Zion continues its support of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
Tetiana Chibova is a thirty-year-old woman with two children, Sofiia, eleven, and Olena, seven. They are from the city of Kherson, not far from Odessa. About a year ago, after her husband was killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she and her children escaped to Norway where they awaited an opportunity to come to the United States.
Buffalo residents, Keith and Nancy Markwardt offered to be their official sponsors. Keith is a banker in Kimball and Nancy is a retired teacher. Tetiana and her daughters arrived in Minnesota on August 16. They endured a ten-hour bus ride to Oslo, a flight to Amsterdam, another to Minneapolis, and four hours with custom agents at MSP—with no rest between travel legs.
Tetiana’s father and stepmother immigrated a few months ago and live in Farmington, Minnesota. He owned an auto body repair shop in Kherson. They now live with Ukrainians who immigrated about twenty years ago. Her father was able to meet Tetiana and his grandchildren at the airport when they arrived.
Tetiana and her family will live in a furnished basement apartment in Kimball. Tetiana has limited English skills but is eager to work and has experience in the food service industry. Sofiia is expected to be enrolled in seventh grade and Olena in first grade in Kimball. Tetiana does not drive so it was important to find a home within walking distance of services.
Although we are not the official sponsors for this displaced family, we are offering support on an as-needed basis. Financial distributions have been approved by Zion’s Ukrainian Family Support Group. Their most immediate needs are cell phones that are compatible with U.S. apps, but we expect they will need more help as they get settled.
We have also offered financial assistance to Jane (Evgenia), a woman who remains in Kyiv and is a college friend of Zion member, Anita Bazan.
When Jane heard about our offer to help, she called it “a godsend.” She wrote:
Hello, dear Anita!
Thanks a lot. I was very surprised to hear about money for me actually. I will get over the initial shock and give you the information (for transferring the funds). I am also very grateful to the group raising money for the Ukrainian refugees in MN.