Ten members of a CBN Orphan’s Promise group in Berdyansk, Ukraine, have been taken captive by Russian militia groups.
They were kidnapped while helping evacuate residents from the southern port city, which is occupied by the Russians.
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The captives include several Orphan’s Promise volunteers, a driver, and an elderly couple who are the parents of a pastor who works with the ministry. Their whereabouts are unknown.
“Please pray for our Berdyansk team. Ten people were taken by Russian militia trying to evacuate from the occupied city, volunteers taking the refugees out, including an elderly couple, parents of our key partner church pastor, a driver, and a couple of refugees fleeing from Mariupol,” Orphan’s Promise Director Nataliya Khomyak said.
“These militia groups are known for their cruelty, especially to the volunteers helping Ukrainians. Please pray for God’s protection over them and for His help in their release,” Khomyak said.
Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Orphan’s Promise has a center and residential home in Berdyansk.
The children had already been safely evacuated to another country, but the humanitarian team stayed to serve their community. They’ve been cooking food and delivering meals and other aid to those in need.
On Thursday’s edition of The 700 Club, host Terry Meeuwsen, the founder of Orphan’s Promise, told Gordon Robertson the children “almost didn’t make it.”
“They made the driver get out and kneel down on the ground next to the car. There were three Russian guys. Two of them argued over his (the driver’s) cell phone. And the third one said to the team, ‘Get up, get in your car and get out of here.'”
“This time, this group of people was not only stopped but the driver was badly beaten,” Meeuwsen said. “It’s not safe there and yet we’ve had lots of volunteers and staff that have stayed behind to help people. Not just people in Berdyansk, but people from Mariupol, and the east that are coming through.”
“You can understand that it’s hard for people to decide to leave a place where everything they own is there to go somewhere it’s all an unknown, and so, sometimes they wait too long to get out,” she continued.
Turning to the team who was taken captive, Meeuwsen said, “This team of people, we have no idea where they are. We don’t know if they’re alive. We don’t know if they’re being cared for. We just have no idea. And being treated well has not been the traditional response by the Russians.”
Meeuwsen thanked viewers for their love and support of the Orphan’s Promise ministry.
“Thank you all so much,” she said. “We covet your prayers and we will let you know if we hear something in the future.”
Second Time This Year Russian Troops Have Abducted Ministry’s Volunteers
This is the second incident this year in which Russian forces kidnapped Orphan’s Promise volunteers for helping Ukrainians.
As CBN News reported, a woman by the name of Valentina was abducted by the Russians last March. Eyewitnesses saw the kidnappers throw a bag over her head as they abducted her in the street. A woman who knew Valentina reportedly betrayed her to the Russian troops when they arrived in town, telling them that Valentina was helping the Ukrainians.
Valentina worked in the area near Mariupol for the Orphan’s Promise Children of War Project. She had been helping with the distribution of food to people who are hiding in bomb shelters.
“The team evacuates women, children, as well as sick and elderly from hot spots. Missionaries, while under fire, drive to bakeries (that also work under fire) and deliver bread to hungry people at the same time providing them with spiritual bread,” Orphan’s Promise said at the time.
Since Valentina’s abduction, there has been no more information about her or her condition.
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