What is the new normal in Ukraine?
We’re now a few days past the one-year mark of the war that has devastated our country. What does that mean for our community in Zhytomyr?
Many experiences that were startling and new at the beginning of the war have now become commonplace—but with the same emotional and psychological cost. Our staff shared a list of these everyday experiences:
- Hearing from a loved one, “Today they handed me a draft notice.”
- The lights going off (rare in Zhytomyr, but in other cities the lights go off twice a day for four hours)
- Leaving a full grocery cart at the checkout because an air raid siren began and the store immediately closes
- Receiving the message from a teacher: “All the kids are in the basement; we’re starting a physics lesson.”
- Consoling someone whose loved one died in the war
- When you haven’t seen someone for a long time, hearing the question: “What country are you in?”
- Receiving requests for help from refugees or war widows
- Hearing an air raid siren and knowing that even if your kids were sleeping, their kindergarten teachers would wake them up and take them to the basement
- Understanding the vocabulary of military equipment
- Crying as you pray for the families on the front lines
Former orphan Anya H. works overnight shifts in our Shelter facility. During the day, she’s a full-time doctor. She shared that when she hears missiles passing over now, she feels cold and blank. She tells her patients, “I’ll register you after the air raid siren.”
The war has disrupted each person’s life differently: job loss, family separation, extra reponsibilities… and everyone feels the weight of fear and loss. Please pray for their faith to be strengthened and for God’s peace.