We are helping to feed and care for the daily needs of hundreds of kids whose lives have been devastated by war. From supplying meals and food packages to clothing and hygiene items, we are actively responding to the crisis. Since March, we have provided over 18,000 meals to refugee families now taking shelter in Poland, and we have provided 500 kg of food to 60 vulnerable families living near Russian-occupied areas. We have also helped to provide safe shelter to hundreds of families.
This is Darina. She is almost ten years old. I thought she was very sweet and I quickly learned that she is also very smart. We both played checkers and snakes and ladders and she won. She loves art and music and can speak multiple languages.
Darina, her Mom Ina, and Grandma Tatyana are from the town of Zaparozhia. When war broke out, Ina and Darina were visiting Kyiv. When the shelling began, Ina’s friends called her. Instead of returning home, they fled from Kyiv with only a single small backpack of belongings. They had only packed for a day trip. Ina’s only goal was just to get across the border to someplace safe. Ina’s husband was in the army, and he had died. They were on their own. Tatyana, Ina's Mom joined them later from Zaparozhia.
By God’s grace, Ina found a place on an overcrowded evacuation train to Poland. She felt that she should just stand in the middle of the train platform, even though everyone was running back and forth around her. It was chaos. Miraculously, when the train stopped, there was space right in front of her for herself and Darina to get on. The train was filled with other frightened Moms and terrified children. Yet, even in the midst of their own trauma, Ina caught her breath and was able to direct the other ladies, share her unshakeable faith, and bring comfort. The children were huddled together at the edge of the open door, so she asked some of the other adults to make room for the kids on the seats. She even made tea for some of the older ladies in one of the compartments to calm them. She told me that she felt like a mother to them all at that moment.
When they arrived at the border, the line to cross was long. She didn't know what to do. But she heard someone call out, "Ladies with children to the front of the line!" So she ran to the front and got right across.
Once in Poland, someone saw Ina and her daughter and brought them to an apartment in Krakow to stay. Ina's Mom, Tatyana took a few more days to arrive in Poland because she was not in Kyiv at the time of the bombing. It took her 21 hours waiting in line just to get across the border!
They were so afraid and overwhelmed when they first arrived that they felt constant anxiety and fear. They could not even go outside!
Now, because of the love and care they have received with MPI’s help, they feel comforted and safe. They have food to eat. They have even begun to feel settled in Poland like it is a home. Ina even has a job. They have connected with a local church and now have a community of support. They still need some ongoing care, but their lives are much healthier than in March. They no longer feel so afraid and lost. In fact, they are enjoying learning more about their new home.
There are hundreds of other mothers and children just like them who also need our help! For a moment, just imagine being a child who has left your entire life behind without fully understanding why. You and I can be a powerful impact today on these children who are suffering unimaginable pain. Will you help me love the fatherless today? Not only can we make sure they have food and safe shelter, but we can also make sure they feel the love and care of Jesus as they become connected to communities of faith, just like Darina and her family.