Over the past several years Ukraine’s government has mandated increases in the minimum wage. At the end of 2016, the monthly minimum wage was+1,550 hryvnia (about $60). As of January 1, 2018, it was increased to +3,720 hryvnia or about $143 per month. This 138% increase has made it very difficult for READ’s Ukrainian ministry partners to meet their budgets for 2018.
At harvest time, Christians across central Ukraine donated scores of sacks of potatoes and other produce from their kitchen gardens. Their sacrifice helped to feed students and staff during the winter months freeing up cash donations to pay salaries, taxes, and utilities.
READ supports the training of church librarians and cross-cultural missionaries at Kremenchug Evangelical Seminary (KES) in central Ukraine. Last year, their budget of $63,000 was only met by the grace of God and the generosity of God’s people around the world.
For academic year 2017-2018, KES has a record enrollment of 208 students and a budget of $86,000. $23,000 more than what was needed last year!
The leadership of KES is asking their staff, students, local churches, and individual donors around the world to pray that God will meet their needs. Potatoes will again be welcomed at harvest time but this strategic seminary needs more than spuds! Salaries, taxes and utility bills can’t be paid with potatoes. Cash donations are needed.
READ has made a commitment of $13,000 to help KES meet the challenge of training and equipping a new generation of church leaders in the former Soviet Union. The annual average cost to train one pastor, cross-cultural missionary or church servant is $415. We believe collaborating with KES to train and equip servants of Jesus Christ and His church is crucial for the advance of the Gospel in Eurasia.