Anya*, her husband, Mikhail*, his older sister Petra* and their 93-year-old mother stayed at the OM base in Vinnytsia for three days. They were evacuated with the help of a church from the city of Slovyansk together with other refugees.

When they arrived, the 50-year-old Anya  immediately broke down crying. While holding her in my arms, she whispered again and again, “…it was so scary, I was so afraid”.  They had driven through Kramatorsk as the train station was bombed.

The elderly grandmother was barely able to walk, doubled over from age and a hard life. She did not understand at all where she was for the first day and a half. She kept asking if they were now going home, because it was already time to plant potatoes. I just held her hand as she called me “little neighbour”. Her daughter kept trying to explain who I was. My heart was broken by the little figure with the dull eyes.

After being with us half a day, Mikhail realized that while helping the women pack their things as they were fleeing, he had not taken a single thing for himself. Her did not have a toothbrush, or even a change of socks.

Through generous sponsorships we were able to house and feed them as well as provide the family with personal hygiene items, medicine, slippers, shoes and a few items of clothing. They had literally lost everything. For the past two months, none of them have had an income.

On day two, the younger women joined our prayer time. They were crying through most of it. Later that day, I was able to share about the Lord and how He says that all who are weary and heavy laden can simply come to Him. They listened intently.

One of our volunteers also took time to share with them about Jesus and they were thankful to receive a Bible.

The morning before they left, I came into the room where the ladies were staying and it was wonderful to see the grandmother sitting up in bed, eyes bright. As she was looking straight at me, it was clear that she could understand who I was, and she thanked me. It was like a special present for me from the Lord!  

A day or so after they left, Anya sent me a message.

“Thank you very much. It is impossible to measure what you have done and are doing for us. It is the first time ever that we have come across people like you, who are simply doing good, and not asking anything in return.”

“It is a very rare thing to come across something like this. For me personally, on the road of my life, I have never come across these kind of people - with open clean and good hearts -you were so open toward us! We were with you like in God’s pastures. Under such care of God and of you, that it felt as if we landed right in the house of God. Aunt Petra, is sitting next to me and crying. She is just as thankful!”

*Names changed

Words by Hensie, an OM worker in Ukraine

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