A group of Orphan's Promise aid workers, volunteers, and refugees who were captured by Russian forces this week in Berdyansk, Ukraine have been set free.
The CBN family of ministries had been praying for their survival and release, and those prayers have been quickly answered in this case, although the Russian troops did brutalize the hostages leaving one hospitalized and others seriously injured.
Orphan's Promise Director Nataliya Khomyak reports, "God is good! Thank you for praying for the 10 volunteers - all are alive and have been released (even though they have been beaten severely and tortured and one is currently in a hospital after a heart attack)."
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Khomyak says, "Prayers are still needed for their recovery after being detained. But it's a miracle that they've been released... Thank you for all the prayers!"
One of the men in the group who tried to escape, and is still detained, is a refugee from Mariupol who passed through a "filtration camp" and was trying to escape onto the Ukrainian-controlled territory.
People who survive those filtration camps, which are more like concentration camps, tell horrible stories of mistreatment.
Two people from that group who tried to evacuate are still being held captive. All the others were volunteers and were released but they are not allowed to leave Berdyansk, so they are still in the occupied territory.
Others who are staying in those occupied cities have no possibility to leave. They are living in extremely hard conditions, randomly captured, beaten, and raped. It's impossible to describe what's being done to them. They try to escape all the time because life in occupied territories is very difficult with a horrible shortage of food, and constant fear of anyone just walking into your house and beating you.
Pastor Roman and his wife are in constant communication with the people in Berdyansk (whom OP is able to help with aid) and have shared some horrific stories about what has been done to the people who they personally know. These are people who stayed in Berdyansk and haven't yet escaped.
An Orphan's Promise worker in Ukraine named Yulia provided the back story about how the incident unfolded:
"On Tuesday, a team of OP volunteers together with the volunteers from the local church were evacuating several people from Mariupol in a van - they were driving them to Ukrainian territory. An elderly man was among them. They were seized by the Russian military and taken away in an unknown direction.
After a couple of days, a group of 10 people was released.
It turned out that the elderly man had a tattoo. The invaders did not like it, because they thought that this man was a military man from Azov. They grabbed the whole group. They were holding them captive. Men were abused - beaten, humiliated, and tortured with electric current. They took a means of transport belonging to the church.
Thank you very much for the prayers, everyone is alive."
While this hostage situation has improved, another Orphan's Promise worker named Valentina is still missing. She was kidnapped in broad daylight near the beginning of the war, and there's still no word about her.
Please keep praying for Valentina, the others who are still detained, and for the recovery of the tortured Orphan's Promise aid workers.