MURRIETA, Calif. -- Today, Russian soldiers walked through crowded streets in Konotop, Ukraine, threatening to release hand grenades if the people of this city in northeast Ukraine did not submit to them.
Mayor Artem Semenikhin, rallied the people in this town in Sumy Oblast, just 100 miles from the Russian border, and they resisted the soldiers, placing their lives at risk by their defiance.
MercyProjects (MercyProjects.org), headed by Jeff Thompson, has helped build and sustain the Hearts of Love Center in Konotop since 2005. The facility, under the direction of Lena Yuschenko, serves about 55 special needs children each week.
Yuschenko said, "God made His miracle today. The people of Konotop said we will fight the Russian invaders. So far, the Russians have decided to wait and not to shell us. Please be in prayer for us."
Thompson, who first began the now diverse MercyProjects outreach as a Bible-smuggler into the former Soviet Union in 1980, immediately flew to Eastern Europe to coordinate assistance with ministry partners there.
Thompson said, "We are working from Hungary at the moment, organizing ongoing care for the Konotop children in the crisis, and will remove them to safety when possible."
He noted that when he arrived at the office in Hungary, waiting Ukrainian refugees were clamoring for urgently needed medical supplies and sought the assistance of MercyProjects to deliver them to Ukraine.
"We are doing everything possible to care for the children and staff in Konotop, but the need is much greater than that. It's heart-breaking to see the devastation in the eyes of refugees, and we are helping all we can, in every way we can."
You can learn more and offer your support at https://www.mercyprojects.org/