From Lyuda (Day 324): Dear brothers and sisters,
It’s very hard to read the news, I can’t read them without tears. What is happening now is very similar to the situation with Mariupol in spring. The enemy threw all their forces into the capture of Soledar and Bakhmut. These are the key cities in their efforts to occupy all Donetsk region. Soledar is almost surrounded and Russian troops come and come like a shapeless mass stepping over corpses of dead soldiers. Our thoughts are constantly with our friends who are at war. We don’t know exactly where they are, they can not call because it can put them into danger. Occasional messages from Paul to his parents, where he writes that he is fine, just very busy, are so important. Now we are waiting with impatience to hear from Dr. Anya.
Our southern city Kherson is constantly bombed and the people who were so happy to be liberated from the occupation now face the terror of shelling every day. Roman again had a trip to Kherson two days ago. He with a group of Awana ministry took some help to people there. They visited several churches.
He told the story of Julia, who is the member of one evangelical church in Kherson. Julia lives with her mother and sister. They survived the occupation and Julia was an active volunteer, the group from her church were making some food supplies (which was very difficult to do in the occupied city) and then they visited old people and brought them food. The situation with food was very hard. Many people did not see bread for several months. When Roman brought his father to Odessa two months ago, during the first meal they had together his dad was sitting for a while holding a piece of bread and inhaling the smell of it.
Julia continues her ministry now but two weeks ago a rocket hit her small house and completely destroyed it. It’s good that nobody was there when it happened. Julia was downtown when she saw the rocket in the sky, she was wondering where it was going to hit. Later she realized that the rocket hit her building.
Julia is not the person who gives up easily. She thinks of building a new house on the place where her old building was ruined. She was so happy when Roman and the group brought her some construction materials.
We thank God for protecting Roman and his group during their risky trip. And we know that it’s hard to restore the ruined buildings and it will go slowly and not all people will be able to do it. That is why we continue praying and raising money for a refugee center in Odessa. We hope to help people with housing and psychological support.
P.S. Photos of how Soledar looks now.