After the War Began
“Stalino,” says 85-year-old Michail. “That’s the name of the place where I was born. Later, after the war, it was renamed Donetsk. But it’s just one of the many things in my life that changed after the war.”
After the war…
We hear that over and over from the people we help in war-torn Ukraine—Jewish people, people like Michail and his elderly wife.
Michail tells us what happened after the war began when he was a child—World War II—and how his mother and grandmother fled their home in eastern Ukraine and found relative safety during the Holocaust in far-flung Siberia. So many of his relatives, however, were murdered by the Nazis.
Michail doesn’t remember much about that war-time evacuation. But he remembers all too well the terror of the past year, since war again came to his country.
After the current and ongoing war in Ukraine began, Michail’s lifelong hometown of Donetsk was particularly hard hit. His wife had been unable to leave home for years, but somehow the two made it out of Donetsk alive.
And now, out of the hardest hit areas but still living in a warzone, the two have come to depend on emergency supplies provided by IFCJ Canada’s volunteers on the ground. Michail recalls the “hot, cooked nutritious meals” they have received, as well as “toiletries, soap, and medications we need” and “a heater, winter coats, hats, and gloves.”
To most of us, these are essentials that we take for granted. But for far too many of God’s children trying to survive amid chaos and violence, these emergency supplies are truly lifesaving.