In Global Reports

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—June 2023

No one would have imagined at the beginning of the war in Ukraine that 400+ days later things continue. The difference is, much has happened, but in spite of all this, there may be more hope than ever! You together with everyone else is making a difference! I pray every mealtime for Ukraine and for victories in their country and their people.  Hard to know what all they have gone through. The best thing we can do is pray and help where needed—exactly like what you have been doing (and continue to do).

We continually find new needs but also new ways to help. Many loads of help have gone to Ukraine and we will be financing another one soon. There are some very sad tales, but also tales of victory.

I have a sad report from Sergii Glushko who I know personally and has been here to visit us at the Village of Hope, Estonia. Our brothers Sergey and Andrei were doing relief work when abducted, since then both bodies have been recovered and funeral services have been held. One of these men had just been married a year and the other was married with children. Pray for their wives and families.

Both these men were drug-addicted in the past, but by God’s grace, they were restored. They had committed their lives to full-time ministry—finishing their lives in the ministry. They are our heroes!

Here Viljam Borissenko (right), one of our former leaders here at the Village of Hope, who is now leading “Hope Fund” in Estonia is travelling to Ukraine. He is connected to church leadership, Bishop Valeri Grigorašiga (left), in Ukraine. Together they are helping the neediest places, their own church almost surrounded several times by the Russian army.

Here they are helping Bakhmut, renowned in Ukraine as one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the war. Great and brave people!

This help is directly distributed through church channels and into the hands of those in need. We may never know all the needs nor the fullness of their thanks—but you are doing it, that is what counts!

How can I help with the Ukraine Refugee Crisis?

We Have front-line workers in Estonia right now!

Join ACOP Global Harvest Helps and our Global Workers in Estonia to be the hands and feet of Jesus…

Let’s work together to supply their needs!

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—January 2023

As we take our first steps into a New Year, the war in Ukraine has not taken a moment’s break! No respect for Christmas or the beginning of the New Year. No giving the people of Ukraine a single quiet moment to gather with their families for Christmas, go to church, or welcome in the New Year in peace and quietness. The relentless bombing and missile attacks continued—we are all expecting a new offensive by Russia in the coming weeks.

Our work with the Ukrainian refugees and victims of the war also has not taken a break either. We will continue as the need continues. Often this has meant taking on various forms of help as the situation continues and changes occur—every day is different.

Here are some of the ways it continues:

The first picture shows Ukrainian children enjoying Christmas with their Mom at the Village of Hope. They are safe, warm, and well looked after. In the second picture, they are loving our Village Alaskan Malamute, their “closest friend!”

The third picture shows a sign at Tallinn Airport. Estonia has over 10,000 refugees—and needs everyone’s help to look after them. Thank You for your partnership!

Below are Nelia and Svitlana standing together with Alta and me. Much can be said about these two ladies. They have been working on the front lines, day and night, providing hundreds upon hundreds of meals, vans filled with bread bought in Poland, and bags of food to help feed the Ukrainians stuck without food and water in their own country. On top of little, if any, food—many they help have no heat or electricity during these cold winter months.

Your support has gone directly into buying this food and helping. Thank you!

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—September 2022

“Since the start of the Russian unprovoked war against Ukraine, almost 47,000 Ukrainian war refugees have arrived in Estonia. Over 30,000 of them have stayed in Estonia, while the others were on transit.”

Below are pictures of those we have passed on your help to personally.

17 people are staying in one of our churches but with all their children they had no washing machine—you helped them buy one.

There are too many stories to tell, but most are from Mariupol where they only escaped with the clothes on their back and a few plastic bags of belongings. Homes destroyed completely, and can you imagine having no idea where family members might be or if they are even alive?

What can we do? Love them in a very tangible way. You have loved them even though you’ve not met them! 17 of them are staying in one of our churches, and with all their children, they had no washing machine—you helped them buy one. Alta and I have met them, hugged them, and helped them for you. We have told them about you and where the help comes from—with tears in their eyes they send their love and thanks.

