Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church or pastor.
The word “home” means something special for everyone. For most, it means a familiar roof and bed, surrounded by loved ones in safety. As many refugees in Ukraine are displaced from the war, they are literally uprooted from their homes, possibly forever. But there is a better “home” to look forward to — being in Heaven with our loving Father, where all suffering and pain ends. As you read Katya’s story delivered to us from an SGA-supported pastor, please remember to continually pray for those who do not have this hope in Christ. Your gifts help our SGA-supported pastors and churches reach homeless refugees with a message of comfort and joy.
Ekaterina “Katya” (40 years old), her son Boris (9 years old) and her daughter Violetta (7 years old)
Katya says that on the morning of February 24, she got up, and, as usual, took her children to school. But when they got to the bus stop, a girl told them that the schools were already closed and that all the students had been transferred to online learning. Her son returned home, and Katya and her daughter went to their workplace, where all employees were told that the company was stopping work because of the outbreak of conflict, so they had to go home. “When we were coming back,” Katya recalls, “all the people on the bus had their phones ringing off the hook. Everyone got a call and was told not to go to work. Later, when I was at home with my children, we heard explosions. I turned on the TV, and all the news channels said that the war had really started. An hour or so passed, and when I turned on the local TV channel, it said that an urgent evacuation was ordered in the city for the residents.”
Katya and her children stayed at home during the day, and at night they ran to the kindergarten basement right next to their apartment building. There were several other families in the basement with them. People from neighboring apartment buildings also came to them. People in other parts of the city often couldn’t get into bomb shelters, so they came into their basement. Katya wrote on social networks about the basement so that people could come and take shelter in it. She and her children sat in the basement until midnight, and then they went up to her apartment and went to bed. “But we couldn’t calm down from our worries after the air raids until 3:00 in the morning. I was afraid to go to sleep at all because I thought I might not hear a siren. And during the day, the atmosphere at home was nervous, too. I wasn’t able to do anything back then. I couldn’t even cook food then. I was hoping God would somehow help me and my children escape. I also was most worried that my children would see the horrors of war, especially the wounded and killed. And, of course, I also hoped that my children and I would not suffer.”
Soon, Katya and her children took a train and left the city for Poland. “The children were worried,” says Katya, “that they had to leave at home all their things, toys, and friends from their school and the yard.” But God took care of them. They were met and accommodated together with other refugees at church. Boris and Violetta and their children have made new friends and acquaintances there. Christian volunteers work with them in the church, conducting classes to help them learn Polish and English. The children have all the food they need. They can attend a Polish school and also some events and excursions organized for Ukrainian children completely free of charge. “Everything in our lives seems to be going well,” says Katya, “but we really want to go home to our apartment. It’s still our home there. All of our belongings were left in our apartment. I ask God to keep everything we left there. We hope to return soon.”
In a time of great uncertainty, God is bringing help, healing, and hope to the people of Ukraine through SGA-supported pastors, churches, a seminary, and SGA-sponsored Compassion Ministry. Be a part of God’s incredible work with your generosity and prayer support.
Your gift of compassion helps struggling people with emergency aid that generally includes Scripture materials, food, medicine, warm clothing, and shoes.