The military action in Ukraine has worsened the food security situation, depriving people of access to work, income and food.

Official data do not reflect the full picture of the famine, and the quality of needs assessments by humanitarian organizations has declined due to the war, making official statistics inaccurate.

However, what we know for sure is that internally displaced persons who have moved to safer areas of Ukraine are not able to buy quality vegetables and fruits, even if they can afford it. Half-empty store shelves are associated with the closure of farms in the war-affected areas and the fact that delivering food supplies from abroad is also a difficult process. 

“Emmanuel Charity Association” has been providing relief to the collective living centers for internally displaced persons in the form of food products, fresh vegetables and fruit, which are brought to Ukraine by trucks from Operation Blessing in Belgium, Poland, Moldova and other countries.

During a visit to one of such refugee camps, our team met Ludmila who has been displaced from the town of Severodonetsk, Luhansk region. She came to the refugee camp with her son, daughter-in-law and a grandson. Even being homelessness and away from home, she has found something to do to help others. She is helping prepare hot meals for the IDPs living at the shelter from the products provided by “Emmanuel”.

The woman shared her story, 

 “I did not believe that this war was so serious. My son left with his wife and a child when the first bombs fell in our town. They offered me to escape with them too but I didn’t want to leave my home town and the house. I did not believe that this horror would last for a long time. Meanwhile, I started realizing  that I was afraid to stay at home at nights. I was very scared when projectiles were flying around with terrible force.

 I moved to a bomb shelter located at the local school and stayed there for 10 days. The situation was getting increasingly worse. When I got out of the basement, I saw there were no windows in most of the houses. Our building and the building nearby were already burning and the walls were destroyed so I realized that I had to run.

My family called me and asked if I was ready to leave and I said that I was ready. They took as many people as possible into the vehicle, and that’s how my journey began. The road was very slow and difficult, it took us four days to get here.

This war has changed everything – we have nowhere to return to. But I found a new life in Jesus Christ. There are no half of the houses in our town – they are destroyed. We keep looking at the photos from the internet trying to figure out if our house is still there… Everything is left there: the roots of my family and relatives, photos, videos,  all of the precious memories – we don’t have that any more. Here, at the refugee camp I realized what a real church is. I have never seen any support like we have here – in my whole life. 

They provided us with everything – bed sheets,  warm blankets, shower, food – it’s like living in a totally different world!

Of course, we didn’t have enough fruit. And now, when they said that they brought fruit, everyone was so happy! We dreamed of fruit so much! Apples were just a treat for me – I wanted so much to have a bite of an apple! 

 Today we will make rice casserole, as we have long dreamed. We went to the store and couldn’t find any apples – and it’s understandable, we have war in our country. We only have to remember various dishes that we used to make. But now we can make a wider variety – we already baked some pies because they brought us flour and we have apples now. So it’s good that we can make some pies for the children. Thank you very much!”

Thanks to the caring love of Christians, Ludmila accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at the refugee camp. All her life she had resisted the church and God, but the love of those who sheltered her and the ability to bear other people’s burdens melted her heart. She felt at home, bathed in love and care. During the day that we spent at the camp, the woman often cried with delight that someone had helped her with free housing and food.

Such care for refugees is possible only thanks to the donors providing their funds to support these people in need.

Support –

Аnna Chaban, CBN-Emmanuil