LOR Mission: Zaporozhye, Ukraine
The Prison Ministry Department includes 7 staff members of the Mission and more than 40 volunteers. In 2014, the majority of the staff members moved to the city of Zaporozhye (Eastern Ukraine), where most of our ministries are concentrated for the moment. Two of our staff members returned to the occupied territory, resuming the rehabilitation ministry and evangelization in prisons. All the ministries of our Department intersect with each other and stem from one another. A final stage of the ministry cycle is the rehabilitation program for former prisoners. After this rehabilitation program the participants of the program are involved in the ministry to others.
Staff members of the Prison Ministry Department, Zaporozhye.
By preaching and various assistance in prisons and tuberculosis dispensaries, we identify those who respond to the call of Christ. When they get discharged from hospital or released from prison, we transfer them to one of the four rehabilitation centers, where we continue to work with them for 6 to 8 months. After the completion of the rehabilitation program, we commit our graduates to the care of the local churches and continue our cooperation with them in the ministry.
Serving In Tuberculosis Hospitals
We have three constant team members and few assistants from local churches of Zaporozhye. During one day, we visit six hospital departments of the Zaporozhye regional tuberculosis hospital, with 500-600 people in them. Not everyone is ready to listen to the Word of God, but about 300 people receive us with joy. For some of them, meeting us is the only joy in the gloomy hospital rooms filled with fear and feeling of death.
In addition, once a week, we visit a TB dispensary outside the city. Hopeless patients who do not have a chance of recovery are sent there. We go into every hospital room, tell people about God, give out the New Testaments and Christian literature. The majority of patients are people who are below the poverty line. Many of them are former prisoners, alcoholics and drug addicts, abandoned by all. These people cannot afford to buy even bare essentials. Therefore, apart from preaching the Gospel, we want to show people in practice the kindness and care of God, helping them to supply their vital needs (medicine, hygiene products, food, glasses, and clothes).
Hard everyday life in hospital rooms leads people to the deepest depressions. We try to enliven their lives, we congratulate them on their birthday, celebrate together Christian fests, fellowship with them on different topics, bring them to the church services. In two hospital rooms, we have put DVD players, so everybody can come to watch Christian movies and programs. At Christmas, we congratulated the patients and medical workers, told them about the meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ, gave them gifts.
Over the past three months, four people came to Christ. Out of those who came to Christ before, two people died and three were discharged from hospital, one of them was sent to Mangush for rehabilitation.
We visit the children's department: with children from two to eight years old we play games and make them feel loved, and with the older children we talk on biblical themes. For Christmas, we brought them a theater performance.