Story of Anastasia and Emilia
Yulia and her two daughters, 6-year-old Anastasia and 2-year-old Emilia, fled the war from the town of Boryspil just outside of Kyiv.
Yulia's family experienced all the horrors of war in the very first hours of the Russian terrorists’ attack. Russia’s first missiles were aimed at military bases and airports. The town of Boryspil, where Yulia lived with her husband and daughters, was home to Ukraine's primary and largest airport. No wonder it was among the very first targets on February 24. From her window, Yulia, who lived in a high-rise apartment building, could see and hear the explosions around the airport. Horror and helplessness overwhelmed her. Yulia’s little daughters started to cry, covering their ears as the explosions could be heard very close to their house.
A few days later, as the Russian occupation forces proceeded to take over more and more territory in the Kyiv region, Yulia’s husband persuaded her to take their daughters and leave for a safer place. However, it proved impossible to escape Boryspil by car because of huge traffic jams and military checkpoints. Eventually, Yulia and her daughters managed to get to the train station and boarded an evacuation train to western Ukraine.
The train finally brought Yulia with her two daughters and all their bags to Lviv. The ride, which normally would take 6 to 8 hours, this time took over 24 hours. For several days Yulia has been waiting and hoping for her husband to come to Lviv to be reunited with his family. But this didn’t happen as her husband volunteered for Boryspil Territorial Defense. Then Yulia decided to move to Poland. She is reluctant to recall the journey across the border with the girls, as it robbed her of all her strength and resources and felt like a nightmare. Emilia, her youngest, became ill en route, and there seemed to be no way out.
But when they arrived in Krakow Yulia was met by wonderful volunteers who quickly found a place for them to stay and helped to get free medicine for her child. Since March 9th Yulia and her two daughters have been living in Krakow as refugees.
She is currently supported by volunteer organizations and the money that her husband sends her from time to time. While the older daughter, Anastasia, has begun attending a Polish kindergarten, little Emilia apparently suffered so much stress that she cannot let her mother go even for a minute. Every time an airplane flies overhead or fireworks go off loudly, little Emilia immediately starts crying and clings to her mother. Add to all of this the foreign environment and the fact that her daddy is away. Yulia has no one to lean on but herself. That’s why she decided to do whatever it takes to provide support for her daughters and to live on, believing in victory despite all the difficulties.
One very important step for them was Yulia signing her daughters up for developmental classes, which opened in the iCareUkraine Help Center in Krakow. The girls enjoyed their classes, and even the fact that they had to come at different times because of different age groups, didn’t trouble Yulia. Of course, the girls were very happy to be able to come to the Christmas celebration and to receive presents provided by Mission Eurasia‘s Gift of Hope Project. Anastasia and Emilia really liked the wonderful toys, children's Bibles, sweets, and school supplies they got. The holiday celebration brought much positive emotions and is sure to be remembered by this family who suffered so much because of the Russian aggression. Thanks to the caring sponsors of Mission Eurasia, hundreds of families just like Yulia and her daughters Anastasia and Emilia heard the true story of Christmas, received precious gifts, and felt God's care and hope that all will be well.