Help family in Ukraine

Campaign Created by: Mykhaylo Fatyanov

The funds from this campaign will be received by Mykhaylo Fatyanov.

Goal: USD $15,000
Raised: USD $ 13,340

Friends,

I am in shock as I’m writing this. My family is in Ukraine and the war has just begun. My dad (69 y.o. in bad health) is only 10 miles from the Russian border and Russian troops have entered Ukraine and I hear reports of them advancing further into the country. Civilian and military casualty reports are starting to come in. My sister and her family are about 125 miles from the Russian border and only 65 miles from the Russian-occupied territories. My niece (10 y.o.) and my nephew (18 y.o.) have stayed home today (2/24/22) as schools are closed. The family is sheltering in place at the moment, but I’m hoping to raise funds to allow them to evacuate to western Ukraine or into Hungary in case Russian troops continue to advance. Some Russian reports indicate that they will reach my sister’s city within a couple of days. Even if these reports are exaggerated and Russian advancement is stopped, the cost of living is already rising beyond sustainable levels. My sister is a realtor, and my brother-in-law is an entrepreneur with a small business (largely a one-man operation) of manufacturing thermal doors and windows. Needless to say, their sources of income have ceased to exist.

A blessing in the midst of this, is that my mother was able to visit me in December and is still here. I canceled her return flight yesterday so she can continue to remain safely with me, my wife and our two kids (soon to be three.) I thank God for his mercy and presence!

Please, help by contributing what you can to show support and offer hope to my family who remains in Ukraine.

Thank you and may the Lord bless you with peace and comfort in your times of trouble.

Michael Fatyanov

UPDATES

Vadim's sister's apartment is gone!
October 6, 2022
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This morning I woke up to the news that hit a little too close to home. At least eight S-300 rockets hit the center of Zaporizhzia. Vadim’s (my brother-in-law) sister’s apartment located less than a mile away from my family’s apartment got destroyed (photo attached). Thankfully, the Lord protected her husband Zhenya’s life, and his family wasn’t with him at the time. Thank you, Jesus! Zhenya said when the first rocket hit the side of his apartment, he was shaken off the bed, then another rocket hit the same spot. After laying on the floor for about 5 minutes, he tried to leave, but when he opened the front door of his apartment, he saw a two-story drop into a pile of rubble. All of the windows were gone and there were cracks in the ceiling as the entire five stories of the apartment adjacent to his simply collapse. Being a former athlete, he was able to jump out of the 2nd story balcony to get out of the ruined apartment. The rest of the building lost electricity, water, and heat, and is completely uninhabitable. Today Vadim was helping put Styrofoam in the windows to prevent further destruction of the inside of his sister’s apartment. Vadim believes that the Russians were aiming at the military drafting center located in the nearby apartment and simply missed.

Other rockets hit near Vadim’s garage and destroyed the windshield on his car. Vadim believes they were aiming at an important electrical infrastructure unit which would leave parts of the nearly 1M city without electricity.

Please continue to pray that the Lord will spare my family and others in Zaporizhzhia. If you are able to continue to support the cause financially, it is currently the biggest need in order to provide food and shelter for those who have lost everything. Thank you so much to those of you who have already done so!

 

May the Lord Bless you and protect you and your loved ones!

Day 225
October 5, 2022
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Dear friends,

I know it has been another long while since I updated you on my family’s status. I must admit that it is partially because so much is happening in Ukraine right now that I don’t even know where to start.

Should I try and describe the constant tension over the potential nuclear strike from Russia, or a concern about the nearby nuclear plant meltdown, or share about the more and more frequent S-300 missile attacks on my city or go into heartbreaking anecdotes of danger and deaths of those close to my family? It quickly becomes overwhelming.

I think a more appropriate thing to do would be to remind myself and those who are reading this about the sovereignty and good character of our God who has redeemed his people by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ and who continues to provide for and protect my family (in part through your generosity!) I am so thankful that He revealed the promises of hope to Vadim and Natasha; promises that extend far beyond the here and now. In one of my recent conversations with Natasha, she expressed how she doesn’t even comprehend how people are able to survive the stress of war without faith in God. When I asked her if she is able to point people to the Savior they can trust, she said it has become a normal part of her conversation with colleagues at work and with her clients. She said that almost everyone has come to believe in God, but many don’t know Him personally, so she is able to tell them about God incarnate Jesus Christ, who overcame even death itself.

Another positive update is that my family received the solar-powered generator and a portable heater (photo attached). This may be a life-saver for them and others this winter due to the devastation of civilian infrastructure and seizure of the Zaporizhzia nuclear power plant by the Russians. Municipal authorities have already announced that the apartment temperatures will not exceed 55 degrees this winter so having a safe source of heat is a tremendous blessing! This would be completely unattainable without your support so thank you so much!

If you are able to continue to provide financial support, please, know that it goes directly to my family and makes a bigger difference in their community than we will ever know. 

May our Lord and Savior bless you and your loved ones, draw you to Himself and keep you safe!

Michael and Family

A testimony from the battlefield
September 16, 2022
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Dear friends,

First, I wanted to share that my daughter Sofia was born on 8/27/22! It was a planned home birth and both mom and the baby are doing well! The boys love her and it is such a blessing to see the gentleness and care with which they shower their baby sister. Having my mom here with us is also priceless! God knew what he was doing when he created grandparents ;D

The Testimony:

Yesterday, I heard a powerful testimony from Vadim who works with the Ukrainian partisans who operate deep behind the enemy lines. You may recall that a few months ago Vadim was able to purchase an old SUV for the territorial defenders. The car needed some major repairs after it was delivered from Austria. Vadim worked on it personally, however, some engine problems remained. The soldiers picked up the car and supposedly fixed the remaining issues. A few days ago, when they were driving the SUV on a mission, their vehicle came under enemy fire. The driver stepped on the gas to get out from under the fire, however, the engine suddenly malfunctioned and their speed dropped by about 50%. Seconds after that, the enemy mortar rounds have erupted directly in front of them. Thank you, LORD, for answering our prayers and for looking after the Ukrainian defenders! Everyone returned from that mission safe.

Thank you for all your sacrificial donations that helped support the Ukrainian fighters in some of the most difficult times during this war!

Presently, my main focus of support is my immediate family until I am able to rebuild their “emergency evacuation/rebuilding fund” back to $10K (I recently had to transfer over $5 to help them with the living expenses as employment remains very scarce), however, if you wish to purchase some physical items to help the front line defenders, you can see this link where they personally post their needs. https://amzn.to/3O4yJt1

Thank you so much for your friendship and support!

May the Lord richly bless you and protect you and your loved ones!

 

 

 

Thank you from Natasha. Prayer Request.
August 23, 2022
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Hello friends,

Thank you for your prayers! Vadim, Natasha, Dima and Sasha continue to remain together and relatively safe.

I wanted to share a message from my sister Natasha:

“I want to express big gratitude to everyone who helped our family because even though my husband and I are working constantly and are eager to work more but, unfortunately, Ukrainian economy is at a standstill. Even large enterprises such as Zaporizh-Steel are cutting people’s salaries. Many people are looking for work so factories aren’t afraid to lose workers. Since Zaporizhzhia presently isn’t a direct warzone and since we have not become refugees, there is no government support of any kind, so I am very grateful to all Americans who gave to our family. This help was very much needed. I am thanking God for everyone who is giving and I am praying that God would bless those people 30-, 60-, and 100-fold. I am thanking God that He compelled the hearts of the Americans and those from other countries to sacrificially share their finances, housing; to those who were able to leave [Ukraine] for their sacrifice of time, prayers, and humanitarian aid. Thank you all from my sincere heart. Thank you very much.”

