply as possible.
Prayer of Corrie ten Boom
Everything this year is different from the years before and everything is different from what we had hoped or planned. No matter in which part of the world we live, this sentence probably applies to each of us. We are all the more grateful to have a firm foundation in our faith in God in these uncertain times – just as Corrie ten Boom formulated it in her prayer. The past months have also challenged us in Odessa and Petrovka to let our roots grow deeper and to guide and support the people with whom we live and work in this vital process of growth. We have all learned to appreciate the fact that we can rely on and be there for each other.
Many of our families have fallen into even greater poverty due to the quarantine measures. Some parents have lost their jobs or do not receive their wages, others cannot pay their rent or lack the money for medicine and basic food. There is a sense of new and even greater hardship everywhere. So called “reforms” are used to liquidate existing structures without creating a new functioning system. Without our faith, which is like a solid anchor for us in these times, all this would be hard to endure. Be become more and more aware that our name “Living Hope” describes our daily work very precisely – because that is what we are spreading – “Living Hope”. Since the beginning of the quarantine we have been able to distribute about 1000 food packages. We have also distributed almost a ton of clothes in Petrovka and a neighboring village, which has been a great blessing for many people. Special thanks to all who supported us with an additional donation in this project.
For some weeks now, we are finally back in direct contact with our children, young people and families. In small groups of 10 – 12 children we offer various activities and get to know Odessa and its surroundings better through excursions. More than 70 children were able to enjoy a performance in the dolphinarium and in the next few days a visit to a local winemaker is planned, who will introduce his work to us. Of course we regret very much that we had to cancel the trip to Germany and the two summer camps in Odessa. However, when one is then asked by an eightyear-old whose mother waits for 9 hours in the corridor of the emergency room to be treated, whether the mum has to die now, such decisions are put into another perspective.
In spite of all the uncertainty about the conditions under which we will be able to start the new school year, we are grateful that our chi ldren enjoy participating in the summer activities. Many of them have improved their German and English over the last few months and so last week they were able to celebrate a small party in our garden where their progress was appropriately acknowledged. Furthermore, we are cooking for a limited number of children every day again and are slowly trying to organise a new “normal daily routine”. We are grateful for all prayers and encouragement! It is good to know that even though visits are not possible at the moment, we are still connected to each other deeply. We thank you with all our heart for your friendship. All this enables us to serve here in Odessa and its surroundings.
We wish you a blessed summer – and holiday season
Slavik and Nicole with the children and staff at Living Hope in Odessa
Lebendige Hoffnung e.V.