Last Thursday (May 8), we received a call asking if we could take some children from Slavyansk — the main city in Eastern Ukraine that has seen the heaviest fighting to date. The church that contacted us, was trying to arrange evacuation for mothers with young children and also children whose parents cannot evacuate with them. More intense violence was expected over the next several days and the situation there was already critical.
After hours of phone calls back and forth Thursday, it was arranged for us to take in 8 people Friday and possibly about 30 kids from a children’s center (kids from crisis situations) in a few days. Instead, over the weekend, a steady stream of refugees arrived on our property.
At one point while we were on the phone making arrangements, they reported to us that Russian soldiers had just stormed the church and demanded information about why people were gathered there. Kids were running out jumping over fences to escape. The pastor had been collecting the money for buses to evacuate people and the soldiers took the money. They thankfully left after that.
Although we don’t have any extra budget for this, how could we possibly say no? So, today, we have 52 refugees from Slavyansk staying with us until it is safe for them to return home. That could be tomorrow or next week, but honestly it will be months!!!
Please be praying with us for there to be adequate resources for the refugees who will be living here for awhile — we are going to be needing ongoing financial help for food and supplies and are estimating it will cost us an average of $8 to $10 per person per day and this is due is part to escalating food prices brought about by the current crisis. Pray also we’ll have enough hands to help cook and clean and even provide some programs/activities for the kids.