As I was catching up with my family over the last few days, I realized that I need to shift my focus to help them directly and, unfortunately, I need to temporarily halt my efforts to send aid to the territorial defense (TDF) units. If any of you still want to continue to provide physical items for the TDF from the Amazon list (https://amzn.to/3O4yJt1), I will continue to ship them, however, the greatest need right now is financial help as the food prices continue to rise while employment opportunities are becoming more and more scarce.

Another update is that my family is planning a 15-hour drive to a village in western Ukraine for a family reunion after Vadim’s brother-in-law finally returned from the Russian-occupied city of Berdyansk (on the Azov Sea.) Please pray for their safe travels, especially as Russia is expected to launch a major rocket attack on the day of Ukrainian independence (August 24).

May God bless you and your families. May He keep your loved ones safe and bring them to the saving knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ, who overcame this world and who gives us hope each day!

Michael and family

4th package received!
August 18, 2022
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Dear friends,

I’m sorry for the long delays between updates. It has been a little hard to keep up with everything. I still can’t fully wrap my head around becoming a father to our first baby girl in just about 3 weeks, Lord willing. We are very excited!

I wanted to share a few updates from the last couple of weeks.

My family received the 4th package (photo enclosed), which was a blessing to many!

Some of the equipment (i.e. night vision monocle) was sent to the front lines directly (see photo in Gallery), while some has been delivered to SVIYA (trusted volunteer organization). Here is an excerpt from their daily update (photo in gallery):

“… Sometimes, seemingly the most unbelievable things end up working out. For example: we requested several important things for the fighters several months ago. And suddenly, these things manifest themselves in our theater [SVIYA is a children’s theater, whose director is also the main volunteer coordinator]. Thank you to Vadim Naydyuk [my brother-in-law who delivered the supplies] for the backpacks (2 units), artillery headphones and a large box of medications. THANK YOU!!!”

Also, thanks to the generosity of some of my friends here, I was able to ship the 7th box filled with military-grade first aid kits, which I know will be of tremendous value to the recipients!

I am so grateful that we were able to buy and ship a portable power generator and a heater, as I am hearing reports of a bitter winter ahead. Due to lack of energy resources, the municipal authorities are warning residents of Zaporizhzhia that the apartment temperatures will not exceed 54 degrees during the upcoming heating season.

I hope none of us will have to experience this cold, especially while caring for children or elderly. I am just grateful that my family has an apartment. Let us pray for the countless Ukrainian families that have lost their homes due to missiles, etc.

As always, I am very grateful for all your prayers and support. May our Lord Jesus bless you and your families and keep you safe and full of faith!

2 more boxes of supplies shipped!
July 30, 2022
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Hi, friends!

I hope you and your families are doing well.

I am pleased to report that I was able to ship two more boxes (boxes # 5 and 6!) of supplies to my family this week. So far, we have collected over $53 K in supplies and financial aid that served the needs of many Ukrainian families in Zaporizhzhia, including mine! Thank you so much for your trust and generosity!

The two boxes I shipped this week will be traveling by sea (so it may be 2-3 months before I can share photos of the supplies having been received by my family) as they contain the solar powered generator and a portable heater to keep my family warm this winter, 8 power banks for the front-line defenders, 25 personal water filtration systems to give the defenders access to clean drinking water while in the field, along with other various supplies. I also included about half of the parts for the reconnaissance drone I mentioned in my earlier updates.

I want you to know that your support makes it possible for the Ukrainian defenders to make progress in keeping Russian advances at bay and even prepare for the counter attacks. The war is ugly, but I know that every shipment received from overseas shows those who are in the middle of it that they are not forgotten.

Thank you for all your support and prayers!

Michael and family

P.S. I am attaching a few of the photos in the gallery. 

3rd shipment received! Joys and concerns
July 27, 2022
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Dear friends,

This will be a mixed update with many reasons for joy but also with areas of concern.

First, my family remains together and unharmed despite some cruise missiles occasionally hitting various parts of my city. Thanks be to God who protects them!

Second, my family received the 3rd box of supplies that you made possible! The Lord’s timing is always perfect. The day the shipment has arrived, a group of Ukrainian fighters was headed to the front line and was able to pick up some critical supplies. I am including a photo of the fighters holding the backpacks, gloves and glasses you ordered through Amazon (See photo in Gallery). In the 2nd photo, you see a backpack with a damaged building in the background. This photo was taken at the front lines where a special reconnaissance unit is running missions behind the enemy lines (please, pray for the 3 men who risk their lives and for their families who stayed behind). They are expressing special thanks for the desperately needed night-vision optics and a drone-mounted camera (see photo). The remaining supplies, including medical will be distributed to family and neighbors in need.

Thank you so much for your generosity!

Vadim asked me to look into getting Dima to the U.S. because it is possible that his university will close down, and he will not be allowed to exit the country without the university documentation. Natasha and Sasha should be able to leave if the Russians move closer to the city where more of their artillery pieces can reach the center of town and it becomes more dangerous than it is now.

When I was praying with Vadim on the phone, at the end of our prayer he added: “Lord, please, do not let our hearts become calloused”. Please, pray for Vadim and his friends at the front lines as the war is taking a toll on their hearts.

May the Lord Bless and protect you and your loved ones!

 

 

Update on your generosity!
July 14, 2022
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Dear friends,

Thank you to all of you who continue to pray for my family and show support through your donations of supplies and financial contributions!

I recently spoke with Natasha and told her to expect the third (!) shipment of supplies from my friends in the U.S. any day now. She was visibly touched and said she is “praying daily for all of the people who are supporting Ukraine and giving sacrificially”. She is asking God to bless you and your families, and she is thanking Him for inclining the hearts of people around the world to send support to Ukraine during this difficult time.

Despite some physical ailments (my sister’s old foot fracture recently got aggravated making walking difficult for her; my niece’s scoliosis treatments, etc.), my family continues to remain unharmed by the war and stays together which is most important! I am also proud to report that they are growing in their faith and closeness to God which is also a huge encouragement for me!

A few other updates:

I was finally able to purchase all the drone parts (I was waiting on the final specifications from Ukraine) and started to receive shipments of the individual parts. My garage is starting to turn into a distribution hub of sorts :D

As you may have read in the news, the Russians ceased Europe’s largest nuclear power plant that is about 30 miles from my city. This plant used to supply around 50% of Ukraine’s electricity. Additionally, the coal mining region of Donbass (eastern Ukraine) is also occupied by the Russians. This makes the prospect of a cold winter a deadly recipe for many who remain in the country without sufficient resources to keep their citizens warm. Thanks to your donations, however, I was able to purchase a portable solar-powered generator to help my family stay warm this winter.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

The situation may be bitter but far from hopeless, especially when I am reminded about God’s sovereignty and His loving nature, as evidenced by your generosity and His supernatural protection.

May our Lord Jesus hear my prayer and bless you and your loved ones with His Spirit, His protection, and provision for all of your needs!

Thank you to the Heartland Dance group!
June 22, 2022
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Dear friends,

Our God is so good and so faithful! A month or two ago, I had a vision of what looked like a dome of protection over my city and indeed my family is still alive and together! In fact, they are growing in their faith and are continuing to be a blessing to their neighbors by hosting a church in their apartment, by finding housing for the refugees from the occupied territories, and by continuing to work with the territorial defense forces (TDF) to supply their needs in their resistance efforts. As of today, TDF managed to push the Russian forces about 10 kilometers back from the city.

