Stories of Hope & Rescue
Heat for the Winter: Wood Delivery in Kremenets, Ukraine
This morning we took a truckload of firewood to another special family of refugees that we met recently. Zhanna and her parents moved to Kremenets from the Donbas region to stay alive.
Since the conflict began with separatists in the Donbas region in 2014, Zhanna and her family have lost their house and all their property twice. Twice they have had to start over!
Pastor Alexey, Krementets
"Our family has been living in Kremenets for almost 8 months now. In 2014, we were living in the town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region. When the town became occupied with troops, we knew it was no longer safe for us there. There was fighting all around us. So we left our home, our jobs, and all our belongings and we moved to a safer location, in the town of Druzhkovka.
It was very hard to start over again, but we managed by staying together and supporting each other. We worked very hard to recover our lives, and in 2021 we bought a small house hoping to retire there.
But in February 2022, the war began and we were forced to leave our home for the second time. It was devastating. We had lost everything again. We left with only our lives. WE behind our home and all our belongings and moved as far west as we could, to Kremenets.
War in Ukraine: I am Alive
This is Ksenia and she and her two sons have lost everything! They fled the city of Severodonetsk in the Lugansk region of Ukraine. Ksenia’s husband is in the Ukrainian military and is fighting on the front lines so they had to leave without him. They are now living in Kremenets (Western Ukraine) at a hostel for displaced people. Our good friend Alexey, from Water of Life Church, has been caring for this family.
Alexey was told that this family needed help. When he went to meet them, he was so surprised to see how humble and positive they were. He was almost in tears when he heard their story.
This is what Ksenia shared about her experience.
“We did not leave right away. To the very last moment, we hoped for at least a little stop to the bombing so we could gather some things before leaving. But it was not meant to be. The first shell hit our apartment on March 8th. Our apartment was burning. The second shell hit our apartment in June. After that, our apartment was completely destroyed. There was nothing left, so we made the painful decision to run away from home. I was crying so hard I had hiccups. I just started driving, but I didn’t really know where I was going. I blindly drove across the country and somehow my heart brought me to Kremenets where we found ourselves a temporary home. I thank God that on my way I met good people because to go to a strange city where you don’t know anyone is very scary. I believe that God brought us here, to meet Mr Alexey from Water of Life church because he helped us when we desperately needed it.”
Children Devastated by War
The Story of Darina
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.
A Warm Blanket Gives Hope
Vika and Anya Receive a Blanket
This is Vika (left) and Anya (right). They have a brother, Denis. Vika lives in a highly dysfunctional family. The children's mother, Alla, often drinks with her husband. Because she abused alcohol during her pregnancy with Anya and had poor nutrition, Anya was born with six fingers on one hand.
With financial help from our church, in 2020, this little girl had surgery. Now Anya, thank God, has five fingers on her hand. We pray for this family continually, especially for the children.
The blanket we gave them from the Mission Partners is a great blessing. Vika always comes to children's meetings with great joy. On behalf of all the children and families who received blankets, we want to say, "May the Lord abundantly bless Mission Partners, meet all your needs, and support you in all your plans.
Vasily, Irina & Olga
Blankets for Winter
A Child's Life Changed
Natalia Ko ... and Family
My name is Natalia and I am Dima's foster Mom. Two years ago, we adopted Dima from an orphanage where he had spent two years. He grew up with a mother who was an alcoholic. He was terribly was neglected. He spent his days wandering around dumpsters looking for scraps. Many days he couldn’t find any food and was left hungry. By the age of 10, he had only spent 3 weeks in school and couldn’t read or write.
Another one of our foster children, Yaroslav, who has been with us for seven years, has been a great help to Dima. They are the same age and are best friends!
Last year, Dima enrolled in Karate. No one expected him to do well, but he has already won several tournaments. We are happy and proud of Dima. He has changed so much!
In two years, Dima has learned to read, write and confidently pursues goals in life. He dreams of having a military or sports career. As his parents, we love him and we want to help him to reach his goals.
I am thankful that donors in Canada help us every winter to provide the extra food for our large foster family!
A Disabled Man Shown Love
Ivan, Ill and Bedridden
My name is Ivan. I was so happy that Pastor Sergei came to my home to pray for my healing and that I would accept Christ as my Saviour. Here is part of his prayer for me, but you can watch the video to hear the entire prayer.
"Heavenly Father, God Almighty, I praise your holy name. We trust in you. Your Name is above any other name. You gave your son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins and transgressions. He took all our sickness and pain upon Himself. I pray for Ivan."
I want to thank Mission Partners for helping Pastor Sergei to be able to come and visit me, bring me food, and meet my spiritual needs. Because of Pastor Sergei's visit, I accepted Christ as my Saviour and I am so happy!