Marichka and her husband, Sasha, were “living well” in Ukraine before the war. Involved in church planting and establishing a business, the couple was building a life together in Kiev with their two young children.
Everything changed on February 24th when they awoke at 5 am to the sound of explosions. “The war is here,” Sasha said to his wife. One of the missiles had landed near their house.
The family evacuated to a bomb shelter in their apartment building. Constructed with a capacity of 250, more than 350 people sought refuge there as the bombs fell. For several days, Marichka, Sasha, and their children stayed in Kiev listening to the shelling. They were trapped in the city. Friends outside of Kiev invited the family to stay with them, but it was not possible to reach them due to bridges being destroyed and not knowing where the Russian soldiers were located. They were told that those who tried to evacuate could be shot.
With tears in her eyes, Marichka recounts the horror of those early days of the war:
I remember the moment when we were sitting in the bomb shelter and I was talking to a five-year-old child saying, ‘If something happens to me or to Dad, then you need to grab the two-year-old, go up to the apartment, shut the door, and call my brother and call the sister of my husband. Do not leave the apartment, just be there, and they will come and get you out. I was sitting in the bomb shelter and I was writing down the phone numbers on her [arms], and at the same time I was explaining to her that she is a five-year-old supposed to be responsible for the two-year-old. We needed to be ready for anything. No one knew what would happen.
After four days, the family was finally able to leave Kiev and escape to a neighboring community where Marichka’s brother is a pastor. But they didn’t leave alone. Marichka recalls the conversation she had with her brother:
Even in the most challenging of circumstances, the body of Christ is standing together. People like Marichka are seeing God at work even in the midst of war, but there are others who need our support during this global refugee crisis to experience victorious life.
More than 100 million individuals (largely women and children) have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations – the highest level of displacement on record. Thank you for praying for the many who are impacted and for seeking ways to ‘receive’ those in need with the love of Christ.