News from Ukraine June 9, 023

June 9 ( Day 471)

News from Ukraine

The last few days have been full of news, anxiety and despair. All we talk about is a blown dam, thousands of tons of water, flooded houses, water everywhere, help to people and animals. As a result of the destruction of the dam of Kakhovska Hydro Power Plant, many districts of the Kherson region were covered with water.

Many refugees in our group are from Kherson area, they receive calls and videos from their friends and relatives. They mourn for their abandoned homes, which are now under water, for flooded villages, cities and fields where all cultivated crops have died. We had a spontaneous group meeting during breakfast in the cafe. When I came to café for breakfast on Tuesday I saw that many of the group were already there. It was hard for them to stay with the news at home, so they came to support each other.

Yesterday when we met in the church for the Bible study and began to talk, it was so nice to hear that our refugees who came a year ago in such a distress with fears and depressions are active now and participate in volunteering work, they collect help for people who are coming from the flooded areas of Kherson regions. They know very well how these people feel and what they need. It’s a big blessing to see that people to whom we gave care and help are ready to give the same to others.

We hear many stories of the people from the flooded area. Here are some of them.
Our refugee Maria had a call from her friend. He was telling her that he had to leave his house because the water was going higher and higher. The volunteers came on the boat to rescue him. As they were sailing along the streets of their village, he saw the bodies of drowned people floating around. I think he called Maria because he needed to talk to somebody.

Another story we heard from Inna, the psychologist, who lived in the district of Kherson called Ostriv (peninsular). She says that until the last moment, she hoped that the water would bypass her house, but it came very quickly. The woman was evacuated by rescuers in a rubber boat. On the way, they picked up a guy with a disability, who was calling from the attic of his house. "Rescuers swim to houses and give people 30-40 minutes to gather. People take animals and get into boats. But some stay," says Inna. She saw people getting out of the houses through windows. Rescuers pulled people out and put them on a boat.

Olga Tsylinko from Kherson was involved in the rehabilitation of children with disabilities. As a result of the flooding, the woman lost her house and everything in it. “I didn't even have time to collect all the documents.” she says. "The water began to flow very quickly. On June 6 at 10 o'clock the water was near our house. People tried to stop the water by themselves making collectors, but they could not," says Olga.
Olga's daughter was helping elderly neighbors, she took them and their animals to a safe place and then their family left. Olga saw how the rescuers evacuated people. «When we were running away from the water, the Russians were still firing at us».

Many residents of Kherson and the region became volunteers and worked tirelessly saving people and animals. It’s so sad to hear about the deaths of people and of animals. Most the animals in the zoo died because there was no opportunity to evacuate them.

We expect the coming of new refugees and there are many announcements in the social nets of people who are ready to receive the families from the flooded areas and their pets.

Please, pray for the people in the flooded areas who are still there. They remain in relatively safe areas, but their situation is poor due to the lack of drinking water, the inability to get food and a threat of infections. And pray for those who were rescued, for their settling in safe places and for the opportunities for local churches to serve them.

In Christ,