Natalia, Svischova, Kuzmenko, Viktor, Irina, Denis, Ryslar, Artiom, Maksim, Nikita, Anna, Oleg. One of these little boys holds a chocolate bar in his arms that Alta just gave him—what does that mean to him? I will never know. But what counts is your love by caring.

Of course, it is much more than a chocolate bar you have given them. Together we have helped them with finances, clothes, a place to stay, adjusting to life in Estonia, paperwork, schooling, and the list goes on and on. The government of Estonia has been more than gracious with social and education programs with language, free transportation on buses and trains, finding jobs, and the list goes on—you can only imagine.

Yet, with so many, it is impossible to meet all the detailed needs. Our churches and the Village of Hope have done such a wonderful job in filling the much-needed gaps of personal love and care. Yet we could not do it if it were not for your help beside us. Thank You!!!

Alta and I arrived back in Canada for a spell—but our team there, pastors and churches, continues the work without stopping.

The last picture is one Sunday, where Raiman, our Village of Hope Director met with these precious people from the Donbas region from the city of Donesk.

Bless you and Thank You!

Märt and Alta

Previous Gallery & Updates

Pictures that say so much…

It’s hard to imagine what these people are going through, but it’s also amazing to see the hope of Jesus at work in the world.

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”

Matthew 25:35-36 NLT

Let’s continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the midst of this crisis…

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—July 13, 2022

A lot of things happening, we thank you for your support—so greatly!!!

Ukrainian refugees filled the Estonian Christian Pentecostal Paldiski Church not far from the Village of Hope. Together with the local county and city government, we sponsored a special day for the Ukrainian families living in the county.

Nik, from our Russian-speaking Church in Tallinn, led in songs. There was food in abundance provided for the families and activities for all the Ukrainian children—who have all fled their homes with only their moms because dads have to stay behind to protect their country.  

Together with Pastor Ragnar (a graduate of VOH and EKNK Church leader today), a financial gift was given to each family. I had the privilege of sharing the hope of the gospel of Christ—hope for a nation, hope for individuals, hope in the person of Christ, regardless of the confusion, destruction, and circumstances. 

I shared the fact that our love was not only in words but in the deeds which we wanted to show them in some small way today. I shared how not only today but 45 years ago in 1977 Alta and I travelled through their land and cities (and did even then all we could do) to help them by smuggling thousands of Ukrainian Bibles into Ukraine. 

With those in attendance on this day—many were their stories of homes destroyed, fleeing with just the clothes on their back, and days of endless travel without much to eat. Many have family members who are elderly, still back in Ukraine. The policewomen pictured with Alta—her story—husbands, brothers, and fathers back home fighting for the very existence of their country. 

Thank You for your vital part in helping—without your financial help we could not have done these things by ourselves. 

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—June 15, 2022

Hi, thanks again, for all your help and prayers!   

This is Alla a voice/song instructor to my right and her husband Dymitri, a builder, to my left.

Both of them are Ukrainian refugees from the ravaged city of Severnodonetsk in eastern Donest Ukraine. They arrived, and our Village of Hope Coordinator for Ukrainian refugees, Einike (pictured far left) has been a terrific support and help not only to them but to so many other Ukrainians. 

Though Dymitri and Alla’s apartment was intact upon escaping; as all know the conflict has been escalating in this particular city. They just got the news a few days ago, that a rocket hit an adjoining apartment building and another house across the backyard street, blowing their roof off—shattering and destroying their home. 

In the same explosion, a 70-year-old neighbour lady in the adjoining apartment building was killed.  An 80-year-old Jewish lady who lived across the hallway from them has been severely injured. They don’t know more. We do our best, along with your help to continue to care for them, yet once again it is very shocking for this precious couple.  

