Church of the Living God began serving the residents of the village of Rativtsi (Uzhhorod region) in 2004, when Pastor Korchi Brugosh and Ivan Kondyk planted a church in the Roma camp there. For its first 9 years, Korchi and Ivan helped meet people's physical needs as they were able and gathered on Sundays in different people's homes. As the ministry in Rativtsi began to grow, Ivan was ordained pastor in 2012 and began leading the church. In 2015 the church acquired its first building, a small 7x4 meter former house and through hard work turned it into a ministry centre that soon began to regularly provide hot meals to local children, along with literacy classes.
Today, the church's service to the community has grown far beyond what its cramped building can provide:
- 60-80 children are fed twice a week, but there's no kitchen, so the meals must be prepared 15km away, at the pastor's home and transported there.
- Summer camps are held for up to 150 children from neighboring villages, but all activities must take place outdoors, because there's only room to comfortably fit 30 inside the building
- In 2017 the church hosted a medical mission team from the U.S. which came to serve the camp; the doctors had to provide examinations and diagnoses outdoors in cold and windy conditions, because the building was only big enough to serve as a pharmacy and dental clinic.
- The church is usually standing room only for Sunday services, with no place to provide children's activities.
Our goal is to provide a new building that will be big enough to comfortably support all of this busy little church's outreach to children in Rativtsi and allow it to grow! A local builder has drawn up plans for a modest 10 x 10 meter building and the village mayor has given her approval. The new building would be nearly four times bigger than the current one and would provide:
- a separate canteen and kitchen, with room to seat 80 children. This room will double as a Sunday school classroom, where children can be taught during weekly church services.
- a new, larger meeting hall, with room to sit 100 people. This room will be big enough to be used for both the current children's literacy classes, as well as adult classes.