News from Ukraine March 11, 2023

March 11 (Day 381)

It’s a weekend again and I am preparing for our group meeting. Our counselor Vika is coming from Odesa today and we will do a group meeting together. Besides the group, it will be an opportunity to do more individual counseling if there is such a need.

Our group is growing and we are glad that more and more people of our support group start attending the church regularly and come to the Bible study. On Thursday they came earlier to the church to make pancakes before the Bible study. They enjoy this time together when they have some activity. We started the gospel of Luke and had a good time of sharing thoughts and discussion. Valeriy, our elder who leads the Bible study, asked everybody to say few words of prayer at the end. We all prayed and many of them thanked God for the group where they feel love and encouragement.

This week started as a usual week of the war time with occasional air alarms with news from the battle fields, prayers for our soldiers and usual round of duties. But there were two events that shook our routine.
The first was a video that was posted on the network by some Russian soldier. He filmed the execution of a Ukrainian soldier who was taken prisoner and stood without a weapon. He was shot cynically and ruthlessly, and the fact that someone posted this video shows the relish with which that person filmed that episode and enjoyed watching it and wanted to share it with others. This video became a big shock for the people in Ukraine, everybody talked about it. When our refugees came for breakfast to the café, they were in tears and wanted to talk about it. We talked, we hugged and calmed down each other and it was easier to be in the group and share feelings, they all left relieved.

The second shocking thing was a new massive attack that happened Thursday night. There were attacks from the land, from the sea and from the sky and our enemy used some special rockets that are difficult to destroy in the air. There were hits in many cities, in Odessa the rocket hit the energy transformer in one of the districts of Odesa. There were hits in Kiev, our son told us that he was woken up by a loud sound and the shaking of the land. The same felt the family from our church that lives on the beach. Even the western part of Ukraine was seriously hit and there were buildings destroyed and deaths of people not far from Lviv.

One of our refugee said that after each such attack, she has a new crack her heart. In the group we teach people how they can deal with difficult emotional state. I also try to help myself not to fall into a depressive state. When I asked myself this time what I was feeling and my consciousness showed me that of all the feelings, weariness prevailed. We all are very tired of attacks, frightening news, of a lot of grief we see around. We really want peace and positive news.

Last summer I wrote about a tragedy of a little girl Alexandra ( Sasha) from our town who was in a beach hotel when the rocket hit it, she was badly wounded and the doctors had to amputate her leg. She was in hospital in Odesa and then went for treatment to Germany. There was no information about her for a long time. And now we are glad to know that she came back. She walks on a prosthesis and is doing well. She even does dancing and gymnastics.

Thank you for your prayers and for your faithfulness. It means so much for us to know that so many people stand with us in this difficult time.

In Christ,

P.S. The photo of Oleksandr Matsievsky, from the video that was made few seconds before he was shot.
The photo of Alexandra (Sasha) the girl from our town who lost her leg during the rocket attack last summer
The photo of our refugees at the Bible study in the church.