By GENNADIY NOVIKOV, February 2015, “Emmanuil” Association” – press-center
The situation in Krasnogorovka has changed very little in the last month. More homes have been destroyed, more people have left and the town remains without gas, heat or drinking water. Electricity is only sporadic.
A crowd of about 200 people is waiting for us when we pull up to the store front of a now abandoned shop. The crowd consists of mostly women and the elderly. They come to get bread and want to know what else we have brought. Beside bread we deliver washing powder, shampoo, toothpaste, soap and diapers. We also arrive with 20 small cooking stoves. These roughly welded iron stoves are greatly needed here. The homes that have the stoves become a gathering place of sorts. Families huddle together around a warm stove, listen to the wood cracking and warm their cold hands with hot cups of tea. For a moment life seems a bit better, until they turn their heads to the window simultaneously when the shooting begins.
The people don’t react as they did before when they hear the sounds of missiles being launched and shooting coming from tanks. These are the sounds they have grown accustomed to. Not all of them hurry to hide in the basements anymore. But they live in a constant tension, like overstretched strings on a guitar about to snap. They manage to give a smile at first when you asked them how they are, but tears will begin to fall after more than a few phrases are spoken.
We ask them why they don’t leave and all of them answer the same: “Where would we go? Who waits for us?” I don’t know what to say after this. “But you probably have friends or relatives…” I say. “Move to them. You will come back if God allows. If not, you can start a new life in a new place. Anything would be better than staying here in a frozen apartment under constant threat of being hit with fire.” They give a shrug of the shoulders and turn away…
Judging from their tired and aged faces we can see that each month that has passed has felt more like a year. For 6 months now they have lived on the edge of the war, and this has aged them. Some have become depressed and can hardly cope: they don’t care about anything and wait for nothing good. Those that keep themselves busy with work look more cheerful. Not with paid work, as there are almost no jobs in this town, but with work to help and assist others. Some hang up tarps over window frames to shield out the weather from the broken windows. Others install the small stoves in the apartments of elderly ladies. Still others distribute water and packages with bread or cook hot meals for the elderly. The love from these volunteers allows many to cling to hope in the midst of the daily chaos. These are the ones who say: “Everything will turn out fine. You see, they remember us. The trucks will come either from “Emmanuil” or from “Good News Church” from Slavyansk or from the Christians of Dobropolye. Remember, even the Czechs brought us food a few times!”
Please keep praying for our relief efforts in the east, and consider partnering with our work to meet the needs of the people in the East, so they will know they are not forgotten.
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