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Love and Hope in the Midst of Tragedy in Ukraine

Field Report by Operation Blessing

UKRAINE – Life changed dramatically for Marina and her family in Ukraine on the fateful day of February 24, 2022, when Russia attacked. She told us, “The first day of the massive war brought numerous casualties to our town of Vugledar, widespread destruction of homes, terrifying siren sounds, and an icy fear for the lives of our two children.” Such is the plight of many fighting to survive the tragedy in Ukraine.

Marina couldn’t bring herself to abandon her husband, Arthur, who served in the army near their city. Instead, she and her sons, Maxim (16) and Vadim (7), along with several others, huddled in a bomb shelter as explosions thundered and shook the ground. Forced to use water that came from puddles and melted snow, they would strain it through cotton and boil it to try and make it safe.

Sometimes Marina would run to her nearby apartment to cook food, but once as she was rushing back with hot soup in one hand and boiling water in the other, a rocket landed close by her. She said, “The explosion scattered the soup from the shock wave, and I fell. Wounded and covered in blood and hot soup, I … realized I had miraculously survived.”

After that, Arthur insisted she evacuate with the children. Marina gave Arthur a slip of paper with the Lord’s Prayer written on it, and he asked her to pray for him.

As she fled the area with her two boys, shells exploded around them and shrapnel hit their car. The boys huddled on the floorboards in terror. From that point on, much of what occurred remains hazy to Marina. They did find shelter in a safer area of Ukraine. Although traumatized, eventually she began to experience some peace and a bit of happiness.

But even that was torn away when she learned her husband had been killed in the war. She could barely identify his ravaged body, except for the slip of paper containing the Lord’s Prayer, which he still had on his person.


These were dark days indeed for Marina and her boys. But during this time you made a huge difference in their lives.

You demonstrate God’s love by reaching out to comfort the brokenhearted with hope, help, and healing in times of tragedy. Marina said, “Every day, the Operation Blessing team works to ensure that places for refugees have bread and food and that people do not go hungry.”

That’s only possible because of wonderful friends like you!

Showing Kindness Amidst the Tragedy in Ukraine

At the shelter run by our partner organization and supplied by caring people like you, Marina has found herself surrounded by the prayers and encouragement of Christian believers. This has kept her sane. During a worship service she decided to receive water baptism, which she feels marked the beginning of a new life for her and her children.

baptism in Ukraine

Since then, she has learned that Arthur died a hero while saving another man. And knowing that Arthur still kept the Lord’s Prayer with him during his last moments offers her assurance that she will be reunited with him someday in heaven. Isn’t it touching to know that you helped make this beautiful story possible? That’s why we’re so incredibly thankful for you.


Marina’s story is still ongoing—as is the war in Ukraine. Thanks to wonderful donors like you, we’re able to reach out to Ukrainian refugees with aid, support, and encouragement. And for those who remain in the war-torn nation, we provide vital supplies that have kept them alive—like fuel for warmth, essential food items, homemade bread, hot meals for the elderly and those injured in the war, and even Christmas presents for the children.

Over two years have passed since the war began in Ukraine. But let’s not recall these years merely as just a time of tragedy and violence; let’s also remember them as years when God’s love shone brightly through you to bless those in the most desperate need!

overcoming tragedy in Ukraine

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