1/10/2023 – When I think about this war, I lose it every time it comes to children

Today’s picture shows a volunteer (a Pole who lives in Kyiv) distributing Christmas gifts to children in Bakhmut, a city in the Donetsk region that’s almost leveled to the ground. Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne (Reuters).

From Ira Kapitonova in Kyiv (Day 319): Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

When I think about this war, I lose it every time it comes to children. Our son was born in 2014, so he has never had a war-free day in his life, even though it wasn’t personal for him until last February. I still shake when I remember how we woke him up that day and explained that we had to leave our home. I’m angry that he is missing out on lots of childhood experiences, he misses his friends, but I know that at least he’s safe with his parents in a warm house, and that’s something that many children can only dream of.

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, at least 453 Ukrainian children have been killed. 877 have been injured. Just imagine these numbers! Almost 14,000 children have been deported to Russia – most of them are orphaned or were separated from their families under false pretenses. Thousands of children remain in active war zone or temporarily occupied territories.

Human rights activists are increasingly worried about the active militarization and brainwashing of children in the occupied territories, especially Crimea. One of the activists, Iryna Sedova, says, “[The occupants] continue to say that Crimeans should die for Russia with weapons in their hands, and this death is heroism. They are lying to Crimean children when they say that it is a fight against Nazism, although, in reality, it is not. They speculate on images of the Second World War and stereotypes. The Russian authorities are investing enormous amounts of money in this policy so that Crimeans do not dare to think that there is an alternative point of view, so that they do not argue about this war so that they are ready to die.” (https://bit.ly/3ir8kv6)

It will take decades to overcome the consequences of such “education.” And our children, who have to live through this war now, will have to deal with so many other effects of war even decades after it’s over – from overcoming personal trauma and PTSD to rebuilding the economy to getting rid of the pollution brought by this war. Ukraine is the most heavily mined place in the world, with the mines covering over 250 thousand square kilometers (almost 100 thousand square miles) of land. That’s over 1/3 of Ukraine’s territory and more than the territory of Romania or Great Britain.

Thinking about the opportunities our children miss now and the challenges they will have to face in their adult years just breaks my heart. That’s why I am incredibly grateful to everyone who brightens the days of our children.

A friend of mine is currently getting ready to go to a European country to serve in a school for children who had to flee from the war in Ukraine. If you want to support her or other initiatives serving children, message me for details.

To finish on a brighter note, 50 more defenders of Ukraine returned from Russian captivity today during the first POW swap of 2023. May all POWs and those considered missing-in-action return home to their loved ones soon.

2 responses to “1/10/2023 – When I think about this war, I lose it every time it comes to children”

  1. Heavenly Father, restore what the locust has eaten! I pray with you that soldiers be allowed to return to Ukraine, too.

    Like

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