My name is Andrey
God has called my wife and I to be leaders of the Athletes in Action ministry in Ukraine.
We started five years ago and God has given us a very intensive ministry growth over this years.
The sports movement Athletes in Action has grown from a team in which there were only me and my wife, to a spiritual movement throughout Ukraine
We reached the peak of development right before the war.
Our ministry was in 5 cities of Ukraine in 7 churches and 35 volunteers with 14 full time workers were involved in it. We served for 410 kids and 305 family in weekly basis.
There were missionaries, volunteers and trainers.
But God's greatest blessing was the number of children involved in this ministry.
When we started it was a small group of seven kids from a class at the school where our eldest son went.
These kids and I practiced football three times a week and after each practice we had Bible Time.
Also we had parties with these kids once a week and built relationships with their parents.
And in 5 years, the number of children increased from 7 children to 410 who came to us 3-4 times a week. It was huge influence to their lifes.
These were the children whom we led from year to year to repentance, spiritual growth, baptism in the Church and then leaders for Christ.
We had a vision from God to continue the growth of God's kingdom through sports. Actually we had strong leaders and a great ministry development program.
The only thing we lacked then was the financial resources to scale our ministry up to 1000 children.
And then we started the 1000 Happy Children project to gather resources to increase the ministry to such a scale.
That was 70 days ago and 40 days ago the war started and all our children left and the ministry stopped.
But we've decided to continue this project no matter what.
By the way, 1000 children in our project are not children who play football and study the Bible.
These are 1000 children whom we saved from real death and shared the Gospel with them.
These are the children whom we saved in the eastern regions of Ukraine and evacuated to the west from the shelling of the Russian occupiers.
You can see what happens to children whose parents or volunteers like us did not have time to evacuate by entering the hash tag #buchamassacre.
We have assembled a strong team of 10 missionaries and volunteers and shared responsibility among ourselves.
Our team found partners who gave us minibuses or provided money to buy seven minibuses. We were able to buy these vehicles thanks to personal savings and finances from the 1000 happy children project.
Therefore, we decided to continue this project without changing the name.
And now we are doing tours from Western Ukraine to Eastern, we call them humanitarian convoy.
Team of drivers transport humanitarian aid there and evacuate people back.
So far, we have already helped 400 children to become a little bit happier and some even to avoid physical death. (320 children were taken out and 300 children were provided with food)
Our vision for this project is as follows:
Show in practice how beautiful our Lord and His Church are through good works in dark times
The darker the darkness, the brighter the light.
The Bible verse that inspires us in this project in the midst of darkness:
"Let your light shine before men, so that they, seeing your good works, glorify your Father in heaven" Mt 5.16
The next step for us to buy or build
Christian Sport Rehabilitation Center
Location: Lviv, Carpathians mountain area
For 50 people
Facilities: Mini Hotel, Office, Soccer field, Storage, Parking for Mini Buses, Health facilities, conference hall, kitchen and dining room
- Base for short time stay for Refugees from East to the West and back
- Bible study center for families
- Rehabilitation of families affected by the war
- Sports Therapy for kids and their parents
- Base for our minibuses and keep helping with evacuation
- Storage for humanitarian aids
- Office and Base for AIA Ukraine team
- Summer Sport Camps for Ukrainian Sport Church Movement
And in those Cristian ReCenter we have a dream to help to be happy for 1000 Ukrainian kids who will come through rehabilitation during 2022-2023 years.