I wanted to share a post from the volunteers at the children’s theater SVIYA. This organization has probably delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods and produce to the resistance fighters since the start of the war, however, in recent months/weeks the local resources and the support from overseas seem to have dried out. I want to send a very special thanks to the Heartland Dance group who raised $285 last Saturday! Here is an abstract from SVIYA’s DAILY report after receiving these funds!

JUNE 21, 118 DAY OF THE GREAT RESISTANCE

Tomorrow is a trip to "far-far away" [probably Donbass or another hot conflict area where volunteers will be delivering supplies to the soldiers]. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who regularly monitors our reports and responds immediately to needs! … Mykhaylo Fatyanov - $283.57 [HEARTLAND DANCE] Our surplus for tomorrow is $630. Wow! I do not know what happened, but it has been a long time since we’ve had the pleasure to receive such sums for our defenders. It was unexpected. THANK YOU!!!

I am attaching a photo of some of the supplies that were picked up by the defenders today. Regarding future expenditures, they said they will be buying military shirts and placing orders for other "substantial" supplies. 

For the list of other needed supplies, please see the Amazon Wish List where you can purchase tangible products that will help Ukrainians in their fight for independence and freedom!

https://amzn.to/3O4yJt1

Presently, I have a large shipping box that is about half full of medical and tactical gear supplies and as soon as it is filled up completely, I will be mailing it to my family for distribution to the TDF and to my family's neighbors who are in need. So far, my family has successfully received 2 such boxes filled with medical supplies and hygiene items worth over $2,500. Please, help keep this aid coming in if you are able to. It makes a big difference!

If you would like to see one of the boxes I recently sent, here is a link to the local news channel that showed me collecting these supplies for my family. https://www.wthr.com/search?q=fatyanov

Thank you and may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless and protect you and your family!

Thanks from the front lines! :D
June 17, 2022
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Dear friends,

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Please, know that our Heavenly Father hears us!

My family remains in Zaporizhzhia and continues to serve their neighbors and those on the front lines.

Today, I wanted to share an excerpt from a daily update by a volunteer organization that supplies the territorial defense units. The leader of this organization is also the director of the children’s theater where my niece is taking acting classes.

 

JUNE 10, 107TH DAY OF THE GREAT RESISTANCE

Our quadcopter is already on positions. This is the most important. The guys [territorial defenders] are very grateful for the help!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember, how this purchase of the quadcopter started? A very distraught woman came who wanted for the volunteers to provide her with a helicopter. It later turned out that she wanted for the volunteers to give her a quadcopter. Then she started to cry and we understood that the guys [territorial defenders] are being shelled very hard and ever day there are casualties. Her son was serving there. Today her son picked up the quadcopter. They are very happy))))

Today we completely met the needs of the 44th tank division – shoes, head coverings, t-shirts, medical kits, underwear, disinfectants, gauze. There was a lot of everything. We were able to buy everything first and foremost thanks to the help of Michael Fatyanov ($1,000). Thank You very much, the guys were desperate and needed everything! Very, very timely!!!!) THANK YOU again!

Today, we ordered:

Active artillery headphones so that our soldiers, including the fathers of our students [acting school students like my niece], could hear the laughter of their children

Ubox [military shirts] – 3 pieces, since we bought the pants for the guys but didn’t have the shirts)))

Ordered 10 silencers (it turned out that aren’t being manufactured in quantities less than 10). Bad news – they got $3.3 more expensive, so it seems that our remaining budget of $530 is spoken for to the penny))))

Thank you to all for today. Thank you to our soldiers for the self-sacrifice. And we are thankful to all, who reduce this self-sacrifice by their contribution to the victory.

Until tomorrow.



In an effort to help this organization continue to supply the needs of the city defenders, I created an amazon wish list where they requested some of the items needed. Feel free to place an order or share this list with anyone who wants to support the resistance efforts with tangible help. 

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/NILLJG583L2M/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1

Thank you again for all your help thus far and may the Lord Bless you and keep you and your families safe!


 

This is like watching a slow tsunami approach my loved ones...
June 2, 2022
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Dear friends,

I am pleased to report that my family continues to remain together and unharmed, Praise be to God!

That being said, my cousin’s family (see photo in the gallery) who lived in a village about 4 miles south of Zaporizhzhia had to evacuate because the village was attacked by Russian artillery. The Russians were attempting to destroy a local school, as a potential gathering spot of Ukrainian forces but instead they hit and destroyed a lot of civilian homes, killing and injuring several people. My cousin (in pink), her dad (blue adidas t-shirt) and her 10 y.o. son (yellow shirt) were all working in the open fields when they heard extremely loud explosions, so they ran for the cellar where the children were crying hysterically. The following day they arrived to Zaporizhzia. My sister placed them in her own apartment so the family of 8 didn’t have to all stay in one apartment. The following day, the mother (black polka dot dress) had to return to the village because she works as a nurse at a local hospital. My cousin also has to continue to make trips back to the village to take care of her crop as her family’s only source of income.

The reports from the front lines are grim. They are lacking ammunition and basic equipment. They are trying to preserve ammo and need to be very careful with how they use it to make sure that every shell counts. I know a group of people who are working on designing a drone to give the “eyes” to the artillery units on the ground, who have received some of NATO’s artillery but have no way of using it effectively against the Russians without proper reconnaissance.

After sending a couple of small shipments of medical and survival supplies to my family, my next priority for fundraising is to help fund this drone to allow the Ukrainian territorial defense units to keep the Russians at some distance from my city. Your earnest prayers and financial support now count more than ever!

Thank you for all you have done so far and for continuing to do what God puts on your heart!

May the Lord Bless you and keep you safe!

Michael

P.S. Several people have asked me why hasn't my family evacuated so far. There are several reasons but I think the one that is most easily understood is that, should my family leave Zaporizhzhia, it will not be long until my brother-in-law (and possibly my nephew) will get drafted and the family may be separated for good (at least on this side of eternity). Meanwhile, while staying together, they are able to offer help and hope (through the message of the Gospel) not only to their relatives but also to their neighbors and to those who have put their lives on the front line. 

Update #24
May 26, 2022
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Dear friends,

I just wanted to send a quick update that my family remains alive and together, thank God!

This morning, 4 cruise missiles have hit my city (one was shut down not far from my family's apartment building by the anti-air defenses, but its remains have significantly damaged a large shopping center). According to one of the reports I heard in the morning and what I've heard from my family, over 60 civilian buildings were damaged or destroyed in addition to a large airplane motor plant and a shopping center.

Please, continue to keep my family and those defending the city in your prayers. If you are able to contribute  medical supplies (pain killers, gauze, bleeding control, etc.) or donate for their purchase, please prayerfully consider doing so. You can email me to coordinate physical supply donations (TLims271@gmail.com). Please, know that your prayers and your donations are reaching real people around my family and are making a big difference!

Yesterday, I was able to ship another box with about $1,500 worth of tactical first aid kits, portable water filtration systems, feminine products and miscellaneous pharmaceutical supplies. You can see a brief video where local channel 13 news covered a follow-up story on my family (Just copy this long link into your web browser or go to WTHR.com and type "Fatyanov" into the search box)

<iframe width="640" height="360" style="border:1px solid #e6e6e6" src="https://www.wthr.com/embeds/video/responsive/531-44725afb-61fc-4984-9cdf-f7b20b8b65ce/iframe" allowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" mozallowfullscreen="true"></iframe>

May the Lord, the God of peace, bless you and keep you and your families safe!

