News from Ukraine April 22, 2023

April 22 (Day 423)

This week was quiet, we had only two alarms and it made us more optimistic. We want the end of the war so much! But the situation in the east is still hard. We pray for our soldiers all the time.

This week was busy for our counselors. During the last year we have to work with many things that are new to us so we often work and learn. We all study, exchange resources and experience with each other. We have more and more ideas about the work that we can do in our refugee center.

I want to share some stories of our counselor, Vika, who continues her work in a crisis chat for refugees

Olena 17

I'm just tired. I have panic attacks, I have no energy for anything, I just want to lie down and that's it. But I have to do something - look for a job, prepare for exams, lose weight, etc.
I live in a city that is very close to the front line. And when we have rocket attacks I keep my tonus and do everything to be safe, but afterwards when it is over I feel a strong fear.
My father is fighting. I feel guilty that I was not a good daughter for him. My parents divorced 10 years ago because my father used alcohol. I did not have good relations with him. My father sends me money and it’s very helpful. I can buy food. But this is another problem, I began to eat too much and can not stop. I had the problem of excessive weight before the war but now it is worse. I want to lose weight, I do physical exercised but I can’t stop eating. My father asks me to be careful with money, because he can die at any moment. His military commander has my telephone number so that he can call me in case of anything. I don't want to be the first person to find out something bad and tell other relatives about it…

Nadia 25
I live in Kharkiv. When the war started my friends left abroad. I wanted to leave, too, but my parents did not want to leave. They take care of my grandfather who is paralyzed. My parents chose to stay in the city that is constantly bombed and I felt that I should stay, too. They were not against my leaving but did not tell anything, so I understood that they wanted me to stay. They moved to a summer house outside the city because their apartment was destroyed. Every day I visit them, bring food and medicines, talk to them and this is all that I do now. I do not want to do anything, I do not want to work. My life is very boring, I am depressed. I understand that I should do something, but I can’t.

Zhenya 16
I am a burden for all people around. I often have hysterics. Yesterday I was crying for a long time without stop. I have nothing in my life: no home, no family, no people I can talk to, no activities that I like to do.
I am in Germany now with my mother and my little sister. I remember that I was happy in my childhood when my parents lived together. When I was 8 they divorced and my father left. Very soon my mother sent me to live with my grandmother and left, too. My aunt lived with my grandmother, too and she yelled at me, called me animal names and made fun of my weight and hair. If I started to cry, she continued even more. There was no one to protect me. It was the worst period of my life. My mother came back when I was 14 and I found out that I have a little sister. I was not happy about it because I had to stay with her all the time and take care of her. When the war started we moved to Germany and we live in a hostel where all families share the kitchen and the bathroom. One day we were eating together with our neighbors and I realized that I have no table manners. I am losing my hair. I am 16 now and I should think about my future, I should study and choose a profession. But I do not know what to do, I can not think about profession that I like. I hate everything around. I dread of the though of coming back to Ukraine because we will have to live with my step-father who is an alcoholic…
Alla, 37
I live in Germany with my 9-year-old son. I miss my family very much. I have a mother and two brothers, my elder brother is in the army now. I want to go back home, but my mother insists of my staying in Germany for the sake of safety of my son. I tried to learn German but it is difficult for me to learn. May be because I know that I will go home and will not need it. My son likes his new life here but he also misses home. I am divorced but he communicates with his father a lot. The people around are very nice and helpful but I do not want to adjust to a new culture and feel guilty because of it. I don't take everything that happens seriously. I have different thoughts in my head, I'm always in a bad mood. I need to understand why I am here and what is important for me and my child at this time.

Please, pray for our clients and for our counselors as we work with them.

P.S. There are photos of our Bible study with a group of refugees, of our youth group meeting, of our craft time and the photo of Tanya talking on the phone. I took this photo and then I found out that it was a call to help Alex when he made an attempt of suicide.