They say the war is over in Donbas. I would like to believe it. Really. Though we understand that it will never end for thousands of people. Someone has lost a son, a father, a brother … Someone was left without a roof over his head. Someone will be waking up in a cold sweat for many years, because they won’t be able to forget the horrific attacks of missile launchers while hiding in the basement and feeling your house jumping over your head like a grasshopper.

Who will measure the trouble? There are no such devices. Nobody will be able even to count the number of people who perished in the war. It will be probably possible to count the killed ones and try to count the dead ahead of time, because … there were no medicines in the pharmacies. Or, for example, a grandmother hurried to the shelter, going down from the fourth floor, then she heard the shells exploding nearby, tried to hold the railings with shaking hands, and then … sat down on the steps, and stayed there forever. Her heart stopped…

The war will live in us for a long time. This is not the sand on the table that can be wiped away with a cloth and your memory will be clear in a minute. It is like fruit drink when you can’t separate clean water from juice of boiled apples and cherries.

I’ll never forget the first shelling of Krasnogorovka. I was running down the street, hearing the shells exploding in the suburbs of the town, and could not believe that all this was true. It just couldn’t be the truth! I ran into the house. My mother was sitting with a book in her hand. My husband was watching TV.

Hurry up to the basement – I cried. – The town is attacked by shells!

My family was looking at me as if I was crazy. What shells? This is nonsense!

On next day, our basement was already equipped for living. There was a bed, some food, supply of drinking water and foam sheets on the floor. We were not the only ones who tried to hide there. Our relatives and friends from the five-story building joined us there. Where could they go? They couldn’t leave for 2-3 days. We did not know then that the war has come to the town for a long time. I never thought that the basement would be our shelter for many months.

The next day after the first shelling the men in camouflage were running down the streets.

Leave! –They were shouting. – Hurry up. Bandera people will destroy the town!

The frightened people believed them and packed their thing and fled to the buses. There were dozens of the buses in the central street. The local people were driven to Donetsk. Nobody could distinguish black and white at that time. No one knew who is right and who is wrong. Nobody knew who and why the town was under shelling. People were simply scared.

The war taught us a lot during the year. It left hundreds indelible pictures in the memory. The town was without electricity, gas and drinking water. We were sitting all together around the small stove in winter. It was warm enough only close to the stove and you could freeze if you made a couple of steps aside. They say there is no war now but the people are still buying stoves and firewood. They remember how they buried the people who froze to death last February…

But we also won’t forget one more thing. We will never forget the people who came to help us: Galina Kucher from “Emmanuel” Association, brothers and sisters from “Good News” Church of Slavyansk and the volunteers who came from different cities and towns of Ukraine. It is impossible to evaluate all they’ve done. Every loaf of bread, every bottle of sun-flower oil, every plate of hot soup meant more than manna from Heaven. It was more than just aid for freezing and hungry people. Any of our visitors could die any minute. Do you understand this? They knew it and they were taking the risk. They knew that they could come under fire but they continued to come anyway. They were willing not just to help. They were ready to die with us. How can we forget this?

The shells were exploding in the town and the doctors of the Medical Mobile Clinic were examining the patients in the frozen facility of the local kindergarten. They examined the people and gave them medicines.

They arranged a Christmas holiday for our kids in the same facility of frozen kindergarten. I’m sure that none of the children will forget that Christmas. The children had not been going to school for several months by that time. They had several months of tears and fear staying in the basements.  And suddenly they got great invitation: please, come to Christmas Holiday celebration!

The windows were painted with frost, but no one noticed that. The boys were wearing white shirts and the girls were wearing beautiful dresses and bows. They danced, sang, laughed. They got the gifts – toys, tangerines, candies. Their mothers clapped their hands and cried turning their faces to the wall. They were crying softly and quietly, for their children couldn’t see it and continue to be happy for few minutes more.

We will never forget this. We will tell our grandchildren that there is God. There are children of God – Christians. And when life becomes very hard, you don’t need to run for help to the ministers or president. It is necessary to raise your hands into the sky and whisper, “Help me, Lord …” He will hear and answer by hands of Christians that will give you a hug, feed and warm you up. He will die again with you if you need that. The most important thing is that He will hold your hand in His.

It is the most important lesson we took from the war. We appreciate all our friends for that. You are among them, dear staffs of “Emmanuel” Association. Thank you from us and our children and our grandchildren that were not born yet. Thank you!

Yelena Murashko from Krasnogorovka.

Pictures: Oleg and Yelena Murashko with their son Yegorka; streets of Krasnogorovka.

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