|Dear Friends and Partners,
The following is copied and shared with permission and reflects a deeply personal perspective forged amid the daily suffering and sacrifice caused by the war in Ukraine. This update is offered to inform and encourage your prayerful support for all who are affected by this tragedy.
If you would like to help us with humanitarian aid efforts you can donate through our website https://ipministry.org/donate/. The needs are growing as we keep helping thousands of people to move west within Ukraine and also helping those who want to leave the country temporarily. We need funds most of all for gas, but also for food and various supplies (medical, bed linens, mattresses, etc). Thank you.
The night is coming.
I can’t believe it has been 29 nights of war, 29 nights that we spent in a bomb shelter! 29 days and nights filled with air raids.
I also can’t believe I have written so many long FB posts! I know between my posts where I am trying hard to stay positive during the day and occasional lapses into fear at night it might be confusing and difficult to make a full picture of what is happening in Kyiv. Some friends are asking for clarifications on overall situation in Kyiv and on details of daily life here.
The thing is before the war there one Kyiv – an ancient, quite prosperous European capital city with a lot of theaters, concerts halls, restaurants, gyms, schools, universities, highly developed public transportation, too many cars on the roads causing traffic jams during rush hours. We don’t have Starbucks in Ukraine but we have thousands of little coffee shops – literally every 100 meters! Kyiv covers 325 square miles and is divided by a broad river. It has about 500,000 structures — factories, ornate churches and high-rise apartments.
Now we have more than one Kyiv.
There is Kyiv that is tortured and wounded by war – russian invaders bombed and destroyed 87 high-rise buildings, 10 private houses, 12 schools, 6 kindergartens, also a shopping center and maternity hospital in Kyiv. Every bombing takes away lives and ruins homes and cripples lives of survivors. In the past 29 days and nights we spent numerous hours in our bomb shelter. Every time air raid sirens signal that something deadly is flying into Kyiv. Most of the times our air defense unarms it in the air but the above numbers of destroyed buildings show that plenty fall on residential areas. The destruction in suburbs of Kyiv is much worse, some towns and villages are completely destroyed. It’s ongoing and quite real horror. (See the photos taken by Aris Messinis in Kyiv and suburbs) We hear cannonades of front line battles that are not that far from where we live. We see barricades and antitank hedgehogs on our streets. The war is definitely present visibly everywhere around, not to mention the nerve racking air raid sirens.
But there is another Kyiv at the same time. It’s Kyiv where 2 million people (half of pre-war population) is trying hard to continue living and not go insane. Grocery stores and drug stores are still working. Not all of them, of course. For example, we live in highly populated residential area where within 15 min walk we can go to at least 7 big supermarkets and many small ones. Small supermarkets are closed, but 5 big ones are still available to us. The selection of food is not the same as it was before war, but all the basic food is available. Bread (50 cents a loaf), potatoes (40 cents/lb, chicken $2/lb, milk $1/litre.) There are fruits and vegetables available in the stores and from farmers who sell on the streets. Street cleaners are working hard to keep our beautiful city clean. Schools are working online. Coffee shops are beginning to open. Barber shops and hair dressers that open up have lines! Hospitals are working. Some private clinics offer their services for free. Sasha and Nikita are taking our Briana to a private pediatrician where payment is optional – only if you can, you pay. I am including photos of that Kyiv in contrast of Aris Messinis photos of wounded Kyiv.
I talk with people in our churches in other cities. In Kharkiv there are basic foods still available in supermarkets in parts of city that has not been bombed. Cherkassy, Uman, Lviv, Vinnitsa continue functioning as they used to in peaceful times (though all of them were bombed at least once or more), the difference is number of refugees that flooded those cities. Kherson is under occupation, but there is plenty of food sold by farmers. Russian invaders are offering humanitarian aid, but for the most part people refuse – Kherson continues to actively protest again russian occupation though protesters are being arrested. Avdeevka is the town that is under the heaviest fire and there is shortage of food and water. Electricity is on and off – as soon as lines repaired that destroyed by shelling.
I hope this helps to understand our overall situation. It varies from city to city depending on how much progress invaders were able to make. Leveled to the ground Mariupol continues to be the greatest testimony of russians’ crimes against humanity.
Please, keep praying for God’s protection and provision for our people and for russian invaders to retreat or surrender.
Ps. 147: 3-7
“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving.”
Photos of “wounded Kyiv” taken by Aris Messinis
Bread. In Ukraine bread is considered to be the most important and essential food.
Meat. The selection is far from what it used to be before war, but some fresh meat products are always available.
Farmers sell vegetables on the street. Coffee shops are opening.
Nick hasn’t found barber shop that is open yet, but he is definitely looking.
You should see both our hair styles when we come out of bomb shelter in the mornings. —————————————–
Please share these updates with others. I have added direct links to our email, our website, and to the IP Ministry Journal on YouTube to the bottom of this page. Your prayers are precious to us. Thank you!