“My mom and I are refugees from Kharkiv. I had an apartment there and lived with my dog Chaki. My mom lived in another area of the city. I am 57. I worked in a store, looked after my mom, and enjoyed my life.
“On February 24, I woke up to the sounds of explosions and couldn’t believe that the war had started until I saw the tanks on our street. The first thought was about my mother. I quickly grabbed a couple things, my dog, and rushed to see her. Then life stopped. We had to spend 10 days in a cold basement, sometimes without electricity. Those were the scariest and hardest days of my life. I was really worried about my mom since she felt worse every day. During that time, my neighbor called me and told us something that was hard to process. Our apartment block had been hit by a missile and my home was gone. Praise God, mom’s apartment was fine so we would go there in the morning, make some food, and go back to the cold cellar. The weather was getting colder so I got even more worried about my mom. One morning we went outside, but as we moved back closer to the basement, we saw the body parts of our neighbors who did not make it to the basement. Four people died that day. After seeing that horror, we decided to leave Kharkiv. On day 15, some volunteers from Poltava helped us to evacuate. So, my 86-year-old mother, my dog, and I fled to a completely new place. What were we supposed to do? We didn’t have a place to live or basic things, and we didn’t know anyone there, but we were lucky. I met people from the Light of Life Church, and they helped us with accommodations, basic necessities, and regularly brought us food. I started attending their church services where I talked with the pastors and members of the congregation, and my soul found peace. The fear and uncertainty I had experienced finally left me. When the pastor invited me to receive the Lord, I said, “Yes!” My life has changed so much since then. I now feel peace, knowing that the Lord will not leave me.
“Thank you so much to everyone who is helping us. Since I don’t have a job anymore, my mom and I must live on her pension, which is so little. Food is expensive, and we are struggling, but the food you are providing for us is such a huge blessing. Thank you for caring for us in our pain and grief.”