Sincerely,

Michael 

P.S. My brother-in-law's friend who serves north of Zaporizhzhia shared this photo of one of the rockets they shot down last week. (What you see is only about 1/4 of the entire rocket before it exploded)

Testimony and Thank You!
May 6, 2022
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Dear Friends,

I wanted to share a testimony of how the Lord is working through your generosity and his Holy Spirit while guiding our actions.

You may recall from previous posts my high school friend Ksyusha, who helped supply Mariupol refugee children with diapers and has been working as a volunteer to help get medical supplies for the TDF defending Zaporizhzhia.

Two days ago, I felt a nudge to reach out to her and help her financially as someone has just given a large $500 check two days prior. Today, I finally heard back from Ksyusha saying she had arrived at a city in western Ukraine along with her parents, a dog, and 2 cats (her husband returned to the frontlines). Hearing that she was okay, I asked Natasha to transfer $500 to Ksyusha as I know they need help.

Here is what I head back from Ksyusha:

“I still cannot get used to the fact that help is coming suddenly, where I don’t expect it form, and when I don’t ask for it, but always on time. I just received a message from the bank – thank you and Natasha. Literally yesterday I transferred almost the same amount of money for a Kevlar helmet [Probably for her husband. Photo attached] and wasn’t sure if I could afford to spend that much and what to do next. And here we are. Thank you!”

I want to thank that generous donor of the $500 check and each one of you who continues to pray and support my family in Ukraine financially. It allows my family to make a real difference and offer hope to others during such trying times. Here is another quote from Ksyusha, referencing previous support my family was able to share with her.

“… Thank you so much for your help and support. It is always very important and during current times it is simply priceless!...”.

May the Lord richly bless you and your families and give you peace through His Son Jesus, who loves you so much!


In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.


Much to be grateful for!
May 5, 2022
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Hi, Friends!

My family is doing well. They are adapting to living during the war, although constant sirens during the night and day make it very difficult to have a routine or get proper rest (although the last 2 days were relatively calmer, thanks be to God!)

The Lord had answered our prayers by opening the doors for the UN representatives to evacuate over 100 refugees from Mariupol’s steel plant Azovstal and bringing them to Zaporizhzhia! Let’s continue to praise our God who is with us and who hears us and continue to pray for volunteers like Mykhail Puryshev (featured on CNN as a man who rescued over 200 people from Mariupol), who undertake similar rescue missions from Mariupol in their own private vehicles.

I am also very grateful that NATO artillery has arrived to Zaporizhzhia to help defend it from the Russian invaders. My family feels relatively safe there and they plan to continue to stay there to serve others by sharing the support that you help provide! Thank you!

Vadim is continuing to work with the territorial defense forces (TDF) by helping them with his engineering know-how and technical skills. Natasha continues to look for affordable housing and place refugees from places like Mariupol and Kharkov. Dima is preparing to take his driver’s test but needs a little more practice driving Vadim’s car first. Sasha is attending school remotely.

I have reached out to my high school friend Ksyusha to see if she was able to evacuate to the western part of the country with her family and to see if they need some rent support but so far I haven’t heard back from her. Praying that everyone is okay and that her husband, who was serving at the front lines is still alive. God, in His mercy, allowed her husband to return from the frontlines for 2 days right before she was supposed to evacuate, which allowed them to see each other. Our Lord is worthy of all praise!

Regarding specific needs, SVIYA (a trusted local volunteer group helping TDF) is requesting laptops, printers, and tablets for the frontline fighters to help them communicate and maintain a strategic advantage. Normally, these items would be supplied by the military, but the reality is that the bureaucracy of requesting such equipment including receiving the necessary stamps of officials (who are often reluctant to do so as it will trigger additional paperwork submissions and inspections), make it practically impossible. That’s why volunteers (like SVIYA) are trying to supply the defenders with the necessary equipment and are relying on help from local residents and their friends abroad. If you have any connections to help purchase inexpensive electronics please reach out to me.

Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support! So far, we were able to raise over $40,000 to help my family, the people of Zaporizhzia, and those who are finding safe haven in it!

May the Lord Bless you and keep you and your families safe!


P.S. I'm uploading a photo of refugee busses from Azovstal arriving to Zaporizhzhia.

Encouraging faith
April 28, 2022
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Dear friends,

I want to start by encouraging all of us to “Seek the Lord while he may be found…” (Isaiah 55:6)



Knowing that my city is being repeatedly struck by missiles, then hearing about ruthless tortures of civilians in nearby towns, and then hearing about ground attacks on the outskirts of my town made me feel sick yesterday and today.

When I called my family today, however, I was amazed by their faith and productive attitudes.

I spoke with Vadim to discuss the needs of the family and others around them. One of the projects he is working on is helping the local military hospital expand their capacity (right now they are collecting money for the building materials to insulate the empty building nearby so they can put extra beds there.) When I asked him how they are keeping positive and productive in the midst of what is going on, he referenced the Bible (2 Kings 3:16-17) where God called the parched Israelites to dig the trenches and promised to fill them up with drinking water. Hearing this from Vadim was of great encouragement to me as it reminded me of the sovereignty of God and of His love for us (He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come, suffer and die on our behalf, so we may have forgiveness and eternal life with Him.)

Dima is doing well and is staying positive. Yesterday, when I spoke with him on a video call, he said the weather is getting warm and it is getting beautiful outside. He said “it’s warm, the birds are flying, the rockets also [and we are just living].” This conversation took place the day after they heard five large explosions only miles away from their house.

Natasha continues to work by helping displaced families find affordable housing through her real estate connections and knowledge of the city. She asked for prayer for her foot which has swollen, making it hard to walk. She broke it 21 years ago and it got aggravated. When she went to the hospital, they said it will require a surgical procedure and, given current priorities (care of wounded soldiers and civilians), they encouraged her to wait as long as she can before seeking treatment.

Thank you for your continued prayers, care, and support!

May the Lord protect and guide you and your families!

Financial Update
April 23, 2022
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Hello friends,

Here are some updates on my family and on how your contributions were spent:

So far, at least 6 rockets exploded on the territory of Zaporizhzhia, 2 of which were shot down by the territorial defense forces (TDF). Thanks be to God that Natasha, Vadim, Dima and Sasha remain unharmed and positive as they are continuing to remain together and serve the local community. Natasha is helping find housing for refugees, cooking meals to the elderly in the apartment complex and is planting a fruit and vegetable garden😊 (This is her new passion and a way of destressing). Vadim is working to secure aid for the TDF (While the U.S. and other international aid goes to the Ukrainian army, the needs of the TDF are met primarily by volunteers, local citizens and their friends abroad.) He is sourcing a vehicle from abroad to transport the wounded and to deliver supplies to the front lines. He is also working with a local military hospital to help meet their needs. Dima occasionally volunteers at humanitarian aid organizations, regularly helps with delivering food to the elderly in the apartment, does most of the grocery shopping for the family and is trying to keep a good routine of physical exercise as he is hoping to put on some weight😊 Sasha resumed school virtually and is occasionally going in-person as school is right across the street from the apartment building.

In terms of finances:

My family’s current balance is at $14K ($10K are reserved for evacuation or rebuilding if the situation deescalates and $1K will be sent to help my dad in Lughansk). The inflation, caused by the sanctions, has started to take a toll on the pro-Russian territories (where my dad resides), so he will need some help to meet his rent payments.

Some of the recent expenditures were:

$1K – medical and survival supplies shipped to my family from the U.S.

