Imagine huddling in a bomb shelter beneath the streets of Mariupol for three weeks trying to comfort a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl, listening to bombs destroy your home and city above you. When you finally emerge from the shelter, you drive around burned-out cars with dead bodies strewn on the roadside to escape. The dangerous journey takes you through Russia, Moldova, Italy, and Mexico before six of you arrive in Montrose, Minnesota where your mother and her husband offer you refuge until you can start a new life in the United States. This is the story of Alina, her two children, Katya, a surgeon who recently received her degree, and Aunts Natella and Valentina.
Imagine again two husbands desperate to reunite with spouse and family: Dima, Alina’s husband who was a mechanic on a ship unable to return to home port, and Yevhen, Katya’s husband who was a professional interpreter with NATO. God’s grace and good fortune opened different, but successful paths to Montrose.
Imagine Dima’s aging mother, who recently joined her family in the U.S., only to discover that she has leukemia.
Finally, imagine Yevhen’s cousin—Viktoriia Kurylenko, a 28-year-old teacher who thought her boyfriend had been killed in the war. She was hoping to find safety and healing in the United States after having been approved to be sponsored by our congregation. Then, she recently learned that her boyfriend might still be alive in the hands of the Russians. She, like many of her countrymen, remains in an agonizing limbo.
These are the people our congregation is trying to help. The Ukrainian Easter Egg (called a pysanka) has become a Christian symbol of peace and hope through rebirth. We invite you to participate in the Easter Egg project on February 8 as a means of drawing attention to the plight of the Ukrainian refugee crisis and to share this message with your family and friends. Thank you for your prayers and, if possible, your financial assistance.