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An uneasy quiet in Zhytomyr

You’ve likely seen the reports coming in about atrocities all over Ukraine: photos of those killed riding a bicycle, walking along the street, just going about their day. It’s beyond heartbreaking; it’s shocking. It feels unbelievable that our fellow human beings could willingly cause so much anguish and suffering.

We grieve for our country and pray for those who’ve lost loved ones in such terrible ways. We also want to let you know how our own beloved city of Zhytomyr is faring a month into the war.

In the early days, Zhytomyr was hit by shelling and other attacks. A maternity hospital was hit, one military target blown up, and a residential area destroyed. Some civilians have been killed

The maternity hospital in 2021; photo by our part-time photographer Masha.
Masha’s video of damage to a local school and the church behind.

Early last week, Zhytomyr residents heard two explosions. Russian missiles were intercepted by Ukraine and blown up in the skies overhead. But with that one exception, it’s been quiet for about three weeks. 

We don’t know why our city hasn’t been targeted recently, but we’re thankful. Our staff even opened the Day Center, our drop-in center for orphaned youth, for some regular hours. Director Andrey said, “We feel it’s necessary for youth to spend time there and feel secure.” Two-thirds of our pre-war staff remain in Ukraine, meeting needs every way they can. 

We know you’re covering our city in prayer, along with our staff and our vulnerable youth and families. Thank you for standing with us!