$3.4K – contribution to a trusted local volunteer organization (SVIYA) for purchase of bulletproof vests for the TDF. This was an urgent need in preparation for a massive attack that would affect my city. (See photo of grateful defense fighters wearing the vests and holding the medical kits supplied by SVIYA.)

Thank you again for your prayers and support!

May the Lord Bless you and your families!

Update #19 Help needed to prepare for the 2nd wave of attacks
April 12, 2022
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Hello Friends,

My family is doing well and are grateful for your prayers and support! Today was the first day in a long time when there were no sirens going off. It turned out to be a good and productive day as my sister helped place another family in a vacant apartment, Dima volunteered at a local humanitarian organization.

Over the weekend, Vadim and I created a list of medical supplies needed by the local military hospital (wound dressings, burn treatment, LifeStraw water filtration systems, ibuprofen, etc.) and today I ordered $1,000 worth of such supplies. I am planning to use Meest.com to ship these items to my family’s home address so Vadim can deliver them to the hospital.

My friend Ksyusha, who helped my family find diapers needed for the Mariupol refugee children (see previous posts) is planning to evacuate the city tomorrow due to a severe medical condition exacerbated by stress. My family and I agreed to transfer $1,000 to help her, along with her parents and grandmother, attempt a trip to the western Ukraine. Hosing cost in the western Ukraine has escalated tremendously so receiving this help offered great hope to Ksyusha and her family! Thank you!!!

Natasha and Vadim have no plans to evacuate so far. There are several reasons for that. In no specific order, here are some of them: Zaporizhzhia remains relatively safe at this time; leaving the city and traveling hundreds of miles isn’t safe; Vadim and Dima may get drafted and the family will be separated; while staying, they are able to provide help to family members and those who have no family, they can continue to help find housing for refugees and provide support to the territorial defense units.

Everyone is bracing for the major 2nd wave of attacks from the East and from the South, so help is now needed more than ever. If you can continue to provide financial support, it will be going directly to my family so they can direct it where it is needed most. FYI, I recommended my family to set aside about $10K for recovery after the war, while using the rest to make the greatest impact possible by providing aid to those who do not have any resources or hope otherwise.

Thank you for your prayers, trust, and support! 

Update #18 Natasha's dream and testimony
April 7, 2022
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Hi, Friends!

I realize it has been a few days, so I wanted to post a quick update that my family is doing well, and they are very grateful for your continued prayers and support! I’m sorry I have not yet figured out a way or found the time to thank everyone yet who has donated so far. Please, know that it’s incredibly heartwarming to hear from you, especially from beloved friends that I haven't spoken to in a long while! It makes the world of a difference right now!

A few updates:

Natasha resumed working in her realtor role but more with the goal of helping refugees rather than to make money. Interestingly, the Lord is using her client connections in ways that are quite unexpected. Yesterday (4/6/22), she was able to direct a supply of cancer medications to one of her clients who is now stuck in a Russian-occupied town Enerhodar (just south of Zaporizhzhia.) Praise be to God!!

Vadim was able to use some of the funds you provided to help finance his cousin’s surgery in the Western Ukraine. His cousin Sergey fled the Bucha region (where horrible atrocities took place shortly after) along with his wife, sister, 87-y.o. mom and 2 daughters (I uploaded a family photo of Sergei and his family to the gallery). Upon arrival to a village in the Western Ukraine, he suffered a heart attack and was transported to a larger town nearby for treatment. At first, they put him on an IV but later determined that he needed a surgery to put in a stent. In both instances, Vadim supplied the funds needed to keep his brother alive. This would not have been possible without your support!

The day before yesterday (4/5/22), my sister shared a dream with me where she was pursued by an animal that was trying to kill her but, somehow, she escaped. She said she woke up with a confident feeling that God placed her in Zaporizhzhia for a reason, not to be killed but to be used by Him. I couldn’t be more encouraged than to hear that Natasha is being comforted by the Lord of this Universe Himself, as she has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I’d like to end by sharing my favorite Scripture passage and I pray that it will bring you much comfort in your times of trial just as it has done for me and for the man who penned these words:

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Update #17 (3/29/22 @11:00pm EDT)
March 30, 2022
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Hello friends,

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and financial support! Despite continually rising food prices (some grains and produce increased in price more than 3 times), my family doesn’t need to worry about not being able to afford it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Overall, my family is doing well and is in good spirits. Everyone is trying to grasp and hold on to some sort of normalcy amid this nightmare. Dimka tries to stay consistent with his morning jogging and exercising, Sasha is building playhouses out of sheets and some string (see photo in gallery:)) and is playing tag with her friends either in the apartment courtyard or in the bomb shelter, Natasha started gardening again (recent passion of hers), and is hoping that her job will start calling them back soon as some businesses are attempting to reopen.

While the human nature tries to regain a sense of security by bringing back familiar routines, the new ugly reality is staring in everyone's face. Before, Dimka used to research various online classes for his future career, now he is researching various medical equipment suppliers and border customs regulations. Meanwhile, Vadim is networking to secure deliveries of critical aid so desperately needed by the local hospitals and frontline defenders. Things like battlefield-grade first aid kits with tourniquets are urgently sought after by many front-line medical units. Everyone understands that, apart from praying to God (Thank you, Jesus, for ensuring that God hears our prayers!), to protect one’s family means to provide maximum support to those who are on the front lines defending their cities. This has brought the nation together like never before. I am so proud of my family and the rest of the people of Ukraine!

Today, someone shared a YouTube video from CNN about my city Zaporizhzhia (Ukrainian spelling). You can copy this link into your web browser to see the first 3min 45 sec that show my city: https://youtu.be/kO7dhVDDWHg  Interestingly, the reporters were shooting the video during the most recent curfew that I mentioned in my previous post.

Let us keep the faith and submit all our petitions to our heavenly Father in Jesus' name!

Update #16 (March 27 @ 12:15am EDT)
March 27, 2022
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“Every good and perfect gift is from above…”! (James 1:17)

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! God has been very kind to my family.

Vadim’s back started to feel better the very next day after I asked for your prayers. He has been seeing a massage therapist and is feeling a steady improvement in his back pain. Despite the injury, however, he continues to remain active in providing help wherever needed including getting supplies to the local hospital. My family purchased and delivered a load of items such as baby food, sugar etc.(photo attached) and Vadim has been working to organize delivery of drinking water (regular and sweet) to help treat patients. The hospital did receive two negative pressure wound treatment devises (Another answered prayer!) and is now in need of more disposable parts.

Saturday (March 26) at 8pm Ukrainian time, Zaporozhye began another 1.5 day-long curfew. Earlier in the day, Vadim brought several members of their small congregation to worship together at my mom’s apartment (photo uploaded to the album where Zhenya, Natasha and Zhenya\'s mom leading worship) and took them back before the curfew began. Zhenya (pastor\'s niece), who is Sasha\'s age, stays with my family for the 2nd time over the weekend curfew. This is a welcome break from staying in a local theater basement (make-shift bomb shelter) on the other side of town where she was staying with her mom since the war began.

I am attaching a few more images of Sasha\'s drawings for the city defenders and of her and Zhenya playing in mom\'s apartment.

In yesterday’s sermon by Natasha and Vadim’s pastor, many thanks were given to our Father in heaven as they listed numerous prayers that were answered! Let us continue and lift up our prayers by faith!

Wishing you a blessed Lord’s Day!


Update #15 (3/22/22 @12:05am EDT)
March 22, 2022
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Dear friends,

I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to the fundraiser last Saturday. I really didn’t know what to expect and was left speechless when the venue was at capacity!

