"Last Thursday divided the life of every Ukrainian into the Before and the After" Nadia
I have heard this from a handful of our dear Ukrainian friends as they describe the horrible effects that this war has taken on the beautiful country of Ukraine. Yet they are strong, patriotic and resolved to fight for their country that they love. To fight for continued sovereignty and freedom! Ukrainians are valiant and resourceful beyond measure as well as never ceasing in pray to God for his almighty protection over His children.
Some of the other thoughts from our Ukrainian friends are so strong and valiant.
“We are going to give all our best to defend our country” Sergey
“This is not a new war, it has been going on since 2014, but now it has the world’s attention” Slav
“The situation in our country has united us so much and have made many Good Samaritans!” Yana
“We are far away in distance, but “together” in our hearts to change the world” Artum
For us who are outside of the country, we have felt shock, disbelief, and overwhelmed with the news coming from so many sources. It has been an overload and we must focus on helping others effectively in the ways that we can and not get sucked into scrolling our social media all day and end up doing nothing at all. I have found it very hard to concentrate and focus as I receive emails, texts, Facebook notification and phone calls all day long.
We are seven days into this attack by Russia. We have all seen and heard the atrocities coming from our friends, family and ministry partners in Ukraine. We want you to know that every day we are in contact with Oksana G. who is our Ukraine director. She has safely arrived in Poland where there she is our “boots on the ground”. Oksana is connecting UOO with those that need immediate assistance and she is able to provide connections within Ukraine for everything from evacuating people from cellars, to coordinating the transport of over 100 orphans to Germany, as well as buying supplies for so much need along the border and in Ukraine. Please, we ask you all, to pray for Oksana as she navigates this new world in Eastern Europe. Pray for her heart, her endurance, her health, and just everything that she must be going through in these unprecedented times. Also, please pray for her two children who are living this new reality.
The immediate needs we have seen coming from our Ukraine brothers and sisters:
Every day we send messages (we are very grateful to Google translator) to our two homes. The boy’s home, House of Grace, is located in Kramatorsk and they are in the Donbas, which is the region P declares as Russia. Maxim, Lena and the kids are hunkered down in the home and as far as we know, any of the young men who have graduated out and now live independently are safe, for now. The girl’s home, located in Kherson, the House of Hope is sadly reported to by occupied by Russia now. We spoke with them briefly this morning and their spirits seem positive, but it is really hard to know. We have also been in connection with the IDP family that is in Andrushivka. They say they are safe for now, but news has reached them recommending evacuating. We will stay connected with them to assure support if they should need to flee. Our dear friend, Alex B. in Zhytomyr keeps us updated daily. Our hearts are heavy as he has taken his family to the Poland border and then hitchhiked back to his home town. Now he is part of the force making barricades from sandbags in the city. Zhytomyr has been heavily hit as well, yet Alex continues shining the light of Christ every step he takes.
As to answer some of the most common questions this past week:
Thank you for understanding this evolving situation. Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and we pray this war against Ukraine ends now. We know there will be so much opportunity to serve those in Ukraine for many years to come, and Lord willing, we will be committed to helping as many as we can.
Please continue to pray fervently, without ceasing and expectantly, asking God for protection, strength, sustainability, and understanding the hope only found in Jesus Christ.
Glory to Ukraine