A few months ago, some of you were part of sending funds to help refugees from eastern Ukraine, through an organization called Loads of Love, which is run, in part, by my very good friend Ed Dickson.
Spike and I had coffee with Ed on Saturday. He's in Canada for a couple of weeks. He had just received a letter from Viktoria, the woman holding the bag of food in her lap. With her are her parents, her son, and her sister. She has a daughter as well, not in the photo.
Here is the letter (translated, I'm sure).
Ed read it to Spike and I slowly, so we could hear and imagine each phrase. You might want to read it the same way.
When we were all hiding in the basement (on the seventh night) there was a loud roar of bombs and I prayed, “God, I don’t even really know how to pray, but if you will just save my children, I promise, I’ll change, I’ll love more, I’ll forgive, I’ll do whatever you want.”
One day my husband went outside because we were starving. When my husband didn’t return, my father went out and found him dead. Killed by a bomb. Later that day, terrified, we somehow found the strength to grab our documents, and escape our village, while laying on the floor of a bus. How do I explain to my children that their father is gone. We weren’t even able to bury him.
We left our home, where we have our favorite beds, our beloved dog, where every little corner of our house tells stories about our lives. Now we’re living in a dormitory, with a shared kitchen, shared bathroom, not enough food and rarely hot water. But I am happy to be alive, but am still ashamed to admit that we are hungry.
Then one evening a girl from the “Christian mission” calls us and asks if we need food for the children. I remember immediately hugging my son and saying, “God has not forgotten us.”
When it was time to send our children to school, we did not have proper clothing for them. I remember the used sandals someone gave us for my daughter were two sizes too big, but she said, “Mom, don’t worry, I like these sandals,” but I knew she didn’t.
Once again, in the evening, the girl from the Christian mission called, “Loads of Love” knocked on our door and said they had clothing for the kids. I don’t know what “Loads of Love” is, or who those people are, but I know that evening, Jesus knocked on our door and He loves us.
My thanks to all of you, on behalf of Viktoria and her family.