One year of war: grief, worry, and gratitude

One year ago today, Russia launched a full-scale invasion into our country. Even as this newsletter goes out, we’re watching carefully for escalated attacks. And everyone is recalling the weeks when the war began, memories that are very painful for Ukrainians.

The context of our ministry has changed drastically since February 24, 2022. We want to share what day-to-day ministry is like in Ukraine now, and asked our staff to tell us about their griefs, worries, and new wartime routines. In this special series, we begin with a letter from Stop the Cycle director Oksana. 

February 21, 2023

Yesterday there was another funeral. The beloved uncle of a young girl from our church died on the front lines. A teenage daughter was left without a father; a wife, in great sorrow, cannot recover.

This is the fourth death our little church has faced in two months. Olya’s brother died, Lida’s beloved cousin died, Alona buried her father, and now another death. Lida’s husband and Alona’s younger brother are at the front. Each death increases our worry about those fighting.

Inga’s husband was seriously injured and is undergoing operations. Olya’s father and two other relatives of church members are being treated for injuries. It’s a relief that they’re no longer in danger. But most likely after recovery they’ll go to war again.

Death is scary, it’s an irreparable loss after which one must somehow learn to continue living… and it’s very scary to face it so often. At almost every service now, our church cries. We talk a lot about death, the trials that constrict our souls, and those questions to God that most likely will not be answered. Sometimes it seems there is no strength left to console anyone; with each death it becomes more and more difficult.

But we want to be steadfast in our faith, and strengthen the faith and hope of those whose hearts are broken. This is how our people live now. The price of victory is unbearably high. We really need your prayers.

Oksana P.

And we know you are praying. Thank you for walking with our community in good times and in these very difficult times. As we look back over a year of war, we see not only aggression and violence, but also faithfulness, generosity, and steadfast love. We’re grateful for your solidarity with God’s people in Ukraine. 

Oksana welcomes families to the Shelter in the first few weeks of war

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