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Update - Western Ukraine

An update from Olga in Rivne, Ukraine:

For me, as for countless people both in Ukraine and in the world, life was divided into 'before and after'. When the "after" just started, I tried not to comprehend or look for explanations for what was happening. I tried not to give free rein to emotions and feelings, I tried not to cry. I managed it for almost a month. But I cannot do it anymore…

A deep bloody wound in the heart of Ukraine hurts unbearably... Oh, Lord, I want to pour some healing balm on this wound! ... To embrace human hearts that were burned and mutilated by the war… To wipe someone's tears… At least…

More and more people now come to Rivne also from Mariupol. Some of them visit our volunteer center - to get clothes, food, etc.

A week ago Eduard and I met two young families in the parking lot near the supermarket in Rivne. They came from Mariupol by car. Their car was without back windows, with shrapnel scratches…

Very quietly, without any emotions, they told us about the horrors they came through. Unnaturally calm, they talked about how the houses shook from the explosions, how the fires burned, and black smoke was covering everything around. There was nowhere to hide from it, even when the shelling subsided for a while - all the houses had broken windows.

There was no water, food, electricity – nothing. They tell how long days and nights, weeks were spent without water and food in the cold basements, and when they were able to get outside they saw only ruins, fire, mutilated or burnt bodies of killed people.

At some point, they decided to leave because they knew that otherwise, they would die for sure. They were fired upon on the way out, and the mother of one of the young men was killed by shrapnel. I'm afraid to ask them if they were able to bury her dead body ... I don't know how to ask about it and how to comfort them. I have no words. Completely. I can't say a word of comfort. I'm just crying and I can barely hold back a scream. All we can do is give a gentle hug, very carefully... Invite to our home… To our church… To take them to a friend who can fix their car. Something else. But all we can do is so insignificant in comparison with the pain they have in their hearts. And there are thousands and thousands of such wounded hearts in Ukraine at the moment.

Another family visited our church today, and they tell almost the same…

And then we learn all the news from Bucha, Irpen, Gostomel - small villages around Kyiv.

All these make the blood run cold. There are no tears or words…

The only hope is in the Lord. So we continue to pray. And we continue to ask all of you, our friends, brothers and sister in Christ, please keep our people, our country in your prayers…

Lord, fold our wounded country to your breast, stop this frantic flow of blood, tears, pain, despair, bitterness, sorrow, suffering, despair! ...

Lord Almighty, give us victory!..

Rivne, Ukraine
A family in Rivne is given supplies from Rivne Grace Church

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