Throughout the war you have been blessing Ukrainians. You have faithfully reached out to refugees and victims of Russian aggression. But the help you’ve sent has gone far beyond the physical. You have been blessing their bodies, their minds, and even their spirits.
Of course, their most pressing needs were for food, fuel, and safety. And you offered all of these, from warm meals and tents to rest in at the border to truckload after truckload of groceries, hygiene items, and other vital supplies sent deep into the war-torn country. As time went on, you helped outfit refugee shelters with necessities like appliances. Our generous partners even helped establish a bakery in the war zone and provided heating supplies as winter set in.
However, for refugee mothers trying to raise their children with some sense of normalcy far from home, perhaps it has been the emotional and spiritual support that has meant the most. One mom named Antonina, widowed with three children, explained the dire situation. “My children were very scared when all the terrible actions began, and especially when we heard the first rockets hit our city,” she said. “The fear was even from the slightest rustle, and it was terrible. They cried all the time. They were very worried, and they hardly slept.”
Blessing Ukrainians With Opportunities in Poland
After they fled horrific experiences in Ukraine, families like Antonina’s still had much adapting to do. Many refugee children left fathers, friends, and family behind. Once in Poland, they felt adrift in a new culture with a different language and needed opportunities to connect with other Ukrainians and be encouraged.
In order to provide long-term care to these refugees, Operation Blessing has partnered with shelters, churches, and Superbook to hold special events for the children. There, the kids can watch entertaining Bible-based videos in their own language side by side with other Ukrainians. They sing and dance and laugh and play. Often, they’re given gifts, and the families receive food supplies as well.
At one event, we met a mother named Svetlana who, like Antonina, also fled rocket attacks with her son. “There must be such activities—because children who have escaped from war are traumatized,” she said. “The war took away their childhood, happiness, faith in the future.Therefore, organizations that hold such events for them fill in these gaps we all have because of the war. During this event, we saw how happy the children were. They need such emotions!”
Through these outreaches, many children and parents are receiving spiritual nourishment as well. A father named Viktor, who made it out of Ukraine with his wife and three youngest children, truly appreciated the Bible stories in the Superbook programming.“The war is terrible, and many things are frightening, but we are believers. And the biggest and most important thing is when children can learn about the Word of God from a young age,” he said.“Therefore, it’s very valuable for us that our younger children were here and listened.”
Parent after parent shared with us how grateful they were to see their children having such a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for blessing Ukrainians and making these events possible! At the same time, we must remember this important message that Svetlana had for us about the war in Ukraine: “Although we really hope that it will stop as soon as possible, the reality is that help will be needed for another long hour.”
Let’s all determine to stay the course and continue blessing these dear people of Ukraine.