40 years passed since that moment, but I still remember the radiogram of my father’s skull covered with cracks. I remember the night when someone rang our door bell to say that my father had been buried in the mine. For some reason, I don’t really remember the long two months as he was recovering. The important thing was that he was still alive and he was with us.

I had the same feelings visiting Krasnogorovka today. I looked at mothers and fathers taking their children to kindergarten and the memories of the first winter of war were coming to my mind. It was the same kindergarten those days but it was buried in war; lifeless and frozen, with nailed up doors, with no electricity, heating or running water… Children and their parents had been hiding in basements for about 6 months. No one was attending kindergarten or school. At that time, it hurt even to think about it. That’s why the Christians decided to arrange a wonderful Christmas celebration, right there, in the «buried» kindergarten.

And they did it! They brought electric generators, put on electric heaters. They were able to warm up the hall up to +150C which felt like summer in frozen Krasnogorovka in the middle of January. And they invited children and their parents for a Christmas celebration….

The children who had not been able to leave their homes and who had been hiding in basements for several months came to a party! They entered a warm hall. The girls were able to dress up like snowflakes and princesses and the boys became some superheroes wearing costumes of musketeers and batmen… They were having fun, singing, dancing, jumping and holding sweet gifts close to their hearts.

And their mothers… were quietly walking out of the hall one by one and crying soundlessly, trying not to kill joy of their children and not to make them hear their heartbreaking screams. These are the memories that will never be forgotten.

I can’t really remember the days when the kindergarten was being repaired last year. The windows were replaced, the roof was patched, the playgrounds were painted. Today, two groups are already working and every morning they are welcoming 40 babies. 150 more children are waiting for the repair works to finish to be able to run to kindergarten in the mornings. They are looking forward to that happy moment when they will be able to make new friends. And there will come the day when their dream comes true.

Meanwhile, just another Christmas is coming and people are going to celebrate. We’ll also celebrate if we try not to remember the faces of those children in our first winter of war in Krasnogorovka. We want all 180-190 boys and girls of Krasnogorovka to celebrate Christmas in the kindergarten. It’s easier this year because there is electricity supply and heating. The only thing that is lacking are the gifts for the children. People living on the frontlines of the conflict can’t afford to buy a bag with sweets and fruit. But what kind of celebration can there be without a gift?

I can’t write any more – the same way as I couldn’t take pictures of children in the kindergarten of Krasnogorovka. I could only take a couple of pictures a leave. Why would these happy kids have to see tears in my eyes? But I do believe that I will be able to shout until many of you heard. And we will make a grate celebration of Christmas right on the frontline. The children will be singing and dancing, holding their gift bags with sweets and fruit close to their hearts. Do you want this to happen? Can we do it together? I pray and I believe that we can.

Gennady NOVIKOV, CBN-Emmanuel

You can make a donation for Christmas gifts for children in Krasnogorovka via our web-site or by calling us at 0800-50-77-50.