Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity over the last three months our local Rescue Teams in Odessa have visited 108 country villages, reached over 4,100 needy Orphans who were evicted from their Orphanage Boarding Schools (3,500 orphans more than we started searching for) and given out 1,400 picture Bibles and 1,500 Survival Packs of food, basic medicines and hygiene products to hundreds of needy families. I was stunned that they covered so much ground on horrendous roads in the present lockdown situation. The old vans have battled on horrendous roads with broken water pumps and burst passenger airbags. I have been amazed at the energy, creativity, patience and compassion that these rugged young men and homeless teenagers from the House of Hope (our Homeless Kids Centre) have shown to all these needy children and destitute people. They seem to be “driven by the Spirit” while the time is right, and the door is open for the Gospel through this mercy mission. Who knows what forces may close this effective door if we miss the opportunity?

Destitute families in more remote villages heard about our local team’s rescue missions, and have cried out, Come over here and help us too. No one cares about us. We are forgotten people. We want to prove to them that man may have forgotten them, but they are not forgotten by God.

So our teams have started another “Rescue Mission” to all these villages throughout June, July and August, to show that our concern for them is still a top priority, and to let them know that when the lockdown lifts we’ll be conducting village church services.
Our 7 Part Bible Study Course, “Venture into God’s Word (translated into Russian) is being taught to the older teenagers of the House of Hope who will be the visiting “shepherds” of these new village churches. They’ve already been recognised as their “rescuers”.

In a remote village in the Velyka Mykhailivka Region 130 kms NW of Odessa many orphans and destitute families were found. As in most of the other villages, when the children and teenagers were given Bibles, the people felt so “special” to have received a Bible. They were so open to receive the Gospel and were led into a relationship with Jesus on the spot.

  •  T..... 160 kms from Odessa, 80 Children & 30 Families were given Survival packs of food, hygiene products, basic medicines, and Bibles.
  • In the Lubashesky Region 80 kms from Odessa, 65 needy Children and 25 Families were provided for.
  • At B... 80 kms away 78 needy Children and 30 Families were provided for.
  • In the Ovidiopolsky Region near the House of Hope 72 displaced children & 30 needy families were provided for.
  • In the V....  79 children and 30 destitute families received survival packs and Bibles

Odessa Drug Rehab Center

Our new Odessa Drug Rehab Center, where teenagers coming off drugs and are separated from the younger children at the House of Hope, has needed to be fitted out with new cooking equipment and working facilities.

Child Protection Services asked Peter, our manager at the House of Hope, to help little Maxim - 3 years old. His father was a prominent doctor 49 years old and worked at the hospital taking in COVID 19 patients. He got infected and died from the virus. His mother was placed into the quarantine and isolated. The child was placed in another hospital totally alone with no relatives found before coming to the House of Hope.

Brain-Damaged Baby Orphanage

They expect this quarantine lockdown to be in place at least until the end of August. A number of children’s hospitals in Odessa have closed, and they have placed these “quarantined children” in the Brain- Damaged Baby Orphanage Hospital.

The staff have begged us for more medicines and supplies as they are running out of stocks. We’ve just been able to supply some of the vital medicines. We voiced our disapproval to the Health Services about the disadvantaged babies being moved away from their caring familiar environment, and they decided on a compromise where only the reasonably able-bodied children will be moved (we don’t know where yet) but the desperately disadvantaged little ones will be kept at this Baby Orphanage. Caring about these needy babies and meeting their needs over the years, has given us a “reasonably loud voice” which is being listened to.

House of Hope Building Project

Here are the plans of the roofing for the extensions of the House of Hope. Our Manager has now got permission to have a big, liveable loft dormitory (the entire top floor) which adds extra space for many more orphans coming to the refuge.
We’re pulling out all the stops to get these new facilities ready to take in ever more needy children.

I keep saying to our local teams that this is the probably the most important thing we’ve done in the last 25 years. So, let’s do it well.

Please stand with us in prayer and support as we continue reaching these needy children and destitute people and increasing the Kingdom of God in this remarkable way.

Love and blessings,

Dave & Margurita Smethurst