KIN: Did your family there expect the invasion?
S: Not in a thousand years! Ukraine was never looking for war and had much respect for the Russian people and their rich culture. Also, many Russians have visited Ukraine and demonstrated much appreciation for our welcoming and hardworking people, delicious cuisine, stunning architecture, crystal clear rivers, and beautiful mountains.
P: My family didn't expect an invasion from our brother nation. They are in shock and stress. No one expected a nation with such close ties to attack their neighbor.
KIN: What are their plans at this time?
P: My family will stay where they are, and those who are able may pick up arms. I would love to bring them here, but right now, all I can do is pray for them.
S: Because we are fighting the second largest army in the world, no males 18-60 years old may leave Ukraine at this time. Besides, my son wants to stay and help protect his beautiful city. In regard to his wife and children, they are very worried about how long they will be able to last with limited food and medical supplies. They are unsure and will continue re-evaluating the situation daily and sometimes several times a day.
S told us separately that she’s not sure her elderly parents, both with health issues, could make the journey to become refugees.
Both P and S are praying for their families and trying to help them financially. They asked all our KINfolk to pray as well. S added,
“I am so thankful for the overwhelming response from the US and many other countries who have helped financially and in other ways. I have also been humbled by the amount of care and prayers my homeland has received. We serve an awesome God who goes before his people. The truth is on the side of the Ukrainian people and if it is His will, Ukraine will win this war and all the glory will go to Him. Meanwhile, we are praying for continued wisdom for the US administration and the Ukrainian leadership, and for protection and stamina for our people. We are fighting for the freedom of many generations to come.”
READY TO GET INVOLVED?
S points out that “everyone has a story and unique needs.” Get to know people of Ukrainian and of Russian descent in your circles of influence. Pray with them and for them. You might also reach out to one of the Russian-speaking congregations in our area. Many older Ukrainians speak Russian and may worship there.
If you have the means, consider donating to a reputable humanitarian organization such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, or your denomination’s crisis relief ministry.
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.