Work on the Ground in Ukraine
A Report from one of our team on the ground.
Names & identities have been withheld to protect our workers.
It all started on a quiet Sunday afternoon (7.03.2022), when my cell rang suddenly. G's voice was filled with emotions: “E, I need urgently someone to be a pilot of a bus going to Moldova tomorrow morning. We need to pick up a Jewish family of 5 from the provisory refugee facility in capital Kishinev. They are fleeing from Odessa located just across the Ukrainian border. Their husbands and sons had to stay there. Everything is prepared for the trip. If you agree to go, call me back in 15 minutes. I’m praying that you would, because everyone else is busy now.” So, I also prayed shortly with my wife and called him back. Then we quickly sipped our tea and started organizing things. The post-soviet republic of Moldova, the poorest European country bordered by Ukraine, now has become a very important southern corridor for the refugee masses. It is 930 miles away from Poland. Our non-stop journey took 30 hours to get there and another 30 hours to come back. The two drivers took turns behind the wheel every 5 hours. We had to travel through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania – all the way around the Ukrainian war zone. The Kishinev camp for Jewish refugees, organized by Israeli services, was located in a well-guarded closed area of a former resort centre on the outskirts of the city. It could house 300 people at a time. Each day a 100 people come and another 100 set out for further destinations. I saw people for whom world has ended. They trailed around the lanes, crying and trying to understand anything from this chaos. I heard terrible stories about what some of them had witnessed. I learned that a tear in my eye speaks better than any words of consolation I could have said. After we had got ready to start the journey back to Poland, I told our anxious passengers: My name is E which means “God with us” and I am strongly convinced that He is and will guard us and bring us safely home. And yes, He did – through a fierce night snowstorm as the car wound through the Romanian serpentines; through three hours of forced stay at the Hungarian border control. I asked 82-year old granny N, what is the secret of her inner strength and calmness: “The family. Now it is everything I live for – to keep us together”, was her answer. N, the young mother (21 years old) on the board cared for her 2-year old son R so tenderly, that only once heard I him cry. The arrival at the Farm at 3 a.m. on Thursday, a warm welcome by G and M standing at the open doors of the house with bright light coming from inside was like a calling at a port after storm. I am grateful to the Almighty for the opportunity to serve our Jewish friends and increase the good despite the pervasive escalation of evil.
Faith in the Midst of War
The Friends of Israel have been assisting in the rescue and return of Jews from Europe since 1938. We have teams based in Poland assisting with efforts to rescue many Jewish families from war torn Ukraine. They are risking their own lives in the process.
One of our workers recently shared some pictures they took travelling through Southwest Ukraine of large billboards depicting verses of Scripture and some with words of encouragement and hope. Even in the midst of horror and suffering there is encouragement to those without hope and faith can come in the midst of war. Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and for Russia that many would come to know and trust in in Jesus during this time.
At the top of each picture is the interpretation of each billboard.
Jesus - the Light of our country
And everyone who calls on the name of the
Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
Life overcomes death and light - darkness
Thank God that our eyes see the
morning of each new day.
Our workers are supporting many Jewish contacts they have made over recent years and assisting them to flee or survive in war-torn Ukraine.
How can you help?
Support the Eastern European Relief Fund
You can help provide aid to the most vulnerable people in Jewish communities in Ukraine and surrounding areas. Your financial gift will go directly to helping those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.