Along with their grief, the family had many challenges to face. Their breadwinner was gone, and difficulties of poverty became more pressing than ever. Lyudmyla’s mother, Tetyana, is entitled to state support as a widow, but because of bureaucratic delays, she is yet to receive any payment.
In the meantime, Lyudmyla’s grandmother, 71, had broken her hip and became bedbound, requiring constant care, and Lyudmyla’s sister Anastasia, 13, became very unwell. The local doctors haven’t been able to find the reason. They found a cyst and then another one, and Anastasia had to stay in hospital and will return to hospital soon. She is worried and silent.
Throughout their struggles and in midst of their grief, Lyudmyla’s family have not been alone. When they first arrived in Sarny as refugees from the east, they were enrolled on Mission Without Borders’ family sponsorship programme, and now, Lyudmyla and her two younger sisters have been invited to one of the Mission’s summer camps.
Here they will get to spend a week away from home, making friends, eating delicious food, trying new activities, playing games and learning more about what the Bible has to say.
Lyudmyla said, “For me, going to summer camp is an adventure and the chance to see another place. I always wanted to travel. I look forward to getting to talk and hang out with people my age, and also spend time with the leaders, who have experience in walking with Jesus. I need to talk to them as I have a lot of questions.”
Tetyana said, “I’ll be so happy for my children if they go to summer camp. I know that it’ll be a place where they’ll be safe and be blessed. There will be a lot less stress at camp than at home.
“I hope that their emotional wounds will be healed. Like all children, they have a need for joy, bright emotions and good memories. I cannot give this to them, so I am thankful to the Mission for this opportunity.”
Mykola Bogdanets, director of MWB Ukraine, said, “As the war continues to devastate Ukraine, the Mission’s summer camps remain more vital than ever. Here, children and young people have the chance to experience joy and fun away from all the challenges and hardships of their everyday lives.
“And most importantly, at summer camp they have a chance to hear the gospel and be taught lessons from the Bible, that they might know the Prince of Peace for themselves. Then, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in, they may experience the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, and which will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).”