In June 2018, we are driving with my off-road vehicle with a ski box on our roof on the Ukrainian side of the border.
Our goal was to visit the synagogues of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine and to donate to all the rabies a book titled “Isaiah 53” and also both in English and Hebrew New and Old Testaments. And Israeli postcards as well on which we wrote that the God of Israel loves you and is expecting you in your homeland Israel.
We managed to deliver a large amount of humanitarian aid to a Jewish School in Odessa, where there are currently 1000 students, 300 of whom are orphans.
Miracle at the customs
It was my first time crossing the Polish and Ukrainian border and I did not know how many things I could take over the border. Well we discovered on the spot, that every person is permitted to carry maximum 50 kg of personal belongings and 2 kg of food, but me and my Finnish travel companion had 500 kg of cargo, of which 100 kg was food.
The customs officer inquired if we have 50 kg of cargo or more and I replied that we have more. So he called the customs chief who asked us to drive to a separate garage and to unload our cargo. They started going over the stuff that we had brought in our car: gospels, children’s shoes, pampers, toothbrushes and -pastes, food, vitamins. The customs chief said that so many items can not be taken over the border. He circled the vehicle many times constantly shaking his head and saying “you can’t, it is not possible, it is not allowed”.
But inside of me was the great peace of God. When they had gone over the cargo that was in the vehicle for about 30 minutes, they suddenly ordered us to put all the stuff back into the vehicle and to drive away. Nothing was taken away. It was an enormous grace, favor and miracle of God.
Next we drove 560 km from the Ukrainian border to Kiev, where once again great miracles of God were expecting us. On our way to Kiev we made several stops, where spoke about the gospel with many people and also prayed for them.
From Kiev we traveled to Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Bershad (where the oldest wooden synagogue is located) and Uman.
God’s apple of the eye
In the city of Bershad lives a poor Jewish family: a drunkard mother, a 13-year-old daugther Alina and her grandmother. Alina has had many congenital health disorders. Cockeye, trouble with walking and talking. We’ve managed to collect 1800 euros for the girl and helped her receive surgical operation. Her health is now a bit better and she is the best student in her class. But at her home poverty reigns to the power of 3 (cubed).
We brought food, money, clothes to this family and spoke about Aliyah for which they have the will, which means, that hard work still needs to be done for the trip back home.
When in Uman, we visited another family, to whom we had spoken about Aliyah 2 years before. This time the Jewish girl Olja stated to Ants, that she wanted to go back her home country Israel. It was a touching moment. We brought her into contact with the Esra organization, who manage all the required paper work for Aliyah and at the moment of this writing, the girl is already in Israel. One of the greatest gifts of God is to see how He Himself takes his people home to Israel.
Regarding the Jewish family from Moscow of whom we had written about before, we visited them as well and with God’s help we managed to obtain a birth certificate for their youngest child and a new apartment with all the modern comforts. Unfortunately their initial plans for going home to Israel have been shelved in favor of new plans. They now plan to obtain a Ukrainian citizenship.
Nevertheless, we managed to meet many other people, buy them food and speak about Aliyah. We visited the Word of Life Church in Uman ja prayed for the members of the congregation.
The tomb of Tatyana Fyodorovna
I separately took on a plan to visit the grave of the former Jewish community leader Tatyana Fyodorovna. It was lost in the high hay. So I purchased some shears, a hoe and a thick film. After cutting the weeds and hoeing the soil, I covered the tomb with a thick film so that the weeds could not grow back. After that I bought some curbstones and cement with the intention of building a decent burial place. We covered the central area with beautiful rubble – now the grave site is pleasant to look at. In the future I plan to obtain a tombstone and write some poetry on it and I definitely want to add the star of David.
Ukrainian Jewish schools are located in three Ukrainian cities. They are in need of almost everything, but especially pampers. We are trying to raise funds and resources in order to then ship humanitarian aid to Ukrainian Jewish schools and kindergartens.
By blessing Israel and the people of this land, we ourselves will be blessed as well (Genesis 12:3)! This is stated in the Word of God.