Ukrainians welcome the warmth of summer following the cold of winter and the uncertainly it brought during wartime. Many believers prayed for a mild winter for those without proper shelter or electricity, and their prayers were answered! We praise God that Ukraine’s weather wasn’t as harsh as usual. Neighboring Romania received more snow and colder weather than Ukraine this past winter.
People in certain areas are slowly returning to their destroyed homes to plant gardens among hidden mines and gaping holes from shells and bombs. The lush plants at these homes are a sign of new hope in their desolate neighborhoods. Many people haven’t returned to their homes though, and a worker describes it as a “depressing feeling of driving through village after village where houses are turned to rubble and no one is living there.”
It’s a long process to rebuild and clean up areas that were basically destroyed. While people are slowly repopulating some of these villages, numerous people are returning ahead of the demining crews and are unfortunately losing limbs or becoming severely injured. Others lose their lives. One man returned to his father’s house to clean up the damages and almost picked up an item attached to a mine that likely would have taken his life.
Our contacts in Ukraine set up a mobile medical clinic at some of these hard-hit areas to provide medicine, medical supplies, and other things that aren’t available. A man in one village had received medicine from another organization but was scared to take them because he couldn’t read the labels. The workers were able to translate the label and put the man’s mind at ease. A nurse in a different village told the workers that she stayed behind during the fighting. With tears, she shared the horrors of around 5,000 people losing their lives in her area.
This war hasn’t just affected the adults but also the innocence of children who hear sirens and bombings and witness unsettling events. Recently workers drove to an unusual checkpoint. It was guarded by children who set up tires and held fake weapons. To them, this was their play. They were thrilled when the workers shared some candy and gave them literature that spoke of the Prince of Peace. We hope they shared the reading material with their families, and they in turn received the Good News that is so desperately needed in their land.
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