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—May 25th

Every day war jets fly over the Village of Hope from the NATO base just 10 km away.  Daily reminders of the war in Ukraine, but, what brings the war in Ukraine so much closer is the refugees that we have received at our doorstep from the devastated city of Mariupol.

Oleg and his wife Tanja arrived from Mariupol, travelling for five days straight, with documents in hand and the clothes on their back.  They were taken to Russia but managed to get away and head for Estonia, where Russian authorities fingerprinted them and held them for 5 hours before they were welcomed on the Estonian side of the border.  Knowing about their arrival one of our church workers met them and bought them to the Village of Hope; in talking to them there were tears in their eyes and mine.     

Oleg and Tanja had spent two months in the basement in what was left of their apartment house while Russian soldiers occupied the apartments above. In total, 120 individuals occupied the basement of the apartment building—no toilets, beds, or food facilities. The youngest was among them 3 months.  They buried their dead outside and cooked whatever they could find on open fires.

No stores to buy from, living from the occasional relief packages which arrived now and then. Oleg lost 12 kilos or 25 lbs—a former welder in the Mariupol steel plant (now so well known all over the world) where he told me it employed over 200,000 people. They were not able to retrieve family photos, or anything else. Worse, they have 13 brothers and sisters in their immediate family, and they don’t have any news about their safety. Tanja testified in tears, “I was afraid I would die and never make it out alive. But I thank God, with all my heart, today—I’m here.”

I found out they were Pentecostal believers. Tanja said how during the Soviet times, the Soviet powers tried to take away her grandmother’s 10 children because of her faith. She claimed that, again today, Christians are targeted by the aggressing soldiers. I sat across the table from them as they almost sacredly ate the delicious food in front of them. I paused to thank God for the same sacred privilege of helping them. Thank you for your part in the same!

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—May 4th

Here is an update on the Ukrainian refugees you have helped by your giving…

Thank you (first of all) for your love and your patience in waiting for updates! It has been very busy and not always easy, but without your help, we would be very limited in what we could do for those who are fleeing and managing to make it here to the Village of Hope.

Three mothers and their children escaped from Mariupol and the horrors of that devastated city.

At first, all of them were taken to Russia. One of the moms was on a bus heading into Russia, her sister called, telling her to get off the bus and run for her life. At the next stop, she grabbed her two young children and got off. She escaped to Georgia and from there some of our Church workers got in touch with us. We helped her and her children get to Estonia and they are now here at the Village of Hope. She says she felt like she arrived in “paradise.”

On Sunday, 20 Ukrainians joined us for a service here at the Village of Hope.

Update from Märt & Alta Vähi—April 13th

I am writing to quickly update where we are able to help with your giving…

You have just helped Yelena.

She arrived here on Sunday from Kharkov—leaving her city as it was being bombed, waiting for hours at one train station after another to keep moving toward Poland. We were praying for her as she travelled.

Then—we all heard of the rocket which hit the train station at about 10:30 local time on Friday, at Kramatorsk. 57 people were killed immediately, mostly women and children—over 100 were injured.

Yelena’s train had left this very station just 40 minutes prior to the attack. The Ukrainian military was no where near this location. In shock, she heard about it from workers on the train.

Yelena (in the red coat) with Olga (Yelena’s cousin and wife of our program director Roman) and her two boys here at Village of Hope. She told us of her escape in tears. We thank God she was spared!

Yelena’s father is a local Russian policeman in Kharkov who is of Ukrainian citizenship. Yelena’s brother is in the Ukrainian forces fighting. Though at the Village of Hope, Yelena is very concerned for her mother and father, brother and grandmother. Pray for them.

Today, we are working with others on bringing out a lady with her two children under ten, who finally got out of Mariupol, the horribly besieged city on the Black Sea with thousands dead. Pray for her dangerous journey here. Thank you for your part in helping her.

Märt & Alta Vähi

Update—March 25th

One more family helped—this Ukrainian refugee family of 9 (last six pictures) arrived at the Village of Hope.

