by GENNADIY NOVIKOV, October 2014

My sister lives in Pervomaysk, a city in the Lugansk region. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a five-story building constructed in times of Khrushchov. Her family lived there many winters and yet I’m sure never imagined that the winter of 2014 would be a winter filled with fear.

She glances at the neighboring porch, which was destroyed by shelling. The neighboring homes were also partially destroyed. All the windows were broken out by shrapnel or shock waves. Fresh graves have now appeared on the flowerbeds or under trees. It seems like it should be something out of another place and time.

It was also difficult living here in the summer when the fighting was heavy, but they some how managed to get buy with their neighbors, together in the make-shift bomb-shelters. But now it is winter. The frigid temperatures present their own form of battle, with no heating to fight of their sting. Hiding in a bomb-shelter does nothing to take away the bitter cold.

My sister sealed the windows as best she could with old pillows and rags. Severa candles are shining on the table near the bed. At present this is the only form of heat my sister has. Electricity turns on sporaticaly but then disappears for several days again due to bombing or because too much electricity has been used.

img_0159-001-1024x682My sister and her daughter fall asleep in a cacoon of blankets and winter jackets and try to warm her 3- month-old grandchild, Denis, with their bodies. They fall asleep and wake up with the thought of what they will do when the cold of January and February set in. I offered them to abandon everything and leave. But they didn’t take this offer. Now I have no mobile connection with them as their cell-phones are not able to be charged.

Another couple, Leonid and Yuliya Davydenko were also afraid of a looming brutal winter. They live with their two children in Seleznyovka village not far from Slavyansk. Their roof ws destroyed by shelling and shrapnel damaged their gas pipeline. The family had no place to spend the winter and they had no money to start the reconstruction.


“Reconstructed house of Davydenko family”

CBN and Orphan’s Promise learned of the need of Leonid and Yuliya and new they needed help fast, so a team stepped in to make the needed repairs. I was just there and observed the new windows, the new roof and…the new tears on the face of the wife– the tears of joy! The families gratitude for our help was overflowing. The family lives in a warm house now thanks to the partnership of CBN, Emmanuel, OP and the local church.

We are thrilled that we could provide for the needs of Leonid and Yuliya, but now our thoughts go to others in need. We think about the hundreds and thousands of families in Seleznyovka, Krasnogorovka, Trehizbenka, and Maryinka and other towns and villages near the front lines in need of our assistance.

Thanks to your partnership we can do more than we could on our own.

Please consider making a financial contribution to the relief efforts going on today!