Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Brave Devotees Return to War Zone to Repair Abandoned Temple as Food for All-UK Continues Its Support in the Region
By Thomas Haribol, ISKCON News Managing Editor   |  Jun 15, 2023

Parasuram Das, Director of Food for All-UK, visited the partially destroyed temple in Kherson.

On June 12, devotees returned to survey the condition of the ISKCON Kherson Temple in Ukraine, which was damaged during the ongoing conflict there.  The Kherson region has also been in the news this week because of the bursting of the Kakhovka dam the previous week.  The breach unleashed floodwaters across a portion of the war zone and has had devastating effects on thousands of area residents and animals.

“Over a year ago, the devotees had to leave their beloved Temple in Kherson due to the war. Soldiers from the Russian Army occupied the Temple and used it as their base,” said Parasuram Das, who provided the video linked below, “The war has raged in Kherson since the beginning of the conflict. Most devotees have moved out of the area, moving their families to safer locations.” Parasuram Das, the Director of Food for All – UK, and his team are known for their courageous work traveling to many dangerous areas worldwide. In addition to their daily meals for thousands in the UK, the FFA Team has repeatedly returned to Ukraine to support and strengthen field kitchens the organization has supplied since the war first broke out. They continue to help efforts in Syria and Turkey as well.

Bhakta Max unloads supplies with Parasuram Das as he returns to live in abandoned Temple.

One brave devotee, Bhakta Max, a native of Kherson, has moved back into the building with the monumental task of removing an estimated two tons of debris and restoring the Temple to its former glory. In the video linked below, Parasuram Das reveals how dangerous this mission is, as you can hear nearby explosions, and the building is within sniper range of nearby Russian soldiers. The conflict is so constant that the area even stopped raid sirens common in other cities because the bombing is ongoing. Mines or other “boobie traps” possibly left behind by occupying soldiers make the scriptural passage “padam padam yad vipadam” especially sobering.

Other committed devotees, Bhakta Vasily, Nama Kripa Prabhu, and his team have continued distributing prasada in the Kherson area. “Devotees moved into an unfurnished house with a dry swimming pool which is now the kitchen (and provides some protection). They have courageously kept the mission alive and flourishing. A strong Kirtan party joins them daily as they distribute prasad to desperate people in the war-torn city,” said Parasuram.  Watch the original video on-site in Kherem here.

To learn more and financially support this ongoing service in Ukraine, visit the Food for All – UK website.

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