by GENNADIY NOVIKOV, October 2014

It is an unpleasant whistling sound that is head over head. It’s like a cord is trembling on the highest note and will cause something to shatter at any moment.

The people stop, stand still and … listen. It’s impossible to get to the bomb shelter in 5-7 seconds anyway. Men and women frantically try to understand which direction the shelling is headed. The people just wait for the first explosion sound to breathe a sigh of relief. Muttering thanks that it was not in their town this day: “It seems they attack Maryinka…”, “Krasnogorovka…”, “No, they attack Donetsk airport again…” But not here. At least not now.

The Donetsk Airport, Maryinka and Krasnogorovka form a triangle from which every battle sound can be heard.

One village, Antonovka, is situated on edge of this triangle. The shells don’t reach this far but the community, which is now home to hundreds of refugees, hears the sky whistling throughout the day and night. They have grown accustomed to this sound.

While our team was there I found It odd, to be hearing the ‘whistling’ of heavy artillery in the distance and yet at the same time see a man calmly cutting wood in his yard or a woman herding goats in the field. So odd to think that this has become normal.
Antonovka has not suffered from damaged buildings, but the city has its own serious problems as a result of the conflict. Many here worked in Donetsk and Maryinka and the elderly people received their pensions in those places. Now the people living here have no jobs, no salaries and no access to their pensions. Neighboring Maryinka was so heavily destroyed by the shelling that almost no one remained. The city council, pension fund and postal services have all ceased to operate. It is also impossible to get into Donetsk as it is situated behind the battle line. Refugees have fled to Antonovka, so the local residents have had to share not only shelter but also what little aid comes in.
That’s why we have stepped in to provide assistance. With your help we have been able to provide food and supplies to these hard to reach places, and let them know they are not forgotten.

“It would be too difficult for the elderly people and refugees to survive without your help,” shared Valentina Kudryashova, the wife of the local pastor.

“Many refugees from Donetsk and Maryinka thought they would be able to go back to their homes in a week or too. But that was not possible.” The summer was over; the kids were supposed to go to school, but they had neither schoolbags, nor school uniforms, nor shoes. People don’t want to risk coming here. The food is not always delivered even to the local store. Praise the Lord, that you are not afraid of the risk. Thank you! May God keep you safe!”

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