From Lxxx (Day 59): Dear brothers and sisters, It’s the end of the week and we are anticipating our big holiday tomorrow. In Ukraine we traditionally bake Easter cakes and paint eggs. Orthodox people take them to the church to be sanctified there. On Easter day people meet with their families and have dinner together. In our church we always had a big worship service with a lot of music and singing. Our youth group used to present drama of one of Biblical stories. After the worship we always gathered in our fellowship area in the basement to have refreshments. On this day we usually had a lot of guests in the church, visitors from the community. This time it will be different because not all members of our church will be there. But we will worship our resurrected Savior and rejoice the holiday. We will have a special prayer for our country and for our church members who are serving in the army now.
Yesterday Txxx and I organized the first meeting of a support group of refugees. We met in our medical clinic facility where some of the refugees are staying. From the first moments we saw how important for the people who experienced war trauma is to be together, to talk, to listen and to be heard.
Here are two stories: Vxxxx, – 61-year- old musician, he plays the horn in Kiev national opera. (I wrote about him few days ago. He is the men that was crying and didn’t talk the first day we met him). He was away from home visiting his friends in a city not far from Odessa when the war started. He couldn’t go back to Kiev because of the advance of Russian army. His friends decided to go abroad and he was left having no idea what to do and where to go. He lived in several different places, he ran out of money and got depressed. Somehow he came to our town with a group of refugees. He came to the refugee center where people were suspicious of him – he left Kiev before the war started, he traveled from one city to another during several weeks, when he answered the questions the workers of the refugee center asked him, his answers were confusing. So, they called security service ( We are told to be very attentive and careful because there might be diversionists sent by the enemy around). After one serious guy came and talked to him, he said: “ This man is just lost and confused, he needs help” After that Vxxxx came to our clinic where he was welcomed. People showed him to a nice room, provided food for him. Every day somebody asks him if he needs anything. He is very touched and surprised. Today I will go and order glasses for him which he lost.
Lxxxxx – a woman in her late 70s came from Kharkiv. On the first day of the war she was woken up by the sounds of explosion and ran outside in her pajamas and slippers and this is how she travelled. Together with the family of her daughter she went to the railway station, which was so crowded that it was impossible to move. People were getting on the trains, they didn’t know what trains they were and where they were going. It didn’t matter she said they all wanted to go to the safe place. They travelled to the final destination, then changed the train and moved further away from dangerous zones. Finally they came to our town where they had a friend who lives in a small apartment. They stayed with them for a while and Lxxxxxx slept on a small couch with her 15-year-old granddaughter. Then her daughter’s family decided to leave abroad but Lxxxxxx wants to stay in Ukraine. She was told about our clinic in the refugee center and she is happy to be there and she is glad to meet other people with similar stories. In her youth she was a promising gymnast, then she worked as a coach in gymnastics. We decided to have our meetings every week and Txxx scheduled individual meetings with some of the people from the group.
Please, pray for the safety for all Christian churches in Ukraine as we celebrate Easter holiday tomorrow. In Christ, Lxxx