Two days in September changed Sasha from a man unalarmed by frightening events to a man terrified when only reminded of tragedy. In the heat of the battle in Sasha’s Ukrainian village, he stepped outside one day just as several shells hit his house. His wife was still inside, and as he ran back to get her, most of the house collapsed. Sasha dug through the rubble and smoke to pull out his almost unconscious wife. Several soldiers came to help him, and Sasha witnessed them shooting an opposing soldier as they worked to rescue his wife.

That night Sasha and his wife stayed in their cellar before escaping the next day. On their route to safety, they encountered a tank with its barrel pointed at them, so they quickly turned around and drove across the fields. All the while 40 to 50 shells were fired at their vehicle and the smell of smoke hung in the air from the explosions. Thankfully Sasha and his wife escaped all the shots.

By the time they reached the first roadblock, Sasha couldn’t even talk. He cried and stumbled for words as the soldiers asked him questions and tried to help him. The soldiers finally just asked questions Sasha could answer by nodding or shaking his head. In the meantime, Sasha’s wife nearly passed out from fright.

The couple endured all this in two days and the trauma leaves them with mental and emotional scars. Even a plane flying overhead or the noise of a tractor sends Sasha into fear that makes him shake and cry.

War is brutal. Perhaps the worst and most easily overlooked effect is the emotional turmoil people endure after experiencing so much cruelty.

But greater than hate is the power of love. Christ’s love and compassion slowly heals the emotional wounds of Ukrainians who suffer immensely. The gift of food, blankets, medicines, or other necessities is a touch of the Father’s love to many people. Thank you for your generous gifts that are spreading love to weary Ukrainians!

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