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‘We’ll listen to the Bible as we garden’

An elderly couple in a village just north of Kharkiv were delighted to receive an audio Bible recently. ‘We’ll listen to the Bible as we work in our vegetable garden preparing for winter,’ they said. 

It is common in villages across Ukraine to grow your own food, and summer and autumn are the busiest times. But in the villages of Bobrivka and Barak, near Kharkiv, farmers and growers like these face extra threats. 

The whole area is now full of landmines and unexploded shells. Some 350 cows have escaped from their farm, but can’t be rounded up because of the landmines. So they are eating the crops that people like this couple are trying to grow to keep them alive over the winter. 

And as they work on the land, they come under regular artillery attack and are frequently shelled. 

Local chaplain Oleksandr had given this couple a Bible earlier in the war. ‘We read it a lot, and it has helped us to withstand recent trials,’ they said. But the audio Bible now means that they can listen to the word of God while growing their crops, in the most dangerous of conditions. 

Oleksandr said that he hoped that gifts of Bibles and audio Bibles to these villages would help people who ‘feel frightened and abandoned’ to find hope. 

Author: Hazel Southam, 8 July 2022 (Last updated: 25 July 2022)

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