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Food For Life-Odesa Serve in Kherson and Return to Bomb Disaster

ISKCON News

(iskconnews.org) – Food For Life-Odesa Serve in Kherson and Return to Bomb Disaster in Their Own Neighborhood

On June 13th, a Food for Life – Odesa team arrived by police escort to serve the Ukrainians in Kherson who have been devastated by the ongoing military conflict and now face the challenges of extensive flooding caused by the recent dam breach.

Odesa devotees arrived in Kherson wearing body armor and helmets while being escorted by the local police. Rasagya Govinda Das, Bhaktin Irina, and their team of blissful devotees engaged the flood victims with both kirtan and prasada. 

When the devotees returned from their service in Kherson, a massive rocket struck an apartment block opposite the home of Rasagya Govinda and Irina in Odesa. Three people died, and dozens more were hospitalized in the nearby explosion that destroyed shops, apartments, and a nursery. The blast was so severe it shattered all the windows at the local polytech.

While others would be tempted to flee, the Odesa devotees gathered their volunteers to offer prasad to the large teams of rescue workers assisting the bombing victims all night. “Police, firefighters, ambulance crews, and those cleaning through the rubble were grateful to receive the hearty prasada, including subji borscht, buckwheat, bread, tea, and halava,” said Parasuram Das.

In addition to suffering the effects of ongoing combat, Odesa, a port city on the Black Sea and the third most populous city and municipality in Ukraine, is experiencing what one expert called the worst environmental crisis in the region since Chornobyl.  

The once beautiful beaches are now filled with debris carried by the flood waters of the recent dam breach. Human belongings, the bodies of dead fish, domestic pets, and farm animals litter the sand. More concerning is the appearance of live mines and ammunition on the beach. Odesa is, according to one observer, “transforming into a dumpsite and graveyard for animals.” 

Please prayerfully consider supporting the great devotees distributing the Holy Names and prasada in Odesa and surrounding areas. The ongoing needs are massive, and the devotees there need our support more than ever. You may contact them here

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