Out of Hell and into Hope

Tags: Story, Ukraine

From one family in Ukraine:

"Our lives changed at 4:30 am on February 24th. We woke up from terrible sounds. I ran to the window and saw the explosions. Everything was on fire. An hour later, the road was full of cars. People were leaving. We started to panic about what to do next. We decided to move to a godmother in a private house. When the lights were turned off, the heating was gone, and it was winter outside. Everything exploded overhead, the aircraft factory was bombed, we were all sitting in the cellar.

"In the morning, Russian soldiers passed under the windows in a column and became uneasy. In the evening there was a "cleanse" of the area, it was hell. Shooting, explosions, school 134 was on fire, equipment was on fire. The next day we decided to return home, but we lived there for three days and air raids began, there was nothing worse. At night, we decided to leave by evacuation train. Having collected all our lives in one bag, we decided to go. In the morning, on the news, we saw what was happening at the station, there was a terrible panic. I remembered that a couple of days ago a friend invited us to their city. The decision was made, we left...

"There were seven of us and a dog in one small car. But the main thing is that we left. Outside the city, another life immediately reigned, there were no explosions. On the way our friend was looking for an apartment for us. The journey took seven and a half hours. We arrived 15 minutes before curfew.

"We have been coming to our senses for two weeks. Then a friend suggested where we can find help. It was the church. Our family was helped with food, bed linen, clothes, medicines and food for our dog.

"Every Saturday we started attending meetings and our life changed. We have rethought our lives. We started coming over to help pack food parcels. We have made many friends. In the church we feel like at home, there are very nice people and atmosphere."