Throughout that day, we raised close to $10K for my family in Ukraine! When we wrapped up for the night (close to midnight), I called Natasha (several of you were still with me) and told her and Vadim about your generosity. They were very humbled and grateful. They said they will be praying for wisdom in putting these funds to good use. 

I connected with them again on Monday morning. They just completed a 38-hour curfew, when no one was allowed to be on the streets as the city police was trying to fight against the saboteurs who were known to mark civilian and other buildings as air attack targets. My family has been reaching out to family members to check up on them and to identify needs and transferred $300 to my cousins and four of their children along with clothing for children and adults (7 of them live in a 2 BR apartment nearby). One of my cousins is a single mom, raising two children and another one is married and also has two children. Her husband is a firefighter.

Over the weekend, my family also discovered that Vadim’s cousin (Sergey) had a stroke. They fled from Kyiv and were staying in the Western Ukraine along with his wife, sister, 80-y.o. mother and 2 daughters. Sergey has been transferred to a hospital in a larger city where he was put on an IV for 3 days. My family transferred another $300 to help them with the treatment costs.

Natasha said that their strategy at this time is to meet specific needs of people they know while looking for opportunities to fulfil a greater need as the Lord leads them. She discovered that hospitals are in need of a life-saving device (some sort of a wound discharge suction treatment) but unfortunately the storage facility to the north (near Dnipropetrovsk) that supplied these devices is in a war zone. She is now trying to locate another supplier including those outside of Ukraine. If any of you may be able to help with this, please send me an email message.

Please, pray for Vadim as he injured his back lifting something heavy. It has been getting worse over the course of 3 days.  He had one massage session on Monday. We prayed for his recovery, and I can’t help but remember how the Lord answered our prayers from about 3 weeks ago when Vadim had a fever, so let us continue to pray in faith!

Thank you again for all your prayers, support and encouragement!

May the Lord bless you and your families! 

Update #14 (3/18 @ 12:55am EDT)
March 18, 2022
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I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father is faithful, loving and unchanging!

A big answer to prayer came in the form of thousands of children being evacuated from the destroyed southern city of Mariupol (~ 500K population). The occupants would not allow safe passage to the civilian residents for almost 2 weeks, leaving people stranded without access to food, water or electricity. More than 2K civilians were killed. Yesterday, however, thousands of children were bussed to my hometown Zaporozhye (~ 750K population), where hundreds of volunteers were pulling resources together to provide care and place them wherever they could, including schools, theater buildings, etc.

Vadim and Natasha ended up assisting by delivering diapers, food and supplies to various parts of the city. The spacious cargo minivan that was purchased with your donations ($9,500) was used to deliver live-saving aid and hope to the most vulnerable (children).

I connected Natasha with my high school friend who still lives in Zaporozhye (photo attached). Her husband is currently on the front lines, while she is staying behind to care for her elderly grandmother and sick parents. She also volunteers by organizing aid to volunteer soldiers and refugees and today she even supplied diapers and medications that Natasha and Vadim delivered. Two days ago, a Russian rocket hit a train station about half a mile away from her apartment building (and from the University I went to) which broke her windows and damaged some property around the apartment.  I know this is not what I originally was asking these funds for (original intent was to help my family evacuate) but it felt right to provide aid to my friend, who is caring for her family alone, so I asked Vadim and Natasha to transfer $1K to her account from the funds I sent them.
At this point, both me and my family are seeing this situation as providentially-arranged where my family is serving as the Lord’s hands and feet on the ground by providing help to those who do not have hope of receiving aid from elsewhere. I believe this also helps keep my family safe and mentally intact in otherwise chaotic daily routine interrupted by missile alerts and frequent trips to the bomb shelter. They are grateful for the sense of purpose they now have, combined with financial ability (that you provide!) to make a real difference. Thank you for helping us fulfill the Lord\'s command to love our neighbor(Matt 10:27)God Bless!

Update #13 (3/15/2022 as of 8:20am EST)
March 15, 2022
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Praise the Lord for his lovingkindness and mercy, and for so many answered prayers all over Ukraine:  lives spared in supernatural ways, wisdom and clarity of mind among military personnel as well as civilians, unexpected support of people from around the world!

My family remains in Zaporozhye and are starting to establish their ministry of helping those around them thanks to your help! Zaporozhye has become somewhat of a refugee hub and a transit point for the displaced families from the regions to the south and north. So far, the city has continued to remain relatively calm, and the city officials are encouraging the population to resume their economic activity as much as possible amid persistent threat and frequent air attack warning sirens. Today was the first day when city markets and certain stores have resumed their activity. People are encouraged to support those who live in the villages. (Due to lack of export outlets, the villagers were forced to pour out milk.)

Natasha, Vadim, Dima and Sasha are trying to be as helpful as they can in their efforts to support the territorial defense units. As of March 14th, their apartment building has produced and delivered over 13,000 square feet of camouflage coverings to the city defenders. Vadim is helping by working with volunteers to deliver supplies. He was also involved in helping produce maximum strength body armor for the frontline soldiers made of vehicle scrap parts.

Thanks to your support, I was able to make the final payment on the vehicle that is now being used to help numerous families who wouldn’t have access to vital resources otherwise! Thank you!!!

After assuring my family of continuing support, they started to create a stockpile of food and supplies for those in their bomb shelter and deliver food to single elderly people and those in need in other parts of town (i.e. the pastor of their small congregation has family members who are sheltering in a nearby theater building and have not left the building since February 24 for fear of losing their spot in the shelter). My family has also purchased 10 portable water filtration systems that will be shared with others.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! This makes a vital difference!

 

 

Update #11 (3/11/2022 @10:15 EST)
March 11, 2022
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Glory be to God, who hears our prayers!

This morning I spoke with Natasha and she said that the detained refugee busses in Western Ukraine were released. Thank you all for your prayers!

Natasha said they feel compelled to stay in Zaporozhye. Most likely, Vadim will not be allowed to travel very far before getting drafted and Natasha said she will not leave him. She did mention that Vadim was speaking of sending Dima and Sasha alone. Please, continue to pray for their wisdom and protection. 

Thank you!

Update #11 (3/11/2022 @10:15 EST)
March 11, 2022
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Glory be to God, who hears our prayers!

This morning I spoke with Natasha and she said that the detained refugee busses in Western Ukraine were released. Thank you all for your prayers!

Natasha said they feel compelled to stay in Zaporozhye. Most likely, Vadim will not be allowed to travel very far before getting drafted and Natasha said she will not leave him. She did mention that Vadim was speaking of sending Dima and Sasha alone. Please, continue to pray for their wisdom and protection. 

Thank you!

Update #10 (3/11/2022 @ 12:01am EST) DECISION
March 11, 2022
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Thank you all for your continued support and prayers during this difficult time! Please, see a photo of my family holding a Thank You sign drawn by my 10y.o. niece Sasha. (She wanted to make sure that she drew exactly 50 stars on the U.S. flag and that it was waiving proudly next to the Ukrainian flag) :) My family is deeply touched and grateful for your generosity and support!  

Please, know that your prayers to our Heavenly Father, who is God-with-us (Emmanuel) are being heard! The city of Zaporozhye continues to remain a safe haven and is starting to receive refugees and wounded from the cities to the south. Zaporozhye is continuing to get fortified with trenches, sandbags, etc. Thousands of citizens are pulling together to meet the needs of the front line soldiers (i.e. sewing bullet proof vests, uniforms, providing boots, socks, underwear, backpacks, etc.) who are preparing to repel any attack against the city. 

