While in Ukraine, my team will be spending most of its time in Krivoy Rog (Kryvvy Rih), which is located in central Ukraine. If you look at the map, you can see that the city is located in the southern central part of the country. Our team will fly into Kiev and then take an overnight train south to Krivoy Rog.
The population is roughly 700,000, and it’s a Russian speaking community. Krivoy Rog is an important industrial city, both for the country and for all of Eastern Europe, especially for the steel industry. It is also one of the most polluted cities of the region.
Like many Eastern European cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are serious issues. The team leads for this trip lived in Krivoy Rog for six months a number of years ago, and they recently told me about a field in the city where many drug deals take place. In the mornings, you often find people in this field who have been basically left to die because they overdosed or passed out. The ministry the team leads were working with has a rehab center near this field. In the mornings, they would go out and gather up those who were left during the night and get them cleaned up. If those people are willing to stay to eat, they get fed. If they are willing to get sober, they can stay and get help. If, while at the rehab center, they come to the Lord, then they get sent to Bible College and become pastors.
The ministry who runs the rehab center are the Churches of Praise, which has over 150 church plants throughout Ukraine. While in Krivoy Rog, our team will be partnering with their staff. We’ll spend time at the rehab center, the children’s home, and will go on an outreach in a smaller village. Our team also plans to bring an offering to help the Churches of Praise buy a building in this village for their church there.
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