This time last year, Svetlana, her husband Alexander, and her son Paul lived in the town of Bakhmut. Bakhmut, Ukraine has gained the moniker the "meat-grinder" because Bakhmut, in the Donetsk area, has seen some of the fiercest battles of the war. When the war began, Svetlana and Alexander had to make the difficult decision for Svetlana to leave Bakhmut with their six-year-old son, Paul. Like so many others, they left in a hurry and took only a few personal possessions. They left their lives behind. They came to Western Ukraine looking for safety. They arrived in the town of Kremenets where they were given a room at the Medical College which has been converted into a refugee hostel.
Alexander stayed behind in Bakhmut and was eventually drafted into the Ukrainian territorial defense. For many months, Svetlana had no idea where Alexander was or what was happening. She only recently learned that he had been drafted and that he had died defending their hometown. It took time for his body to be identified and his family to be found. The process of finding him has been long and Svetlana is still struggling to get his body released. Svetlana was devastated and she became severely depressed.
Early in the war, MPI began working with Pastor Alexei from Kremenets to help refugee families that had settled in Kremenets. Svetlana and Paul are one of the refugee families that Pastor Alexei and his team have been visiting. Together with Pastor Alexei and his team, we were able to buy clothing for the refugee kids in Kremenets. We recently bought Paul some winter clothes that he really needed.
Because of the compassion she has been shown by Pastor Alexei, Svetlana is finding freedom from her depression. She has been given more than just food or kid’s clothes; She has been given renewed hope. She is no longer alone; she has a new family at Water of Life Church and community in the family of God.
We are grateful that we can truly impact Ukrainians devastated by war. Our faithful partners have shared many stories with us of people like Svetlana whose homes, families, and lives have been destroyed. Yet the practical help we were able to invest into their lives brought a hope they all thought was lost forever. The connection they have made with leaders like Alexei has returned community, faith, and peace.
Click on the donate button below to help us continue to bring practical help and lasting hope to others like Svetlana.