We remember that day very well. It was summer, July 12. We were on our way home from the church service when we suddenly heard the explosions and roaring. There was smoke lifting up in various ends of the town. Frightened people and crying children were in the yards. Some houses were burning somewhere. It was the first shelling of Krasnogorovka.

Thousands of people escaped from the town. We didn’t know what to do. We prayed but fear found a place in our hearts anyway. A shell is blind and it doesn’t care whose roof to break and whom to kill. We decided to leave.

We found a shelter at our friends’ home in Kiev. We had to get settled but our native Krasnogorovka was in our minds. How was it? What was new?

– Should we come back? – I asked my wife. – I have no peace in my heart…

Nadya hesitated at first and then answered:

Let’s come back if your heart is not at peace.

We loaded our belongings into the car and returned home. We found our native town without running water, gas heating and electricity. The local authorities had escaped. The people were walking in the streets with gray faces.

We always thought that we knew how to pray but those days taught us not to go but rather run to God, not to speak but rather to shout for help to the Lord. You are helpless in the face of trouble which presses you like a mountain. You can’t move it or get away from it. You just see that mountain and feel it with every cell of your body but you can’t do anything about it. You wake up and immediately start praying. You are walking along the streets, crying and praying. You are falling asleep praying again. You can hear your own prayers “Lord, help us!” even when you are asleep.

We were doing everything we could. We tried to help the elderly people but it looked like we were moving one straw after another in order to move the whole haystack. We spent all days doing something but had no progress. We were in despair! The people wanted at least to boil some water to make tea or cook something for their kids at fire. But the only available source of water was the lake outside of the town. And we had no wood to make fire! We didn’t live but rather tried to survive.

I can’t find the words to describe what I felt when I received a call from “Emmanuel” Charity Association. “Will anybody really help us?” Then Galina Kucher came.

– What can you do and what do you need? – She asked.

– We could pump water from the water well but we have no electricity…

We will buy a power generator and gasoline. What else?

– We need to cook some food for the elderly people…

We will buy gas cylinders.

– The locals are left without jobs and they are close to starvation …

We’ll bring food.

So, the problems that once seemed global were settled in a moment. It was the answer from God! It was light in the midst of darkness.

Then there were months of hard work. Bread, food products, water, clothes, medicines were delivered and distributed regardless of rainy or frosty weather or shelling. Galina, her helpers and volunteers never let us down. They never abandoned us. I can’t help telling about that. I can’t help saying thank you on behalf of all the people of Krasnogorovka. In our prayers, we don’t pray for warmth and bread today. We pray about you – everyone serving God in their country, going to the places of grief and trouble. Thank you so much!

Sergey Kazachenko, pastor of “Christ the Savior” Church in Krasnogorovka.

At pictures: Sergey and Nadezhda Kazachenko.

We just remind that “CBN-Emmanuil” continues to help the people from the South-East of Ukraine.
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