Aidar Lifestyle Center
Like the first blade of vibrant grass peeking through the last snowfall, Aidar Lifestyle Center brought hope to Eastern Ukraine at a critical point in the country’s history. The team expected to open the doors to their lifestyle center in June 2014. However, due to a political conflict stirring up violence in the country, their plans had to change. But God soon shone light along their path.
The city of Lugansk was to host a Mission to the Cities initiative, but all religions were outlawed except Russian Orthodox. Protestant pastors lost their lives, and church buildings were confiscated, threatening the security of two Seventh-day Adventist churches in the city. Before the Adventist churches suffered damage, the staff at Aidar had developed a plan to use them as the hub for much needed community service.
It did not take long for people to line up outside the Adventist churches to collect their free lunch, which was served to approximately 180 people everyday. Teaming up with ADRA, they also rebuilt homes and provided clothing. One of the churches initiated a health ministry with medical professionals and local pastors getting involved, all with the approval of the local separatist authority.
As time progressed Aidar welcomed their first guests to the lifestyle center. In spite of the challenges, the staff believes God has been their “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NKJV). Though their ministry had an unanticipated beginning, God was clearly looking out for them as they committed to caring for their neighbors.