In the midst of this, Vadim and Natasha will have to make a hard decision this morning (probably within the next couple of hours). They asked for prayers to clearly hear from God whether they should try and head for the border over 700 miles away or stay put in their apartment and hope to weather the storm in the bomb shelter in the basement of the apartment building.  

In times like these, we are clinging to God\'s word, where we find assurance of salvation (our eternal destiny) as well as peace and hope in the present moment.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, \"He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.\"


 


Update #9 (3/9/2022 @ 12:15am EST)
March 9, 2022
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Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that the test wire went through successfully! This afternoon, I sent another portion of the donated funds. Thus far, $11,301 were transferred to my family in Ukraine. We are incredibly grateful to all of you who prayed, donated funds, and showed care and support to all of us! These funds will allow Vadim and Natasha’s family to pay off their already maxed-out credit cards and continue to purchase food and other basic supplies. Unless there is another pressing financial need in the meantime, I am planning to use the remaining and other future donations to start settling the $9,500 debt for their family vehicle, which I still hope will be used as the means of their evacuation one day.

I had some brief discussions about their evacuation plan and learned of a few obstacles. The smaller one is that gasoline can only be purchased with cash (as opposed to credit cards), which is rather scarce these days and the Western boarder of Ukraine is over 700 miles away from Zaporozhye which could require 3-5 tanks of gas considering likely detours and boarder traffic jams. The greater challenge, however, remains the military emergency state across the country. This means that if my family moves to any other city outside of Zaporozhye, Vadim (and possibly my 18 y.o. nephew Dima) would have to get registered with the local military enlistment office and are likely to be drafted for combat. This can leave Natasha (my sister) and Sasha (my 10y.o. niece) stranded and without a trusted male companion to bring them across the border. Please, pray that the Lord will make a way to keep this family safe and together, or if He has another plan, that they will hear clearly from Him and “may His peace that surpasses understanding guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7)

In the meantime, I will be looking to see if it’s possible for them to come to the U.S. without visas.

On a slightly different note, I spent some quality time with Natasha and her family via WhatsApp in recent days. Dima said that he really enjoys looking at the night sky these days. He said that due to the blackouts, the star displays are amazing, and the whole situation feels surreal. I’m grateful that Zaporozhye has remained relatively quiet, and that the reality of war remains mostly cerebral in his mind at this point. I asked him if he regrets/blames God that he didn’t get to come to the U.S. with my mom in December (his visa accidentally got damaged, and he had to turn around in Poland and return to Ukraine). He replied that, while he often thinks about what it would have been like to be in the U.S., he doesn’t regret being in Ukraine right now.

My 10 y.o. niece Sasha is taking remote English lessons with Vadim’s sister Larisa, who was a professional translator. At times, however, Sasha gets frustrated when Larisa calls for their daily English chat in the middle of her playing hide and seek with her friends in the bomb shelter, as it reveals her hiding spots :D Sasha likes to draw and even teaches my 4 y.o. son Isaac whenever they get to spend time on the phone together. Kids have such an amazing ability to overcome communication barriers and connect with each other! Overall, Sasha is being of big help to her family there, as she lifts everyone’s spirits with random hugs and “I love you’s.”😊 

Let\'s remember to seize opportunities to show love and appreciation to our loved ones and to thank God for the things we often take for granted.


Update #8 (3/5/2022 @12:30 am EST)
March 5, 2022
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Dear friends, thank you so much to all who have been praying and showing support! It has been very humbling to see prayers and donations from people I haven’t been in contact with for years and yet here you are showing support to me and my family! Your support means a lot to us! I also want to apologize for not sending my personal thanks to you right away. Many of you may not know that I am working three jobs and until this week I was also taking a seminary class (I had to drop the class because I couldn’t keep up with all that is happening right now.)

But that\'s enough about me. I spoke with my sister Natasha on Thursday and with my brother-in-law Vadim on Friday morning. Thanks be to God that Zaporozhye remains relatively quiet, provided that the nuclear threat from the damaged power plant 30 miles away (bird’s flight) will be eliminated. Please, keep that in your prayers!

Also, I was grateful to hear that grocery stores have received some food deliveries (milk, meat, etc.) from the nearby storehouses.

Natasha continues to help make the camouflage nets to conceal the defense strongpoints while Vadim has been using his garage business equipment to help volunteers make parts for portable gas heaters for the city defenders, who have been spending days outside, exposed to rain and cold weather. Vadim has been driving to drop off supplies to the designated drop points throughout the city.

Yesterday, I made the first funds transfer to my family. I am hoping for the funds to reach their account by Friday, March 11. If this test transfer goes through successfully, I am planning to send the remaining funds shortly thereafter (upon instruction of Vadim/Natasha). My mom asked me to tell them to use the funds to pay off their family/Vadim’s business minivan ($9,500), which was bought with the funds loaned to them by a family friend after Vadim’s car of 25 years finally died. This new auto (2012 VW Caddy minivan) was supposed to be their evacuation vehicle as well as Vadim’s work vehicle. Prior to the invasion, Vadim was manufacturing and installing thermal doors and windows in Zaporozhye and nearby cities/villages.

When I told my family about the funds that have been so generously donated by you, I could see a mixture of astonishment, gratitude and hope on their faces and I could also hear it in their voices. Thank you again for making it possible to offer this tangible support and encouragement during such difficult times!

Immediately, the Bible passage from Matthew 25, verse 40 comes to mind:

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

May the Lord richly bless you and keep you and your families safe!

Update #7 (3/1/2022 @ 1:47pm EST) Global Prayer for Ukraine at 2pm!
March 1, 2022
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I just received a message from my sister announcing Global prayer for Ukraine at 2pm EST. Please, join us if you can!

I am going to try and upload an image that Sasha (my 10y.o. niece drew for the Ukrainian soldiers). The first is a spring flower drawn on a box of protein bars and the second is a white dove over a Ukrainian soldier holding his weapon. No 10 y.o. girl should know how to draw military equipment and rifles with such precision!

Please join us in prayer for peace, wisdom and healing. 

God help us!


Update #6 (2/28/2022 @ 9:45pm)
March 1, 2022
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Today is the 5th day since the start of the invasion. My sister and her family remain in Zaporozhye. They are finding themselves more involved in supporting the Ukrainian troops. Today, Vadim (my brother-in-law) and Dima (my 18 y.o. nephew) volunteered at a military hospital by helping create a sign for the military ambulance drivers to drop off wounded soldiers. They were also helping move and fix some refrigerators for the doctors to store medicine and helped sort through countless donations of clothing, blankets, food and supplies that kept pouring in from local residents. They even had to turn some people away! My sister Natasha, along with other residents of their apartment were making camouflage covers for the Ukrainian troops and their equipment. Everyone was donating their sheets and blankets and then using special design patters to create the covers (See gallery image). Sasha (my 10 y.o. niece) was drawing some encouraging pictures for the soldiers on the front lines.

The grocery stores are starting to run out of inventory. There were no new deliveries in the last couple of days. The banks continue to remain inaccessible for civilian transfers/withdrawals, but Vadim promised to investigate Bitcoin options to replenish their cards. 

Today, the residents of Zaporozhye were warned of a potential air strike and were asked to prepare extra warm clothes and food to take with them to the bomb shelters. As my sister was doing her shopping, the missile/air strike warning siren went off and she had to run for shelter. In the midst of this, she somehow pulled her back. Please, pray for her speedy recovery!

Other men were contributing by welding hedgehog antitank obstacles made out of railroad tracks and spikes for the wheeled vehicles and armored personnel carriers.

