From Lyuda (Day 198): Dear brothers and sisters,
Thank you very much for your prayers and the words of comfort for our church and for Vitaliy’s family. Today the funeral ceremony will take place in the town funeral hall and then there will be dinner and fellowship afterwards. I know that many people will come and it will be a special time. Vitaliy’s daughter, Marina, who stayed with him in the hospital said that he was conscious to the last and his last words were: “I love you and I love God”.
With a big joy I read the news about the advance of our army in Kharkiv region. About 30 villages are liberated and Ukrainian forces are successfully moving ahead. Very soon the day will come and there will be no enemy on our land.
Few days ago the must of blackout during the dark period of the day was canceled in our town. Though we still have a curfew from 11 p.m. till 6 a.m., our streets will have light and we can turn on the light in our yards and open the windows when the light is on. It’s a good change because everything looked so depressingly dark in the evenings.
There are some stories from our counselors:
Roman was working with a man. His name is Andrew, he is a Ukrainian who was a missionary in Russia, he served in the evangelical church there. In February when the war started it was a shock for him but the reaction of people around was even a bigger shock. Their general attitude was: “Don’t worry. Very soon your country will be liberated from the Nazi and everything will be OK”. It was like all people around were blind. He saw that people in the church didn’t understand what was going on, so he addressed his church with a message, describing what was happening. It was spring when there was an active phase of Russian aggression in Ukraine and the world was shocked by the war crimes in Bucha and other cities of Kiev region. But only the kids of his Sunday school class supported him. The church where he served for several years refused to listen to him and chose to listen to the official news of Russian mass media. He decided to leave. He moved to one of European countries but he still feels the pain of being rejected by the church where he was serving.
Another story was told by Vika, she is counseling Masha, a woman from Donetsk region. Masha, her husband Yuriy and their two children lived in a small village near Donetsk. They experienced war since 2014, but their village was relatively safe until the war became open and active this winter. They didn’t want to leave, they hoped they will survive. But one day a severe bombing started and they could hardly have time to jump into their car and leave the village. When they were on the way to another village, her husband remembered about their dog, that was left on a chain in the yard. When they reached another village, they heard that the bombing stopped and Yuriy asked his family to wait for him, he decided to go back and let the dog off the chain. German shepherd was too big to travel with him. The family hoped they would return home soon. When Yuriy returned to his home, the bombing started again, he let the dog off the chain and jumped into his car. As he began driving the dog started running after the car, Yuriy didn’t stop, he kept driving trying to escape from the dangerous zone as soon as possible. When something fell and explode very near, the dog in fear ran into the nearest yard and Yuriy drove away. He found his family and they moved to the west of Ukraine. Now they stay in a safe place. But Masha worries for her husband a lot. He tells the story of the dog running after his car again and again, he cries and can’t sleep. Their village is occupied and they don’t know if the dog survived.
Please pray for our clients and for us as we work with them.
I enjoy my time with my grandkids, one of our best pastimes is reading the books. Justin is reading the first book of Narnia stories and Yara is reading “ The Veveteen Rabbit”. I love these stories and can read them again and again. Lera, the youngest can’t read yet, she listens to the stories we read to her, but she pretends she can read, holding the book and retelling the familiar stories.
Love in Christ,