Update from a Young Ukrainian Mother: Week Five of War in Ukraine
It was not an easy week (neither were the four previous). But with God’s help we go through all the trials of life now by the grace and power of Jesus Christ, and God gives us hope.
We’ve had four waves of personal war during the war in our country so far:
The first was the day the war started and four days of flight. And there was the inner battle: Should we stay, or should we leave? Should we go to Kyiv to take people from there with us, or should we flee as fast as possible? Should we stay in the country as a family, or should I leave with the kids, without my husband? It’s a life without any sleep, with nothing valuable except the lives of your loved ones.
The second was getting the horrible news from Bucha (this is the city next to Irpin, where we lived before fleeing). People we know, places we’ve been to, streets we’ve walked—it hurt to read about it and to see it; the pain for our people and nation was so personal. For the first time in my life, I have felt heartbreaking pain for people I don’t know but who seem to be my closest ones. It is so painful and hard to get news of deaths of people we know, of friends and believers with whom we’ve served. And then there’s the fight in our own thoughts, feelings, and words—hatred, curses, and revenge against love, blessing, and forgiveness.
The third wave was finding ourselves lost, frustrated, and going nowhere. The moment we were told to move from the house we lived, having no place to go—being homeless—made us feel that life is senseless. What were we trying to live for? For food, water, and roof over our heads? For moving with two little kids multiple times in three months, hearing our children ask where home is? All this made us feel lost here on earth. But at the same time, we are in much better conditions than people in the bomb shelters or in basements. We are blessed to have everything needed for life, and even more. And today God provided us with a quiet home for just the four of us, which is so unusual but so needed after spending the last 43 days together with lots of people.
The fourth wave has been trying to persuade my husband’s family and my parents to flee their home in a city east of Kyiv. With God’s help, all my husband’s brothers and sisters with their families are out of the city: some family members are in Germany, some are in elsewhere in Ukraine, and most are here with us. Only one brother and sister-in-law with two kids are still in eastern Ukraine. We’ve had hard time persuading my parents to leave, unsuccessfully. Despite lots of pleas and tears, my dad has said that he won’t. My mom has decided to stay with him.
This is 44th day of war. We are tired, spiritually and emotionally, more than ever. Knowing that someone is in much worse condition, knowing that someone has experienced much more loss, and having no way to help them, drives us crazy sometimes. We want to see God’s kingdom overcome the darkness. We want people to be saved during this time.
God is taking care of our family (even when we are not at home, not in our native city, not working for now), and even now he is faithfully holding us in his hands, and through us he is caring for many other people and families, refugees, and soldiers, thanks to the help provided by our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thank you so much for every prayer. We are so grateful to people who have been praying for us and with us. We have felt prayers physically. And we are so blessed not only to know but to see how God is taking care of us, leading us, and protecting us.
To read the first article from this young Ukrainian mother, visit https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/and-so-we-fled-thoughts-from-a-young-ukrainian-mother/.
If you would like to walk alongside our Ukrainian church family, donations can be made to Church of God Disaster Relief. Your gift helps provide both emergency aid to those who choose to remain in Ukraine and critical assistance to those who choose to flee as refugees.
Feature (top) photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash.