News from Ukraine April 26, 2023

April 26 (Day 427)

News from Ukraine

Pleasant spring days bring joy and good mood. Everything around blooms and brings joy. We have peaceful days and it’s so nice to be active and not interrupted by air alarms. Odesa region has been in peace for almost a week. But we still worry because in the past when we had several peaceful days in a row they ended with massive attack on our area. We pray and ask God to protect us.

In addition to all our work we regularly visit the military unit now, we work with Alex who is doing better, but still have emotional ups and downs. We always spend some time with Grigoriy, the commander, he shares with us some challenges that his soldiers face. We also meet with some of the soldiers who have free time when we are there. They are open and have questions. One man complained of panic attacks that he had from time to time and we taught him breathing technique and other things he should do to help himself. We explained him the mechanism of it and taught him how he can prevent it from happening.

There is very much attention to the PTSD problem of the soldiers who have been in combat. And it is important to work with it. But we see another problem that is very serious – anxiety, worries and fears of the new recruited soldiers who are preparing for their first battle. In this unit we see people of different ages, most of them are in their 30s and 40s but there are also some young soldiers like Alex. Some of them openly say about their fears and worries, others want to look brave, but the hidden worries are viewed behind their emotions. There is a lot of information about hard battles in the east – Bakhmut area. The soldiers in this unit are going through a serious training and will go to that area soon.

Due to my busy schedule, I cannot often come to the local defense center where I used to volunteer few hours every day at the beginning of war, making camouflage nets and disguise clothing for scouts and snipers. The group of volunteers faithfully work there every day. Some people are retired and can spend there the whole day, some people come for a few hours after their work, but they all are a good team that faithfully provide our soldiers with the things that the army needs. I visited them last week, took them some pastries and we had a good talk. While I was there I had a thought that we can do a group therapy for these people. They work there every day and are pretty tired physically and emotionally.

Since Sergey and I live with my parents now we brought a lot of our books with us. We are glad to see my parents reading more. They are always curious to see new books and magazines that we bring. My mother told she needs new glasses because she does not see well in her old ones. We will take care of it, it’s nice that she enjoys reading.

We thank you for your prayers. We see how God works through all circumstances and we submit to His holy will.

In Christ,

P.S. There are photos of the refugees during our support group meeting, the photos of the volunteers of the local defense center. Since I can't take photos of the military we work with, I'm sharing a photo from the internet.