Over Easter, David Hathaway's ministry distributed over 200 food packages to internally displaced persons, widows and orphans living in Ukraine. Each pack, weighing more than 10 kilos, contained basic food staples which the state does not provide: rice, sugar, noodles, beans, oatmeal, oil, pickles, preserves, buckwheat and flour. In addition, 100 specially prepared gifts were given to orphan children, all of whom have lost parents in the fighting of East Ukraine. But the most important gift, which was gratefully received, is love - simple acts of kindness as a demonstration of the love of God for them.
The four-year conflict in East Ukraine has so far killed more than 10,300 people. The United Nations Human Rights Council estimate that more than 1.6 million people have been internally displaced, with nearly 3 million still living near the frontline, the 'hidden' humanitarian crisis on the borders of Europe is dire.
Unprepared and unaware, Ukraine was initially overwhelmed by the separatists and their Kremlin-backers, however in the intervening years, Ukraine has built the second largest standing army in Europe, with roughly 250,000 active-duty troops and tens of thousands of reservists. Trained by US, UK and Canadian military instructors, Ukraine now has a formidable fighting force. David Hathaway's ministry, working with other Christian agencies in Ukraine and army chaplains, supplies Bibles and spiritual support to troops stationed along the frontline.