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Familiestitle Chernobyl, Ukraine - 30 Years On

April _Homepagebanner

The Devastation Continues

In the early hours of April 26, 1986, the world witnessed a nuclear accident of unparalleled proportion when a massive chemical explosion blew the 1,000 ton cover off the top of Chernobyl's Unit Four Reactor, spewing radiation over Ukraine, Belarus and northern Europe. Millions of people were affected by this disaster.

Igor lives with his nine children, and wife Helena in Stepan, a small town in Ukraine. Helena is undergoing her fourth round of chemotherapy. Doctors and scientist believe the source of her illness, and that of many others is directly related to the tragedy that devastated this country in 1986 - Chernobyl. 30 Years on, an epidemic of cancer stalks the people of this region as the continuing effects of radiation from the nuclear disaster still haunt Ukraine.

The nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster, was 100 times greater than the atomic bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. You can get a sense of the scale of the disaster when you consider that the town of Stepan, where this family lives is 321 kilometres away from the disaster zone - a 4 1/2 hr drive.

Entering Igor and Helena's house you realise this family is not struggling with faith or the will to work, but only the devastating impact of physical illness which has affected not just Helena but also 3 of her sons. The eldest of whom has down sydrome and two who have died.

Sitting in the lounge the nine children are with their mother, who is visibly very unwell. Yet, she is the focal point, what binds the family together. "We don't want to ask for help, she says, but there is only so much I can do at the moment. Mission Without Borders helped us through a terrible time when our sons were ill, and now they are here again while I am sick. I don't want to leave my children, I want to be here to help them grow, but if this is my time to leave this eart and to meet my maker, I accept it and am prepared through my faith in Jesus Christ."

Many of the sponsored children and families that MWB supports in Ukraine are dealing first hand with the effects of the Chernobyl disaster. Some harrowing facts that you may not be aware of:

  • In Ukraine, still today, 6,000 children are born every year with genetic heart defects. More than 3,000 will die from lack of medical attention.
  • 85% of children are deemed to be Chernobyl victims, carrying genetic markers that could affect their health at any time and passed onto future generations.
  • Children born since 1986 are affected by a 200% increase in birth defects.
  • 7 million people living in the affected areas received the highest known exposure to radiation in the history of the atomic age.
  • The mortality rates among the population already outnumber the birth rates.
  • 99% of the land in Ukraine has been contaminated and experts estimate that the amount of plutonium still at Chernobyl would take over 245,000 years to disappear naturally.

Your gift this month to MWB will bring encouragement, help and healing to those we minister to in Ukraine, still caught in the grips of an unimaginable disaster. Join us and declare through prayer and praise, that despite the horror and death caused by Chernobyl, somehow this country will find the faith, healing and salvation in what is truly eternal - the Lord Jesus Christ and the hope of the resurrection.