They travelled for who knows how long—but, the last leg of their journey has been over 18 hours. Our church team with Jaan and Pastor Jurgis and two Ukrainian workers travelled from the Tallinn Church to the Ukrainian border with help and brought this family to the Village of Hope.

They had warm soup waiting for them and the kids were soon in their warm clean rooms here. They are a Grandmother, Mom, and seven children from ll years to 1 year.

Mom seemed to be in total shock and suffering the trauma of the whole ordeal, so we had our people working with her and the family. We have worked to help and move the whole family to Germany—to reunite with their father.

Others are coming and Estonia has now over 30,000 refugees, two times what was expected. Statistically, a Ukrainian child becomes a refugee every second! There are over 3.2 million displaced Ukrainians…

Pray for them and their country. Thank you for your help!

Update from Märt Vähi & Village of Hope

The effects of the war in Ukraine have become more and more real to the rest of us here in Europe—in Estonia, and even here at the Village of Hope.  

The last six pictures in the gallery above are a few of the Ukrainian families that made it to the Estonian border, along with some of the aid and teams going to help. The Estonian churches are helping these families find places to stay, many of whom fled their own country with the clothes on their back and a small bag of personal things.

More refugees are pouring into Europe—over 2 million into Poland alone, of those fleeing 140,000 have now arrived in Estonia—with many more coming! A Mom with her son and daughter fled advancing Russian troops taking a 10 hour trip to the Polish border, waiting 8 hours to cross the border, and then a 16 hour trip to Estonia! They ended up on her friend’s doorstep in the middle of the night, plastic bags in hand. She had to leave her husband behind to fight for their country, not knowing if she would ever see him again.

The government, companies, organizations, and private homes are doing all they can to take these people in. In Estonia, our churches will meet to see what the most urgent need is, and what we can all do together. Many of our pastors are hosting refugee families in their homes already. 

We here at the Village of Hope will be doing our utmost to receive others who will be coming, and work hard to support our friends and partners. I used to smuggle Bibles during the 70s to all these cities—we know that God is at work by the way the church is responding!  

So thank you for being a part of it all! Every cent you donate to the European Refugee crisis goes to help meet the needs of Ukrainian families.

Pray for Ukraine—we’ll keep you updated!

How to Pray

Lord, today we cry out to You to do what only You can. We pray for…

  • The protection of the people of Ukraine. Please watch over and guard them with Your peace, provision, and endurance
  • The oppressor’s plans to be compromised and frustrated. We ask that the plans for evil will fail, for unexpected complications, and for the miraculous to assist in what is righteous
  • For world leaders who are making consequential decisions—may Your wisdom, courage, and Godly counsel be their guide
  • For those in the military—we pray that You protect them, comfort their families, and give victory to those standing for what You value
  • For courage and supernatural safety for Christians and Christian workers. Lord, bring revival and glory to Your name in the midst of persecution
  • We ask You, Almighty Father, Prince of peace, to bring peace in the Ukraine and the world. May conflict end, may violence cease, and may hearts be turned to You and find salvation
  • Those bringing help and relief to refugees so traumatized by the war.  ACOP Global Harvest has Global Workers Märt and Alta Vähi on the frontlines working from Estonia to assist with this need right now.
  • Pray for wisdom to help where it is most needed
  • Pray for favor to find needed supplies
  • Pray for protection over every person joining these humanitarian convoys going to Ukraine and a safe return back in the country
  • Pray for protection over all of us—and the leading of the Holy Spirit
  • Pray for direction, so we know how to serve and how to get involved—how to spend our time and resources so we have most impact

How can I help with the Ukraine Refugee Crisis?

We Have front-line workers in Estonia right now!

Join ACOP Global Harvest Helps and our Global Workers in Estonia to be the hands and feet of Jesus…

Let’s work together to supply their needs!

Märt & Alta Vähi