We have received a very touching letter from Zena who resides near the War Zone of the Ukraine. She has faithfully represented Door of Hope for many years. Ukraine’s conflict with the occupying Russians continues in spite of little news on TV and in newspapers. Over the years, Zena and her husband have rescued drug addicts, the homeless and latterly, moving poor elderly people from warring areas into safer ones. At this time of the year (with the kind assistance of Link to Hope Charity who we work with) we managed to get Christmas shoe boxes to Zena.

To those of you who faithfully contribute toward Christmas Shoe Box distribution, you must read the following letter that she sent to us. We have not corrected her English that she faithfully tries to use. Her errors seem to magnify her sincerity . .



I am writing this letter in gratitude for the shoe boxes that we receive. Single people, the elderly and families in need has received the gifts from us. I have sent a few photos and stories so that you know how important it is, and your work is very important for people and God.
I visited a place for lonely people-it’s the front-line village of Demyanivka. Every story of people’s lives is a tragedy. I will write a little about it.
Edik survived a stroke. He understands everything but speaks hardly. Hands, legs and whole body are twisted. He dies. No one knows how long God will let him to live. When I brought him a gift, he emotionally came to life, smiled and immediately asked me to open it. This is his last gift in his life. God Himself through you and Maxim sent him this gift. Edik got joy, relief, understanding that he is important for someone, that he has a family and he is not alone. We are a big family in Ukraine and in England. God loves him so much.
Msr Rosa. She is also alone. Her son died from AIDS, and she has the last degree of cancer. She has to live a very little. How much joy has brought your gift to her. It is a splash of life, joy, laughter. She asked, “Is this gift for me? I recently had a birthday.”
Now I am writing to you and crying, experiencing these emotions again. After visiting a Hospice, I thought of how much God loves them. They are his chidren. In our country (The Ukraine), it is one of the most defenceless categories of people – the elderly people. They are old, sick and left behind. But they are important for God. And he does such a great job through you in Great Britain. He distributes gifts to His beloved children in the hospice and poor villages.
Of course gifts were distributed to families with children. I will write the story of Katya here.We support Katya for a long time. She has seven children. In the past, Katya was a drug addict and was in Prison. Therefore she was deprived of a mother’s rights. Katya has been with Christ now for seven years and restored relationships with her children. Katya is a widow. Two months ago her husband died. She is given a room in the church building. Now she serves in the church and grows up children.
By the time you receive this letter, a few thousand Christmas shoe boxes will be on their way to Zena and other deprived areas of the Ukraine and Bulgaria. They will be full of goodies and delivered to some of the poorest, marginalised people in Eastern Europe. Some of them will be living in tents, shacks and hovels pieced together with damaged bricks, corrugated iron and any solid item serving as protection against the cold weather. Others will be residing in one or two rooms. We have found that it is not unusual for parents, children, grandparents and even cousins to be lumped together in this claustrophobic space.
In some accommodation there is no running water, in others, one cold tap projecting from a wall. In many of the places where our shoe boxes will reach, there is no electricity or heating. Washing and toilet facilities are shared with other families. Some have no toilet and have to visit nearby woods.
Can you imagine such deprivations with the added agony of thick winter snow and temperatures dropping to as much as 30 degrees! For such people, survival is a struggle.
Into these miserably deprived areas, Door of Hope will be delivering Christmas shoe boxes containing gifts suitable for each member of the family – toiletries, toothpaste, hats, gloves, flannels, combs, pencils, crayons, small toys and games, sweets and other welcome items. Woollen items will also be sent. Delivery of these shoe boxes will not be restricted to ethnic origins or religious beliefs. The compassion of God will reach the poorest of homes and people.

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