The atmosphere across the country is that of incredible unity and solidarity. Even opposing political parties have set aside their quarrels and are working together. Imagine that!

My sister asked to pray for Putin’s overthrow since amid unbelievable victories, the rumors of nuclear threat are rising. She also asked to pray for any of the devil’s lies to be revealed as there is a lot of misinformation going around.

Thank you all for your support and prayers!

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD (Isaiah 54:17)

 

 

Update #5 (2/27/2022 @ 11pm EST)
February 28, 2022
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Thank you all for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

I wanted to share a note I received from my sister. This is a message from the Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines.

“We are feeling the power of your prayers. Sometimes, truly unexplainable things are taking place, as if someone’s invisible hand is diverting the bullets and projectiles from us and they are flying right past us. We are coming out victorious from very difficult situations, as if Someone is guiding us. We are becoming invisible to the enemy, while we ourselves can see even in complete darkness and know what we need to do and how to do it. This is inspiring us and is giving us strength. We are trusting that the Lord Jesus himself is for Ukraine. We are asking you to not stop and continue to support and keep us in prayer. We need you very much.”

Please, continue to pray spiritual warfare and intercessory prayers, especially in the coming days as I hear that the Russian troops have entered Balabino village which is about 5 miles from my hometown Zaporozhye.

Natasha (my sister) and Vadim (my brother-in-law) felt led to return to Zaporozhye and support the resistance forces as countless Ukrainians are doing right now. In between the sirens and frequent trips to the bomb shelter in the basement of their apartment building, Dima (my 18 y.o. nephew) is making trips to the grocery store, Natasha is cooking meals for the soldiers, and Vadim is delivering them to the Ukrainian soldiers.

My mom Valentina, who is with us in the U.S. now, is constantly monitoring the news and continues to share unbelievable reports of bravery, faith, patriotism. It seems as if the invaders will have to overcome an army of 40 million (Ukrainian population) if they want to obtain victory by force.

Thank you again for your prayers and support! 

Update #4 (2/26/22 @ 7am)
February 26, 2022
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Today is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Our prayers regarding Vadim’s (brother-in-law) health have been answered. Natasha (sister) said he felt much better this morning. At 10am he left to go back to Zaporozhye (my hometown). It’s about 100 miles Southwest of the Ternivka village where they are currently staying. He is planning to pick up more warm clothing for the family and gather information about the military situation in the area. On his way in, he heard the warning sirens but thankfully did not hear/see any explosions.

Sasha (my 10 y.o. niece) seemed to be in good spirits when I spoke with her yesterday shortly after the family arrived to Ternivka. She is the primary caregiver of my mom’s cat Becky. Interestingly, there are 4 other cats and a hyperactive puppy at the place they are staying at. I’ll just say it can be hectic.

Dimka (my 18 y.o. nephew) also was in good spirits. He said the situation is surreal and he cannot believe it is actually happening, although from time to time the reality is starting to sink in. I gave him some encouragement from the Scriptures. Before going to bed in their sleeping bags on the floor of the village hut, we did a quick Bible read together to find wisdom and encouragement. Natasha was shocked how immediately relevant were the Scripture passages (Isaiah 26) that were written almost 3,000 years ago, especially when I explained the historic context in which these passages were written. Just as the Bible says, the Word of God is alive and active.                                                                                                                 

Another point of gratitude is that Dimka had an accident which injured his back a few years ago thus rendering him unfit to serve in the military. I am grateful that the family unit remained together.

Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness, love and protection!

Update #3 (2/25/2022 @ 7:15 am EST)
February 25, 2022
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First of all, thank you so much for your support, encouragement and PRAYERS!

This morning I received a message from my sister saying they were on their way to a village 20 miles east of Dnipropetrovsk. Vadim\'s uncle lives there and apparently it is a safer place to be. Later, she shared that she received a disturbing audio update about the Russian troops being at the outskirts of Vasilivka (a small town 20 miles south of my city Zaporozhye).

I later was able to establish a video connection with them when they were still 5 minutes away from their destination so please pray that I will be able to stay in contact. 

Last night, I and many of you were praying for alertness and wise decision making for all of the heads of households seeking to protect their loved ones. I believe that my family\'s move to this new location is the result of our prayers. 

Another positive update is that when I asked my sister whether both Dima (my 18 y.o. nephew and Sasha, my 10 y.o. niece) have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior she responded "Of course they accepted Him and I released them to the Lord Jesus Christ". 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Please, continue to pray for peace of mind that surpasses understanding, and for their thoughts to be fixed on Jesus, our prince of peace, and not on the storm around them.




Update #1 (2/24/22 at 1pm EST)
February 24, 2022
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Apparently, things change much quicker than expected in times like these, so please bear with me. 

I spoke with my brother-in-law (Vadim) this morning (afternoon in Ukraine) and he said that Russian military strikes were conducted throughout the Ukrainian territory so no part of the country can be considered safe at this time. He said that the borders are closed and they will not be able to get out. The immediate plan is to shelter in place. Everyone stayed in the apartment today and decided to occupy the kids with cleanup chores. My 10 y.o. niece (Sasha) seemed positive. Fortunately, the apartment complex where they are now staying has old bomb shelters in 2 of its basements  and I believe my family will be able to access them if needed. 

The schools and banks were closed today but tomorrow Vadim is going to meet his acquaintance at a local bank (she was told to come to work at 2pm local time tomorrow) to try and understand when they will be able to receive funds. 

My plan in the meantime is to collect all of the donations and once I receive a signal from my family that the funds can be received by them, I will use Western Union (transfer in minutes option) to wire as much funds as possible to them.

You have my word that 100% of the funds received will go to my family members in Ukraine to provide for their immediate survival needs or to help them get to a safer place. In the event the fund transfer is impossible within the next 30 days, (3/26/2022) and there isn\'t any foreseeable hope of getting these funds to them, the entire amount will be donated to help refugees in Ukraine. 

Update #1 (2/24/22 at 1pm EST)
February 24, 2022
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Apparently, things change much quicker than expected in times like these, so please bear with me. 

I spoke with my brother-in-law (Vadim) this morning (afternoon in Ukraine) and he said that Russian military strikes were conducted throughout the Ukrainian territory so no part of the country can be considered safe at this time. He said that the borders are closed and they will not be able to get out. The immediate plan is to shelter in place. Everyone stayed in the apartment today and decided to occupy the kids with cleanup chores. My 10 y.o. niece (Sasha) seemed positive. Fortunately, the apartment complex where they are now staying has old bomb shelters in 2 of its basements  and I believe my family will be able to access them if needed. 

The schools and banks were closed today but tomorrow Vadim is going to meet his acquaintance at a local bank (she was told to come to work at 2pm local time tomorrow) to try and understand when they will be able to receive funds. 

My plan in the meantime is to collect all of the donations and once I receive a signal from my family that the funds can be received by them, I will use Western Union (transfer in minutes option) to wire as much funds as possible to them.

You have my word that 100% of the funds received will go to my family members in Ukraine to provide for their immediate survival needs or to help them get to a safer place. In the event the fund transfer is impossible within the next 30 days, (3/26/2022) and there isn\'t any foreseeable hope of getting these funds to them, the entire amount will be donated to help refugees in Ukraine. 

PRAYER REQUESTS

  • Zaporozhye's preparedness to provide care for physical, mental and spiritual needs of refugees. Vadim and Natasha’s wisdom and discernment in serving while keeping their family safe and minds set on Christ and not on the storm around them (Matt 14:29-31).