Update from Ukraine 10/12

A mother and her daughter, living in a small town too close to danger. They spend most of their time together in a deep dark basement that is crammed at max 6 people. I have seen them twice now, about five months apart. The first time was just like the last, we went to their secluded home, and brought a few essentials on our last stop of the day. The daughter greets us with so much kindness that shows the love she continues to hold in her heart, despite her surroundings. We look at the destruction that has occurred right outside their place of rest, and question why they choose to stay? “It’s their home, where would they go?” They only have each other and the neighbors that also choose this way of life. My heart hurts thinking of their decision, but not as much as it throbs when we walk downstairs into the dark basement. There we find the mother of this brave woman, who has been bedridden for quite some time. Chaplain Leonid comes to the right of her bedside and takes hold of her hand and reads her scripture. A picture-perfect scene, as he had done months before. He shares the gospel with her for a second time, she seems more open to it, there is laughter, and sadness as he tries to convince them to leave. Tears run down my face as I try to say goodbye, perhaps forever, to this old woman who reminds me of my mother, who laid in a hospital bed a few months before. Her daughter grabs my hand, and we share a moment of understanding for each other, it’s almost as if she knows what I’m thinking. Even if the language barrier wasn’t present, we didn’t need words to express our hearts. Saying goodbye is a hard thing, I just pray they choose the truth of Jesus and everything he offers so I can say hello again to my new friends, in a much better place.

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