News from Ukraine, September 5, 2023

September 5 (Day 559)

Yesterday Sergey and I made a trip to Odessa. We took our refugee, who is also Sergey, to the hospital, he has a cancer and began to feel really bad. His wife Svetlana went with us, too. Sergey and Svetlana live in our Refugee center and help a lot with the renovation and improvement of the building. Svetlana became the member of our church few weeks ago. Our trip was long, the roads are very congested, there are a lot trucks carrying grains ( wheat, sunflower seeds, corn, barley) to the southern ports of Izmail, Reni, Kiliya. The ports have been heavily bombed and a lot of storages with grain that was waiting to be sent through “the grain corridor” to the countries of Africa, were destroyed. The trucks are everywhere: in the fields, on the roadsides, along the roads, cars have to stop a lot and maneuver to get through. We brought Sergey to the hospital and we hope that he will get help and will feel better.

After hospital we went to one of Odessa sanatoriums to visit Sasha, the wounded soldier, who is having rehabilitation there. A month ago he was transferred to Odessa from the hospital in western Ukraine where he had treatment. Nadya his wife has been staying with him all eight months after he was wounded. Sasha is doing well, he works hard to do all exercises and follows his doctor’s recommendations though he is frustrated that the process of healing is very slow. He began to have sensations in his legs, he can stand, but he does not walk yet. The doctors are optimistic, they tell him that he will walk, he needs to be patient and to continue working at his body, waiting for the new cells in the place of injury to regrow and reconnect because this is a very slow process. We prayed with them, talked about their kids who are an active part of our church youth group. Two of them will study in Odessa colleges now and will see their dad every day.

We were able to see other wounded soldiers who stay in that sanatorium. Sasha says that many of them are not doing well emotionally. There is a big yard which looks like a nice park and many of them are strolling in wheelchairs there. We saw a sheep walking there that acted pretty much as a dog, coming up to people to be stroked and sitting close near one man for a long time. Sasha told us that somebody brought this sheep from the war zone as a little baby and it became a therapy object, everybody wanted to stroke it and to talk to it. Since then it has been the favorite pet of the sanatorium.

Today during our breakfast in the café all our refugees wanted to hear how Sasha is doing and I was glad to share the news and ask them to pray for Sasha and Nadya, for the process of Sasha’s recovery and for their spiritual state.

We made some changes of the breakfast ration. We agreed with the administrator of the café that they will cook separately breakfasts specifically for us every Tuesday. Before the people of our group just chose the food (mostly deserts) from the general menu, now the breakfast will be healthier, but at the same time it will be tasty and cheaper. We are glad to have a good cooperation with the administration of the café.

As usual some people stayed after breakfast to talk. I had a spontaneous counselling time with Valery who told me about her anxiety. She can’t sleep, she has a circle of disturbing thoughts in her head. She worries so much about her son who is a student at the university, she is scared that he might be recruited to the army and something can happen to him if he goes to the war. Her husband is in the army now. We talked, looked back and saw how God took care of her and her family during all this time of war, we reviewed relaxation technique and identified the triggers that cause her anxiety. Valery said she felt much better and we went for a little walk after our talk.

People in our society are very tired of war and live in a constant trauma. We should learn to support and encourage each other, be helpful and caring to each other. This way we will be able to heal all together as a nation.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Thank you for standing with us during this hard time.
Please, send your donations to Pathway Ministries
E. Langston Haygood,D.Min.,Ph.D.
Pathway Ministries, Inc.
288 Huntington Parc Circle
Birmingham, AL 35226

In Christ,

P.S. There is a photo of Sasha in the sanatorium and the photos of our refugees at breakfast in the café.