An Empty Home


This is the story of a family living in Sarny, western Ukraine. They are enrolled in our Families-in-Crisis (family sponsorship) program. Father Pavlo (39) and his wife Tetyana (36) have four children, ages 2 to 17. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they lived quietly and worked hard to provide for their family.

With the assistance of MWB, Pavlo had managed to set up a small business building mechanisms for tractors, and they kept chickens in their yard, as well as grew some crops to provide for themselves.

And then February 24th happened, and their lives were split into two parts – ‘before the war’ and ‘after the war’ – and the family themselves have been torn apart as well.

“In March, a rocket hit a military base in Sarny,” Pavlo said. “The next day, my wife said that she wants safety for the children. Soon afterwards I took her, our four children, and my cousin and her two children by car to the border of Ukraine. Volunteers then took them to the Czech Republic.”

Now Pavlo alone stays in the family home, and as a mechanic, he is doing a lot of work repairing military trucks.

Pavlo said, “This is my contribution to Ukraine’s victory. As the father of four children, I could have gone abroad together with my wife and children, but I felt that I didn’t have the moral right to do that. My place is here, doing everything possible for peace and for Ukraine, for the opportunity for our children to live under a peaceful sky.”


Having a long-distance relationship with his wife and children is very difficult. “The house is empty,” Pavlo said. “I miss hearing the children laugh; I miss their games and the daily routine. I miss my wife’s smile. I have a lot of work to do on the farm as we keep poultry and rabbits, but after work, I sit on the bed and picture my children’s faces.”

As of May 17, 6.3 million people have left Ukraine. Tetyana and the four children travelled to a small town in the Czech Republic where the mayor and her husband are personally involved in the care of Ukrainian refugees. Tetyana and the children were provided with an apartment and the people around them are kind and helpful. However, they deeply miss their father and their own home. Along with so many other Ukrainian families, they are eagerly waiting for the conflict to end so that they can return to their own country.

At this dark and uncertain time for Ukraine, the families enrolled in MWB’s sponsorship program value our steadfast support more than ever.

At the end of MWB’s time with Pavlo, he finished in prayer: “Heavenly Father, have compassion on Ukraine. Give us life, a future and peace. Comfort those who weep over their loved ones. Be with our soldiers. Unite separated families. Let your name be glorified. We put our trust in you!”

Learn more on how we are helping Ukraine during the war by clicking here.