Ukraine is covered with snow. There are thousands of photos online picturing happy children with snowballs, sledges and snowmen. However, there are no pictures like that taken in Maryinka, Krasnogorovka or Stanitsa Luganska in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine. People here think of snow and frost without a smile but rather with a deep concern.
Many of them still don’t have a wood-burning stove while they can’t really count on electric heaters. When a shelling starts, the electricity supply can break any moment. Those who do have a wood-burning stove are thinking about fire wood – will they have enough to live through the winter? Where can they get more? Basically, people living at war are not happy about the winter. There are already too many distresses in their lives and winter is only adding just another problem – freezing cold.
It’s the third winter that CBN-Emmanuel is helping in frontline town of Krasnogorovka. In our first winter in the conflict-affected zone, we would bring fire-burning stoves and drinking water for the suffering people and mourn for those who had died due to war and cold. The second winter was best remembered for potbelly stoves, stripes of smoke and hundreds of pipes sticking right of the windows in apartment buildings.
This winter we are brining firewood for the conflict-affected people again. CBN-Emmanuel’s partners have already provided over 200 cubic meters of firewood for the locals in Kranogorovka. The first trailer-truck with firewood arrived to the town today. The firewood was unloaded in the «Christ the Savior Church» backyard and in the backyards of widows and large families. Tomorrow another trailer truck is expected to arrive and many more will arrive afterwards.
The day passed by very fast. We’ve heard many words of gratitude and we’ve seen so much tears at women’s faces. God is still here and He abides with those who are in need. He has been and will always be the Love…
— My dear people… – 85-year-old Zinaida Vashenko couldn’t stop crying as the firewood was being uploaded.
She and her husband support each other as much as they can. They attend church on Sundays where they were recently baptized. It’s very cold in their flat in an apartment building. They go to bed wearing winter clothes. The firewood in their potbelly stove burns away very fast and it’s not surprising; their firewood are dry branches picked up in the local park. The woman starts crying when she sees that Emmanuel has brought them large firewood blocks.
Christian volunteers who helped distribute firewood would often start unloading the wooden trunks without waiting for the owners to come out to the backyard. The day is too short and the volunteers have so much to do! At one time, an elderly woman came out of her house when the truck already started moving to the next backyard. From the back of our truck we could see this old lady wiping off her tears and waving her hand.
There will be a new day tomorrow and we’ll be delivering firewood again. It’s cold, it’s snowing and the war is happing very close. You can hear the sounds of automatic gunfire nearby. This is how the first days of winter look in Krasnogorovka.
We express our deep gratitude on behalf of all families who have received firewood today to our friends and Partners – First Slavic Pentecostal Church of Albany, pastor Peter Leschenko, Evangelical Church South Rever, pastor Sergey Papirnyk, Russian Church of Albany, pastor Sergey Katko. We thank you for the warmth of your hearts!
Gennary NOVIKOV, CBN-Emmanuel press-center
To donate for the elderly people in the east of Ukraine you can here