Sponsor Ukrainian Viktoriia Kurylenko
God has presented our congregation with the opportunity to become the official sponsor for another Ukrainian who is attempting to escape her war-torn country. Viktoriia Kurylenko is a 28-year-old single woman who is a cousin of Yevhen Hrytsai, a member of the family that arrived in Montrose eight months ago. Although we were not their official sponsors, we continue to assist him and his family as they have relocated to the Twin City area. Yevhen found employment with Cargill and the others have received their social security numbers and work permits. They are thankful to be here and for our ongoing support.
Viktoriia is a college graduate who has taught English, German, and Ukrainian. Since the schools have been disrupted, she has been tutoring children in Kyiv. She is one of nine million Ukrainians who are facing the winter with limited power. Russia’s continued bombing of civilian targets, power stations, and infrastructure has made life a nightmare for many.
The Zion Foundation has indicated a willingness to make a substantial pledge to seed the fundraising effort on behalf of Viktoriia and the other Ukrainians who may need our help. The Council has agreed that the funds will be overseen by Zion’s Ukrainian support group and will be dispersed as needed through the Global Mission Committee for her plane ticket and initial expenses to get her started on a new life in America.
A special emphasis for fundraising has been coordinated with the Global Mission Committee and will include Sunday announcements, a special offering, a youth event decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs, a silent auction of an original Ukrainian Easter egg, and hopefully an informational meeting between services with Yevhen and his wife Katya.
Yevhen and his family have agreed to share their apartment with Viktoriia until other housing arrangements can be made. Once she arrives, we will coordinate efforts to complete more paperwork, investigate programs for which she is eligible, and help her find employment. A used vehicle is often one of the most pressing needs, but we will keep the congregation appraised.
Viktoriia’s paperwork was underway, when she learned in January that her boyfriend, previously taken hostage and thought to have been killed by the Russians may still be alive. Everything is on hold for now. In the meantime, we ask for your prayers for Viktoriia and her countrymen.
Financial contributions can also be submitted to Zion using a pew envelope marked “Refugee Families.”
All Lenten Self-Denial donations will go to fund the Global Mission’s ongoing monetary commitment to Redeemer Lutheran Church, All Kids Can Learn/Village of Hope, and Mission Jamaica.